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To organize meal planning and grocery shopping, use an extra calendar to write down your meals for the upcoming week. Choose a night to plan ahead your meals for the week, and write out your shopping list at the same time. This will save time during the week since you already know "What's for dinner?". This will also save you money since you won't need to make last-minute shopping trips, which can cause impulse buying and purchasing expensive ready-made products. Also, if you are having trouble deciding what to make, simply look back on your calendar for ideas. You may wish to place a star beside meals that were a real hit.
I have started a Binder of family favorite recipes.
As I try new recipes and tweak them to my family's liking, I then type them out, save them, and print out a copy. The printed copy goes into a plastic sleeve under the correct heading (main dish, casserole, salad, etc). This has made meal planning much easier - because I know that everything in the binder is a liked dish! (I also make copies for bridal shower gifts - instant kitchen success for a new bride!) I also include any tips/tricks (this one doesn't bake in a deep dish/good side dish ideas, etc) as well for easy meal planning. Make sure that you make a note at the bottom where you found the recipe! (Cookbook, magazine, friend, etc).
To keep my cookbook growing, I try to make at least 1 new dish a week.
Good job Mom!
It's hard to get meals on the table, but setting a "menu" of sorts helps you in so many ways. YOu can organize your prep time better, have a set list when at the grocery store, and know you're covering good nutrition instead of throwing something in the microwave.
Now, before anyone gets upset about the microwave comment, I do it as well. It's when that's all you do because of not being able to plan ahead that's the problem. A quick meal via modern technology isn't bad when it's occasional. Many quick meals have HUGE amounts of salt and usually low fiber, plus they are more expensive, per person, when calculating out the meal.
So, try and plan your meals to save time, money, and hair pulling. Besides, fresh fruits and veggies need to be a welcome visitor to your table, especially during the cold/flu season.