Friday, August 28, 2009
Hard Times require a planner
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize and acknowledge that the economy is not doing so well and that is effecting everyone (except maybe the Olsen twins who are just excited to see more sales in their favorite stores). I am continually trying to eek out of my brain cells any smidgen of money making brilliance or at least money saving brilliance. One thing that I have found extremely helpful (who knows, maybe you will to) is scheduling. Yes, scheduling, specifically when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping.
I'm not sure about you but I don't necessarily relish the idea of packing my three very energetic boys into a van, smashing them into a cart and traipsing all over the store for hours on end (not to mention all the sorry looks everyone gives me as they say, “You have your hands full!”). Because this has become such a time consuming outing, my desire is to give it as little time in my week as possible. This desire has led me to meal planning, list making and doing all my grocery shopping every other Tuesday.
So how does this concept become a reality? Well, the Monday morning of my grocery shopping week my planner and I have a little date. I pull out my handy-dandy recipe binder (a binder I have made up of my favorite and most economical recipes), my favorite pen, and my trusty planner and get to work. I schedule a meal for each night up until my next grocery shopping trip is scheduled and then proceed to make a list from those recipes.
Back to the recipe binder. This has made it a much less excruciating project. I have created a binder divided into Appetizers/Bread-Dough/Beef/Breakfast/Chicken/Desserts/Fish/Pork/and Miscellaneous (for all those great drink recipes you come across). Of course, you might have many more categories you would like to add to your gourmet repertoire but these are my humble attempts. These dividers have been a lifesavers http://www.avery.com They have tabs and folders in them so that recipe you printed out right before dinner on a rather hectic day can go into the folder to be filed later (or thrown out if your family ran screaming from the table). I collected my recipes from several great sites including www.allrecipes.com www.recipezaar.com and www.myrecipes.com There are many more but these are the sites I keep going back to. They include recipes people have posted and others have tried and rated which is extremely helpful since I do not have the time or energy to run a test kitchen. It's nice to have them tested by others before I present the new substance to my husband and children.
So with your binder, planner, and favorite pen you are on your road to planning and saving so much time and money with your meals and shopping.