cooking · organization

my menu planner

Sometimes I get going on a project and I can’t leave it alone until it’s done.  That can be good AND bad, because it also means that not much else DOES get done!  I’m pretty proud of this project that I did a couple of years ago.  I took all of our recipes that we actually like and use, and I put them on my computer.  They are organized in a “Menu Planning” file in alphabetic order so that I can print or share any one of them at any time.  They are organized in my recipe binder according to category.  The mini version is for my daughter, now a Sophomore in high school.  She can take this with her when she moves out in a couple of years.  I included only the recipes that she will actually use because I don’t want her to get overwhelmed as she’s getting the hang of being her own cook.  She picked them out herself.  My 9 year old informed me yesterday that he wants a recipe book too!  Who knew!

I shrunk the recipes that she wanted in her binder to fit the mini sheet protectors.  I then divided the recipes by category, and I put some extra sheep protectors in the back so that she can add to her collection.

I have, hanging next to our weekly menu planner (which I am really bad at utilizing), a shopping list that DOES get used.  This particular shopping list follows the basic layout of Walmart, where I do the majority of my grocery shopping.  I did have to take the time to walk down the isles and create a list of all the shopping categories in order.  I tweaked this shopping list many, many times before I settled on one that worked well for me.

Then, I made a simple version of the weekly menu and shopping list for my daughter.  She won’t need much more than this for quite some time.  I stocked her binder with a handful of lists, as well as some cooking advice and tips from me.

I know…. she probably won’t use any of it!  Haha. I didn’t really pay attention to menu planning until life started getting super busy with little kids and schedules!
But now, as long as I keep a shopping list out in the open so that anyone can add to it at any time,  I can totally keep up with the grocery shopping and meal preparation.  It’s a rare thing that we completely run out of something.  I’ve trained myself to add it to the list when I see that we are running low.  And grocery shopping is so much more time efficient!  I can seriously FLY through the isles now because I know exactly what I need and where I need to get it.  I’ve already done all of the hard work!


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