Monday, January 30, 2012

Meal Planning 2012

Here is my newest Meal Planner. I really enjoyed using this type of meal planner last year. I made a few changes from last year's.  I added a dated calendar for this year as well as a few lines for those who would like a little more structure to write in. Last year's meal planner is still undated so you can still use it if you want to use that.

I confess I had made this up in December but never could get organized enough to put up the blog post. As you can see, it has been used. I love this size because it fits in my Franklin Covey Day Planner. It has been a very good style for me. I may not use it all the time, but I do use it a lot.

A few tips on how to plan meals.

  1. Choose a day and a time to do your meal planning. I usually end up doing this Monday mornings. 
  2. Decide the time period you like to have planned ahead. I used to plan a month a head of time when I was able to do our monthly Sam's Club trip. Now I plan only a week ahead of time, because that seems to work better for us at this moment.
  3. Make a list of your usual meals. I have left a few pages for this in my planner. It was a really big relief to have a list of the meals I make frequently. Before I was very cloudy and sporadic as to what ended up on the table and sometimes that didn't turn out very well. Once you have a list, you can easily chose what you want and write it down on the day that is most convenient.
    1. This doesn't mean that you won't ever make a new dish. You know which days are really busy and could use an easy to fix meal. Plan to make a new dish or complicated dish on those days you know are pretty free.
  4. Be flexible and have a backup plan. Changes happen and a free day becomes very busy. It is good to have an easy to fix dinner on standby in the pantry for days like this. 
  5. Put together your shopping list right after you have finished your meal planning and plan to shop it as soon as you can. The point of planning your meal ahead of time is to have on hand the ingredients you need to make these meals. I usually shop once a week for a week's worth of meal because I no longer have the room or refrigerator/freezer space to more than a week's worth of food in my home. This also eliminates wasted food as I try to buy things that will be eaten and won't be forgotten in the back of the cupboard.
  6. Look at your meal planner at least once a day. Take out anything that needs to be thawed or processed ahead of time. Example, If I'm making beans from scratch, I put the beans on to soak the day before and it is in the crock pot cooking all day for a quick mash and fry at dinner time.
My boys like knowing where they can find what's for dinner. They also get a chance to suggest appropriate meals. I try to have them more involved in the meal process, but I do like to be in the kitchen alone without disturbances. I have to remind myself, I'm Mom and that means teaching the boys how to make a meal out of the ingredients we purchased.

I hope that helped a little bit. It is what helps me when I keep it up. You can get the new Meal Planner booklet here. If you need help putting it together, please refer to my 2011 post which tells you how to print and put together the booklet.
Pin It