Why is it that I can never get enough when it comes to easy meal planning systems? I know I really only need one, but I'm still fascinated to see how everyone else makes dinner time work for them.
Today our contributor Kaley is teaming up with our newest sponsor, Post-it® Brand, and using some of their uber cool new organizational products from the Home Collection by Post-it® Brand, Scotch Brand® and Command™ Brands to set up a meal planning system of her own.
I have to say, this one is mighty impressive! I'm especially loving the idea for tracking what's in the freezer – I lose so much food to freezer burn in there… I think I might have to find a new spot for some of the kids' artwork so I can create this bad boy on my own fridge.
Its 5 o'clock, and I have no idea what I am going to fix for dinner. Again. The baby is crying and my 4 year old is whining at my feet about being hungry.
The fridge is a jumbled mess of food but I feel like there is nothing in there to make into a presentable meal. I had a recipe I wanted to try, but I can't remember if it is saved on my smart phone, or on Pinterest, or maybe tucked into a binder where I have been stashing all of the pages I tear out of magazines.
In other words, I am a hot mess.
Are you feeling my pain on this one?
A friend of mine was telling me that she plans her meals a month in advance, and dinners are a breeze in her house because she is so organized.
Easy breezy is exactly what I need so I decided to give meal planning a shot. It has got to be better than what I have been doing, which is basically flying by the seat of my pants. And resorting to the old stand-by "breakfast for dinner" more times than I'd like to admit. (Which is a great one, by the way, when you are really in a pinch!)
But I couldn't decide on a system. All digital versus the 3 ring binder versus the wall. While they each seemed to have some definite pros and cons, the out in the open and organized in one place on the wall (or fridge) seemed like it would work best for our family. Out of sight (like the binder system or all digital) seems to be out of mind for me these days and I need as much help as I can get – an "in your face" reminder of what I need to buy to make dinner happen.
When I saw the awesome line-up of new products from Post-it® Brand, Scotch Brand® and Command™ Brands, and was offered the opportunity to have them sent to me, I actually got pretty excited about my new meal planning ventures.
Not only did they think of absolutely everything you could possibly need, they made it all look great, too. Because if I'm going to have something on the fridge staring me in the face every day, it had better be easy on the eyes.
Previously, the front of the fridge was used for nothing more than practicing letters and displaying art work. Both of which are very important, and will be incorporated into the new look, but I knew that this very valuable real estate could be working harder for us. So I cleared everything out, and went to work setting up our new meal planning center.
The things I wanted to incorporate into our meal planning system were:
• a weekly meal plan (of course)
• a grocery list
• somewhere to keep track of what's going on each day of the week
• a way to jot dot reminders or quick notes
• somewhere to keep a pen handy – because they always seem to disappear when you need them
• a way to track things that I have in the freezer – so they will actually get eaten
• a place to store recipes I want to try
• a place to store take out menus for when I'm not in the mood to cook
• and most importantly, a way to display artwork (without it taking over the entire fridge)
This is what I have set up so far:
Now that I have everything in place, I am actually excited about getting myself organized and filling everything in. I can't wait to check back in and let you know how things are going after setting up and using the new system.
Be sure to check back here next week for my update and wish me luck!
UPDATE: Check out the finished product here!