2 Simple Steps to Meal Planning

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2 Simple Steps to Meal Planning

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One of the best things I have done for my family has been organizing our meals. I have done this in two ways:

Cookbook Binder
Monthly Menu Planning

Cookbook Binder

2 Simple Steps to Meal Planning

What I used: Sturdy 3 ring binder (2-inch is a great size), page protectorsdivider tabs.

What I did: I went through each of my cookbooks and found all the recipes I actually make. I made copies of the recipe page or typed and printed out the recipe, and then put the recipe in a page protector. Over time, I was able to compile all the recipes I use and organize them by type in the binder using the divider tabs.

Why I love it: Each night when I start making dinner I only need to pull out the cookbook binder. I don’t waste time wondering where my recipes are, sifting through a large stack of cookbooks. Also, when I find a new recipe on the Internet, cut one out of a magazine, or make a copy of a friends’ recipe, I just place the recipe in a page protector and slip it in my binder. Everything is streamlined and organized.

Bonus: The page protectors help keep food splatters and crumbs from ruining the recipe.

2 Simple Steps to Menu Planning

Monthly Menu

2 Simple Steps to Menu Planning

What I do: Mid-month I will sit down one night and plan the menu for the upcoming month. I only plan lunches and dinners because I do not cook breakfast on a regular basis. When the menu is complete, I print it out and slip into the binder cover for the week.

How I plan: Mondays are soup nights in the cold months or lighter meals and salads in the warm months. Tuesdays are Mexican nights. Wednesdays are pasta nights. Thursday meals are chicken-based. Friday meals a
re beef-based. Saturdays are rotated. Sundays are crock-pot or quick meals for lunch and dinner is typically something easy or a time to clean out the leftovers in the fridge. I try to think through the rhythm of our family: which nights I don’t have a lot of time to be in the kitchen and which meals will have leftovers that may work with other meals or as lunch the following day.

Why I love it: Menu planning saves me so much time and money. I am not worried about what to make for dinner each night and I am able to tell my children exactly what’s for dinner when they wake up asking me. Menu planning makes grocery trips easy. I save money on grocery bills because I know exactly what I need and I don’t have to make multiple trips to the store throughout the week.

Bonus: As I have done this each month it gets easier because I typically take the same schedule and repeat it for the next month with a few tweaks here and there. We rarely have the same meal twice in a month so it never gets boring.

About Kristy Bruce

Kristy is the wife of Kenneth Bruce, student pastor at Westwood Baptist church in Alabaster, Alabama. She is a stay-at-home mother to her four sons, two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia. Kenneth and Kristy are currently in the process of adopting a daughter from India. Kristy enjoys writing and has a passion for teaching the Word of God and helping women go deeper in their faith.

Encouraged? Share this post...
About Kristy Bruce

Kristy is the wife of Kenneth Bruce, student pastor at Westwood Baptist church in Alabaster, Alabama. She is a stay-at-home mother to her four sons, two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia. Kenneth and Kristy are currently in the process of adopting a daughter from India. Kristy enjoys writing and has a passion for teaching the Word of God and helping women go deeper in their faith.

Comments

  1. Page Hughes says:

    Love the ideas. I too have my binder and through the years it has grown. I do venture out some but find I come back time and again to my tried and true recipes. Great ideas!

  2. This is a great idea! I like the idea of having the whole month planned and printed out. And I like how you have the days designated for different types of cuisine.

  3. Love your weeknight themes – that simplifies the planning process so much! I’m looking forward to giving it try. Thanks for sharing!