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Sense of Sarah: How I Plan Our Meals

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Before Dustin and I got married, I started thinking ahead to our marriage and the type of systems I wanted to set up--you know, this was when I was so tired of thinking about the wedding and decided to think about the marriage haha!  There were two things that I knew I did not want to deal with each week:  1. Going to the grocery store multiple times a week and 2. Having to decide what we were eating for supper that day.  I read a few different blogs and how those bloggers meal planned, and then I gathered a few different ideas and made it into my own system.  

I use these three things each time I meal plan (plus cookbooks--not pictured).  I have a binder where I keep a lot of my recipes in, my planner where I write down what meal goes with what day, and my grocery list pad.



I ordered the new hourly layout from Erin Condren, so I have to write our meals at the top of the day.  (When I had the vertical layout, there were lines at the bottom of each day where I could write each meal out.)  You'll see that I plan out the main course of each supper, and I usually just cook a few veggies as sides if a meal calls for that.  I hardly ever plan out sides unless it's something particular that I'm making--like roasted cauliflower and broccoli.  Also, I plan out Saturday-Thursday because I grocery shop on Friday after school (or sometimes Saturday morning, but I try to avoid that!).  I don't have a leftover day listed on this week, but it occurs pretty much every week where we have one day to eat leftovers.


As I write out each meal, I also list the ingredients that we don't have in our pantry.  This is done at the same time so I don't have to look the recipe back up before going to the grocery store.  (Fun fact:  I keep this notepad in our "junk" drawer and as we run out of something during the week, both Dustin and I will add to it so I can make sure to get it on grocery day.  I started this in college when I lived with Janie and it's something that worked great so I haven't changed it!  Also, you'll see how my husband likes to put his name by some food so I make sure to get what he likes and not what I prefer ha!)


 This is what the inside of my recipe binder looks like.  If I find a recipe online that looks good, I print it off and place it behind the correct tab.  Red is for appetizers, Yellow is for side dishes, green is for main dishes, blue is for desserts, and purple has extra notebook paper in case I want to jot down a recipe of my own.  My mom has a recipe binder, and so it's natural for me to have one too.  I love printing out recipes because I can just adjust measurements and ingredients on the page instead of writing in a cookbook--which I still sometimes do.


I'm interested to hear how you plan out your meals and your system!  What works best for you and your family?

Linking up with Jenn and Jessi today!

14 comments:

  1. I love this! I need to designate a time for myself to do this. Mine is a little all over the place - at work, sometimes at home, sometimes I just wing it...depends on the week! I love the idea of a recipe binder. If it is a recipe I have seen online, then I usually just look at it from my phone until I write it down on a recipe card. This sounds much easier and way more organized!

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  2. I adore your organization coming from one organized person to another!! I always got to the store a the end of the week with my kist in hand, then I prep many of our meals on Sundays. Saves so much time!! The binder is great!! Hope you have wonderful Wednesday!!

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  3. I do something very similar except we do Sunday - Thursday and usually have leftovers like once a week as well!! I love knowing that everything is on hand without having to go to the store during the week! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. Omgosh we have no system, no meal planning.. And it's always a battle trying to see what's for dinner! Definitely a goal for this year! Xo

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  5. What a great system, lady! I find that having something to touch and look through helps us plan our meals better. If it's just online or on the phone it doesn't work as well. A written list is the way we roll. My husband bought a white board for our fridge two years ago and it's been awesome for planning. Really easy to see in the mornings about dinners.

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  6. Do you like having the hourly planner better vs. the last one you had? I like to sit down over the weekend and plan out our meals. I find it makes my week go much smoother. You have a great system!!

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  7. I definitely needed this to get me motivated!!

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  8. There really is nothing worse than going to the grocery store multiple times per week! I usually meal plan on Sundays and then head to the grocery store later on that day. I need to be better about having a running list somewhere in the kitchen for when we run out of staples.

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  9. I use a very similar system for meal planning and I love it! Saves me from running to the grocery store a million times a week and it's also nice to know what I'm cooking every day in advance so I can prepare for it.

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  10. I love keeping a running grocery list too! I am the worst at remembering what I need when it comes to leave for the store so writing it down right when I think of it is a huge help!

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  11. Great post! The recipe binder is GENIUS!!

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  12. I love the idea of a recipe binder! Jess at Just Jess

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  13. Love reading these organizational types of posts!! I am completely on the same page as you with only going grocery shopping once - I plan all of our meals too, and we also have Blue Apron meals delivered every other week. My fiance doesn't understand this concept though, and always wants to "wait and see" what we feel like eating, go out to dinner on a whim, etc. Opposites attract, right...? Lol.

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