Friday, January 16, 2009


Have you created your Make-a-Menu binder yet? If you're wondering whether or not you should make the time for this, just think:

Have you heard of those new internet menu planning services? These services are gaining in popularity because life is just easier in the kitchen if all those cooking and shopping decision are made FOR you. Personally, I've found that the biggest drawback is that the menu planning services don't know that my family dislikes things like baked fish, cooked cabbage, or some other types of food that might be on their list. This drawback is what led me to invent the Make-a-Menu binder system at Menu Maker Mom.

For example, the menu that I purchase last year from a menu planning service had "pecan crusted catfish" on it. I bought the pecans and the catfish, along with all the ingredients for the other meals, made the recipe, and my family sat there and announced that they'd rather starve!

So I had to delete that recipe from the menu, delete the ingredients from the handy shopping page that they provided, and replace them with something else. All in all, it really wasn't that helpful, it cost me extra money, I wasted my time, and my poor family ate peanut butter and jelly while our kitchen had the odor of pecans and catfish. (No, they didn't actually have to starve!)

Still, I liked the idea of having some sort of system that would make menu planning more streamlined and efficient. Here's the system I came up with: A binder full of your own recipes that are grouped by main ingredients and subgrouped by type of cooking method or food type (grill, crockpot, soup, sandwich, etc), a special place for the favorite recipes of each family member, and a simple calendar to write the menu down on. It's so simple that it's ridiculous!

If you are a busy cook who'se looking for a way to save money, save time, and save your SANITY, then stop by Menu Maker Mom and learn to create your own menu making system! I take you step-by-step through the process.

What you will create is something similar to what all the subscription-based menu planning services are offering. Basically you learn to shop for the meats or main ingredients that are on sale, find several recipes in your binder that use the main ingredient, purchase the main ingredients at rock-bottom prices, then stuff your freezer and fill out your menu. You'll prepare recipes that your family will likes every time!

Your family will love you and you will be crowned with THE MAMA (Most Awesome Mother Award)!