Monday, September 10, 2007

My space. . .

Good grief, a whole week since I've blogged. I guess the good news is that I've been busy and quite productive doing things around the house. One of my projects has been getting the office up to speed. And, wouldn't you know it, Robyn is hosting a "Show Your Creative Space" tour. Just in time, I have mine all cleaned up! You would not have wanted to see it last week. I've also been inspired of late to get my menu and grocery shopping system back up to speed. It seems there are a number of bloggers working on the same kind of thing, probably because with the fall weather we all feel like cooking again! I've had fun pouring over other people's ideas, and even asking my friends "do you plan menus, how often do you shop?" (I'm sure they're thinking I need to get a life, but after 20 plus years of doing this, I'm thinkin' there has to be a way to shake it up a bit and make it more fun.) In the end, I've stuck to the plan I've had all along, with a few changes. (Isn't that the way it goes?) I have a three-ring binder divided into several sections -- menu lists, copies of my grocery list, blank weekly menu sheets, even a special section for holiday meals and the menus I've done in the past. I managed to weed through a lot of old recipes (and stole Becky's idea that my "recipes to be tried section" will be limited to a certain number. If I add a new one, then I take one out that has been there forever. If I haven't been inspired to try it yet, it must not be that great.) Also, before I put a menu on my master menu list, I have a self-imposed rule that I must have made the dish at least twice and that it was generally favored by most all of the family. This way my menu list is comprised of all family favorites. I make a menu plan for the week, but it's flexible enough to switch the days around, since I would go crazy trying to stick to a rigid plan. Also, I plan my menus from what I have in my freezer. I shop for meat, poultry, fish when its on sale. Then on menu planning day, I take stock of what I have in the freezer, plan the menu accordingly, and make up a shopping list for any other ingredients I might need, as well as staples. For this, I have a shopping list that I've put on the computer and can just print out. Mostly though, I rely on the list on the fridge. When we're out of something, I write it down. I've trained my family that if they want something, write it on the list. I'm not responsible for remembering anything they just tell me! As I shop, I buy whatever meat is on sale for the next week. I guess I should add that I also use the newspaper ads to make up my menus. If I have beef in the freezer and taco stuff is on sale, well. . . we're having tacos. Short of coming up with a flow chart, this system seems to work for me!


kim said...

Hi Karen--
I missed you this week! But it does look like you have been VERY productive. You have inspired me to get serious about cleaning out the little space I call my own--little is the operative word--but still it could be more organized and cuter.

I like you menu plan ideas--I always seem to have too many, to-be-tried recipes on hand. I like your system for dealing with them.
How was WW this week? Inqiring minds want to know!!


Becky said...

Be honest ... did you clean up that space before you took a picture?? It looks so neat and tidy :) Well, compared to mine it is downright organized.

Lovely! And fun! And I love my new recipe way. It is working great.

Have a good day.

Christie Belle said...

Oooo, I love your space. It's very workable, but cozy (does that make sense?). I like your ideas for menu plans and shopping. Sounds like you got a good system going.

gail@more than a song said...

Your space is wonderful and so neat and organized! Mine is SO not that, need some of y'all to come help me!
I sorta plan menus, they get changed at times....I went through my drawer of recipes last year where I'd saved stuff cut from magazines & newspapers and put them all in a binder, sorta like the good things binder you see people talking about. That helped me some but I still have a stack of to be tried stuff I'm working on!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wow, Karen, your space is so clean and organized! Mine is the polar opposite, so you won't find me posting any photos. Too embarrassed! :)

Loved reading about how you do your menus. I love that kind of stuff. Planning works well for me, and I always like to hear how other ladies do these kinds of things :)

Hope you have an awesome week!!!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

You inspire me. Now if I can just translate that into action. Where's the aspirin?

Robin said...

I LOVE your space Karen! I especially love the Susan Branch calendar -she is so awesome!

My goodness, you organized cooks are starting to make me feel guilty. I don't do menu plans. My husband always cooks the evening meal because he gets home first and he doesn't want to wait for me - he likes to eat as soon as I get home. I am so delighted with this arrangement that he can cook anything he pleases! (I do the dishes).

Karen said...

You've been missed! I like your shopping/organizing plan for the meals. That's similar to what I do here.
Your space already looks organized to me!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Karen!

You got an honorable mention in my Feed My Kids contest for your turkey spinach meatloaf. There's not a prize, but I linked to you and thanked you!!

Come see my blog for the winners and their recipes, and thanks for playing!

My husband loved it, by the way. Too bad it wasn't a Feed My Husband contest. :)