Monday, September 21, 2009

Home Notebook - Menu Planning and Grocery List and a Download

In hopes to implament some more organization into my life, I created a Home Notebook. You can read about how that process began and about my Daily Routines in this post.

Here I'd like to show you my pages for my Meal Planning and Grocery List.

Do you meal plan?

When I first got married, I remember laying on my bed writing my first meal plan. I devoured my brandy-new cookbooks tring to find the most delectable recipes to make for my new hubby in our new kitchen in our new home. I was incredibly excited! To be honest, I still get excited making a meal plan. Maybe it's because I'm still a newlywed (being married almost 2 years is still a newlywed, eh?). But if I can be even more honest - I love to figure out what sort of yummy things we are going to eat. I love the idea of feeding my husband tasty, nutrious meals and I still love going through my cookbooks each week, trying out new recipes and enjoying old favorites.

Meal planning for me is also important for budgeting purposes. It keeps me focused on what is on sale, what I need to buy versus what we already have in stock, and what the heck it is that we will eat during the week. I hate it when the dinner hour rolls around and there is no plan! Too often that leads to fast-food and our wallet and waistlines don't appreciate it. When I have a good meal plan I am ready to face the week confident that we will be eating good, yummy meals and the fast food monstor stays away.

Awhile back I wrote a post on meal planning. It's way wordy and lacks any photos but if you are interested in reading it, here is the link.

I basically just divided up my paper into eight sections. Please refer to this post if you are interested in how I created this document. Seven sections are obviously for each day of the week. Each day is big enough to allow space for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I'm trying to loose some poundage and I have learned that preplanning my meals is a major life savor so I knew when creating my Meal Planning page, I wanted plenty of space to write.

The eigth section is where I jot down what needs to be put on my grocery list. Sometimes I make my grocery list while I plan out my meals, other times, I don't. That little box just helps me to quickly identify the ingredients that need to go on the grocery list when I'm ready to fill out my complete grocery list. Make sense? I hope so.

My Grocery List breaks down the different sections of the grocery store.

The different sections I have included are:

Fruits and Veggies
Dairy and Frozen
Dry Goods
Household Items
Miscelanious (Things I want/need to buy like mascara, fabric or shoes.)

Each line in each text box has a little box next to it where I can check off the items that I have purchased. Throughout the week, if I notice we are low or out of an item, I put it on the grocery list. My hope is to get a nice clipboard and hang my grocery list on it somewhere in my kitchen but that's another project for another day. For now, I keep my list in my Home Notebook that is pretty much accessable to me at all times. Because of this list, I rarely "forget" if I'm out of an item. And, because I have my list divided into segements like I would find in the grocery store, I can easily cross off the items on my list as I finish shopping in that particular part of the store. I save myself time because I don't have to backtrack.

Each week I also go through each and every sale flyer. I take note of each item that I hope to purchase or that strikes my fancy. On the flip side of my Grocery List is where I write out those items. I also take note of the ounces/mls that each product is, the price, if I have a coupon or if it is only a one-day sale. Here is an example of what that looks like:

Butter - $2.45
Quaker Granola Bars - $1.99
Cucumbers - 3/$1.00
Dawn Soap - $1.99 *$1 off coupon
Maybelline Mascara - Volumize - $4.99 *Price match at Walmart
This also helps in my meal planning. I know what is on sale and can then plan my weekly menus around that. It's all a system.
What do you do in regards to your grocery list and meal planning? I'd love to hear your tips and ideas! Please send them my way!

If you are interested in downloading my versions of a Menu Planner and Grocery List, please just click on the photos below and it will take you to the download page. Enjoy!

Menu Planner

Grocery List


Sherri S said...

Mandi, you are on a ROLL with this! I love it. I just wrote a blog on how I am back to menu planning. Though mine is SIMPLE compared to yours. LOVE the list! Here is my post from this weekend ~

Your doing a GREAT job!

Lucy Marie said...

I do much the same as you. I first write down the good sales, then decide what meals to make based on them and then write my list in order of the grocery store sections.

I am not as good at planning breakfast/lunch but I am getting better.

By the way .. I like that way that "eh" snuck into your vocab in this post. Are you being Canadianized?

Mandi Shandi said...

You and I have chatted before about how important menu planning is to us both. I LOVE your sheets. Anyway you might be willing to share them with me? I made some but they are no where near as cute as yours!

Sherri S said...

You have got to check out a blog I found! She has a weekly link up for menu planning with over 400 bloggers sharing menu planning!!!
I'm loving it!!!!

Small House said...

What a great routine to have. I don't meal plan. I really should though. I really like your shopping list!!! Thanks for sharing it.
Have a great day.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Mandi - First of all, Hi there sweetie pie :) I haven't chatted with you in a while. I'm getting caught up on some blog reading and I just now saw your last few posts. I am SO INSPIRED!! I love what you've done and I'm going to copy cat :) I desperately need this type of help in my crazy life. Thank you so much for taking the time to share about these tools, how you made them, and how you use them. I hope I make the time to really do this so I can feel better organized. I love it! Thank you, thank you! xoxo

Print Brochures | said...

Cool! We do meal planning and grocery lists, but our problem with meal planning is that it's not always followed :P
As for the groceries, we tend to get more than just what's on the list. My brother will go like "hey, I want that one!" and puts it in the cart even if it isn't on the list :P

Jennifer Juniper said...

I, too, used to do this. It was part of my weekly ritual...somehow it has been overtaken by soccer practice and homework. Sad. I need to get back on track, thanks for the reminder :)

Queen B. said...

oh my gosh, ok...i need that list. like right now.

New Mom said...

Hi Mandi, would it be possible to upload your organizational templates onto gmail or some such site where us hopelessly unorganized and computer un-savvy can download them? Yours are so cute; I'd love to have a copy!

The Southern Housewife said...

Hey! This looks pretty similar to mine! :) You can find it on my blog.

Kimmy C said...

I am a menu planner as well, don't know how people can just go without a plan! I have a free menu planner download on my blog for anyone interested: seven thirty three - - - a creative blog

Anonymous said...

Bravo, seems to me, is a magnificent phrase

Laurie Turk said...

LOVE IT! That is such an amazing system. Thank you so much for sharing it - I learned a lot.


Anonymous said...

A home away from home. (Any temporary place where one feels comfortable).

Anonymous said...

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