Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reinventing the "What's for Dinner?" Wheel

What can I say? I'm not easily satisfied with preparing and eating the same o', same o' dinner fare every night. I like variety. I like to use what's in season. I like to use what's on sale. is not always an effective use of my time. Definitely time to reinvent the dinner wheel yet another time. Sigh.

But this time around, the effort I put into this little project will be there for me to fall back on anytime I need a break from being overly creative or frugal in the kitchen.

This is what I did:

I went through my recipe collection and pulled out 20 different main dishes that my family will eat without a lot of complaining, that don't require a ton of effort, that contain a variety of proteins, and are fairly inexpensive to prepare. In addition to that I pulled four crockpot recipes to use for Sundays. I spread them out over a four week period of time taking into consideration that we might not want to eat something with burger in it three nights in a row. I also arranged them so that an extra chicken could be baked or grilled providing the leftovers necessary for the next night's meal of say, enchiladas. Saturdays were reserved for trying out something new.

I starting using to type my recipes in several years ago, and I love it. But that would be another whole post. Anyway by having the recipes readily available to me, I used BigOven to put them together into a menu plan by week and created a master grocery list. From there it was simple to print everything out and place it in a binder with four tabs, one for each week. The first sheet is the menu plan by day of the week, the next is the master grocery list, and then come the individual recipes. I am beginning to fill in the side dishes that would be standard to include with each meal as I follow through with this plan.

It's a no-brainer to realize that with a plan in place, I will follow it. I won't stand as perhaps many others do before the refrigerator at 4:30 p.m. and wonder why I forgot to defrost this or that. I won't have to wrack my brain for something different that we haven't tried for awhile. I will have already made those decisions in advance for my tired little brain.

And so far it's working. By making notes on each master weekly plan as I go along, I will be reminded to pull out the steak for the fajitas the night before, to start the pizza dough in the morning, or to soak my beans overnight. A welcome relief for my worn out thinker as of late.

Perhaps after I've spent some time following this plan I will be ready to head back to my old ways, but in the meantime, I will relish the fact that I know what's for dinner today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Yeah!

2 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Looks yummy! Have a wonderful Easter...

Brenda said...

A plan is always a good idea! I'm thinking I need to develop something like that. With sports in high gear, I find us eating way too much pizza or fast food. I need a plan!! Thanks for giving me an idea.

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