Monday, April 16, 2012

Menu Planner

Ever have those days where you can't figure out what you want for dinner and just can't make a decision.  That has been happening frequently in my house and has caused me to go into a cooking rut.  I hate being in a cooking rut because I love to cook and create in the kitchen.

I decided to work on a menu calendar after seeing a few pinned on Pinterest. I could have just written a menu into my planner, but that seemed so permanent and not flexible.  The dry erase calendars with magnets makes menu planning easy and is flexible.  I plan to shop for 2-4 weeks at a time and therefor I can swap out meals without the fear of not having the ingredients.

My husband had started the process by starting a list of all of our favorite recipes and grouped them into several categories.  I will share my process with you.

Meal Tabs
1.  In Microsoft Word, create a table with three columns and five rows.
2.  Under the tables tab select Table Properties.  Here you can change the width of the columns and height of the rows.  The width was set to 2" and the height was set to 0.75".
3.  At this time you can set the size and font.  I chose Callibri and an 18 point font. I also centered the text in the table boxes.
4.  Enter your meals into the table.  I started out with the meal category.  I bolded and changed the size of the font to 24 for the titles.
5.  I printed out each table onto a different color of card stock.
5.  Cut out the recipe tabs.
6.  I bought a roll of magnet tape from Wal-Mart that was 1 inch wide by 10 feet long.  Cut the magnet into 1" segments.  I then cut the magnet into thirds, so I had three skinny one inch long strips.
7.  Attach the magnet strips onto the back of the meal card.
8. Start organizing your menu strips onto the calendar.

I am not 100% sure with the way I set it up.  I may change the categories to main ingredient instead of type of cuisine.  I also need to add to my recipe collection.  Right now I am working on compiling a binder of recipes.  I have been printing off my recipes and copying them out of my cookbooks.  After going through a few of my cookbooks, I have found more recipes to add to my board.  It is a good thing I cut out a few more colored blocks so I can handwrite in some new dishes.

If you have any questions or have any suggestions I would love to hear about them.

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