I spent the afternoon getting my garden prepped for planting. My hands are raw and my backs aches, but it’s so pretty! There something about freshly turned and raked soil. I almost don’t want to disturb it with the planting.
I’ve also been working on my binder. It’s really turning out to be a Menu-planner/Recipe-binder. Inspired by Decor-ganized Crafts use of a 30 Favorite Meals method, I put together my own list of our 30 favorite meals. The idea is to have 30 staple meals as a go-to list for menu planning. I admit that I don’t have it all together in the menu planning area. Too often I start thinking about dinner around 3:30 when we are finishing up our school day. To remedy this situation, the first pages of my recipe binder will be our 30 favorite meals list (I may extend it beyond 30. . . I don’t like being restricted), and a monthly menu planner. Here is my list (click on the image to enlarge).
Using “Numbers” (it’s Mac’s version of Excel), I placed the meal titles in alphabetical order. If the recipe is one that I will not find in the binder, but rather in one of my cookbooks, I made sure to note the title and page number for easy reference. Then for each meal I listed the main ingredients. I didn’t list every ingredient, just those that I may not always have on hand so I have a quick reference for grocery shopping or if I need to find a recipe with specific ingredients. Then I made notes for what I can do to prepare the meal ahead of time, either early in the day or the night before. Next I noted what type of cooking device it would require — crock-pot, stove-top, skillet, oven, etc. Last, I left a section for make-ahead plans in case I am looking for a meal I can make the night or week before and either refrigerate or freeze. It did take some time to put together, but I’m excited about how this will make my meal planning simpler. I don’t want to restrict my family to these 30 dishes alone. I do like to try new meals and I will continue to update my “Favorite Meals” list beyond the 30.
The monthly meal planner will be a sheet I print out at the beginning of each month, and using my “Favorite Meals” list, with the addition of some recipes I want to try, I can make my monthly plans and shopping lists. I started to create a meal planner document, but found some fantastic printable menu planners from Money-Saving Mom, so I’m starting there. I still have some work to do, but I have a good start. If you have any fabulous recipe binder or menu planning ideas, I’d love to hear from you!
- Recipe Binder Ideas (easygoingorganizer.com)
- A Printable to Simplify Meal Planning (creativeorganizing.typepad.com)
- Top 5 Ways to Make Meal Planning Easy (foodonthetable.com)
- Monthly menu planning (survivingonatightbudget.com)
- Plan Your Weekly Meals, Stress Free (lifehacker.com)
- Lists for the Kitchen (wifelyperfection.wordpress.com)
- Advantages of Using a Menu Planner (foodonthetable.com)