Monday, October 31, 2011

a list-lovers dream...

Before I blast my day into overdrive to get set up for our annual Light the Night event (which, by the way, we have had to move from our yard/driveway to indoors at our church because our entire yard is SNOW covered!!) I thought I'd give you a sneak peak at what I've been working on...
This is going to be my new personal assistant.  Meet Home Organization Notebook.  We can call it HON for short.  :)  (As in, I can call out to it "Hey HON, what's for dinner..."and it will tell me!!)  This little baby is my attempt at keeping things running even more efficiently than the already-smooth-as butter system we have now (HA!).  I even printed out a picture of our house for the cutesy little front cover.  (Bryce asked "Is that a real house...or just a picture you found online?"  I said "Son, that is OUR house."   His reply, "It is??"  Oh, some days I truly wonder...)  Anyway, in it you'll find a list-lovers contains a Master To Do List, a Weekly Planner, and a Daily To-DO List.  The daily list is broken down into To Do, To Call, To Buy, To Go...and What's for Dinner sections.  There's also a 3-column page for a running shopping list, as well as sheets with important phone numbers, emergency info, etc.

I've also tucked a weekly cleaning checklist inside, just to remind me (admittedly, I am cleaning-handicapped) what all those jobs are that should be done weekly...and not just when I see the filth and am horrified by it.  You when the toilet has a ring around it or the kids are leaving me messages in the dust.  Just keepin' it real...

But the most important section...the one that I'm hoping has the most impact for the Food section.  It contains a page for Freezer Inventory, and a page for Cupboard Inventory.  Well, it actually says Larder Inventory...but since I'm not living in Jolly Old England, I'm translating that into "cupboard".  I even think 'pantry' sounds more official, but the sad fact is, I don't have a cupboard is the best I can do.  Anyway...the love child of those two pages is my glorious MONTHLY Menu Plan.
That's right...I bit the bullet in a big way this time.  You may remember me mentioning once or twice or a million times before how much I love hate cooking and meal planning.  But the true fact of the matter is, things are far worse when there is no plan.  I have found application for a certain Bible verse to this is Proverbs 29:18 which actually reads:
"Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint..."

Here's how I translate that...
"Where there is no menu, Jessi wants to eat out and blow the budget."

Sad...but true.

So, in my renewed effort to stay on track, I decided, hey...if I'm gonna take the time to plan meals anyway, why not do it all at one shot.  I sat down with our event calendar, (so as to coordinate things like, on teacher conference night, frozen pizza...which the kids can make on tap) and planned meals by what we currently have in stock and based on our events.  Using just mainly what we have (of course we will need to add perishables, lunch supplies, and random items here and there) I was able to plan meals for about 2 weeks.  Then I went from there with some basic meals that we generally rotate through in our household.

Of course, I left lots of leftover nights or 'breakfast for dinner' nights, because in reality, our schedule changes from week to week.  So, on a night I might have Cranberry Chicken planned, and I find out we're going to have to eat and run, or Todd isn't getting home til really late, I will allow myself to rearrange...and we might just have cereal that night.  Because that's just life.  But on most days, it will help me immensely to know before lunch time what I need to get out of the freezer and what time to start making dinner.

I debated about posting the actual menu, (like, in a readable form) but didn't want to go to the trouble of figuring out how to do that if it was just going to bore you.  I do realize not all the world is as excited to know that on November 7 we will be having Chicken-Veggie-Quinoa stir fry and Applesauce as I am, so I'll spare you the details unless you ask.  However, I will try to post (later, cuz I gotta get movin' here) the handy-dandy links to the printable pages I used to create my HON, and if you want to know anything else about it, I'll be happy to fill you in.

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