Monday, October 11, 2010

Trying to Be Organized

I am always trying to be organized.
I finally made a master list of meals we eat.
I have 38 meals listed so far.
I'd like to keep adding meals as I think of them.
These are only supper meals, and "daddy approved"!
I shop every 2 weeks. (every pay-day)
Now that we have a Super Wal-Mart, it's so easy to just get everything there.
(and Sam's Club of course)
My plan is to go down the list, listing on another list (middle sheet) my daily meals for the next 14 days (2 weeks)
I have the recipes either memorized or in the red folder, ready to list the ingredients to buy and to make for each meal.
We do have some repeats every 2 weeks, like Crepes and tacos.
(tacos are so easy on a busy Tae Kwon Do night, crepes, we use fresh berries and whipped topping in a spray can)
It's been great!
In the past I've tried to sit down with my hubby and think of 14 meals before shopping, which is actually hard to think of.
I've got my breakfast meals in here too, especially Baked Oatmeal from Barbara
which we have every Tuesday and sometimes Saturdays.
Monday is Muffin Monday, French toast Friday, Wednesday is eat whatever you want, usually cereal, yogurt and juice, Thursday is Eggs...or whatever you want if you are picky.
Our whatevers are: cereal, yogurt, granola bars, bagels, toast.
Lunches are another story.
We haven't thought up enough lunches.
Every Wednesday is pizza though, that is a must. It's our band/piano busy day.
This post doesn't seem to be very organized, and I've probably lost all readers by now, BUT
if you are still reading, what do you do to keep organized for meals?

I have enjoyed reading all your comments!
I must add that Barbara has great menus planned every week and they do give me a ton of ideas and new things to try, like her Colorado White Chili
and Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole (taken from her menu)
Her cooking blog is the best and is on my Google Reader, she does not disappoint with her honesty and ideas! She will make you wish you were in her kitchen having supper with her and her family every night.


  1. We have been working on "routinizing" our meals too! Our new system is theme based- Monday/pasta, Tues/kid faves (like corn dogs), Weds./Crockpot, Thurs./leftovers or soup, Fri./make your pizza bar, Sat./rotation of family favorites. This is still a work in progress, but I have been putting together a binder of meals we like similar to your folder.

    I also want to get on a breakfast and lunch routine, but we have not gotten that far yet.

    Thanks for sharing- it is motivating to see what others are working out.

  2. I only shop for one week. I was at the good ol'walmart today! Plan my menu...try new things. Stick with some old.

    Supper is tricky because I do have picky kids.

    I LOVE hot and spicy foods. Kids of course are more of the bland type.

    hubby will eat anything!

    you are so organized. My drawers, clothes and place is a huge mess right now.

    I do believe it makes life a lot easier to have a plan for a week or two.

    It is so hot out!!

  3. I plan two weeks out at a time, but adjust as I go. If we have extra leftovers at supper, they become lunch the next day. I keep a list of meals for breakfast, lunch & supper, too. A lot of my recipes are on my computer - quite a few on a software program that I use to plan freezer cooking days.

    Started using the menu planning pages in the Catholic Woman's Calendar and they are perfect for me. Breakfast options are on the calendar in our kitchen, so I don't plan those in my CW Calendar.

    Some of our favorite lunches are soups, omelets, quiche, grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna quesadillas, mac & cheese (can you believe I've added it to my rotation!), and meat/cheese sandwiches. I do try to use leftovers withing the next day or two. If that's not possible, I freeze them for later.

    You could go for a long time on this topic and variations, Jamie!!

  4. This month, I menu planned for 3 weeks...I am already rearranging things. I was supposed to make meatballs tonight...Baby girl has to go to the doc. I think she has her first ear infection. :(

    Andy gets paid once a month. I try to shop every 2 weeks.

  5. Am loving reading this and everyone else's replies!

    So far, my two weeks into an actual family (only 2 of us though of course!) I'm doing well at planning just for the week. I go through my cookbooks and find ones that sound appetizing, or ones that I can edit easily to adjust to my pickiness.

