Food: Week 1 - Menu Boards and Cook Books

This month, for "Simplified Saturday" we're going to talk about food and how to simplify it.

 Preparing 3 meals a day can be a time consuming pain in the a**.   Preparing meals for a whole family.  Yeah, that can get old, real quick.  

After working as a cook in college, I lost my love of cooking, but I'm working on regaining it.  Although I'd be happy with a can of beans for dinner,  "meals together keep the family together" type husband has inspired me to cook again.  

So...

Step 1:  

A menu board.  This can be a magnetic whiteboard on your fridge.  A cabinet painted with chalkboard paint.  A pad of paper.   The medium doesn't matter, as long as it's consistent. The key is to write down what you plan to eat for the next 4 days.  For us, it saves time and gives us a goal when shopping.  Rather than "oh, that looks tasty", it's ok, we need rice, salad fixings and a steak.  Only the next 4 days though, any further and plans tend to change.  Written on top of our whiteboard is a list of the things we seem to eat often - Indian Fare from Trader Joe's, pasta, soup, salad, etc.  This sparks ideas when I'm drawing a blank.

Step 2: 

Cook books.  How many do you have?  How many do you have that have a coating of dust on them?  In most clients' homes I find 20+ cookbooks and most are coated.  For this next month, I challenge you to pick out 5 to 10 of your favorites and put the rest in a box in the garage or the front hallway.  See how it goes for the next month or two.  Do you miss them? Do you need them?  Could the ones you have left be sufficient?  

I've always been prone to collecting cookbooks, recipes and website bookmarks of recipes, but I found that paring them down allowed me to focus on the ones I was more likely to cook. 


Thoughts?  

What has worked for you?