Let’s bust out those cookbooks, Pinterest pages, and print off those recipes, because today we are getting our meal-planning on!  The Organized Mama Paper Craftery has some wonderful meal planning printables for you, along with some meal planning packages, so go check them out!

For me, I take some time on Sunday during nap to get our family dinners organized for the week.  Find a time that works for you, so that you can have some uninterrupted time to plan out your meals.  By allowing time to think about what you are going to eat, you are less likely to overspend on groceries and less likely to order in.

Meal Planning Organization

Meal Planning Organization

If you have lots of recipes you want to try from Pinterest, I suggest you start a new board entitled “Recipes For The Week”.  Move the recipes you want to use for the week onto that board.  Then you have an easy place to find those recipes for when you are making dinner.  If you are like me, then print off the recipe so it is in your face as you cook!  Once you’ve made the meal, if you like it, start another new board entitled “Recipes To Make Again”.  If you didn’t like the recipe, then delete it from your board.  By moving the pins around to other boards, you will be able to keep your Pinterest boards organized and remember what you liked or haven’t tried yet.  Another suggestion is to write under the pin if you liked the recipe, or if you changed anything to make the recipe more your style.

Meal Planning Organization Color Coded System

As far as organizing cookbook recipes, I suggest some sort of color-coded system, or a Post-It note system.  If you have read my blog for a while, you know I am a huge fan of color-coding!  One easy way to organize your recipes in your cookbooks is to use Post-It notes to record if you made the recipe, if you liked the recipe, if you didn’t like the recipe, what you would change, or if you want to make the recipe but haven’t yet.  By writing these things down on Post-It notes, you are able to remember what you liked/didn’t like/needed to tweak/etc. on any recipe you have!  I use a color-coded system by color-coding the Post-It Notes Page Markers.  Whenever I get a new cookbook, I look through every recipe and post a page marker on every recipe I want to try.  As I try the recipes, I switch the page marker from one color to another based on our reaction to that meal.  Pink meals to try, yellow is the meal of the week, green means make again, blue means gross, and purple means it’s a baking recipe that I use often.

I also did an entire meal planning series last year, which you can check out here!  There are lots of fun ideas for different meals to try to I created a grocery list for each week!  I would go shopping on Sunday afternoon for everything I would need for the week.  We would prep as much food as we could on Sunday to get ready for the busy week ahead.  I am hoping to do this again as it saved so much valuable time during the week!  Another idea would be to prep the night before.  As you are getting dinner ready, cut up some onions for tomorrow night’s meal.  It will make making dinner much easier if everything is already cut up!

Now take some time and get your meals organized for the week.  As you get back into the swing of meal planning again, it won’t take as much time to pull out ideas for the week.  But if you are just getting back into cooking actual meals again, give yourself some time to plan it out!  Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more pictures and tips!  And share your progress using the #organizeback2school!