For those of you who were excited about a special giveaway to celebrate this here 700th blog post of mine, I am sorry. My 1-year menu plan is not quite finished, and short of not blogging again until it is done, I decided to do the giveaway next month for my 4-year blogging anniversary, which should give me enough time to finish up.
When it is complete, the "book" will be letter-size, spiral bound, and contain the following:
12 months of menus for breakfasts and dinners (meals repeat every 2 months), with season-appropriate suggestions for special meals, snacks, and desserts that are different each month
weekly shopping lists to go along with the menus
recipes for every single menu item listed (about 150 total)
blank monthly planner and master grocery list to copy and build your own menus
Plus, I am giving away a different cool prize in the next few days as soon as I can finish up a blog post about it.
For today, a kitchen tip for those of you who have lots of people in the house that can never keep track of which drinking glass is theirs, and where it is.
In the past, I have tried and thrown out the following ideas: plastic cups that were either different colors, or had the kids' names sharpied on them (we no longer use plastic dishes), masking tape stuck to the side of cups with kids' names on them (too labor intensive to mount and remove, plus someone always loses the tape), suction-cup wine charms (yes, really, I tried that - they were just cute little plastic shapes in all different colors. So cute, in fact, that my kids lost all 12 of them the FIRST WEEK), buying each child a couple of distinct glasses with their own designs (haha - we break dishes DAILY, so within less than a month, nobody had any "personal" glasses left), and some other ideas that were not even worth remembering.
But my current method? I have been using it for about a year now, and it still works great. Quick, easy, and the kids do it themselves. Hint: a dry erase marker may be your new best friend.
Simply have each person write their name, or even just their first initial, on the bottom of the glass they will be drinking from with a dry-erase maker. Then have them write their name on a spot on the counter (make sure it's a material that works for dry-erase markers - a wooden butcher block would NOT work, but tile does).
Voila - with any luck, this will greatly cut down on the number of cups your family will go through in one day because nobody knows which of the ten glasses on the counter is theirs, so they take down another one.
If you have any other tips for cutting down on unnecessary dishes, please do share them below in the comments section. Exasperated mothers everywhere will thank you.