Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 22 - Spring 30 Day Clutter Buster Challenge

Sorry the blog was a little late today but I was busy trying to attempt a project that I saw on Pintrest.   First I'll show you what I decluttered today.

You may be wondering what all those paper are for.  These were my very inefficient way of menu planning. Each Thursday I sat down and tried to think up a menu for the week.  I would write it down on a sheet of paper and then I would save that paper in the hopes that I could then look over the sheets at a later date to help me figure out yet another meal plan.  It wasn't working out and because I stored them in my desk, it made my desk look messy and unorganized.

Then I saw this awesome idea on Pintrest.  Megan, the author of a blog (here) created this amazing, month-long meal planner using magnetic paper and a magnetic, white board calendar.  I didn't even know that magnetic paper even existed!

This is what I've done so far.

I bought a magnetic, white board calendar.

I made up a chart of all the meals that we eat on a regular basis.  I even colour coded them!  And let me tell you that this was not easy for me.  Being as computer challenged as I am I actually had to teach myself how to use Microsoft Excel.  Thank goodness for Youtube!

I made sure that I added in days for eating out and for leftovers.

I then made magnets for the months.  I'm also adding in lunch ideas because I am the worst for not eating lunch and then end up starving an hour or two before dinner.  I've asked around for easy lunch ideas and I will finish up the board when I have at least 14 of them.  Tonight I will be spending a lot of time cutting these out but I think it will be worth it in the end.

Go check out Megan's site The Homes I Have Made.  I think she did an amazing job on this menu planning calendar!


  1. This is really cool, Sherry! What a great idea.

  2. I bought a magnetic month calendar at the dollar store. I used a dry marker to write dinners for the month on it, making sure there was enough variation to provide balanced nutrition and keep things interesting. Then I hung it on the fridge.

    At the end of the month, I used a damp tissue to wipe off the calendar and I wrote on the meals for the next month. I did it for about a year, then stopped.

    Here is what I learned: Some days it was great to have the decision pre-made. (I find cooking much easier than deciding what to cook.) Looking at the fridge menu also helped us decide what to buy in the supermarket. Of course adjustments were needed on the fly. Some days we went out for dinner and skipped the fridge menu. The biggest error was in planning a meal for every night, and not considering that we would have leftovers from many of the meals.

    In general, the dollar-store calendar solution worked well for us. One thing I would change in the future is that it would have been better to buy TWO dollar-store calendars so that when we were in the last two weeks of a month, future weeks could be seen.

    So that is my $3 solution: two fridge calendars and a package of dry markers.

  3. I have an Excel file which I use to plan menus. It works pretty well, but like Linda Z said, life comes in between and I often get behind on what I have planned.

    I try to have one red meat meal, one vegetarian meal, a chicken meal and a fish meal. That leaves room for left-overs or restaurant dining as well.

    I try to rotate the recipes so that we aren't eating the same ones all the time. I am getting better at the vegetarian meals. They were always my stumbling block even though my one brother-in-law has been a vegetarian for as long as I've known him (and years before that).

    Today when I went grocery shopping I was amazed to see that most of what was in my cart was fresh vegetables. That has changed since we've been empty-nesters. I actually like the vegetarian meals, but my body has a hard time with them. I think it just has to adjust to them.

    Even at my age I am still trying out new recipes (when I feel up to it) and some of them are actually quite good! This "old dog" CAN learn new tricks, apparently!

    Willa Dale