I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have a meal plan we end up eating the same kinds of meals every single week.
Our home functions a little differently than others. Because of my husband’s shifts, I have to plan meals specific to the shift he works each week. When he’s 1st shift, I can be very creative. When he’s 2nd shift, he doesn’t eat at home. When he’s 3rd shift, I have to do simple, easy meals that don’t require much preparation because our kitchen is separate from the living room where the kids are (and not large enough for 3 of us to be in it at one time).
So I have found that careful menu planning prevents kitchen crisis and boring meals.
Here are some ideas to help us organize our kitchens better:
Meal Lists – In my Home Organization Binder I have a lists of meals separated by type. Example: Soups, Salads, Italian, Mexican, Croatian, Chicken, Pork, etc. This helps me easily plan weekly menus for my family, and helps me keep things interesting.
3 Month Menu Plans – This is an awesome idea I tried and loved. You can read my post on it here. I am doing things a little differently now, but I may go back to this in the near future. It helps keep streamline everything – including shopping!
Kitchen Inventory – Before I make any menu plans, I first take inventory of my pantry, fridge and freezer. This helps me to use up what I already have, so that nothing goes bad and so I don’t end up purchasing what I already have.
Pre-made shopping list – There are things we always buy every month: milk, cheese, yogurt, apples, bananas…you get the idea. So, I printed out a shopping list with categories, and then pre-filled them with things I always buy. This helps to save on time…and I never forget to buy these essentials.
new recipe night
Freezer meals – I love doing freezer meals! It is so easy. Pinterest is my inspiration. You can see my Pinterest board here for all the ideas for freezer meals you’ll ever need! I currently have nearly a month’s worth of meals in the freezer. I managed to put together 10 meals (that will feed us for 2-3 days each) in under 3 hours. It is amazing!
And I leave you with two more tips before we link up our posts:
1. Link up as many posts as you’d like (even giveaways!)