Saturday, November 3, 2012

Crisis Menu Planning 101

Recently I blogged about Menu Making Made Simple with intentional intentions of making a menu every week now that it is Fall. There are many thrifty reasons for being faithful with meal planning, the paramount reason: that it saves money. I must admit that the 'best laid plans of mice and men' fell by the wayside.

The past few weeks I have stood in the grocery store trying to visualize my fridge and pantry. Lets there milk? Is it almost empty? Do I have any sour cream? Did I use up the last of the butter? Then I make a call home to ask if there is any dog food left! Hopefully there is, since we can't eat dog food.

Wouldn't it have saved time to have a plan?

Have you been there, done that?!

Apparently blogging is dangerous!! If I blog about some aspect of marriage, I struggle in that very area. If I blog about menu planning, the whole concept of making a grocery list becomes foreign and I am standing in front of the fridge at 4:30pm with a blank stare!!

This morning I had a light bulb moment!! 

I stopped by and noticed the habit of the month!! Wouldn't you know it?! Menu Planning!! 

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I made a commitment to work hard to take up where I left off:

  • Making a list of 30 meals.
  • Making a Menu for the Week.
  • Making a Weekly Grocery List to Match the Menu.
  • Making a Master Grocery List.
  • Making a Master Weekly Grocery List.
  • Planning for Thanksgiving Dinner.
  • Planning for Christmas Dinner.
It would be unreasonable for me to try to do all those things in one day any more than for you. I am a Certified SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive) and prone to get an idea like that into my head!! I'll start a job and get sidetracked even as I walk into a room to get something. I will forget what I needed and do something that is calling my name. Or, I will work all day on some project and neglect other things I should have done.

  • So, today, I got out my 'kitchen binder' with all my favorite recipes. I took out all the menu planning pages and put them into a binder which I designated just for menu planning. 
  • I put some organizational dividers into the binder.
  • I placed posts on menu planning into the binder.
  • I put my 30 Meal Lists into the binder (a project from another week.)
  • I picked out 5 meals to cook next week (Saturday is pizza, Sunday is often Ziti) and wrote them on a form and put them on a clip board I keep on the fridge.
  • I made a grocery list from my menu ideas.
  • Then I went grocery shopping at Walmart (not my favorite grocery store but "You have to do what you have to do!!"
I didn't complete the whole list of tasks today. If I work on putting menu planning back into my schedule a little each week, before long it will come together in-no-time each week.

My goal is to:

  • Have several seasonal 30 Meal Plans to rotate for variety each month.
  • Have numerous weekly menu plans complete with a grocery list to match.
  • Have a Master Grocery List (I need to re-do my antiquated you have one that doesn't fit your season of life?)
  • Plan my Thanksgiving meal.
  • Plan my Christmas dinner.
These are some of the things I am doing to prepare for the beautiful Christmas season this year. It can become chaotic at best this time of year with stressful mommies trying to balance life as the momentum builds as we move towards December. Planning a menu each week will help me save money in the grocery store while saving time for holiday preparations. I want to be peaceful this year so I can enjoy my family and friends.

I am going to prepare for the holidays by being more consistent and faithful in planning a menu and matching grocery list. Then I will have more time for planning my Thanksgiving and Christmas menu.  I will also have more time for food and gift shopping in preparations to celebrate the birth of Jesus without loosing the meaning of Christmas.

Menu planning not only is being intentionally thrifty but is also living out Colossians 3:23 by 'doing it heartily, as to the Lord.'

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, 
as to the Lord, and not unto men;"
~Colossians 3:23~

Have you taken any Baby Steps in Menu Planning??

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

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  1. hey girly girls
    I moved

    1. Thanks for letting me know. You always have such an attractive blog!!

  2. Yes, blogging is dangerous. So is writing poetry. How often I have found myself struggling in just the area I had written about!

    1. I think my husband knows your husband...possibly.

    2. Nita, you and me both!!

      Small world, isn't it Bernadette?!

  3. So interesting that you would mention the dangers of blogging. I have on occasion experienced the same thing.

    I'm trying to plan and make more detailed lists to stick to. They do help when I take the time to do so, but I have never taken on entire seasons or a year at a time.


    1. I love your blog name!! A Joyful Chaos is really a neat name!!

      Oh no!! I would never take on the whole season at once. I do one week at a time with the possibility that it might all add up. I used to have a collection of 'weeks' but they are long outdated and senseless for this time of my life.

      There is accountability in blogging about it as you ladies all know I am trying (again :-)

  4. Thank you for the reminder. I've been needing to get back into this good habit, too.

    1. Me too!! It takes me moments to get out of the habit!!

  5. Now, I think that is a great idea...the one about listing 30 meals. I would probably list a whole lot more, but at least I would have a list to reference every 2 weeks when I make my grocery list. I think it is easy to get into ruts. You forget all the delicious stuff you have eaten. I'm going to do that very soon! =) Thanks so much for the idea!

  6. Recently, a young newly wed friend asked me for some recipe ideas. I had been meaning to get around to do this. The 30 Meal idea is great. I listed where I store the recipe too. I made a couple different ones while I was at it.

    To make is easy as you have little kids, just do a week at a time and add those recipes each week until you have 30.

    My husband would always tell me I was in a rut, especially in the winter. The internet makes it so easy to share recipes and keep out of the rut.


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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