    Then I just shop for the week on Sunday or Monday. Although I'm leaving the little things like buns for barbeque pulled pork until the day of because I want fresh buns!

  6. I am not organized like you girl. I do cook more on the weekend and usually there is enough to last through wednesday. Then we have to finish out the week with whatever comes to mind. This week we are eating chile, chicken and rice and turkey with cranberry sauce.

  7. My husband suggested that I do that instead of griping every 2 weeks (paydays!) that I hate trying to figure out what we're having for dinner so I can make out a grocery list and go shopping.

  8. I make my menu and rarely deviate. I make a one-month list of meals and each week pick seven meals, shopping once a week (if I buy more than one week's worth they eat it in one week!). My family, unfortunately, does not like to eat the same thing even once a month, unless it's really a favorite, so I can't make regular nights for the most part (except pizza and Skyline chili). I do rely on my older menus (posted on my blog) to spark ideas.

  9. We-my husband and I write down on a mini magnetic dry earse board on our refrigerator the dinners we want to make for one week. I like the two week idea but I have just never went beyond the week. Maybe someday! Also, our left overs almost always go with my husband to work the next day. And we are not in a regular repeating habit. That is a wonderful idea though! We do usually have pizza and salad on Friday nights though. Love your idea about the 2 week planning and the list of your food ideas.

  10. Oh, I totally wasn't thinking, Barbara, to link your menu blog:

    I will post it tomorrow!
    The bread in the header picture will make your mouth water. I have gotten many ideas from Sweet Barbara!

    Now that lady is organized!!

  11. I'm sure my meals aren't for everyone, Jamie. Obviously lots of people like a regular rotation, which my family rejects. But I think writing it all down like you are makes it easier to plan, and if the meals are planned and shopped for, you are much more likely to stick to them.

  12. Breakfasts are either hot or cold cereal daily except for Sunday...waffles or eggs. Lunches are: Mon. Either lunchmeat sandwiches, BLTs, or wraps. Tuesday: hot dogs, spaghetti, Ziti, or potato toppers. Wednesday: crackers/meat/cheese, or bean borritos (so easy...refried beans with cheese spread on tortilla. Kids dip in sour cream or salsa after headed in micro). Thursday: chicken patty sandwiches or chicken quesadillas, Friday; grilled cheese, mac n cheese, tuna and egg salad sand., bagel pizzas, pancakes, French toast, tuna casserole. Dinners: I plan every two weeks like you from a list of my meals.

  13. I just started using e-mealz. It's been great for us. I homeschool 5 boys. My husband is a big guy and my boys are big eaters, so I double the meals, but since it's what's on special, I'm still getting a deal. So far I've been able to follow it and I hope this works for this year.

  14. Jamie,

    I haven't read all the comments, but I felt guilty after your feeling guilty about taking nine days to answer my need for help! (And the kids are watching a movie and my DH is at the coffee shop writing and I don't feel like doing what I'm supposed to be doing right now.) ;)

    Okay ... meal organization ... here goes.

    Our breakfast, snack, and lunch menus are the same every week. I have a master shopping list that contains all of the items I need to make these breakfasts, snacks, and lunches -- that way, all I have to do is delete what we still have on hand.

    For dinners, I have a master list of things I make, organized by beef, chicken, soups, pastas, etc. I plan a menu for a week or two at a time (I'm moving toward only shopping once every two weeks because I don't enjoy it). If I don't feel like trying anything new and if the hubby and kids don't have enough requests/cravings, I rely on the master list to fill in the gaps. Then I add the ingredients to the master shopping list.

    My shopping list is also organized according to the aisles at the store, to make the shopping trip itself easier, and I have a separate section for Sam's Club items.

    The problems come when the routine gets thrown off and I don't have time to make a menu or shop. So sometimes we go a month great and then have a week or two of scrimping and scraping because I don't want to shop. I love grocery delivery services (which I used the semester I was pregnant with The Baby and hubby was living 300 miles away and I was homeschooling the other three and trying to sell our house and keep it clean for showings!), but I just can't justify the cost all the time. Maybe one day ... It's great to just go on-line, click a few things, and have the groceries brought to you!

    Hope this helps!


Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!


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