Saturday, January 10, 2015

[mental shift] MENU PLANNING

We set this goal as a family to live on one income and save the other.  It can be done.  It will take patience. And a whole lot of planning.  (I so just had a song from Into the Woods running through my head - it takes patience, and fear, and despair to change - though you swear to change, who can tell if you do?). That's kind of where we are...patience, and fear and despair to change...

Yesterday I had this huge mental temper tantrum.  Wah, wah, wah - we can't go out to eat, it's not in the budget.  Wah, wah, wah - I have to cook again tonight, and I'VE COOKED EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.THIS.WEEK.ALREADY.AND.IT'S.THE.FIRST.WEEK.BACK.TO.SCHOOL.AFTER.CHRISTMAS.BREAK.  Wah, wah, wah.  I don't have time to cook.  (Wait, what?! - If I have time to go to town, get something to eat, and then come home, I certainly have time to cook dinner).

I'm such a spoiled brat.

I didn't even make the menu plan for this week, McKayslin did!  Yes, I've had to cook.  But she planned it.  And Luke does the dishes.  And miracle of miracles (name that musical!), our kitchen counter has stayed cleared off for 9 entire days.  That has never happened before.

Luke only ate out one lunch this week.  And I didn't eat school lunch at all.  McKayslin ate school lunch twice this week.  Because she wanted to.

That realization brought a slight mental shift.  My stomach hasn't hurt all week.  We've eaten dinner at the table every night (except last night which is always the exception for Friday night pizza and a movie).  We've actually talked to each other instead of playing on our tablets or watching tv.  It's been quite nice.

I knew I needed a better way to menu plan - something that involved the menu plan and the grocery list all on one page.  Something that would leave my menu plan safely at home on my fridge. I'm certain there are at least 121 different things floating around the internet.

My right brained reality would much rather make one than search for one.  

So I made one.

And I posted it on Instagram.
That's when I realized that I wasn't the only one looking for a better way to plan.  My friends were just as excited about this little thing as I am!

I made a few tweaks to the original document.  Things that I had forgotten, or that, when I filled out the form, annoyed me.

What I did love...
• There's a spot to write what I think we need when I'm planning.  And a spot to transfer it to the grocery list when I check if we really do need it or not.

• The grocery part can be cut off the bottom and taken to the store, while the menu plan stays intact, clean, and unwrinkled on my fridge.

• It's cute.  And it starts on Sunday.  We shop on Saturdays.

What I didn't love...
• I needed more space to write the actual menu.

• I was missing a whole lot of categories for the shopping list part.

• The font wasn't my favorite (I know, first world problem!)

So...this morning, I updated. Tweaked. Fixed.  And came up with this.

I haven't tried it out yet.  We'll see if it makes the cut when I menu plan next week.  ;)  This week, I'm sticking with the one I already filled out.  Because I'm lazy.  And it's already done.

Click on the image to download your own copy if you'd like.  Let me know if you find something that doesn't quite work.  I tried to lay out the grocery shopping boxes so they would follow the sections of the store.  But realized they don't follow our grocery store but our Wal-Mart.  I think it will be okay.  

We'll see.

I'll post our actual menu plan and recipes a little later.  I need to go cut the bread for french toast.   

Happy Planning! 

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