Create a Simple System for Food
FOOOD. Everyone loves food in one form or another. I love food. I really do. I know I've said it would be cool to be able to take a pill and not have to eat, but it wouldn't be long until I wanted to eat real food again.
I love sitting down to eat a full meal, especially when there is a lot to eat and the spread is really pretty. I love food on white plates. My biggest meal of the day is breakfast, and when I take the time to make it wonderful, I feel really good inside. I feel satisfied. I think feeling satisfied is one of my favorite feelings.
But, as much as I like food, I don't enjoy making the menu. This is probably because I would be totally fine eating the same thing over + over, but I have to cook for my family, too.
I created a system for food years ago, and I am still using it today. This system makes planning menus so much easier. I can create my menu + grocery list in a fraction of the time it used to take. Today I want to teach you how to create a system for your food so you can have more time too.
What exactly is a system?
A system is a set of guidelines to follow to help you complete large tasks. It's basically a routine. If you buy groceries weekly, you will have a weekly food system. There are several organized tasks or steps, that when put together, create a whole finished product: your food system. Or, your menu + grocery list.
My food system consists of coming up with seven meal ideas + groceries for those, plus whatever will be eaten for breakfast and lunch, and whatever I will be baking for the week. I also include any household items that we need to buy.
My planning day is on Wednesday. I fill everything out so it's ready when I go get groceries. I love using this system because I know exactly what I am cooking for dinner any day of the week and having a menu helps me stay on budget when I shop. When you create a system for food, you know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it, so you can do it faster.
So, why do you need a system for that?
Time is valuable and systems take away all the guesswork. They simplify. You don't have to think about what's for dinner or what's for lunch. Your system will save you time + effort. You will know exactly what food you need to buy for the week.
Systems help you know exactly what needs to be done, and how to get it done. This enables you to quickly make your menu + grocery list so that when dinner time rolls around you aren't wondering what to cook.
Create systems in your life so you can focus your time on what matters most, like creating connections + building relationships. Systems make life easier because they give you direction and they free your time.
How to create your food system
Because this is going to be a weekly system (or however often you get groceries), it is best to have a binder or a folder or a clipboard to keep everything organized. Getting your system set up will take some time, but if you make time to set it up, creating your menu + grocery list will take less time, so it saves you time in the long run.
- The first thing to do is to get on a consistent schedule. If you get groceries on Friday, make your menu + list on Thursday. Making your list the day before leaves you with enough time to add any items you may have initially forgotten.
- Make a list of meals that you enjoy eating + cooking. Categorize your list by types of food. Sample categories include Mexican, Breakfast, Italian.
- For each category list at least four meals that you can cook. Save this list in your binder. You can add to it and cross off meals that you don't like. These are your sample menu ideas.
- Now create a master shopping list. Write down everything that you buy on a regular basis. Things like bandaids, vitamins, toothpaste, shampoo, and all the way through your food items. Save this list in your binder to reference to when you make your grocery list.
Now you have a food system. When you sit down to make a menu you can pull out your binder and it will be easier to think of meals per category than to think of several meals at random. Plus, you already have about a months worth of meals in there, so if you don't have time to create a new menu, use what's there.
You will also be able to create your grocery list quickly because you have a guide. To make it even easier and to save more time, do like I did and put your list in the order of the store lay-out so that you're not walking back + forth pushing a heavy cart. Then you can spend less time in the store.
When you sit down to make your menu, make a list of the days of the week and then write your meals next to each day. At the same time, start a list of groceries you will need to buy to make the meals.
Then I pull out your master shopping list and add to your grocery list anything else you are out of or almost out of.
And that's it!
I love having my food system. I hope you take the time to set yours up. I have been using mine for years, and it saves me so much time.