Friday, August 8, 2014

Easy Meal Planning

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Are you always having a problem planning your daily or weekly meals? I used to just open the fridge and figure out what to eat based on the ingredients that were available. This practice was very time consuming and not to mention expensive. I now have a son who eats a lot and so I decided that it was high time to plan our meals the right way.

I first upcycled this old white board. It’s a really old white board, as you can see. It has a lot of marks that I couldn’t remove. I don’t mind. I just jazzed it up with some washi tape.

I then printed the Day labels and the dinner dish that we will be having that day. I usually just cook one dish and we eat that for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I add a side dish for dinner to change it up a little. I don’t have much time on my hands so this system works for us. If you want to change your meals, just add another label.

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I have this rule of not wasting food so Fridays are reserved for leftovers We must finish whatever’s left in the week. I also want to relax a little on Fridays so just reheating leftovers is perfect.

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As for the blank section, I put dishes that I want to try to make that week. They can be breakfast, snack or dessert. In order to stick to our budget, I limit my “experiments” to 1 or 2 per week.

I taped the Days because they will be permanent fixtures on the board. You can use double-sided tape or in my case, just regular Magic tape because I couldn’t find my double-sided tape. I used powerful magnets for the meals because obviously, they will be changed weekly. I will just keep them afterwards.

As for the meals, I only printed this week’s set. You can plan a month ahead if you want. I really don’t want to plan that far ahead because I don’t have the time to sit in front of the computer for a long time or look for recipes. Do what works for you.
So how do I figure out what to eat? Simple. I browse the Internet for recipes, watch the Food Network or visit old cookbooks. If looking through cookbooks is not your thing, I have a solution.

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I cut out all the recipes that I like and keep them in these recipe binders. I got them for only 99.50 pesos each at National.

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I will write more about these recipe binders in another post.

For this week, I just leafed through the pages of the binder on the right and planned a week’s worth of meals. I don’t bring this binder to the kitchen. Instead, I just read the recipe and write the ingredients on a piece of paper. This way, the binder does not get dirty and I can just throw the paper afterwards.

I like this system because I can easily what I will cook that day. The board is hanging on our door so I just look to the current day and flip my binder for the recipe. It has truly made my day easier and less stressful. I actually look forward to meal time now that I have this system.

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