Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meal "Planning"

I use this term lightly. I'm not much of meal planner, but I saw this idea on Pinterest a while long time ago and am finally finishing the project.

It started with buying some binders, cheap card stock and page protectors. I then took my favorite recipes from my recipe box, printed recipes from the Internet, and recipes from dozens of recipe magazines I've collected over the years. I organized them into categories...mostly recipes I'd made before, but I sprinkled in a few new ones that looked easy and appetizing. Each category got a divider within broader categories that became these binders:

For example, the main dishes binder has dividers for Mexican food, pasta, meats, etc.

Once my binders were organized I found myself excited to plan what we would have for dinner as a family (don't worry, like with anything new, the excitement wore off after a (short) while). 

I will say that having my recipes in plastic page protectors has been handy. I just take the recipe out, make a mess while cooking/baking, wipe the page protector off and put it back. Easy-peasy. 

What had originally drawn me to organize the binders was the dream of having color coded magnets (that coordinate with the recipes in my binders). And a magnetic meal planning whiteboard calendar to arrange them on of course! ;)

I love organizing things. I'm just not all that good at actually getting to the implementation stage. I've had the little recipe strips printed and ready for at least a year. Today I finally decided to "laminate" them using packaging tape (or is it packing tape...I never know) and stick magnets on the back of them. 

Here are photos to show you what I did:

I've got the next two weeks planned. The nice thing is that magnets are easy to move around. 

We'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts ;) but I'm hoping it'll help make for a less chaotic September. Because let's face it people...summer is marching right along and school will be starting before we know it. For some that might mean nothing, and for others it might be a relief. But for me, this year, I'm just so sad to say goodbye to summer days with Harry. 

I don't want to think about it because it makes me tear up. Praying for Jesus to give me the strength I need to make the best of being a working mama. My heart is (and probably always will be) torn because I love my baby, and I also love my job. Of course Harry means more to me than my job...

(I was just interrupted with a request for "muah" from a sweet 18-month-kissy-face. Twice! Melts my heart!)

...anyway, back to meal planning. What do you do to keep organized and/or plan ahead when it comes to grocery shopping and making meals? Maybe this will inspire you to try something new. Or maybe it stresses you out, in which case I would say...do what works for you! I honestly can't guarantee that this will even work for me ;) just thought I'd share what I've been up to!

Happy Tuesday!


  1. love this! i totally agree about the laminated recipes! i have a small recipe book with 5x7 cards and they are in little sleeves, it's great! i also tried to create a meal planning of sorts that i'll have to tell you about! haven't quite finished it but close! :)

  2. My good friend Amy's sister has a wonderful blog that follows her meal planning while being frugal. I highly recommend it! http://beingfrugalbychoice.blogspot.com/

    1. I will have to check that out! :) Thanks for the recommendation Martha!

  3. Really cute project, and I hope it works for you! I've tried a few and have boiled it down to: I am just not inclined to meal plan. Or cook, really. I love the idea of cooking - just haven't found the love or talent for it yet!! And I get overwhelmed really quickly...so, taco salad it is again! :)