February 20, 2013

Meal Planning and All Around Organization

Sometimes I feel really organized and sometimes I don't. About a month ago, I was feeling more on the "don't" side and every now and again, even those of us organized folks need to recheck and rework things.  December was a blur and January started that way too. I needed a refocus badly.  The other thing is I keep thinking about the fact that in 8 short weeks I'm going to have a baby in the house and all sense of organization is going to fly out the window, so I need to do what I can now.
 
One thing I've gotten really lazy on is daily chores.  I do laundry almost everyday...just one load, but other things can fall really behind.  My sweet friend told me about these lists.  They are perfect for what I need right now because sometimes we feel really self motivated and sometimes we don't.  Motivated Mama has several down loadable list options: full week on one page, full week on half page, with our without Bible reading assignments.  It's great.  Everyday there are different chores; clean the inside and outside of the microwave, wipe down washer and dryer, clip kids' fingernails.  They are short, easy, doable lists and it's all stuff we don't do often enough.  My house is feeling clean now and I like that.  I just do what the list says...sometimes we all need to be bossed :)
 
 
The other thing that needed attention was my planner. I love my planner and I need it like I need air..pretty much. I've talked a lot about it here and here.  I have revamped it a little bit. But it still includes most of what it did before. The menu section needed some help and I really needed to get better about planning meals.  So behind my "menu" section in my planner, I have my Meal Planning sheets.  (You can download it by clicking on the link.)  And behind the menu sheets, I have my grocery list.  Every Friday, I've been trying my darnedest to sit down and make a menu...opposed to serving cereal and toast 3 nights a week...ahem.


 
 
The hard thing for me about planning menus is I have 25 awesome cookbooks, a binder full of pinterest and magazine recipes I love, and two books full of family and friend recipes I also love.  So when I plan that's a lot of stuff I have to gather.  I set up this system a few years ago with a couple girlfriends and it really works well for me, I'd just gotten away from it. So I'm bringing it back.
 
It takes a little prep to begin with, but when you're done it's great.  So I gathered up all my favorite cookbooks, recipes, and clippings.  I used index cards and each card has the ingredients for our favorite meals and where I can find it...what book to look in and the page.  If I find a new recipe I love, I add another card to the pack.  

 
So when I menu plan, I just take my pack of cards and sit down with my menu planning sheet.  Each card tells exactly what I need to buy.  Then when I get ready to cook, I get that cookbook out and make a super amazing dinner...at least I think so ;) 

 
On my March List, I'm hoping to make a big stock of freezer crockpot meals before Spring Chick comes.  My friend Kirsten has posted a whole bunch of really yummy looking recipes that are calling my name. Check out her post here.
 
Are you feeling organized? I'm trying...at least I know my sink is clean and what I'm having for dinner. That's something ;)
 


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16 comments:

Kate@StillRoomToGrow said...

I love all of these ideas! The note card with the recipe ingredient is genius!I'm gonna go check out those sheets, i definitely need some bossing!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Unorganized, for sure.

Spring chick ... cute!

And your blog header is so adorable.

Fondly,
Glenda

Kimberly said...

Happy Virtual Shower Day!

your so organized. Found your blog thru Carissa.

Christina said...

I started using those chore sheets about a month ago and they are great! And sometimes it gives me an excuse to skip mopping the floor because I know it is the next days chore!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

this is amazing. i love reading about your organization and i'm motivated by it. so thanks for that.

i am so so so happy you were surprised this morning! hope you feel showered all day long. xoxo!!!

Kaitlin @ Homemaker Design said...

hello,

Just popped over from Becky's blog! Congratulations on number 4 - that's exciting!!! I'm so glad I popped in - I've been trying to get into meal planning and better organization and I love what I see here - so I'm going to 'follow' your writings and get even more inspiration (can't wait to check out in more depth your school at home section!) Blessings!

Jessie May said...

Thank you for your post today. I needed a little nudge to get my cookbooks out and shake things up. I get stuck making the same ol' meals. Hope you're enjoying your virtual baby shower today :)

Blissful Blooms said...

Happy Day to you my sweet friend!!!!

Love those chore sheets- although I didn't highlight one thing from Tuesday on last week- Ugh. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be cleaning out the hairbrush in another week or so- hee hee!

I LOVE how you do your meal planning and SO need to do this. I've been in a menu rut lately and definitely need to throw in a few new meals.

I wish I could come over and make a bazillion crock pot meals for you for when Spring Chick is here!

Love you friend!

Mary said...

if you look under "worst meal planner" in the dictionary, you are sure to find my name with a mug shot attched. oy.
i am really bad! :)
i'm so glad that you are feeling more organized and ready...that is a great gift.
and i'm even MORE glad that we surprised you today! so happpyyy!

three cheers for spring chick!

xoxo


Leah said...

totally unorganized here. i tell myself to get organized everyday but have yet to. I love the meal planner you have! it would definitely make for easier options around here!

Dara E said...

Love this! Have you ever heard of eMeals? I've done that a few times, not every week because I don't always like all the meals they have, but on the weeks when I do use it, it is amazing how much less stress I have!

Christy said...

I just hopped over from Sasha's blog. How have I missed you?! You are absolutely adorable! Congratulations on baby numero quatro. :) I wish I were as organized as you. I'm getting there...baby steps. Blessings to you and your crew. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. :) Christy

In the Land of Lamb said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time! I've been trying to get started on a home binder but I've been slacking. Thanks for the great ideas/tips! Going to check out those lists from Motivational Mommas. Also, happy virtual shower! You are truly blessed to have such some sweet friends:) Congrats on baby #4!

Shauna Reed said...

i practically just pinned this entire post.
when we move into our new house i MUST get organized about cleaning and meals. i must.
hope your last few months fly ( in a good way) so you can hold your little sweet pea in your arms soon.
for me, with each pregnancy i got less and less patient in the end. i think because i KNEW how great it is to actually snuggle that little babe.

Kelli said...

Wonderful ideas!
Last year I started a home binder but then life got in the way...you now have inspired me to get started on it again. The weather is beautiful here this week so I am going to take my home office on the patio and get to work on it.

Between You and Me said...

this is a great idea!!!!
what a great system!!!

I dread menu planning every week...I usually just make it from my Pin boards....but you've got me thinking...

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