Are you a Pinterest fanatic?
I’ve learned how to make my own laundry soap (which I love and saves me about $15 a month!), planned a few imaginary weddings (I was married at 21. it was pink and purple. I think I need a do-over with the Pastor), encouraged me to change-up the mantle seasonally (I’m addicted), learned how to breathe properly while running (still working on that one), indulge my love of couture in a cost-effective way (because the life of a stay at home pastor’s wife is not exactly where you need Oscar gowns), discovered how to make Brussels sprouts that I finally will eat (hooray for the little green stinkies!) and gotten more craft ideas than I would ever know what to do with in a hundred lifetimes (really).
Side note: I don’t get the people who have hundreds and thousands of pop culture pins (coughcoughDrWhocoughcough). I’m sorry. I just don’t. What’s the purpose in that? A few, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch-y Sherlock ones? Now that I understand. Totally. But hundreds of anything? It doesn’t make sense to me. Do you go back and read them often? I don’t know.
But easily, the most important thing about Pinterest is how it’s helped me in my weekly menu planning. I’ve used a few different online menu planning tools, but none have helped the as much as Pinterest has.
And it comes down to two reasons:
- Having an easy way to save recipes that doesn’t involve hundreds of bookmarks in my Favorites folder or keeping a collection of goopy, dripped on pages printed pages in the kitchen (don’t judge – I’m a messy cook) or spending an hour searching for a recipe I can’t remember the exact name of (it happens. often).
- The visual nature of Pinterest.
I currently have 5 paleo boards, and the turning point for me came when I separated them and changed my attitude from pinning to curating.
I want these boards to work for me and make meal planning easier. Instead of just my original Paleo Friendly board, I now have separate Slow Cooker, Sides, Treats and Whole30 boards (with a Paleo Entrees and Paleo Words planned). Digging through one giant, 300+ board to find a recipe isn’t helpful or an effective use of my time.
I try to be careful with how I curate. Only truly Whole30 foods go into the Whole30 board (so you’ll find no paleo pancakes or pizza in there!). If something fits into two categories, I go ahead and pin it in both. I also rearranged my boards so that they’re grouped together at the top since they are my most used. And when I pin something, I make notes regarding possible changes I might need to make. I’m also careful to make sure the pin actually leads somewhere (lots of dead pins out there!) and that it actually leads to what it says it does. 30 seconds on the front end can save me a lot of annoyance later.
At the moment, I’m in the midst of my third Whole30 and that’s the board I use the most. If I need a meal idea while planning, I pull up it up first. Even though it’s one of my smaller boards, giving it a scroll usually finds me a recipe or at least gives me enough inspiration to plug something in to the menu.
Separating out and specifically seeking more side dish ideas has also kept me from making broccoli…again…for the third time in three days on a regular basis. It’s been my experience that I don’t generally have a lot of trouble figuring out what to do with meat. Vegetables can get a little more boring. Pulling out these pins into their own board has encouraged so many new ways to eat veggies that I never would have thought of.
My next plan is to try to get better about leaving comments on the pin after I’ve made it – did we like it? what adjustments would I make? what does it go well with? I do save a lot of the slopped up printed out recipes in a binder and make notes as I go, but it will be nice to have it down on Pinterest as well for the ones that can’t be salvaged.
Do you use Pinterest in your menu planning? Have any Benedict Cumberbatch pins I need to check out? What about Whole30 or paleo boards?