May 25, 2011

My new meal planner!

I had this system you can see here that I've been using for a few months.  I finally decided that it just wasn't working for me.  It was too hard to add new recipes or delete ones we didn't like.  I brainstormed for a while and came up with this solution.  Instead of using a spread sheet I typed the information (name of cookbook, category, page number, name of recipe, main ingredients) onto 3x5 index cards.  Then I sorted then into categories in a recipe box (main dish, side dish, breads, soups, appetizers, desserts, etc).  It's very easy  to add new cards or delete recipes we didn't like as well as I thought we would. 

Next I sewed a wall hanging with pockets to hang from the inside of my cabinet door.  I'll run through the steps but it was fairly simple.  Here is a picture of the sketch I started with.
I cut two pieces of fabric 13 x 22 inches.  I needed the finished product to be 12 inches wide to fit inside my cabinet door.  To give it some stability I cut a piece of interfacing 13 x 18 inches.  I made it 2 inches shorter on top and bottom as I planned to put a hem so I would have a stronger surface to add grommets to hang it with.  
I sewed the interfacing to the wrong side of one piece, leaving 2 inches at the top and bottom.  The I put right sides of the yellow fabric together and stitched around all four sides leaving a hole to turn it.  I clipped the corners and trimmed the edges before flipping it. 
Once I flipped it I topstitched around all 4 edges.
Then I folded the top and bottom over 2 inches and sewed a hem.
I cut three pieces of clear vinyl 11 x 3 1/2 inches.  These will be the pockets.  I pinned them in place putting a piece of tissue paper on top to keep it from sticking to the foot on my sewing machine.  I sewed around the two sides and the bottom on all three pieces.  Then I marked over 3 1/2 inches and another 3 1/2 inches and sewed a straight line to make the pockets.
Finally I added two grommets to the top corners.  I did hem the bottom as well thinking if it was too loose or swung around too much I could put some grommets in the bottom 2 corners.  

It actually has nine pockets.  I plan to use 7 for each day of the week.  The eighth one will be for household cleaning recipes and health and beauty items (I make most of my own) and the ninth one will be for any extra things I want to bake for the week for freezer storage.

It super easy to just glance at the recipe and pull the ingredients out of the pantry or fridge.  I don't even need to remove it since the pockets are clear.  It's also easy to plan my grocery list because I can just make a list from the cards or even pull them out and bring them with me if I'm in a hurry.

Now I just need my husband to go through the recipes and plan the meals for the week.  He picks the meals, I cook, and he does the dishes . . . . . sometimes. . . . . . I'm still working on that one.  

As always, please e-mail me if you have any questions. 

¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´   Denise


  1. That's a cute idea! I like this, especially since I use those index cards for my recipes. FUN!

  2. You are awesome! What a great idea! Thank you so much for linking up to "It's a Party"!