Monday, March 28, 2011

Magnetic Menu (Bi-Weekly)

My least favorite question in the entire world is "what's for dinner?"  I remember asking my mother this every night as soon as she got home from work.  Now I understand why she just about ripped our heads off for asking.

I've been meal planning for about six months, and I don't know how I survived before I started doing this.  I love being able to look at my own menu and not have to wonder what to make.  I also like to know right away what I need to get when I go shopping for the week.  Though I plan ahead, most of my meals are flexible.  Unless the meal requires fresh ingredients (salad) or a lot of prep (soups), I can usually move things around within one week pretty easy.  Pasta is dry, and the sauce is frozen (homemade!), so there's no reason I can't move it from Monday to Thursday if necessary.  I just have to be careful about when I start thawing meats or when I buy fresh veggies.  Aside from milk and bread, we can usually get two weeks worth of food at once if we stick to the menu.  Unfortunately our apartment doesn't have space for much more than two weeks of food. :(  I can only dream of having a pantry like my parents or grandma...

I made this bi-weekly magnetic menu just like I made our adult chore cart.  The two frames are side-by-side.  I can look at this week's menu, determine which night The Man wants to cook, put those meals up on whatever nights he wants, and assign him "make dinner" on those same nights on the chore chart.  I'll do the dishes on those nights that he cooks.

I printed the meals on some pink swirly scrapbook paper (pretties!), laminated both sides of each meal, and then cut them into 1" squares.  I used the mono adhesive to stick the square onto a ceramic magnet.  Eventually I'll have more meals than what you see here, but I ran out of magnets.  Another 50 of those, and I'll have quite the meal planning options!  I was just going to make the menu for one week, but I really like the ability to see ahead a bit so we can move things around if people are coming over.

For the record, the meals I have "planned" in the picture are not complete.  Most days will have at least two squares, usually a meat, a starch, and a veggie.  Pasta night often is only "pasta" since I assume there will be a meaty tomato sauce involved, and that's like a meat, a starch, and a veggie (fruit!) all-in-one.  Pizza doesn't really go with anything, so really, who am I kidding?  Pizza night is just pizza.  Pizza and salad if I'm going all-out.  I don't separate "fried potatoes" from "mashed potatoes" or "baked potatoes."  Potatoes just means we're having potatoes.  I'll decide how to cook them based on how much effort I really want to put into making them that night.  "Beans or peas" doesn't actually mean one or the other.  I eat green beans, but The Man likes peas.  I take a handful of each out of the freezer, throw them in a bowl, and nuke 'em for a few so that we each get the greens we like.

The pretty scrapbook paper is from KI Memories Enchanting (March 2010) set.  The laminating sheets are by Avery.  I used Tombow mono permanent adhesive (refill) and ProMAG ceramic magnets.  The font is Copperplate Gothic Light, bold.


Jules said...

wow! you are crafty! I just write them on a printed out piece of calendar paper (with pencil, so I can adjust).

Melissa said...

I totally love your chart. We plan our meals too, but I create a blank calendar each month and then each week we fill it out before making our shopping list.

I pretty much have a love/hate relationship with our meal planning sessions. It's necessary, and makes life easier, but gosh I dread having to decide what to make each week.

We often times will switch things around during the week (when schedules change or we just feel like doing something different). But, your magnetic chart idea with the all the little meal squares would make swaping stuff so much easier (and opposed to all the cross outs and arrows that end up on our calendar!)

I really like your blog so far, looking forward to following your posts in the future!

StephanieP said...

I'm in love your charts...I'll be stealing the 2 ideas :). This might be asking too much, but I would love moreinformation/pictures about both then what you don't have on your blog. So much better than writing chores/menus down every week, like I do now.

Jaggy said...

I can add more information than what I posted originally, but I need some guidance as to what you'd like to see.

Do you want a list of chores I printed? These have been added in the comments section on the Chore Chart post.

Do you want a list of meals I make regularly?

Do you want recipes?

I need more information to know what you'd like to see.

Alissa Kennedy-Holmes said...

I would TOTALLY buy your two organizational boards. OMG they are SOOO unique and modern and perhaps someday when the baby allows me craft time.. I can make it. You could totally sell these on Etsy! Great job...Looks awesome!