Organising RecipesPosted: January 27, 2011
I’m still catching up on Organizing Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organising Project and this week she has asked about “piles” that we may have tackled in the past week and any decisions that needed to be made about them. In my case it was piles of Weight watchers magazines and cook books.
Cooking dinner each night for at least 6 nights out of 7 has been a big drama over the past 18 months and I am now working on ways to get the whole process running more smoothly so that we have a meal on the table, we are eating healthy food and we save money by not resorting to takeaway food at the last minute. The other thing influencing all of this is that Weight Watchers have introduced their new Pro Points system which means the points on everything have changed.
There are two key things that I am doing/have done to streamline the whole meal planning/cooking process:
1. Culling Recipes – I had at least four magazine files full of Weight Watchers cookbooks and magazines and I was desperate for space to make my new “homework station” for the boys (a post about that is coming!). I knew I would have to work out the points for recipes I liked and that obviously there would be new magazines and books coming out as well. So I sat down for about 4 15 minute sessions and ripped or cut out the recipes I wanted to keep and recycled the rest. I don’t have a before picture but as you can see in the photo I have reduced that massive pile into one plastic pocket folder of recipes to try. It isn’t particularly glamorous looking but every piece of paper in it will eventually be thrown away so it is just fine for its purpose. The decision making was done as quickly as possible and I was as ruthless as I could be. If I don;t have every recipe I needed I am sure I can find it somewhere else anyway.
2. Meal Planning – I started by making a list of all the meals that will be happily eaten by all four of us. In some cases it is meals that dh and the boys will eat more happily than I will but I can organise something different for myself if I have time. So far there are only about 7-8 things on the list so I am aiming to expand the range by going through my “ripped out recipes” and choosing at least one to re-visit each week so we can decide whether to add it to our list. because I am using e-tools on the Weight Watchers website I can go in and input the recipes as I do them and it will work out the points for me. Then the recipe is stored there and I have one piece of paper less in my home. My aim is to go back to my old habit of planning meals and writing a shopping list on a Sunday so we are all set for the week and either dh can do a grocery shop on Sunday or I can do it on a Monday.