Meal Planning | Organization Resources

Meal planning and making a grocery list seem like such simple things to do, but if you’re like me, you just don’t spend the time doing it.  There are Sale Flyers that come in the mail every week, that I’ll make up a shopping list from occasionally, and we’ve all got a million cookbooks and recipes sitting around, but I seldom look at them.  It seems that you can spend hours looking through recipes, in cookbooks or online.  Then, out of frustration and hearing hungry voices, I cook the same old lineup of dinner items or buy fast food.  How boring!

When I do find a recipe I like, and it passes the family approval test, I’ll tuck it away and don’t remember which cookbook or recipe book it was in.

I’ll give you some tips on this page, that I have found useful and oh so rewarding when I take the time to do them!  It’s like anything else, you’ve got to put a little time into a project to get a positive result.

My question is – why are bad habits so easy and good habits so hard to develop?  When someone figures that out, will you let me know please!

Planning and Recipe Resources

Finding recipes and meal planning for a week makes life so much easier.  Check out some websites like www.bettycrocker.com.  You can search recipes, save them to your personal recipe box (when you register on their site), make a meal plan for the week, and it will even generate a list of groceries you need to cook those meals.  I find this to be a great help, as one of my least favorite tasks is doing the meal planning.  There are a lot of resources available on the internet to help make life easier.

Planning Ahead Really Pays Off

How many times have we all gone to the grocery store without a list, because you’re not quite sure what you’re going to cook.  I wander through the grocery store hoping some inspiration will pop out at me!  Then you load up your groceries, put them away and still stand in the kitchen wondering “what am I cooking for dinner tonight?”.  Then, if  you have kids like me (teenagers),  they usually try to talk me into fast food if I don’t have an answer to their inquiry about dinner.

However, there are weeks when I’m determined to make a meal plan, and I love those weeks when I take the time to do it.  It makes life so much easier, because I can answer that dreaded question about dinner in the blink of an eye!  Why then, is it so hard for me to do this planning ahead on a regular basis when it makes life so much easier?  Because we figure we’ll save time if we just wander through the store looking for inspiration, but that’s what the grocery stores are counting on.  Why do you think they have product on the ends of the isles – to lure us in!  Save money, time and effort and make a list.  It’s a good habit to start.

Benefits of meal planning and making a list:

  • Only spend money on groceries you will need and use before they go bad;
  • No spur of the moment purchases on unnecessary items;
  • Eliminate running to the store for 1 or 2 ingredients;
  • Eat healthier;
  • Spend less money on fast food/restaurants.

www.checkmark.heart.org – A list to help you shop for healthier choices from The Heart Association

www.workingmom.com/grocery_list/

www.mygrocerychecklist.com – you can create and save grocery lists here, but there is no option to e-mail it that I can see.  They also have a recipe search link, which is useful when trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

www.cookthing.com

www.landolakes.com

www.allrecipes.com

www.recipe.com

www.myrecipes.com

www.recipes.com

There are also programs to help with overall family organization like www.cozi.com and lifejot.comLifeJot lets you create and save grocery lists, print or e-mail them.  A great site for adding organization to your life.  Cozi is a free online family organizer that helps you manage the family calendar, organize your shopping list and to do list, share favorite memories in a family journal, and enjoy family photos – all in one spot.  With Cozi’s mobile access, your information is not only available from any computer with an internet connection, but also from any mobile phone.