Organized Life, Menu Planning

Weekly Menu Planning…I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have time!”  The thing is you don’t have time not to!  I can not express strongly enough how much time you will save by doing this! If you make this a priority for one month, 4 times planning, and stick to it, you will thank me forever!
Not only will you save yourself time and money, but no more anguish over what to have for dinner, last minute dashes for take-out and guilt feelings about non healthy meals.

The calendar is my secret.  EVERYTHING goes on my calendar, in color coded boxes, from appointments to parties, work time and play time it’s all on there. This keeps my creative brain on track so I get done what needs doing. I even schedule housework, which I despise, but if its on the calendar it gets done.

The blue boxes at the bottom of calendar days indicate whats for dinner and I fill them in as I plan the meals. I also use blue boxes during the day for times designated for cooking or prepping.  On the weekends I try to stay flexible if it’s just us, and I keep several meat selections on hand for Hungry Husband to grill if we’re not going out or entertaining friends.  I do my serious cooking during the week and keep the weekends simple.  Also, its easy to move the boxes around if I want to make chicken enchiladas on Monday instead of Wednesday, I just swap the boxes.  Also referring to the calendar helps remember what we’ve had!

As I choose recipes, I make my grocery list too.  I use Shopper Pro for iphone.  You can keep lists for all the stores you regularly shop and customize lists also.  That way you always have your lists and can keep them updated.

When I am planning meals for the week I always keep things very flexible.  The menu plan is to help, not stress.  Keep some Plan B meals on hand, frozen casseroles you have made or bought, that you can whip out after a hectic day when the last thing you want to do is cook.  Keep your fridge and pantry well stocked with basics so you can improvise and change the planned meals if the mood strikes.  Going to the grocery 2-3 times a week is time consuming and expensive.  Plan ahead and you can use that time for something fun instead.


I generally make more than we need when cooking and freeze the leftovers.  Stew, Marinara sauce, enchiladas, individual casserole servings are handy to have on hand for busy days or nights when one of us is dining solo.  If you have a big family consider doubling casserole recipes when you are making them, one for now and one for later.  This is obvious advice, but have you EVER done it?  Take one month and try to stick with menu planning and cooking for more than one meal when you cook and this will change your life!

Soon planning ahead will become a habit and you will marvel at the time it frees up.

Here are some of my favorite “PLAN B” foods that I keep in my freezer:

Stouffer’s Grandma’s Chicken & Rice Casserole

Stouffer’s Turkey Tetrazzini

Marie Calendar’s Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

DiGiorno Thin Crust Pizza Supreme

Freschettas Inspiration pizzas

…when you cook these on a pizza stone on the grill they taste pretty amazing!  We do this a lot on the weekends…Hungry Husband gets to do his grill thing and I get to do nothing!

Keep some frozen appetizers on hand for unexpected guests and impromtu parties.  These little bites are quite tasty!

Mr. P’s Chicken Cordon Bleu*

*Mr. P’s is only in Birmingham Alabama alas, but the Chicken Cordon Bleu from Omaha Steaks is pretty good too…order on line at and stock your freezer, a little pricey but they run great specials and offer free shipping all the time, so just wait for a good deal.  We also love their bacon wrapped filet mignons.

I realize this list is disappointingly short, HOWEVER, I will be sharing lots of my little secrets and easy quick meals for you in the upcoming posts.

One Response to “Organized Life, Menu Planning”
  1. lulu says:

    Oh, you are good. If I’d do a little more planning, maybe I wouldn’t have to go to the store every day!

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