Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guess what I’m planning?

How many of you read this subject and said to yourself,
“Let me guess . . . a trip to Walt Disney World!  DUH!”

Well, in this case – you’re wrong!

(I AM planning a trip to Disney World – but that’s not what I’m referencing today.)

Yes, I have a bit of a planning fetish – I confess.  I used to try to hide it from the world – thinking it was a form of sickness requiring treatment.  2011-12Planner300But then, one day, my boss asked me if I’d like to help create a planner for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.  Ummm . . . .hello?!  The thought of taking my “sickness” and using it for the benefit of others was very appealing. 

It’s now 4 years later and the Planner has grown and changed over the years – but at the heart of it is still my heart for planning. And while the Schoolhouse Planner is filled with lots of forms to plan your homeschool, there is SO MUCH MORE.  There are so many household planning forms that I think the planner is well worth its pricetag for ANY MOM (not just a homeschool mom).  If you’re looking for ways to help better organize your household and your life in general, this may very well be the tool you need!

I’ll confess, even with the planner, I still don’t have a good handle on my housework.  While there are tons of forms and lists in there to help with that, it’s just not my favorite area to work on.  But, one thing that we do try to have a handle on is our menu.  The other day, Ashley and I were trying to plan a grocery trip and I’ve found that it’s always easier to shop for groceries when you have a plan.  So, we made use of the monthly menu planner form to create a list of our suppers (yes, we live in PA – it’s supper here, not dinner!) for the next 4 weeks. 

summer 2011 327

As you can see, we didn’t plan anything for Sundays.  We often go out for lunch after church on Sunday, then just pick at whatever we have in the house later in the day.  One thing that we’ve found makes planning easier to is to have themes in place.  So, you can see that I used the interactive feature of the planner to put some of the themes in place on my form.  I could have actually used that feature to create my entire menu – but since we were in a hurry, it was easier to print it out and write on it.  After printing, we realized that we should have done a “Crock Pot” theme so we added those meals under Saturday.  That will allow for some flexibility and “extras” – as we don’t always stick to the menu, as far as the actual days.

As you can see, on some of the meals (if it’s something we use a recipe for), I write the name of the cookbook – or an abbreviation that makes sense to me – and the page on which the recipe is found.  This makes finding what we need much easier on the day we have to do the cooking! 

Having this menu, then, makes creating a grocery store list so much easier! As we are adding our meal choices to this menu, we also work on the grocery list (using another form from the planner). 

I’ve found that, when I have a store list, I save a lot of money on groceries because I’m only buying what we will need and use, rather than doing “impulse buying”.  We don’t plan for breakfasts and lunches (though there are forms for those who do!) – but we do add those items to our grocery store lists (usually based on coupons that are available at the time).

Do you plan your menus? 
I’d love to hear your method – leave me a comment!


Dawn said...

SOME day I would like to menu plan...still working on that one...Blessings!

Jill said...

Menu planning is something I have done for years. I use the same form you showed for planning my menu. I love it. I also save my menu plans in a binder and if I don't have time to make up a new menu, I just pull out an old one.

Kelly said...

I used to work for a company (Homemade GOurmet) which sold a package of information called the 30 Day Meal Plan. I REALLY need to get back to that type of planning, but haven't seemed to have the time. thanks for the post. Maybe it will help me be able to do that this week!

Jodi said...

I do so much better with a list, too! No surprise there. My ADD kicks in as soon as I walk into the store if I don't. I just created some pretty covers for my Household and School Planners for this year, printed them, laminated, and comb-binded them. I'm working in the kids' covers and planners. Looking forward to a great year! :)

Lori said...

I plan my menu one week at a time rather than by the month. That not only lets me know how to but it allows for adaptation for my very sporadic schedule. I want to make sure I don't plan a messy dinner when company is coming over and I want to be sure to prepare crock pot and easy meals on days I don't have much time. What a neat idea including that in a homeschool planner!

Christa said...

Due to Roger's work schedule, I plan ours in 3 week rotations. I used to have several different rotations, but have gotten away from that. I need to get back to it... it helps so much with having groceries in the house. And now that we are kinda back in the swing of a routine - that will help also! (just don't ask about cleaning!)

Jesse, said...

I love your theme idea! I'm not very good at menu planning, but with our schedule this fall, I need to get good at it!

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