I have started something new (for me!) and LOVE it! In January I began putting together my meal plans for a MONTH. Not just a week. It’s challenging to get started, but the benefits are real. My husband is more willing to jump in and make meals, my kids will ask in the morning what’ for dinner (which reminds me to set out my meat!) and I am not as worked up with a busy day because I already have a plan for the “witching hours” later. Ya know the time… “I’m hungry!” “What’s for dinner?” “Can I have a snack?” “What do you want for dinner honey?” “I don’t care.” ERGH! Always hated that response to my pleadings with someone else to make a decision! Hehe…
At any rate, I started setting up my meal plan for a month by gathering up all our favorite recipes. My first goal was to just list 15 recipes, but I quickly found that we have a lot more than that! I have a cookbook software to keep all my recipes in (MasterCook), but really prefer to make meals from written recipes. So I compromised! I type in recipes as a I can, print them out and stick them in a binder. This binder also holds my ripped out magazine recipes and printed internet recipes that I want to try too. Of course, having ALL these recipes in one spot makes it much easier to make our meal plan for a month.
So where am I going with this? To what I use to compile all my recipes for the month. I love Excel… it’s really my BFF… Check this out:
Lists help me feel so accomplished! It’s a basic spreadsheet with a place to write in the day (Mon, Tue, Wed, etc), date (1,2,3…), Main Dish, Side Dishes and a spot to mark down any grocery needs or notes. So simple! I also copy/paste this over to my IPad so it’s mobile with me. Although, I have yet to find a good IPad spreadsheet app. I just put this in my notes.
Would you like to have this for yourself? Well… Here ya go!
Click the image below to get this in a PDF format.
What if you want MORE than my simple spreadsheet? Well guess what! After taking all the time to type up this post and thinking, “Wow! This is such an awesome little tool for me to share.” I realized that I am a day late and a dollar short again. Organizing Junkie, being the wonderful organizer that she is, revealed an AWESOME online site (LAST week no less… where was I? I dunno… Fishing?) that you can even use with your mobile phone for meal planning. And it has settings to meal plan for a month. Plus (yes, there’s more!) there’s recipes available to link right into the nifty software app already in place!!! Now… I was totally done patting myself on the back after seeing all that. You definitely should go check it out and give Organizing Junkie a round of applause!
Now here is where I am for now on our menu plan. We missed quite a few meals on our plan last week, which is REALLY weird because we were snowed in? I think it’s because the kids weren’t home that I fell off the bandwagon. Anyway…
Mon – Pancakes
Tue – Tortellini Toss
Wed – Crockpot Lasagna
Thur – Biscuit Topped Chicken and Cheese Casserole
Fri – Mashed Potato Soup
Sat – Leftovers or Kids Cook Night
Sun – Mac n’ Cheese with Sausage and Applesauce
Do you plan a monthly meal plan? Do you plan for weekly meals?
Check out MORE great Meal Plan ideas at: I'm an Organizing Junkie.