Betti's Kitchen Table

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New Menu System

So, I was sick this past December all I kept getting was “what’s for dinner?” questions and when I would tell them, it was “how do I make that?”  So I decided that we needed a menu system so that if I was sick, or if I was at the hospital with Mom, I would just direct them to the menu box and they would find all the menus and recipes and everything that they needed to be able to make supper.  I purchased a 5×8 snap together card file and some self adhesive index tabs.  I established 10 categories for the recipes:  Beverages & Appetizers, Beef, Pork & Sausage, Chicken, Side Dishes, Salads, Desserts, Sandwiches & Burgers, Soups, Stews, & Chilis, Breads, and Exotic Meats & Seafood.  Since I could only find index cards in White, Lavender, Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue – I chose Red for Beef, Pork & Sausage, Yellow for Poultry, Green for Salads, Blue for Side Dishes, Lavender for Desserts, and White for the rest.  I plan my menus a month at a time, as I prefer to do a large shopping trip once per month and then I could just do short weekly shopping trips for produce and items that don’t have a long shelf life.  So, the photos below are examples of what I have done.   Planning a month at a time also allows me to make sure that the meals are balanced and everyone knows what is for dinner.  When I a doing my menu planing, I ask around and find out if there is anything in particular that they want for dinner.  They are able to express what they want and everyone is happy.  At this point, I do not menu plan for breakfast, lunches or snacks but I think I may have to start doing that soon.  That would at least help me to plan.  It is an idea that I am toying with for the moment but haven’t made any set plans for at this time. Once I get the menu planned, I sit down with my recipe cards and write the necessary ingredients for each recipe and side dish. Then I enter the menu and the shopping list into the computer in an excel spreadsheet.  I like excel for the list as I can sort by ingredient and consolidate duplicates.  I have specific items that I keep a check on every week; staples like tea bags and sugar, spices and milk, and that sort of thing.  I also write down spices so that I can make sure I have the spices that I need for the recipes. So, enjoy, I hope that this helps someone else as much as it helps me.  Please comment and let me know how this works for you if you decide to implement this system.  Happy Cooking!

Card File Menu 2 Menu Recipe Card 1 Recipe Card 2 Shopping List

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