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My New Solution To Meal Planning and Generally Staying Organized

oraganized cooking for site“What’s for dinner?”

Nothing makes me want to throw my hands in the air and walk out of the house like the question “What’s for dinner?”

It’s a nightly question and just when you get it figured out it seems like it’s dinner time again!  It never stops!  Those dang kids want to be fed every single day and it’s driving me crazy!

So  few months ago I came up with a new plan.  It’s not elegant.  I won’t be impressing anyone with my stellar culinary designs.  But I will be getting my kids fed every night without wanting to join the circus… and isn’t that all a mother really wants?

Ok, so here is my solution.

Rotating weekly meal plans!

I only have three weeks of meal plans that just rotate over and over and over.  I sat down one Sunday and just made up three weeks of meals.  On the first page of the weekly plan I have the shopping list for the week.  Then stapled to that is the recipes for the week.  On the top each recipe I also have how long it will take to prepare.  Not how long they SAY it will take but how long it actually takes.  Then not only can I make sure I start dinner on time but I can also plan which meal to make on which day.

This method also helps me grocery shop because my weekly shopping list is already done.  I just pick up the next week’s packet and my shopping list is already set.  I can just dig around in the kitchen and see what I already have and go from there.  It makes it so easy I actually do it most weeks!  Not every week because sometimes I just like living on the edge.

Daily worksheets!

To help me stay on track I also devised another tool.  My Daily worksheet.  (You can download it by clicking that link)  Again, on Sunday I print out 5 of these worksheets and get organized for the week. I plan my appointments, my workout goals, dinners, any reminders that I will need during the week.  I just helps me get a handle on the upcoming week so that I make sure I do what needs to be done and generally just make the most of the week.

On the sheet there is an area for Flylady.  If you don’t know what that is it’s a house cleaning system.  I love it and it does work if you actually do it.  I LOVE Flylady and could probably write a whole post just about that but if you don’t do Flylady you can change that area to something else.  No worries.

With these two tools you will never again want to run away when you hear “What’s for Dinner?”

2 comments… add one

  • Jon@2-copper-coins.com November 23, 2013, 9:09 pm

    We plan for so many other things in our lives, why shouldn’t meals be one of them. I love that you include meal planning as part of your everyday life and schedule. My wife and I are Trader Joe’s shoppers and they have recipes that use only their products. We simply pick one for each day and when we go shopping we go with those recipes in mind. It works great. Although I’ve downloaded your daily worksheet and I’m gonna give that a shot.

    • Ashley @ Money Talks November 25, 2013, 10:44 am

      Yay! Let me know what you think of the worksheet and if there are tweaks I can make that will make it more useful. What I uploaded is the exact one I use with no changes “for the masses”.

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