I have to confess, I’m a full-time student and I live alone (other than my fur babies that is), so cooking a healthy meal isn’t always high up on my priority list. By the time I get home at night, I’m tired and just want to veg on the couch, as a result I’m more of a Fast, Cheep, and Easy kind of eater…
I developed a system to help counter this. I cook a meal for 4 (I tend to like one pot dishes, slow cookers, and tangines as I don’t have a dish washer), divide it into the servings, and freeze the extra servings. This way when I arrive home all I have to do is grab a meal out of the freezer throw it into the microwave. It’s fast, it’s cheep, and it’s oh so easy, and the plus side is that it’s also healthy. Only problem is that I need 14 meals per week (Lunch and Dinner), and when it comes to cooking I kinda lacked discipline and I was finding myself cooking the same things all the time…boring.
And then I started to see Menu Boards on Pinterest and Facebook. They started cropping up in some of the link parties I follow, and I started to think… maybe I could use a menu board. It would help me plan ahead, I could look at my schedule and see what days I might have to cook (I have to cook at least 3 times a week to meet my meal requirements…) and I could plan when I’m cooking. I could personalize it to let me know what I’ve got in the freezer, as sometimes I forget, and I could work to include at least 1 new recipe in every week.
So I thought and I thought, and finally I decide that I could make it so long as it didn’t cost me more than $5.
I measured up my left over lumber from when I built my Entertainment Unit and looked to see if I had anything to hang it with. After gathering all my materials and creating a solid plan, I found that all I needed was clothes pins, and I could get those at the dollar store.
It was supper easy to make, and I have high hopes for it… if not my sister wants it…
I used word to get the lettering, and just traced it on the wood.
I used recipe cards that I had on hand (I use them for studying purposes) and made a couple of boxes.
From there I painted the boxes and clothes pins to pretty them up a bit, and glued them to the menu board.
I cut my recipe cards into 4, and used them to put the recipe name on the front, with the ingredients on the back (along with any special time considerations). I made 5 “In The Freezer” cards for the nights when I know I won’t have the energy to cook, and several blank cards. I also included my fail safe recipes.
One side of the board is the weeks menu, and the other side lets me know what dishes I have in the freezer (saves me from standing at the freezer trying to decide what I want to eat). So once I cook a meal and put the left overs in the freezer, the card moves from the “Menu” side to the “Freezer” side, and once I have eaten all the dishes in the freezer the card moves to the box at the top of the menu board. Once all the recipes have been moved from the bottom box to the top box I can start cycling through them again.
I included several blank cards in the bottom box to encourage me to try a new recipe every week, however, I only print the recipe name on the front with the book/page number on the back until I know that I like the recipe. If the recipe was a success than I type up a nice card for it to go with the other “regular” recipes, if it’s a fail then once its gone from the freezer I erase the card and use it for another recipe.
Hopefully this will keep me on track with my cooking, and keep my meals from getting boring, and it only cost me $2 to make.
So what do you think? Do you use a menu board at home?
I was featured!