Organized Menu Planning

September 2, 2017

Menu planning is one of the most important aspects of home keeping. It should take priority on your schedule. If you don’t have a plan, you will feel the stress every single day (I know, I’ve been there). You will eat less healthier and you’ll waste money. By implementing menu planning into your weekly schedule, dinnertime will go smoother. There are affiliate links within this post.

 

 

MY MENU PLANNING SCHEDULE: I have perfected a menu planning schedule for our family. It works lovely. The most important tip is to always look at the calendar when planning.  On busy days, I use the crock pot and on slow days, I might bake homemade bread and toss a well seasoned roast in the oven. My week looks like this…

  • Saturdays – Menu Plan & make grocery list. Clean out fridge & pantry. Go out to eat.
  • Sundays – Grocery Shopping day.
  • Sunday – Thursday – Cook healthy recipes from scratch, using my crock pot and instant pot for many meals.
  • Friday – Leftovers (unless I feel like cooking).

** I keep track of our menu using a white board from Staples (Martha Stewart).

 

 

PREPARE FOR THE WEEK:  Before I shop on Sundays, I make sure the refrigerator and pantry are clean (empty leftover containers, toss expired food).  I usually do this on Saturdays. It allows me to inventory what I need to purchase for the weeks’ recipes.  Also, I never grocery shop without a detailed list. It eliminates food wasting.

 

 

RECIPE STORAGE:  Over time, printed recipes begin to pile up and cause unwanted kitchen clutter. It’s important to get organized, if you want to enjoy menu planning. Take a couple of hours and go through all of your recipes. Toss those you no longer want. I used to store my recipes in three ring binders, but I’ve found it much easier to use file folders. This way, I can add or remove recipes quickly, purge no longer used recipes, and browse easily while menu planning on Saturdays. I love this system. It works well for me.

 

 

Here is the file box I use.

 

 

PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MENU: Every Saturday, I take about 30 minutes to plan our weekly menu. I have streamlined this process with the help of file folders. I organized all of my printed recipes into categories. I purchased the folders from Staples. The brand is Fringe. My categories are personalized to our family and my cooking preferences.  Create the categories that your family uses most often. Here are my categories.

  • Breakfast
  • Dressings
  • Seasoning Mixes
  • Sauces
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Sweets
  • Bread Machine
  • Crock Pot
  • Instant Pot
  • Juicing
  • Smoothies
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Casseroles
  • Sheet Pan Meals
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Asian
  • Italian
  • Mexican
  • Side Dishes
  • Soup

 

 

Once I plan out the menu for the week, I store the (current weeks) printed recipes in this magnetic organizer. Once I’ve cooked the recipe, I file it back into my recipe box.

 

 

I keep my recipe box and most used cookbooks in my kitchen island. I’ve had many people ask where I find my  recipes. I typically search Pinterest, Culinary Facebook Groups, blog posts, and Google. I find them everywhere!

Some of my favorites websites to find delicious recipes:

 

 

My (current) favorite cookbooks:

 

 
I have a menu planning printable kit available for only $4.00. It contains everything you need to menu plan. Click here to purchase.
 

 

Menu planning is an enjoyable experience, once you get organized. Set a weekly schedule that works for your family, look up some delicious recipes & organize them into categories, and make dinnertime memorable for your loved ones. I would love to hear your menu planning tips. Share them in the comment section below.

If you want to see what we’re having for dinner, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I share InstaStories (videos) daily, including organizing & home keeping tips. Finally, if you want to get more organized, be sure to check out my  best selling book ‘The Complete Book of Home Organization’. It’s packed full of tips to get your home organized.

 

10 comments on “Organized Menu Planning

  1. Lisa Folden says:

    Love these ideas. I do something similar…except I plan for the entire month. I find that if I write out my plans for breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the entire month, when it’s time to write my weekly grocery lists (on Thursday), its smooth sailing. 👍🏽I pick 3 dinners each week and prepare enough for each to be eaten 2 days in a row. Then I leave one day for leftovers or carryout. I pick 2 lunches (1 for kids and 1 for my husband and I) and 1 breakfast for myself (like egg muffins) because my husband makes his own and the kids prefer dry cereal. Lol.

    What I’m missing is the recipe organization. I typically store the recipes on my phone and they can be tough to find later! Lol. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Val says:

    Love this post! I was wondering about your cookbooks, do you write out the recipe you are going to use out of a book or do you just indicate the book and page number for the weeks folder of recipes?

  3. Macy says:

    I’ve been menu planning for several years now, but realized I work best when I plan out a week’s worth of meals but don’t set them for specific days. Once a week I sit down and pull together 7 meals and write them down on a notepad on our fridge. In the mornings I scan the list to see what meals I can choose from, then after we’ve had the meal I cross it off the list. My husband can easily see what meals we still have planned out & can make requests like, “I’d like meatballs & spaghetti before my hockey game on Tuesday.” I like having the freedom of still asking my family, “Do you want burritos tomorrow night, or do you feel like turkey burgers?” I also found that if I already had the ingredients purchased for 7 meals and recipes to go with them, my husband felt more assured when he wanted to step in to help make dinner because he knew everything was readily available with instructions. 🙂

  4. I wanted to give a huge +1 to this post! Ever since my wife and I bought a chalkboard for the kitchen, where we plan our meals for the week, we eat at home far more, and waste far less. I can’t recommend more, thank you for this post

  5. Cory says:

    I love this idea !! Meal and menu planning are my biggest struggles. I especially love the magnetic organizer!!

    Thank you,
    Cory @SparkleShineVictoriaBC

  6. Bridgit says:

    We recently have started using the Paprika app. It’s awesome! I can save recipes directly from the websites and access them on my computer, phone and iPad. I can make grocery lists, meal plans, etc. I was getting frustrated in our small kitchen with having to find space for a white board and markers and paper. This is more practical for us and it’s nice to have everything accessible in one spot.

  7. Charms says:

    Thanks for ur tips. Where do u buy the folders to put into recipe box. Also do u really spend so much on all these tools for organization. I love them but foind them pricey

  8. Kris Anne says:

    Thank you for your post – I always love your tips. I was wondering what brand is the pen holder on your fridge or where did you purchase it? Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest downloads from A Bowl Full of Lemons printables shop.
Hello. Add your message here.