Monday, September 16, 2013

back to normal: meal planning

After my starting again post last week, I've been consciously trying to re-start many of our old routines that have worked for us in the past.  Part of returning to this whole normal thing has involved resurrecting our weekly meal plan.  I started this tradition when we moved to Ann Arbor to help avoid the daily "what do you want to eat tonight" conversation and minimize the amount of groceries we buy that go unused.  The dinner schedule also helps keep me motivated throughout the week to make healthy dinners for my family without feeling overly burdened by the task in the moment.

To date, I have been using a basic composition notebook that we had lying around to record the daily meals, and then a separate piece of scrap paper to record the shopping list.  It's a bit fussy and frankly, not very stylish.  So I set out in search of a more attractive option to keep me motivated to keep planning.  Who doesn't love a great paper product, right?!  Here are some of my favorites:

1_Let's Eat Menu Planner Notepad, OneCanoeTwo  This planning notepad has a handy, tear-off grocery list at the bottom.  

2_Meal & Recipe Planner Book, kikki.K  I like that this planner is bound with a hard cover to keep the pages protected from wear-and-tear.  Plus, this planner not only comes with the basic menu planning sheets with tear-off shopping lists, but also has space for you to record the recipes you use the most and where to find them in your collection of cookbooks and go-to websites.

3_What to Eat Pad, KnockKnock  I usually keep my meal plan on my cookbook stand with the various recipes for the week, but this handy planner can be displayed on your fridge (or any magnetic surface) to help keep your counters clear.

4_Dinner Planner Pad, kikki.K  The simplified version of their planner book, this pad has enough space to jot down your plan and make your shopping list, all in one.  Plus, it has a magnetic strip on the back.

5_Meal Planner Notepad, Miki.O  I love how simple this notepad is, with space for a shopping list to boot.  

*This weekend I actually picked up a notepad similar to this at a local paper shop here in Ann Arbor, Hollander's.  It's not made specifically for meal planning, but I like that it has both an AM and PM column for those rare occasions where I actually make a more involved breakfast or lunch.

Happy planning (and cooking)!

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