In order to remedy this bad habit, I created a menu board that lives in the kitchen and helps me prepare dinners for the week. My favorite part about the board is that just about everything is magnetic which means that things can easily be re-arranged, added, and removed. Here it is:
I made the board from an existing magnetic white board that just seemed to always be cluttered with things I never used. I covered the board with some decorative paper I bought at my local dollar store and some double-sided tape. I also made some pockets to hold menu cards, which I will talk about later.
This is a closer photo of the menu side of the board. The cards are help up with magnets that I bought at Lowes. I found them much cheaper there than at the craft stores, and more magnetic than the ones at the dollar store. I wrote the abbreviation of the days of the week on each magnet Mon.-Sun., with the two weekend days hung vertically at the bottom.
The other two thirds of the board holds my pockets for my dinner menu cards, coupons, my grocery list, school calendar, and emergency contact list. I love how neat it stays.
The Grocery list is one of my favorite features. I bought it at Target relatively inexpensively. It's made by RealSimple. It is pre-populated with essentials that you can just check off, and this are grouped into categories like produce, meats, frozen, etc. When I am running low on milk, for instance I just check off the box. It helps me to keep a running grocery list for when we are out of something or running low as opposed to me getting to that point and thinking I will remember to put it on the list when I'm ready to head to the store... because I don't know about you but I never seem to remember and I end up heading to the store with about four things on my list.
I also love my menu cards. The front are labeled with the meal, and the back has a list of grocery items that I need to have in order to make said meal. So basically, I grab my grocery checklist, grab my meal cards, decide what to have for the week, and then flip the cards over and add anything to my grocery list that I don't currently have in my pantry, fridge, etc. I also have cards for things like eating out, trying a new recipe, and pizza and Chinese takeout.
The system isn't flawless but its pretty gosh darn good.