Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Menu Plan Update

Remember my super amazing menu board that's going to revolutionize Husband's and my eating habits? Yeah, that was a big fat fail. Not the finished product, but the actual usage.  Whoever first invented these clearly cook no more than ten specific meals, nor did he or she ever try anything new. Once I went through my recipe binder and created strips for each meal, I easily had 200ish strips of paper. Which had to be sorted through each and every time the board changed. Plus, sometimes we just like to call an audible and eat out or eat something planned for a different day. So I retooled the board a bit.

I recycled all of the paper strips and junk and just hot glued a push pin to a paper pad I had.  The board is really a moot now, but it's so pretty! I left the clothes pins up as well, just in case specific things need to get clipped, like a paper recipe.

On the pad, I just write the various meals Husband and I decide to have when making the grocery list. I put about three meals worth of meat in the fridge and freeze the rest. As we actually cook, I cross the meal off the list and pull something out of the freezer. This has cut down on the amount of meat that spoils.

The pad below the "menu board" lists the staples we're running low on. Then I just add it to the shopping list.

What actually has revolutionized our meal planning/shopping/eating is the greatest website ever: Pepperplate. It's FREE and has an app for iPhone and iPad (we don't do Android, so I can't vouch for that).

It lists all of my recipes...

and you can import recipes--a handful of websites are supported for direct imports...

or you can manually import (i.e. copy and paste from a blog). Let's just say I don't repin recipes from Pinterest anymore. I just upload them to Pepperplate.

You can save the original website source (yay for legal!) in case you need to refer to it and upload pictures. There's even space for notes, so when Husband suggests a variation, I make a note. If a recipe needed a little something, I make a note. 

You can also create menus. We're hosting Christmas this year, so I'm already working on some recipes I may need.

It also has a menu planner, but as I've already mentioned, that style doesn't work for us.

What's truly awesome is you can select the recipes you're cooking and it will generate a shopping list. You can manually add in items (like those staples we're low on) and it's customizable so the categories can be switched up to match your usual grocery store. Because I'm always forgetting SOMETHING that's in one of the first aisles I hit. And it all syncs between devices, so the recipes I import on my laptop are available on my iPad when I cook and the shopping list is always on my phone.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Pepperplate. They have never heard of me and I was in no way compensated for singing their praises. I just think it's awesome, yo.

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