Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekly Menu

I have a confession. Husband and I eat out too much. Like, way too much. I always begin the week with good intentions, but usually by Wednesday, I'm so wiped out from work and school that take-out rules our household for the rest of the week. And my waistline is certainly showing that. Enter Pinterest (seriously, how did anyone come up with any kind of creative idea before Pinterest?).

The idea is that by having the visual reminder of what's for dinner each night, we curb the "It's a quarter til 7 and we just got home and we still have to walk the dog and what's for dinner?" So last week, I hit up Hobby Lobby to gather supplies (cork board and fabric) and spent a Saturday morning crafting.

I covered the cork board with fabric, hot glued thumb tacks to the clothes pins and meal envelopes (made from scrapbooking scraps), and cut/hot glued the days circles. I decided to do only 6 days because 1) That's all the room my board had and 2) If we can stick to meals during the week, I'd be OK with cheating on weekends.

I went through our recipe binder and wrote down almost all of the recipes (didn't do sides or desserts because I'm lazy and didn't have enough strips). I also made strips for standards that don't need recipes (like spaghetti and porkchops).

Rearranging the magnets and a command hook on the fridge later, you have this:

I know, I'm a terrible tutorialist, but since my inspiration came from tutorials, I figure you can just follow my sources and figure out what to do. Not that it's hard.

I, of course, picked the worst week to try a menu board. Notice I only have meals for Monday and Tuesday. Yeah, that's because Husband has been out of town on business, so I was on my own for 3 dinners. Like I'm cooking for just me. Time will tell if we stick to it, but I have high hopes.

Couple of ideas: I plan on adjusting the strips just a bit. As I was getting the board ready for next week, combing through the ideas was a pain. I'm not quite sure what to do about the overall idea, but I'm planning on making more strips but in different colors. So main dishes would be one color, sides another, maybe even crockpot meals another color. That way if I'm looking for something specific, I can eliminate strips more quickly. The pins will certainly hold more than one strip at a time. I also love the idea of using clothes pins--you could clip a new recipe and after you've tried it, decide to make a strip or let it go.

Also, I like having the shopping list right below. That way, if we have a hankering for something, we can jot it down.

Finally, I think it's a good idea to write where specific recipes can be located on the back. I used card stock for the strips, so Sharpies don't bleed through. Like I mentioned, I wrote the recipes from our binder and usual suspects that don't need a recipe, but I also went through one of our recipe books. We have 3 similar books (Taste of Home from different years), so I'm always confusing which recipe is in which book. I jotted down the book name and year on the back of the strip and I think that will help give even more options.

The strips are the most time-consuming part, but overall, this project was only a couple of hours. And if it helps us get back on track both health- and budget-wise, it's worth it.

Count this as a repin to my "I Actually Did/Made Something from Pinterest!" board