It has been brought to my attention that maybe some of you don't know how to use the menu board. I have actually only been asked twice by fans/followers on how to use the board, but I thought maybe some of you could use the help as well if maybe you were just too shy to ask. I just sent an explanation to Kari-Lynn and thought that I would share my explanation with all of you as well. I apologize in advance if my explanation is sort of jumbled. My brain isn't nearly as organized as my life, lol. Here goes...
This idea is ingenious thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you had somewhere on your site how you USE the board......I searched and all I found was how to MAKE the board but not something explaining the system that makes it work :) would you mind directing me?
I don't have anything on my blog, because I've always felt that it's kind of self-explanatory, but I will do my best to try to explain it to you.
At the beginning of each month (or whenever you want to plan your menu for the month) sit down with your husband, children, or whomever you will be cooking the meals for, and together, go through the recipes and choose the 28-31 recipes you want for the whole month. (This is just what our family does, you can always plan for just a week or whatever you want.) Then take the coordinating recipe title cards (the little mini cards that have the recipe title's on them) and place them on the days on your calendar board. Make sure not to put 2 colors together (you will notice that each category of recipes is a different color, this is to prevent you from having chicken 2 nights in a row, or pasta 2 nights in a row. It helps give your family variety at meal times.) Then when you have planned out your meals for the month (or week or however you want to plan it) take the recipes and write down the ingredients you need from each recipe, this will be your shopping list for when you go to the grocery store.
Now that you have planned your menu, done your grocery shopping, all you need to do now is go day by day on cooking the meals you have planned. Now instead of looking in the fridge/freezer or pantry wondering what your going to make for dinner tonight, all you need to do is look at your menu board, and choose a recipe from your calendar that you've already picked out and shopped for. It doesn't even have to be the recipe you picked out for that night; the reason for this is because (me personally) I go grocery shopping for the ENTIRE month. This allows me to be flexible in my dinner preparations. For example, if I had on my calendar that tonight I was supposed to make the chicken enchiladas but me or my family just doesn't feel like that tonight, or perhaps we just don't have the time to make it, then I can just look at the other recipes that my family and I picked out for that month, and choose one. Because I've already done my grocery shopping for the whole month, I already know that I have everything for that recipe, so there is no hassle, stress, or last minute trips to the grocery store. Everything is already there for me.
Another thing that the menu board helps with, is you can get yourself in the habit of checking the menu every mrning (or the night before), so that you can plan ahead. Get meat out to defrost if necessary. Get meat marinating if the recipe calls for it. Or throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker so that you don't have to worry about dinner the rest of the day. There are so many benefits to this board, and I can't believe the wonders it has done for my family in not only relieveing my stress, but helping my husband know whats for dinner so that he can plan his lunches accordingly (he doesn't like to have chicken for lunch, only to come home and find out that chicken is for dinner to), and it also really helped my children to come out of their picky eating stage.
I finally developed the attitude that if they didn't eat what I made for dinner, then they didn't get anything else until breakfast the next morning, and along with that rule, I made a 3 bite rule as well. They are asked to take 3 bites of each item on their plates before they are allowed to say that its yucky or that they don't like it. I have found that about 90% of the time, after that 3rd bite, they end up finishing it. The other night, my 4 year old son ate FOUR chicken drum sticks (the kickin' chicken recipe). He has NEVER liked REAL chicken before, only the processed chicken nuggets. But after about 6 months of this menu board and my "tough love" dinner rules, he has completely come out of his picky eating stage and is almost completely willing to take at least the 3 bites of everything I put on his plate. Even my 6 year old daughter has come to the point where she is excited to try new things, actually, she is starting to get kind of bugged with me whenever I make a meal she has tried before, haha. Which is why I came up with the CyberSpecialties Digital Recipe Compilation Book.
My family is a perfect example of the success that this menu board can bring to meal times. I also know that there are so many other families out there who have purchased the recipe files, and have even had me make their menu boards for them, and I'm confident in my statement that they too have found success in the menu board. I hope you choose to follow the system too. This is the only menu planning idea that I have ever come up with (and believe me I have tried dozens of systems) that has truly worked. I hope this helped explain things for you, and I hope that I can continue to help you further in making your meal times less stressful, more organized, and enjoyable!
Robin Lyman of Robbygurl's Creations and the orginal thinker and creator of the Menu Board