Before I had Mark I used to plan our meals monthly, but after being so busy with a newborn I was happy to just try a new recipe or two each month.
Like most of you I swear by my recipe basket (4 by 6 cards). It is alphabetized and has recipes of all types, but it was starting to overflow with print outs from online, and torn out magazine pages.
Using the slipcovers is awesome because you can keep your recipes clean as you pull them out of the binder to cook, or open up to a particular page, and you can put in all different sizes of paper.
The binder approach also helps you to keep track of all your recipes in one place. You dig all the recipes out of your basket and organize them page by page into your binder (and the clear slipcovers allow you to see both sides) and it also prevents repeat meals because once a recipe is used in the binder you can't keep grabbing for it!
I also tried to vary the type of meals we have by having at least 1 fish meal, 1 salad meal, 1 chicken meal, 1 pasta meal (and my pasta meals always last more than one day so it's nice to have a leftover day during the week or on the weekend) I also love using my crock pot so I tried to incorporate crock pot meals on the weekends, and ever so often a red meat meal, whenever we use ground meat it is always turkey ground meat. Planning out your meals weekly or monthly REALLY does save time and stress because you also are able to shop fewer times. One of my new traditions is only to food shop with coupons when John comes home and can watch the kids (Monday nights) or on the weekends. Today, for example I went right after church during nap time while John did yard work, and I had coupons for Pathmark (it was triple coupon weekend) and I glanced over my menu for the week and grabbed my coupon case, jotted down a few items and was off! I was able to go quickly, be accurate, spend less, save time, and be done for the week! Thanks to John! My new rule is that when I have coupons to use the kids must stay home because it can really be stressful handling two kids, while searching for coupon items, checking the right brand and size, and making sure the cashier does everything correctly. I don't need any more gray hairs!
This week here is our meal plan:
Monday: Chicken Cacciatore leftovers w/salad
Tuesday: Baked salmon and salad w/ biscuits
Wednesday: Chicken francaise and egg noodles
Thursday: Pasta Fagioli (Red sauce, white bean and kale soup)
Friday: Pizza and Salad night
Leftovers from any of these meals are given to John for lunch the next day! We both love leftovers! I've attached some previous posts to some of these recipes to share with you! Have a wonderful week!