So I’m crap at planning dinner these days. I’m just not inspired, I’m picky, distracted, stressed, tired, and it just isn’t working out anymore. But I know it isn’t too big a deal. I just need to stop thinking that I can make something more appealing at a shorter period of time. Because I just end up having porridge anyway, so that’s not too impressive a substitution!

So I got this idea, from a combination of general sort-your-daily-life articles in, well, everything, and scrum’s use of “story cards”.

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Enter the meal index cards! I knew my dad had an index card box when I was a kid, and I was pretty sure he no longer had a use for it. The box is a dark brown that they don’t sell today, and the cards are regular index cards but of that 80’s quality that makes ink bleed like crazy and ballpoint pens barely work on it. But they work well enough.

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The idea is that I just write down a ton of meals on these cards, with a list of ingredients. They’re vague and simple – “burger patties, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce” – generally with things on the left that I probably will need to buy, and things on the right that I most likely have around already. Then the plan is to each weekend draw five random cards, note what’s needed for those five cards and buy groceries, then have everything planned and available during the week. Weekends are free play. Ideally I’ll have food for lunch the day after as well (meaning that I’ll ideally start on a sunday)

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The stickers are there so they’ll be more fun to look at while they hang around on my fridge all week, to be put away one by one as I manage to actually get this food made. The ones on the cards that is. The box just looks happier.

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