Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How I Meal Plan

I have a new method of meal planning that is working rather slick, so I thought I'd share it with you. I'm a little OCD about lists, so it only made sense that I should create an Excel Spreadsheet for my Menu. It's so easy to cut and paste to shift ideas around.

Start with a basic spreadsheet, adding the header row titles. Then fill in with your meal ideas. Typically I get a basic plan, grocery shop, than revise the plan for a final print out. Use the side column to write meal prep info such as thawing, make ahead, or grocery shop. At the end of the week I evaluate what meals we may not have eaten, or what's left in the pantry or fridge that needs to be used up.
 
Notice I used wide rows with narrow but uniform sized columns. I highlighted the worksheet and made all cells to "Wrap Text." Though not necessary, I used the "Freeze Pane" option to freeze the header row in place, so when I scroll down I can still see those headings.
 
When you are updating this every 1-2 weeks, you can cut and paste old weeks onto a separate worksheet within the same file (tabs at bottom of spreadsheet). I sort them alphabetically for quick searches. I can then copy and paste old meal ideas into the main Menu worksheet.

 
Finally, I can quickly print this out to clip to my fridge. Anyone in the family can see what we're making for each meal - and hopefully help if they're really hungry or feeling inspired to cook/serve.
 
What's for breakfast? Go look at the menu!
 
Often times due to schedule changes, what we're in the mood for, or what might spoil earlier than anticipated - we might choose a meal from somewhere else on the menu. I simply check off what we've eaten to see what is left to choose from. I use the blank space on the page to add grocery list items as needed.
 
I hope that inspired some of you to get a spreadsheet started! If so, please let me know by commenting on this post.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

First Communion Meal Ideas

There is so much preparation that happens before a child's First Holy Communion. Here is what I put together for food that may inspire you! For the rest of the plan - check out my blog post on Homegrown Catholics: First Communion Ideas

This was our healthy, Paleo meal at our second child's reception.

Grilled Brats, Mashed Potatoes, Sauerkraut, buns, etc
Stanley 1st Communion
Veggie Tray, pickles, mints
Stanley 1st Communion
Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad
Stanley 1st Communion
Drinks were coffee, juice, water, and drink pouches.
Stanley 1st Communion

Click these to see our dessert!
First Communion Chalice Gelatin

FIRST COMMUNION CAKES  I've made...

First Communion Cupcake Rosary


 
 

 

 

 
Cinnamon Bread & Grapes




 
 

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