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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mom's Diner Menu Planner

Hi everybody!  I hope that this post finds you all doing great!  I, as you all probably have noticed, have been doing some organizing and planning lately.  My new Arc by Staples planner that I created is working BEAUTIFULLY!  I love it and will continue to use it!

I have also been wanting to plan out my menus and get more organized about shopping and dinner planning. We have recently changed from a low carb diet to a Mediterranean/lower carb type of diet, and it has really changed what we are eating.  I need some help to get my brain readjusted to it.   I came upon this GREAT idea by Ursula, here at her blog, Home Made by Carmona.  IT TOTALLY ROCKS!  Here, let me show you.

 It starts off with a simple three ring binder.  I decorated it simply with this paper I had in my stash.  I think it is fitting.
 Inside the front cover I put some lists of our meals were were keeping track of, this was helping me to write down all of the foods we like.  I also have a stash of post-it notes.  Then, I put the printout of the post that Ursula did.  All of the pages are laminated.  I have a laminating machine, so that made it super easy to do, but you could take these to a Kinko's or office store and have it done as well.  This helps preserve them, AND the sticky notes stick so well on them.

 She includes FREE printouts to help you get your own planner started.  Here is the first week of my dinners. She has three columns, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Our breakfasts are usually the same, so there's not a lot of planning.  Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, that we take to work.  Again, not much planning.  So, I decided to use all three columns to spread out my little food stickies.
 The second week plan.  I covered up the empty spaces with the post-its, just because I wanted to cover up the words on the printouts.  You'll see what I mean in the next picture.
 This is the plan, so far, for this week.  I have Wednesdays off, so I plan basically twice a week, Sundays and Wednesdays.  So, now you are probably asking where these little slips of food choices live...well, check this out.
 There are printouts for dinner ideas, lunch ideas, breakfast ideas, and more.  What you do is what she calls "populating" the boxes with the foods your family eats, and maybe even foods you want to try.  Keeping them color coded helps you put things back where they belong and keeps your categories
 Close up view..
 I made my own categories.

That's mine in a nutshell.  It's an awesome system. I love that you can move things around at will and rearrange and reuse everything.  It took a little bit to set it up, but now it's totally piece of cake to use.   I pulled out the weekly meal plan page, went through my categories and matched what I bought at the store.  As I go, I will figure out what I want for the rest of the week and make a shopping list accordingly.  I'm thinking Spaghetti Squash Boats are in my future.  I am going to add some paper for lists so that everything is in one place.

GO CHECK OUT HER BLOG!!!  She has the post, a video explaining the system, and all of the printables you need.  I think you'll like it!

Stay crafty, my friends!

2 comments:

Ursula Carmona said...

Wow, thanks for the shout out Michelle! I'm always so happy to see how others have managed to use my crazy creations. Lol! So glad it works for you.
And you may have to give us your spaghetti squash boat recipe, sounds yummy! ;)

A Creative Operation said...

Ursula, I found the recipe on Pinterest, here is the link for it.
http://arismenu.com/spaghetti-squash-boats/
They are DELICIOUS!! Happy cooking!