What. . . . Get Organized?! - stitchery Blog at Allrecipes.com - 154223


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What. . . . get organized?! 
Jan. 31, 2010 12:52 pm 
Updated: Feb. 6, 2010 11:25 am
This is my first blog, so here goes. I have been getting some excellent recipes on this site for several years.  As of last year, I decided to become a supporting member.  There are some really good features on this website and I am enjoying reading the recipe reviews.  I can relate to some of the comments others have shared about when a son or daughter or husband made a comment about the meal.  Over the years; our two sons would say "mom, you're a good cooker"  I'm amazed about some of the meals we have  had over the years since we went through several financial trials and I had to work with whatever was in the cupboard.  Now we are at a point where I can plan meals for a week or two; make a shopping list; and get what we need.  I would like to know if anyone has come across a good planning sheet or designed one themselves for meal planning..  Between meal planning, working a full time job, and taking care of two aging mothers; I find myself "spinning my wheels" if I do not have menus for the week. My husband is a big eater and likes everything made from scratch.  I like to do prep work on the weekends; so I can quickly put together a crockpot of chili where the onions, garlic, and peppers are already diced and ready to put in.  Then I can stay focused and rotate my leftovers for my husband's and my lunch.  Anyway, if anyone knows of a good format for meal planning; don't hesitate to write to me.  I look forward to reading more blogs.
Jan. 31, 2010 2:02 pm
Welcome to the Joy of Blogging! I love it and I'm sure you will to. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I used to plan meals two weeks in advance. Well, after a recent C-D-related flare-up, I realized I have to do everything from scratch and the best way to deal with this is to plan meals again. So, I started last week. Granted, I only have to cook for Hubby and me, but it's still time-consuming. I planned for only one week, but have enough for two. So that I get the bulk of the financial "Owwie" over with shortly after payday. I still have to stop for milk and bread a few times in 14 days, but that's better than stopping at the grocery store every night after work when I'm tired and oh so cranky! I pulled up my recipe box and picked out 7 dinners that were either Tried and True, or Wannabe. I have a "Menus" folder and 14 additional folders (01Saturday, 02Sunday, 03Monday, etc. to 14Friday). Each recipe that "called to me" was added to my "Menu" folder, I also added to the "Shopping List". I then added 3 recipes for lunch and 3 for breakfast (because they are just for me as Hubby lives on waffles during the weeks). Each one is added to the Shopping List. I then go to the shopping list and delete the things that I have already. Then, after shopping, I prepared the meals. Weekends have always been my "Meal Prep times", so I prepare the meals ahead of time. I haven't done it this weekend, so my menu planning will have to be quite easy and non-elaborate this week. I blogged about last week's plan at http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13677745/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=152605. Blogging about the plan helped keep me on-track. When I got home, I would call up the blog and just take whatever out of the freezer. All the best with your meal-planning. I hope this helps. (I like to think of it as a logic puzzle. Then it's almost fun!) :D
Jan. 31, 2010 3:04 pm
Hi and welcome!I can appreciate your full schedule as I have 5 children, a husband, a full time business I run from my home and a mom with Alzheimer's, let alone volunteering, sports events and school activities. All that and you want a home cooked meal too? HA! No - it can be done, honestly. First I suggest you enlist the family for meal suggestions. Second you already have - a crock pot and 3rd learn to freeze meals. My blog- Leftovers Anyone?- talks about getting the family to help. One pork loin can be 3 meals and lunches. I cut one large loin in 3. 1 meal is chops, 2nd meal is just the roast, 3rd meal is pork, rabe and provolone sammies. If I make a huge pot of soaghetti sauce we have pasta and meatballs and sausage one nite, 2nd night I froze some sauce i use to make chicken parm, 3rd meal meatball subs. Might get a 4th meal and I do ravaolis or make lasagana - - if I can make a big enough pot to begin with. I invested in a Wilton loaf pan that is HUGE! It is about 2.50 loaf pans long and a bit higher. I make meatloaf that serves us 2 meals (1 I freeze) and some lunches. I also use this to make cakes and I slice them down in 1 inch pieces and freeze. Just add to the lunch bag and you are done. Great for an impulse snack too - just microwave a minute. Home made veg soup also freezes well and can go with the sammies you planned ahead for. I make pizza shells and freeze ahead for a nice weekend treat - or breakfast pizza. If you have a big freezer you can buy in quantity when prices are good and save time as well as money. Keep good records and date what is in the freezer. The best plan is one that you design as it will fit your life better than retrofitting something else to suit. And you are more likely to stick to it. Good luck!
Feb. 6, 2010 11:25 am
Thanks so much sparkytoo and Whats for dinner mom; I have kind-of, sort-of started a filing system over the years with the computer and recipes cards. Now I can "fine tune" this system with your suggestions. I work at WalMart as a department manager in Pharmacy and at the end of my shift, I just want my home! Organizing my meals is a necesity; since, when I do get home I can sit and put my feet up after I check on my Mother-in-law whom lives with us. Thanks for your good advice. Stitchery
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