Menu Planning–The Nitty Gritty

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handy-dandy-notebookSo, I got asked how I menu plan. It honestly changes according to the time of year, my mood, and the grocery budget. Here are some of the ways I’ve used more than once!

I have a collection of recipes that sound good/we’ve tried and liked. Some of them are in an app/website called pepperplate.com That’s where I store all my online recipes. You can make shopping lists in there, menus if you want, but what I mostly use it for is storing recipes so I can use them to cook without printing out a whole ton of paper recipes. I also have some Pintrest boards labeled Weeks 1-5 so there are ideas for every time I go to do menu plans. They are shared boards with my sister and we have a lot of fun sharing ideas. I highly recommend sharing with a friend or browsing some blogs for different ideas–not all of them will be at the top of your families list, but it does get boring cooking the same thing over and over.

Here are the tools I use to actually menu plan and make a shopping list:
meal-plan

shopping-list

I work so much better with paper and pen! I got these planning sheets from iheartplanners. I got her full planner with another purchase I made, but she has options for getting several printables for free when you sign up for her email list or her short course on organizing! I also love her full planner–I don’t use everything, but some of her extra sheets have been very helpful.

So, last year I was getting a bit fed up with bits of paper everywhere–menu plans here and there with shopping lists everywhere but where I needed it at the store! I got the idea for a menu plan book from inkwell press. While I would love to own one of their books someday at the time I needed something RIGHT THEN and they were sold out of their menu planners for the year. (Good news–they just released their new ones and they look super exciting if you are looking for something!) So, I took the pages I printed out from iheartplanner and taped them into my moleskin notebook with my colorful washi tape!
this-weeks-plan
Now my menu plan is right next to my shopping list in the same book and I can take it to the grocery store with me! There is even a pocket in the back that I can put some coupons in if I have some. I’ve really enjoyed having everything together and it has helped me with shopping A LOT. I usually reference the meals when I’m shopping in case I left out an ingredient or forgot something I needed for lunches.

So, what do you think? Did you get some new ideas today? Do share your favorite meal planning tips! I always need new ones!

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