Thursday, April 19, 2007

I love my Menu Maker

I am so excited about my Menu Maker. I am, more so than probably the average person would be. But that is because my husband put his love and sweat into making it. Just for me! Well, prolly not too much sweat. I mean how much can one person sweat whilst sitting at the computer. Anyway, I am rambling. Let me tell you why I love it so much.

The purpose of the Menu Maker:

1. To make your life easier.

2. To help one budget more efficiently.

3. To hopefully eliminate impulse shopping while in the grocery store.

4. To stop the madness of the "What should I fix for dinner tonight?"

How it works:
1. You enter all your menu items, such as main courses, sides and desserts. There is now a seasonal option as well. So when you enter your dishes you can select what season you would like them to appear in. So, soups in winter and grilled things in summer. Or certain veggies in certain seasons. You get the picture.

2. While you are entering your items there is also a spot to enter the publication from which the item came. Like what cookbook, or from in your head, or a certain magazine, etc. This way you know right where to look when the item pops up on your menu.

3. Once you have entered all the items in the database you then can choose the dates that you would like the menu to encompass. So, like mine right now is from April 16th to May 16th. However, I print mine out for a month at a time so that I will get a larger variety of items that pop up. Then I break it up into weekly segments based on when I am going to the store.

4. Here is an example of the finished product.

Now this is where you can use the edit feature. You will notice that some of the side dishes appear more than once. That happens because I do not happen to have very many in my database yet, so they can only be randomized so much. But, if it does happen you can use the edit feature and go in and move things around or input something new for that particular day. If you know you are having guests on a particular day you can edit the menu to reflect that. If you would like to have "no side" on a certain day just choose the "no side" button. If you know you would like to have a "leftover" night just make sure you enter that as one of your menu items and then you can edit it in when you want to use it.

Once you have it all edited and just the way you want it then you print it. And hang it on your fridge. And when the time of day rolls around for you to be thinking of dinner...just look to the menu. It will tell you all you need to know. And you will have all the groceries you need! With only one trip to the store. No more dragging the kids there on a whim because you forgot something you needed. Because you will have looked over the menu and made a grocery list based on the menu items. So, when dinner rolls around you will be all set to go! Just pull it all out and get to cookin!

I am in love with this thing. I really am. It is right up there with my sacred calendar that runs my life. You know, the one that hangs in your kitchen where you write down your every move so that you won't forget to do something. Oh, that's just me? Okay, well, moving along then...

Oh, and if you think that you can't live without it either, just drop me a note. I love to barter...marceeh at gmail dot com


Mim said...

I love mine too. I can't wait for the updated version.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Oh, you are WAY more organized than I am. Way more!

Alison said...

Okay, I want it. I actually want yours, with all those recipes loaded.

Barter? Hmm. I've got a decent recipe for Asian tilapia. But, um, you don't eat fish.

I've got a hyper-ish 5 year old, and a crawling 9 month old. But, um, the hyper-ish 5 year old is, well, kind of hyper-ish, and the 9 month old doesn't really sleep so well at night. You might find them exhausting.

I've got a bunch of chewed-up Sandra Boyton board books...and lots of half-finished craft projects...and a subaru with a giant crack in the winshield and a "check engine" light that's been on for 7 months. Any of it sound appealing?

Any of it?

Alison said...

Did your blog eat my comment? Did dial-up fail to send it through? No pressure if you haven't gotten to moderating it yet. I just wanted to say that I. WANT. THIS. !

Frugal Mom said...

Alison: HI. So nice to hear from you. Sorry I have taken so long to reply. I had to leave town unexpectedly and am just now returning. Can you email me at the address I listed? Then I can figure out what I need to do to get it to you!

Frugal Mom said...

Alison: Oh and about the kids...I have three of my own that sound vaguely familiar to what you are offering up! I will pass on that one. Just keep the great recipes coming...I will just keep right on entering them into my menu maker. I love them. And, I do eat fish. It is not my favorite thing, but my kids love it. Keep it all coming. Your blog is fantastic. I love that, too!

Much More Than A Mom said...

That looks cool! I love making databases - it's a compulsion! You should make it downloadable from your site and make a paypal donation button. Just an idea.

Frugal Mom said...

Much More Than A Mom: That is what my husband was thinking. I hope I can work on him to actually do that.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am really interested in the menu maker...I downloaded from the site, and installed. When I run it, an error message tells me to see log file 1180990998187.log. Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks!