Last summer for our Organize Me!! Sizzlin' Summer, I shared our Family Binder Printables. This summer I have decided to go a bit more indepth and share how I get my kitchen and menu organized. You can download last years printables and use them for this years organizing series.
Menu Planning and Recipe Costing Series by GYCT
Week 2: Cost of Food Basics
Week 3: Recipe Costing
Week 4: Recipe Round-Up
Week 5: Reusable Grocery Bag Free PDF Pattern
Week 6: Recipe Storage Ideas
Week 7: Food Organization Ideas
Week 8: Free Apron Pattern
Week 9: Kitchen Organizing Round-Up
Week 1: Menu Planning
Menu planning is one of my favorite "chores" to do. I love to plan out the meals we eat and create my shopping list. Some people hate this task, but I really love it. Hopefully, I can provide you with a few ways to better organize your meals. The say that having a menu is one of the best ways to save money on food. You make a plan, shop and stick to it. If you do this, you will see you spend less overall. You won't stop for pizza one night, because you already know what you're going to eat.
When you plan your meals, think about what you will eat and what your family will eat. Don't try and get crazy with your food. Also, have your personal calendar handy. That way you know what nights you need a quick meal or should put something in the slow cooker. You'll eat healthier and hardier if you do this.
The first thing to do is get a calendar. Nothing fancy. You can download blank calendars for free all over the web. Fill it in with the dates and month. I keep my old menus because I can use them to plan for the month. I don't like to repeat too many meals but I can get in a rut of the same foods and older menus help me get some fresh ideas.
Next, get out your recipes. I have a master list of some of our Family Favorite Recipes. If you don't have one of these, start one by printing it from HERE. You can check out our Recipes Page to get some ideas or just pull out your cookbooks. A list really helps give an idea of what you like and what your family likes.
If you want to be even more organized, you can print our Recipes To Try page HERE. This is a great way to keep a list of all the recipes you want to try but may not remember if they aren't written down. I get several food magazines and always have new cookbooks. This helps me keep track of recipes that might not be good for summer, but I want to remember in the fall.
Use Family Favorite List and your Recipes To Try to fill in each of your dates on the calendar. My monthly calendar is just for dinners since those tend to be the big meals of the day. You could do all three meals if you wish. It is up to you.
Once your calendar is filled in, grab your weekly Menu Planner print it HERE. I laminated mine so I can reuse it each week. This is where I plan all my meals. I can also create a shopping list for the items I don't have or items that I am out of. I just put this on my fridge or in my Family Binder and I am good to go.
Now I know you are wondering if I always follow my menu. No! There are days I don't want to make something or it just doesn't sound good. Notice above, I have some meals circled. That means I never made them. At the end of the month, if they are circled I try to use them the following month. If they are crossed out, then I used them. Sometimes I skip around a bit on my menu, but I do try to follow it so I use up the food I purchased.
Next week, I am going to share with you my Food Costing Spreadsheet. I love to know how much money I am saving on making homemade food. So I will share in the next few weeks how to cost our your recipes.
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