Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best Idea Ever

Well, ok, maybe not the best ever, but it has lowered some stress in my life, so, at the moment, it is right up there.

In the last days of December I wrote a list of all the meals we enjoy.  Then I set up a meals calendar in my Google calendar, in which I organized the meals in a 3 week rotation.  I also did the same for the kids' lunches, but put those on a 2 week rotation.

The result has been amazing.  I had been just going day by day, and it was so frustrating. 5 o'clock would roll around and I would be at a complete loss for what to make for supper.  Now there is no thought involved.  And there is the added bonus that I can look at the approaching week of meals and do my grocery shopping accordingly, which is also a huge plus.

If you want to set up your own Meal Planning calendar, it is super easy.  (I'm sure there are plenty of great tutorials and guides to setting up an even better system out there in blogland, this is just a real simple way to do it.)

I already use Google Calendar to keep track of all sorts of things; appointments, monthly bill due dates, reminder to take out the trash, etc.  And the best part is that the main part of my calendar is shared with my husband, so I don't have to remind him about all those things (and vice versa) - it shows up right on our phones.

So, in order to save him from having to see all the meal stuff - and to make it a different color so it stood out - I created a new calendar within the main calendar.  If you open up Google Calendar and go to the left hand side, there should be a drop down menu called My Calendar.  Under that menu there should be the option to Create New Calendar.  Here is a look at mine on the weekly view - also showing where the Create a New Calendar option is.

From there it is pretty self explanatory.  For me, I went through and quick added all the meals, and then went back through and set them to repeat every 3 weeks. (Except for a few things that we really like, those I put on Thursday and set on repeat every 2 weeks. Well, actually I set two of the Thursday meals at 2 weeks and one at 3... so every once in a while there is an empty day, and a day with 2 options.)

I can't tell you how nice it is to not have to be thinking about what to make for supper each night.  So wonderful.  And, unless I change it, it will go on indefinitely.  We could be having the same thing every third Tuesday 5 years from now for all I know.