My absolute favorite thing right now is my meal planning binder. It makes me positively giddy. For me, the most stressful part of managing my home is meals and groceries. Well, it used to be anyway. Spending a few extra hours putting my meal planning binder has made shopping for and preparing meals an easy and even exciting part of me day. There are no last minute scramblings in the kitchen. Everything is ready to go come dinner time. Planning ahead has also allowed me to cut down our grocery budget and only make one trip to the store per week. We are fighting to make it on one income, so anything I can do to save money is helpful and necessary. This kind of goodness is too wonderful to keep to myself! So….here are the basics:
2. Gather the recipes. The physical recipes. Print them off or make copies. Hole punch them and arrange them according to the meal calendars you created. This step is especially important for me because I cannot cook without a recipe and don’t have any meal memorized. Having each evening’s recipe in one binder, easily accessible makes preparation as smooth as possible.
3. This next part took awhile, but has been so incredibly peace-bringing. Create grocery lists based on your meals. Go through the recipes (which are already organized in order of when you will use them), and write down what you will need to get at the store. I made weekly shopping lists, but if you shop bi-weekly or once a month, create your list accordingly. This way, when Saturday morning rolls around and it’s time for me to re-stock our fridge, all I have to do is jot down a few items for breakfasts and lunches and I am set to go. It takes me maybe 30 seconds to prepare my list before leaving. I LOOOOOVE it.
4. Organize your binder as it makes sense to you. In my binder I have my monthly calendars together in the front, followed by the recipes with grocery lists separating each week.
After the first three months recipes have been used, I plan on recycling them for another three months. After that, I will create a new three month plan with new recipes and the old ones we loved. If you try this and have any changes/suggestions, let me know!! I would love to make my system easier, if I can. Thanks for reading! :)