ipinnedit

My blog details all the fantastic "pins" I've actually made! Enjoy!

2 Week Meal Plans March 26, 2012

I find meal planning and grocery shopping overwhelming and very time consuming.  In my effort to get organized, I’ve figured out a way to reduce the stress of getting hot meals on the table.  My new system should help keep grocery bills under control (less trips to the store, less $ spent) and reduce eating out!  I decided that I would plan two weeks of meals at a time.  I will only do major grocery shopping every two weeks.  I know there are those of you out there that can shop once per month, but I’m just not there yet!

 

I have created a “Meal Planner” worksheet to help plan and organize the meals I will prepare.  This worksheet lists days, dates, and activities.  Then, it has a spot for me to write-in my plans for lunch, dinner, and sides.  Although there is a column for lunches, I have not started planning lunches yet.  At the bottom of the worksheet, I have two extra spaces.  The first is to list any ideas I have for the next two week cycle and the second is to jot down any lunch ideas.

 

Here are the steps I follow to plan my 2 weeks of meals …

1.)  I prep my “Meal Planner” worksheet for the next 2 week cycle.  I update my dates and type in any notes or activities we have going on.  Then, I print it.

2.)  I review my freezer / fridge inventory (see a previous post) to see if there are ingredients I need to use up.  Also, by reviewing this list, I will see if I have any meals frozen that I can eat in the next 2 weeks.

3. ) I pull out my cookbooks, printed Pinterest recipes, magazine recipes, etc.  I also have my laptop nearby, so I can look up recipes (usually on allrecipes.com).

4.)  I flip through all my recipes and pull out the meals that Iwant to eat, keeping in mind any ingredients I already have.  If I don’t find a recipe to use up my ingredients, I search for recipes online.

5.)  I determine how many meals each recipe will make.  Many of my recipes make way too much food for my family, so I can freeze a second meal for the future!  Or, I can eat the same meal twice.

6.)  I jot down the meals I have chosen on my “Meal Planner” worksheet.

7.)  Then, I prepare my grocery list.  I WILL BE POSTING “GROCERY SHOPPING MADE EASY” very soon.  Stay tunned!. 

 

Every other week I follow this schedule

Tuesday = take inventory of fridge and freezer (and pantry)

Wednesday = Prepare 2 week meal plan and write grocery list

Thursday & Friday = grocery shop (you will notice that my 2 week meal rotation begins on a Saturday, so if I grocery shop on Thursday and Friday, I’ll have all the ingredients I need by Saturday).

 

That’s it!  Now I have all my meals planned for the next two weeks!  I have done this once so far, and it worked out so great for me!

 

Click here to see the printable I found on Pinterest that inspired my “Meal Planner” worksheet.

 

Recipes and Meal Planner Worksheet

Meal Planner Worksheet

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Getting Organized … Freezer / Fridge Inventory Printable March 12, 2012

The first printable that caught my attention on the simply101.com website was the was a “Freezer Inventory” worksheet.  Realizing that I have no idea what is in my freezer (or fridge), I thought taking inventory of my fridge and freezer could be my first step.  I used the worksheet on simply101.com for my inspiration, but created my own version in excel.  Here is a link to my printable:  Freezer & Fridge Inventory.

 

My printable includes six categories of food including (1) Main Dishes, (2) Meat and Seafood, (3) Veggies / Side Dishes, (4) Breakfast Items, (5) Desserts and Snacks, and (6) Misc Items.  Every two weeks (before I make my meal plan), I will take a quick Freezer & Fridge Inventory using my printable.  I will document the food item, location (I have two freezers), whether I need more, and what meal I could make out of that food item.  If I need more, I will add that item to my grocery list (see a post coming soon).  If I can use up that item in a meal, I will make sure to plan that meal for my next meal cycle.  This is how I will keep my food from sitting in my freezer for weeks, months, or (oh my) years!

 

While taking inventory of my freezer and fridge, I realized that I needed a clip board.  I remembered that I pinned a crafty clipboard that I will make (post coming soon).

 

Upcoming posts related to this article:  (1) Cutsy Clip Board, (2) 2 Week Meal Planning, (3) Grocery Shopping’s A Breeze

 

Pinterest Pin:  http://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878045918/

 

Getting Organized … First of Many Posts! March 11, 2012

I have seen so many pins on Pinterest linking me to organizing worksheets/printables.  These worksheets have inspired me to get organized!!!  People who know me are probably thinking that I’m organized enough, but I just can’t get enough.  I have to admit that I LOVE ORGANIZING!  I know .. I’m such a dork.

 

As a stay at home mom, I struggle balancing quality time with my kids and all the errands, cleaning, cooking, etc.  I predict that if I can get my life organized a bit more, I will feel less stressed out and have more time for my kids and hobbies!  I have spent many many hours over the last month getting organized.  Some things I’ve organized include meals, grocery shopping, declutter zones, deep cleaning, routine cleaning, vacation packlists, birthday checklists, etc.  I will add to this list as I organize my life.  I will post my organizing breakthroughs as they occur along with the worksheets I created to get it done!

 

The first organizing pin that caught my attention, linked me to “10 great organizing printables.”  From here, I got many ideas to get me started on my organizing journey.  I really love the simplify101.com website.  The site has tons of great organizing tips and printables.  Many of which I have already started implementing!