Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brainstorming a Start-Up Menu and Inventory

I've been working for about a month or so on spending less on food by reducing the frequency that we eat out. I think it may take awhile before we see true financial benefit, but I have faith that it's going to happen if I just push on.

Here's what I did first: Step One

  1.  Find about an hour of calm time, maybe during tv time or early before the kids get up and gather up some scrap paper, a pen or pencil, your favorite (i.e. most used) cookbook or set of recipes, and a little brain power. My favorite cookbook, How To Boil Water, can be found here.
  2. Write a circle in the middle of each page with the following titles; breakfasts 3, lunches 5, dinners 7, snacks, drinks, salad mix, and other kitchen essentials.
  3. Brainstorm (see picture above for how I mind-map or just brainstorm in whatever form you're used to). Write down 3 breakfasts that you know for sure that you can make, that you don't have any problems making and that your entire family will for sure eat when you make them. Now is not the time for fancy plans--just what will really work. Mine was stuff like Cheerios, Grape-nuts, and Egg Burritos.
  4. Make a list under each of these breakfast choices what you need on-hand to make these items. Take the time to think of everything. If you put honey or bananas in your Grape-Nuts, for example, jot these things down.
  5. Do the same thing for Lunches (5 choices), Dinners (7 choices), and Snacks (2-3 choices).
  6. Make a list of all the drinks that your family needs on hand at any time and the things needed with them, such as milk or sugar with coffee.
  7. Make a list of items needed to make your own salad--this may be new to some of you and this will be an entire separate post soon (SO worth it since I get 4-5 times the salad for the same price (sometimes a little more) as a large pre-made box or bag of the good stuff).
  8. Make a list of other consumable kitchen goods, such as paper towels, dish soap, etc.

My favorite cookbook can be purchased on-line:

Linking up at these wonderful blogs:

A Bowl Full of Lemons


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