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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

House of Order: Meal Planning

Our family likes to eat-- like three times a day!! (or more) :) And since I'm the one primarily responsible for providing the meals it can become a relentless task. Here are a few things I've done to simplify the process:

1. I've put together a customized cookbook with all of the meals we like to eat. (I have a separate notebook for recipes I've copied from blogs or magazines.) Once we've tried a recipe and determined that it's a keeper it can go into Our Favorites cookbook. Each week I sit down with the cookbook and pick out five or six meals that sound good.

2. I use a cheap spiral notebook for our meal lists and grocery lists. On the left page I write the meals I have planned for the week. On the right page I write out our grocery list (using the our customized cookbook as a reference for what ingredients we need for each recipe.) I keep the spiral notebook in a cupboard in the kitchen so I can refer back to it when I'm deciding what to make for dinner. (I don't assign days to the meals because I like to have some flexibility in determining what we want to eat each night.)

3. My grocery list is divided up into categories: Produce, Grain, Canned/Prepared, Meat, Dairy, Frozen, Misc. Most grocery stores have their isles separated into the same categories so it makes it easy to find and check off the things that you need. If there is something I can't find or decide to skip on the list, I just circle it and then transfer it to the next week's list. And at home it's always handy to add something to the list when I notice we're running low.

(My kids have also learned that when they go grocery shopping with me, if it's not on the list we do not buy it. If there is something they want they can request it be added to the list before we go in to the store.)

10 comments:

Emma said...

I am getting some great ideas here - thanks! I can just customize them to my needs. I too have a binder with printed recipes, but I usually don't think about what to eat until 4:00 pm. Well I think about it before then, but I usually put off making the decision!

Jen said...

I am starting to think you are my slightly more organized soul twin. My meal planning system is very similar, but not quite as good. Thanks for the details!

stephanie said...

wow, that is such a great system. i need to get organized. :)

Chris said...

You're so organized! I know it must take a lot of time to do the things you do. What an awesome housewife and mom you are. Your kids will learn from your example.

Shana said...

Jessi,
What a great idea! Mine is a little scattered. I have a few cook books that I sometimes go through-- But mostly, we have our favorite recipes memorized. Every once in a while if I haven't made it for a while, I will refer back to it to make sure I am not missing anything. But I LOVE the idea of having your favorite recipes in a seperate binder! I am going to have to do this once I get some ink for my printer! You are a great housewife and mom. :)

Sally said...

I have almost the exact same system! Yay, I feel so organized knowing that you do it the same way, cause I KNOW you're an organized person!

I am gonna try the assigned days thing you do, too. I'm tired of laundry being an all-week thing. If I just suck it up and do it on one or two days a week, I hope it won't drive me as crazy!

Abbi said...

Jessi, you are a domestic goddess. I have so much to learn from you!

Natalie said...

Considering that Cally actually sent me a link to this post with the title, "Good idea", I am gonna give it a try for sure. :) Thanks for helping me get organized this year, Jess!

Audra said...

This is great. So much better than my shopping and grocery list system so I'm adopting yours.

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