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Organizing Your Meal Plans

It’s been… lets see… almost “years” now since I’ve had a post.   Apparently I have been busy.  With 2 little ones now and one on the way I don’t know how I will find time to do everything!  So here is an update in the Meal Planning part of my life.

Since my last post I attended a women’s event.  At that event there was a speaker who discussed how to organize your family meals.  What a perfect topic!  Since then I have re-vamped my meal plans.  Instead of reinventing the wheel EVERY week I now have a list of 5-6 weeks of winter meals and 5-6 weeks of summer meals that I rotate through.  Each “set” of meals has built in “experimental” days so that I can try out new recipes. Here are my Meal Plans.  At the end of each “set” I have a list of “other meals”.  These are quick and easy meals that I tend to have supplies for on hand.  These have been moved off the rotation since my children don’t tend to eat them well, so they are just filler meals.

If you want to get more organized with your meal plan I would recommend putting the location of each recipe behind the recipe name; i.e. “BHG pg 32” (this stands for Better Homes and Garden Cookbook), or “recipe book” (this means it is in my personal recipe book).  I used to have mine organized like that but for some reason it’s not anymore.  I need to update it though, there are times I have every cookbook and magazine open and can’t remember where that recipe is!

Some tips for putting together your Rotational Meal Plan are as follows:

  1. Start by making a week of meal plans, save it, make another week, save it, once you have several, put them together and rotate
  2. Put easy meals on nights you are busy (sports games to attend, bible studies, meetings etc.)
  3. Put more challenging meals on nights you will have more time, put the extra touches on those meals–your family will think you are an amazing cook
  4. Try doing a theme: Wed night is soup night, Thursday night is Mexican night, Friday night is try a new pizza night (homemade pizza!)
  5. Try getting a variety of foods i.e. chicken on Mondays, Tuesday is fish, Wednesdays are beef etc.

My meal plan just has dinners (well just the main dishes) planned.  For breakfast and lunch we are impromptu or use leftovers.  If you are new to meal planning I would start with just dinners.  If you are an organized person and have to be completely planned out make a rotational menu for the other meals of the day too.  I would also write down any side dishes you like with the main dishes, organizing it into a complete meal.  Remember though-the key to success is starting small!

p.s. I will one day have all the recipes on my meal plan on this site… until then, if there are ones you are interested in please comment and I will get those up sooner.

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