Meal planning… the bane of my existence. This is a task constantly on my to-do list. I have exhausted my research on how to do it effectively. It is a constant work in progress because every week of my life is different and can change at the drop of a hat. I have tried the once a month meal planning… check it out HERE. I would love to do this, but I do not have a day (or two) to grocery shop and prep all my meals. It literally is a hug under taking, albeit well worth it in the end because all your meals for a month are planned and finished. In reality you only have to meal prep 12 times a year… doesn’t that sound awesome?!?! When I become super mommy I am going to do it. While I am waiting for my cape and superpowers to arrive I have come up with the following system.
This meal planning system dawned on me in an effort to up-cycle one of my unused planners. I am a self proclaimed planner addict. I have too many to count and I seem to be mildly addicted to acquiring new ones. I love to switch planners because it puts me in a zen-like state to re-organize and go through all my planner things. The Living Well Spending Less planner has been sitting in my planner pile for awhile now… I think a year. It was developed by Ruth Soukup. She has written several organization/declutter books that I have read as well. I purchased it because I loved the basics of it. It has a very thorough financial section and nicely divided calendar spreads with plenty of room. Here are some quick clips from the planner.
I decided not to use the planner as a planner because I did not like the paper weight (since which they have increased the weight of the paper in her newest addition). I am a pen addict as well and all the PaperMate Flairs bled right through. Only ball points worked.
Then the day came when I needed more space for my meal planning. What I was really looking for was a place to write the recipes AND ingredients. I hated having to pull out 7 different cookbooks. I don’t cook anything complex, so most of my go-to recipes can be simply copied. This is what I came up with…
I am trying out a new cook book that I of course found in the bargain section at Barnes & Noble. Worth every penny. It is Crock Pot 3 Books in 1 Cookbook featuring the chicken cookbook, 5 ingredients or less, and soups and stews cookbook.
I picked out the recipes and listed them in my planner…
Each day I put the title of the meal, listed the ingredients in blue, and simple directions in green (add water, chop, etc.) On the far right I put how long I have to cook it for.
Then I went through and added all the ingredients on my shopping list using this awesome pad. I can’t find where I purchased the pad but amazon has some similar HERE.
This seemed to work out for the most part. I loved only having to refer to one place for recipes.
What do you use for meal planning? What are your thoughts on what I did?