Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WFMW: GCal for Menu Planning

I know, I've gone on and on about my love of Google Calendar before. I even suggested today's tip in that post, but it was kind of a drive-by. I think this idea has enough merit to rate a post of its own.

I'm using Allrecipes.com and Google Calendar for menu planning, folks, and it's revolutionizing meals around here.

The first thing I did was set up a secondary calendar within GCal. You don't just want to use your own event calendar, because the color coding will help, and you want to be able to toggle it on and off. To set up a second (third, fourth...) calendar, just click "manage calendars" (under you calendar list) and then click "create new." Easy peasy.

So, first I did breakfast. I figure that I'm good for about four breakfasts - cereal, oatmeal, eggs & toast, and pancakes. So, I just set up each one to repeat weekly (cereal happens on Monday and Friday in this house). Poof. All set.

Lunch was the same way. Our rotation is cold meat sandwiches and chips, soup and grilled cheese, quesidillas (easy to make, hard to spell), and then I work Thursday and Friday so we don't do lunch at home. Repeat weekly. Good to go.

Now for the fun part. Dinner. I headed over to Allrecipes.com and used their grocery list maker to create my shopping list for the week. Then I put the items on the calendar. I copied and pasted the recipe into the "comments" on the GCal event, so I don't have to worry about finding the correct recipe a second time (even though I can totally save those recipes to my recipe box and find them easily, rate them, etc.). If you have recipes that you use all the time, upload them to Allrecipes and then you can add them to your grocery list (and share them with the world). Or find something that's similar that's already there and save yourself the typing. Either way. You can even set those recipes up to repeat weekly, monthly, whatever. We usually have pizza on Friday nights, for example, so that would be one that I can set up to repeat every week. Now I only have 4 nights to plan for that week. (Weekends are free for alls, and if we're home we can eat leftovers!!).

I'm just in the beginning phases of this, but so far it's really Working for Me!

And, in honor of Halloween, here's today's bonus WFMW tip, courtesy of my husband, BJ:

Don't open the Halloween candy until the first trick or treater shows up at your door, or you're just going to have to go out and buy another bag.

If you're here for WFMW, don't miss my other WFMW posts:

How to save yourself time in the kitchen with a hot water tap.
How to tie your shoes if you have lollypop thumbs like me.
How to feel good about spending insane money at Christmas.
How to prevent dryer fires.
How to use Google Calendar to organize your family.
How to save a zillion dollars with the Magic Bullet.
How to quickly cool Mac & Cheese.
How to soothe a teething baby without whiskey - oops! I mean Tylenol.
How to do Time Outs correctly.
How to improvise a changing table.
How to get a baby and a toddler into the car.
How to keep your house decluttered with an old waitressing mantra.
How to find a great baby sling.
How to manage your grocery list online.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon!

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips!


JCK said...

You can come organize me anytime. I just HAVE to get on the stick with menu planning, especially as I will be returning to work in the near future and have to be even more organized! It looks like you have given lots of tips. I'll have to check them out.

Your husband is very funny - all too true...

Family O'Foxes said...

I wish I would meal plan.
Your meal plan looks great.


Anonymous said...

Love this idea!! I have a rotating menu set up in Word that I use, but I love the Google calendar idea. Is there anything that Google makes that isn't awesome??

truth said...

I'm going to have to check that out. I love having a menu planned, but sometimes just don't feel like it. I love Allrecipes.com

Oh, wish I'd read your tip about the candy...I had to go buy more yesterday. Sigh.

Jennie said...

LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing!