Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hey Here's an Idea! Menu Charts

I am starting a new blog post category this year. It's basically ideas I have that make my life more organized or at least give the appearance of being organized:) and make life a little easier. And I just wanted to share them if you are interested.My promise is I will be just as inconsistent with these posts as with my other ones, because that's how I roll.

Menu charts. When I am planning my menu, I have tried several things over the years, and this is one I really really like. I will attempt to explain with pictures. 

First, I come up with 20 to 25 dinners that I know my family likes and I like to make. 

I organize them by days and Color code them and make a "Bingo" chart.

In yellow, that's my Sunday list: I have Roasted Chicken with veggies, Hawaiian Meatballs, Cordon Bleu, Veggie Lasagna, and Steak and Everything Sandwiches.
Blue is Monday and I do mostly Italian dishes. Red is Tuesday and it's Mexican dishes. And finally Green is Wednesday and then I do Home style dishes. 

Thursday is leftover night. Friday is is Freezer night. We eat something from the freezer like pizza, taquitos, chicken nuggets etc.  Saturday is kinda of toss up of whatever we want. 

You can add more structured days than I did, but this is what works for our family.

Once I have prepared a meal, I cross it off. When the chart is all crossed off, I just print out a new one.

Below the Menu chart, I have the recipes for all the meals in the Bingo chart. I have them color coded on index cards. This helps me remember the recipe without looking it up and it helps me know what ingredients I need.

Left of the menu chart, I have my master grocery list. I have listed all the ingredients needed in my pantry for each meal. I also have other items listed for breakfast, lunch, snacks, cleaning supplies, and health care supplies. I have a perishable list that I look at each week to make sure I have what I need for the week. Ideally, I like to do my major shopping twice a month. And of course it's all color coded by categories; Red is canned and boxed food. Yellow is meats and so forth. 

And finally to the right of the menu chart, I have other recipes that I am not using at the time turned over because I do change my Bingo chart. In the Fall and Winter I have lots of soups, in the Spring and Summer lighter foods., I keep all the recipes I am not using dormant until I use them. Also, sometimes I change out a menu item just because I want to try something new.

I have all this on a cork board in my Command Center off the kitchen.

Below on the red board, I write the menu for two weeks. The notepad is my shopping list.

So that's my idea. It is a lot of work at first, but in the long run, I believe it saves me time and money. And it's so nice to not have to think of what to have for dinner every night. 


  1. You are missing just one thing... the column where it says "double this recipe each night and deliver leftovers to the Dodds." Haha! Just kidding, it looks great :)

  2. Of course! The most important column..must have slipped my mind :)