Thursday, October 21

Mixed Media Collage Recipe Box Tutorial: Part 2

Just in case you missed it:
Part 1: Making the Box

The inside of the box is what really makes me happy all over.

The thing is,
I really don't mind cooking dinner
even after working all day.
Unless it's been one of those days,
I really enjoy the cooking part.
Making food for my family is strangely satisfying.  
It was the thinking part
that made me dread the thought of dinner.
(Don't make me think if I don't have to.)
First, what to cook.
Second, How to get everything I need
to cook what I just decided to make.
Brain surgery after working all day.

So this is my little system that has changed my life
and made me a kinder, calmer, gentler person,
especially at 4:00 in the afternoon.

All you need are 5x7 notecards and a heap of your favorite recipe books.
I'm sure many of you have figured out your own system that works for you.
If you have, please share it. I need all of the help I can get.

Step 1: Plan your weekly menu.
Okay, this may sound like stating the obvious, but for me, it's not.
Every day around 3 I would start thinking,
"What are we going to eat?
I wonder what we have at home...
Do I need to stop by the store?"
I usually plan on Saturday or Sunday with my recipe books out.
It has to be: simple, healthy, and cheap.

Step 2: Organize the ingredients on the back
of the menu card according to the sections in your grocery store.
genius, I know. seems obvious, doesn't it?
how did it take me 34 years to figure this out?
It makes shopping so much quick, simple, and cheap.
*Tips for shopping on a budget:
Write it down, grab your cart, don't look up or side to side!
Head down, grab your stuff and get out as fast as you can.
Honestly, when I do this my grocery bill is cut in half!
When I think I have a little extra cash and grab those cute
Halloweenie chocolate covered pretzels,
I can count on my bill being almost double.

Okay,are you ready for Step 3?
This is the best part
Keep the card.
that's it.
just keep it.
make a few more.
and recycle your cards...
over + over again.
your family will never know the difference.
no planning.
no new grocery lists.
genuis. again.
*(I still try to throw in a new recipe every
week or two so I don't get bored.)

And this is my favorite cook book for the last 6 months.
Super easy.
Love this book.

So what are your tips, tricks, and favorite books?


  1. genius. i totally make a new meal list every week. i never thought to keep them! i'm totally going to copy you're whole process, please take that as a compliment :)

  2. Brilliant!! Have I told you lately that I love you? Now, let's see your Plan Book, teach! (I'm going to get some LARGE index cards now.)

  3. I'm wildly inspired!!!
    I used to plan meals
    years ago when my kids were young
    and then I stopped.
    It felt empowering to change it up
    and toss the plan.
    But NOW...after devouring this delicious tutorial,
    I want to go back.
    I want the creativity
    that structure used to give me!
    I love your idea....and the foodie cards.
    (Why I find what others cook and eat so
    fascinating is a wonder to me.
    But I like it)
    THANKS for this, Erin:)