We All Need A Little Motivation In The Kitchen

Isn’t The Hardest Park of Cooking Figuring Our What To Make?

Weekly Menu Options

Does 5 o’clock roll around in your home and someone asks…”what’s for dinner”? This used to happen often in our home until we started using a Menu Board.

The concept that works for us is simple. Before we head to the grocery, we will take a quick inventory of the refrigerator and freezer. Then we fill in with things at the grocery that will allow us to use up what we have “lingering”. We plan for 5 meals a week, knowing that life and fun will probably take us out for a few. The Menu Board lists what we know we have ingredients to make. There are no other rules, or goals, except to trigger our memory as to what great foods we have the capability to get on the table each night. We have found we now eat the healthy veggies we buy with good intentions, use up the spices we just had to have, and seldom feel like we are eating leftovers since we are re-creating new meals with foods we know we like.

Visual Aids with A Purpose

I consider myself a good cook because I like to cook. I also admit that grocery shopping is probably the 2nd least favorite thing I like to do, next to shopping for clothes! There are just too many choices, and brainwashing “must-haves”, for me as a consumer. It’s overwhelming to me. I get overzealous with thinking I will make our own bread, blend exotic spice mixes, eat only organic fruits and veggies, switch to almond everything, make 100 meatballs…yada, yada…you get the idea.

It is much easier for us to buy food we both like and figure out how to make new things with the ingredients we have, repeatedly on hand. So why do we use a Menu Board? Can’t we figure this out by looking in the refrigerator? Probably, but on days when we are frazzled, running late, or simply want to have a pre-dinner chill, the Menu Board takes away so much stress. We can choose what to make and know we have what we need to follow thru without a stop at the market. (Isn’t that 5-6pm stop just terrible?!)

Honestly, I do not remember where our chalkboard came from. Probably TJ Max or Homegoods. A 3’x 2′ size works nicely for us and allows for 5 meal options easily. We check off when a meal has been made too. It’s kinda fun, in a therapeutic way, and also gives me a sense of accomplishment. Feeding a family is hard work. That little check mark is a tiny internal reward around here. Mr. LBD likes knowing where his next meal is coming from and can always see what the options are.

Having a Menu Board is a win-win for us….might it work in your home?

Note: I’ve not tried these markers, and still use the remnants of an old box of chalk my kids had. However, it does look like you can make a much neater-looking menu this way. I think I will try them!

Looking For Easy Meal Ideas?

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