This year I vowed to get back to basics and get organised in the home again. First on my list was sorting out the recipes that I had printed off/collected/copied from blogs etc. They had been shoved into a cupboard and every time I needed to find something I would have to rifle through the wads of paper. When I went through this pile I found duplicate copies of the same recipe, seems every time I couldn’t find the recipe I would print off another copy. Can you see why I needed a better system?
I decided to go “old school” and use a folder, some dividers and my trusty label machine to create a system that would help in my menu planning. I went through the recipes and sorted them into categories, such as beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, vegetarian, slow cooker recipes, cakes and slices and dessert ideas. I then labelled the dividers and filed the recipes in their respective places. Is it so wrong to be excited by a folder of recipes? I think not lol.
Getting the folder together has helped cut down time in my menu planning. Mike and I had a chat a few weeks ago and retold stories of dinners from our childhood. One common theme that stood out was there was not a huge variety in meat and three vege. For example Mike knew that every Monday night in his house was sausages, boiled potatoes and beans. The point is we like variety and this folder we have at least ten different sausage recipes to choose from. It is also full of tried and true recipes we like along with new recipes to try. Some weeks I will try one new recipe and others it might be three. When I know I will be out of the house for the day I often will make a slow cooker recipe that day.
When we menu plan on a Sunday night we outline what we will have that week and the weekly shopping list is based around that. The menu plan goes in the front of my clear file for quick and easy reference.
I grab any recipes that I am using and pop them into the clear file as well. Then the big recipe folder can go back in the pantry.
When I try a new recipe, I tend to follow it by the book. Then afterwards I write the date I first made the recipe and note any changes I would make next time for future reference.
There you go my recipe folder and a bit of my menu planning process. I plan to evolve the menu planning, and work towards menu planing three weeks in advance and grocery shopping every three weeks. With a small shop each week for fresh vege and fruit and milk.
How do you menu plan? Do you get the children involved in the process? Do you try new recipes for dinners?