Organized Family – Meals

I don’t know about you, but grocery shopping is something I super don’t like. I hate coming up with meal ideas when I am exhausted, writing a grocery list, and trying to calm a cranky toddler in a grocery store. Not my idea of fun. Now, when I go by myself or make my meal plan and grocery list on a morning that I am feeling cheery and not so tired, I actually really enjoy it. So I have a love/hate relationship with it. ;)
I’ve written before about meal planning but I wanted to show you how I stay organized with meals during the week. I have a calendar, a grocery list pad, and a week detailed list to keep me together and I keep all my recipes in this handy cook book folder.
First, I go through my cook book and using these handy tabs, I just find what I need…
…and pick a recipe! The only bad thing about this is that I’ve gotten into a rut a few times and feel bored with the things I make. So I am ALWAYS venturing out on Pinterest and food sites to find good recipes. I found this site yesterday that features meals that cost no more than $1.50 per serving! Love!!
Then, I start writing in meals on my detailed week pad while simultaneously writing ingredients I need on my grocery list pad.
Then, because this can be really boring sometimes, I also write out my meal plan on my calendar that hangs inside my pantry door. Of course, this OCD gal uses color code. ;) Blue for meals, pink for stuff I have scheduled, and yellow for my hubby’s work schedule.
 Just looking at the calendar makes me giddy…which makes me a nerd too ;) But who doesn’t love a little color along with their organizing?! 
I grocery shop every Monday, but I wrote out two weeks of meal plan this week. Next week is a weird week for us schedule-wise, so I thought I’d make life easier for myself later by just scheduling all the meals now. ;)
I love feeling accomplished and organized. Its the best feeling to get home, put all the groceries away, and have a full pantry again. {Does anyone else shop the minimum and then the pantry is empty by the end of the week? I HATE throwing food away, so I always am just buying a week’s worth…which leaves me with boring stuff — like a can of corn and some crackers — to snack on by the time Monday hits again. haha}
Do you have any meal planning secrets? I have read on several blogs of mommies who freezer cook once a month and don’t have to do anything truly time consuming for dinner!! I also read a blog of a woman who crock-pot cooked for an entire year! Every single night was a new crock-pot meal…and she never made the same thing twice! Wow!
With a particular toddler and a meat and potatoes hubby, dinner can get pretty boring around here. So I like to mix things up a little every once and a while; I use blogs and Pinterest a lot. hehe
What are your dinner secrets?? Do you cook every night or are you a super-woman who cooks only once a week or once a month?
xoxo – erin

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