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Menu Plan Mind Mapping

Menu Plan Mind Mapping

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Mind mapping is a technique used for brainstorming–it's something I learned in a blogging course called Content Brew–but I'm finding it really useful for meal planning as well! If you're feeling like you're in a rut with your menus, and you need a little shake-up, give menu plan mind mapping a try. Give each category (in this case, a protein like ground beef, chicken, pork, eggs, etc.) a bubble, and list as many meals as you can that use each one. You'll see at a glance where you have a gap and need more meal ideas. In my case, in the map below, you see that I need more egg/vegetarian ideas if I want to keep up with my goal of eating vegetarian 2-3 times each week. Otherwise, we'll eat the same thing over and over!

Menu Plan Mind Mapping

Another option would be to mind map around methods–like stovetop, slow cooker, oven casserole, etc.–since I tend to match my method to our schedule (busy nights are usually slow cooker meals). I only do standing-at-the-stove-top meals when I know I have time to do it.

Once you see where your gaps are, look for some new meal ideas. Magazines like All You have very simple meal ideas. I love borrowing cookbooks from the library and flipping through for a few new ideas. Remember that there are lots of “real people” menu plans at the weekly meme Menu Plan Monday. There are a million ideas out there, so be careful not to get overwhelmed! I like to try a new recipe or two each month around our usual favorites.

30 Easy Meals

When I planned out my 30 Easy Meals for Fall, basically a month-long list of meals to work from, I wanted a variety of chicken, beef, pork, and vegetarian meals. When I start planning for October, I know I'll want more soups for the fall weather. That's where the menu plan mind mapping comes in handy! I can now search in cookbooks or online for a few new recipes to try to fill in those gaps.

Linked up to Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie.

Holly Cook

Saturday 21st of September 2013

That is a great idea. My son just did mind mapping in school this week, and now I can do my own.

Rona B

Monday 16th of September 2013

I'm stopping by for a visit via Menu Plan Monday. Woo! This has really blown right by. It's already mid-September. The holidays will be upon us in a matter of time. Everything looks delicious on your menu plan. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Colorado and DC.

Amanda S

Monday 16th of September 2013

Wow! I love mind maps. Never thought to use them for menu planning. Gonna get right on that! Thanks for the great idea!

Jan

Monday 16th of September 2013

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.