I am terrible when it comes to meal planning and laundry. It's the kryptonite in my homemaker superhero world. I have the meal-planner chalkboard you've seen on Pinterest, but planning meals every week is a different story. And laundry...this is what my laundry area has looked like.
That's a basket full of clean clothes...
Maybe if I have a
better system, then I will have more time for family and fun stuff? It's worth a shot.
Let's tackle meal planning. With cookbooks, pinterest boards, allrecipes, and random recipes, I'm paralyzed when I think about where to start. It's the last thing I want to do on the weekend, and then Monday hits and it doesn't magically happen like I'd like it to. We end up ordering more take-out than I'd like to admit.
My process needed to be more manageable (and dare I say "fun"?) so I brainstormed with my husband. It took me most of the weekend to pull together a meal list and schedule, but I'm already feeling better.
I used Google Drive (my favorite place to store docs, although regular Excel would work just fine) and put together a list of 32 of our favorite meals.
Then I color coded based on red meat, poultry or pasta/veggie and tagged each meal as "M" (Mexican) or "I" (Italian).
Having it color coded made it easier to create the weekly schedule.
There are 8 meals listed under each week, but that's because we only need 4 meals per week and I wanted to have some choice and variety. So, really, it's more like an 8-week plan.
We only need four meals each week because we usually go out one night and my husband makes a special meal on Sundays (leftovers on Monday - yes!).
I know what you're thinking: 'you only had to plan four meals a week and it was a problem?' No judging, please.
Then I created a master list of all the recipe links and ingredients list. It looks a little cumbersome, but I just copied and pasted from the online recipe. I copied the whole ingredients list and it landed neatly in the individual cells. (Gotta love spreadsheets)
I repeated for each week. If you're interested in the full meals list, here is the PDF. And if you'd like the Excel doc, just let me know.
The majority of the work was now done. Now, to plan this week's meal, I just chose 4 meals from "week 1" list to put on the board.
Then I created a grocery list. All I had to do was copy and paste this week's meals from my original list and highlight what we needed to buy. My husband didn't like how it's not sorted by grocery category, but that's a project for another day.
Easy peasy! I'm actually excited about choosing my meals next week!
I also saved the recipes on my Pinterest boards so I could have some variations of recipes. For example, there are a few varieties of stuffed peppers on the Week 3 board, just in case I want to mix it up later.
I'm sure we'll try other recipes along the way, but right now I'm armed with a list to start with, and that's exactly what I needed to kick-start my planning.
As far as laundry madness, I subscribe to Flylady's "a load a day keeps chaos away." (side note: she's got some awesome tips on creating systems so you have more family time. I follow her on FB) The problem was that I didn't have a schedule, but now I do:
My hope is that as I become more organized, I will have more time for family fun and DIY projects. Wish me luck!
And speaking of projects, stay tuned for some fun posts...craft table, train table, growth chart and a cars room. I'm gearing up to work on decorating the master as well.
What are some of your DIY project plans for this year?