Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lessons in meal planning

One of my goals for this school year is to cook more often during the week. My problem so far has been the fact that I don't get home until between 5 and 6 and then I get frustrated trying to decide what to make and even more frustrated when I don't have all the ingredients I need. Easy, but not so good fix...fast food. So this year hubby and I decided to get organized. Thanks to Pinterest this turned out to be an easy project. I found an amazing meal planning sheet as well as a menu board and we got to work. I started by making the Menu board because I knew I would be excited to write our weekly meals out. Here's how to make it:

Find and purchase a 12x12 frame (any scrapbook store will have these), buy one piece of 12x12 paper that will match the colors of your kitchen then use stickers to spell out the days of the week. Put it all together and hang it in your kitchen! If you use a dry erase marker on the glass you can change the meals each week. I can't wait to use this this year!
On to meal planning. This is the meal planner we decided to use because it also serves as a grocery list.

                 We got out all our cookbooks and made a list of our favorites (some old, some new) Then we set a goal: 3 dinners/week (we have to be realistic) and we got to work picking meals that we would want to put together.
After we finished that we printed and scanned the actual recipes and put them with the meal planning sheets in a binder. We picked a day to shop for our weekly ingredients (Sundays) and now we just have to implement our plan. Do you plan your meals out each week? How do you do it?

13 comments:

Allison said...

Love this post! I just started planning our meals last week. I plan to post our planned meals every Sunday (feel like it will hold us more accountable). Are you planning to post yours weekly? I would love to see them!

Meg {henninglove} said...

that board is totally cute and is a great idea for you to help you know what is for dinner each week. i always meal plan every sunday i lay out the grocery circulars so i know what is on sale and i plan my meals on what is on sale and i think of quick and easy meals. i like to have ingredients that can easily be translated into different meals, good luck! plus meal planning helps me know we are eating healthy and getting the nutrients we need

courtney elizabeth munafo said...

this is awesome! i need to be organized like this because i have the exact same problem with getting home late!

Tatiana said...

LOVE the frame! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
That idea may get stolen :-)
So I do this meal planing thing for the entire month, but when the month is over, I'm not so great at making the new menu so we go for a few months with out one until I feel like we're spending too much money on eating out, and then I redo it again. This is where we're right now. I need to get on that ball once again...

Lucy The Valiant said...

Oh, I will be stealing that menu board idea! So cute!

Ashley Slater said...

I love your menu board, so cute :)

I cook most every night of the week, but I also do not work and the cooking is kind of my job :) I do the same thing, I pick meals for the entire week, usually ones that require some of the same ingredients (so if I buy fresh herbs, I can use it in more than one dish). We like to try new things, so if we LOVE a meal only then do I write it down and log it in my recipe book. If we hate it, then I don't keep it! I hope your meal planning works out!!

Megan said...

Sounds like a good plan! I kinda go through weeks where I cook and weeks where I just say, oh well let's eat out. I do the same thing though, compile my grocery list and then shop on one day. I usually keep most of my recipes bookmarked online!

Amanda C. said...

I am anxious to know how this works out. I get frustrated trying to decide what to cook when I get home, when I even feel like cooking. It would be so much easier if everything is right there. Good luck.

Camylla Leonardi said...

I love this idea of meal planning!! I really need to start doing that!!

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Kelly said...

What a great idea!

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I usually start planning meals on Sunday & go food shopping on Monday. Great idea that you have.

Manda said...

This is such a great post! I love your meal planner ideas--you're a genius! Thanks for sharing : ) Cooking more during the week was one of my new school year goals as well.

Manda said...

I remembered this post and all the awesome ideas you shared! I just joined Pintrest and am now following along : )