In my adventure of learning how to get meals on the table on a semi-regular basis I actually find the biggest roadblock to be knowing what to make. There are bzillions of recipes out there, but when I ask “what should I make tonight” very few ideas (if any!) come to mind. So I’ve been working on a meal-planning template that works for me. This is the second incarnation of such a plan:
The original plan had the days of the week on it, but I need some flexibility to say “I don’t want to make that today”, or to switch to something simpler if our evening suddenly becomes busy. So this one just has two-week’s worth of meals, both easy and hard (as colour coded with red [hard], orange [medium], or yellow [easy]) and I can select any one from the plan on any day depending on the mood, schedule, or what’s fresh in the kitchen.
The difficulty ratings I give are based on a few variables. Can I throw it all in the crockpot? (easy!) Is it a brand new recipe (harder), Is it coming out of the freeze? (easy!) Does it take lots of prep work? (harder!) Can Sean and I cook it together? (easy!) Etc…
I also like the running grocery list on the sidebar to make sure I have what I need for the plan. I colour code that too, according to areas of the store:
Green - fresh produce
Blue - dairy
Yellow - bakery
Orange - canned/drygoods
Red - meats
Purple - Other
That way a quick scan of the list will show everything I need to pick up in that part of the store. Also, it gives me an excuse to use pencil crayons. :)
Anyone know how I can post the template so others can have it too?
(It’s a Word document.)