Food is a Four Letter Word

Recipe for Menu Planning

No matter how busy you are, you’ve got to eat!

1. Organize Recipes. Some of my favorite recipe websites are: AllRecipes.com, American Profile, Taste of Home, momsbyheart.net & Onceamonthmom.

RecipeCards

Blank Recipe Card Template in Simply Dinner: the Game Plan

I use the resources in my eBook “Simply Dinner: the Game Plan” to organize my recipes and plan meals. Check out Simply Dinner: the Game Plan! It has a blank recipe card template with four 3×5 cards on one page. Not to mention enough recipes designed for a low-carbohydrate diet for a month of menus. No fancy ingredients here, and please note they are not vegetarian.

Before I created this, I used a Google Doc template to keep my recipes on my computer and smartphone. To find it, go to templates at Google Docs,  search “recipes” and choose the template by Mikelle Auman Williams. This template has tabs along the bottom for different categories of recipes. To print them two to a page I needed to insert a row at the bottom of each recipe.

2. Plan meals as part of your weekly planning. I like the Vertex42 Weekly Meal Planner. Consider sales and seasonal foods, nutrition, variety, visual appeal and textures. When there is little time for cooking, use crockpots, make-ahead mixes, and quantity cookery. After planning, make a grocery list of items you need to buy. If you have a smart phone, consider these apps: Food PlannerDinner Spinner from Allrecipes, Fooducate & Sparkpeople.

Plan A: Download a blank monthly calendar from Vertex42.com and fill in a month of menus. Here is mine (pdf) And my now low-carb version (pdf)

Plan B: List some of your favorite meal plans on cards. Include a main dish, side dishes, and dessert. Make about 10-15 cards, on the other side list ingredients needed for a shopping list. Mealsmatter.org and Recipenutrition.com are great online resources for recipes and meal planning.
Example:

  • Pork Chops
  • Sour cream scalloped potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls
  • Apple Crisp

Plan C: Make separate lists of main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, then randomly select an item from each. You could even use a dart-board for this! A healthier version from Eatingwell.com could provide alternatives too.

MAIN DISH

SIDE 1

SIDE 2

Pizza

French Fries

Pudding

Hamburgers

Onion Rings

Cottage Cheese

Tacos

Curly fries

Applesauce

Plan D: Eat out! Keep a list of favorite restaurants.

UPDATE: I have now created an eBook with recipes designed for a low-carb diet. For a fun & simple system for meal planning, check out Simply Dinner: the Game Plan!

See also: Refrigerator Magnets from The Red Chair Blog. and more ideas here. The Menu Planning post at Titus2Homemaker is very helpful too.

FORMS: Eat Sheet menu plan pdf from Mommytracked.com, Menu Planner pdf from Anythingbutperfect.com, Slow Cooker Menu Plan from sassyslowcooker, printable recipe index from  iheartorganizing.blogspot.com, planners from Vertex42.com.

Cookbooks: Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes, 400 Calorie Fix

Food Diaries: printable food diaries at Make Healthy Food Choices and Track Diet.

See also: Learning About a Low Carb Diet & Plan Menus & List Repeating Tasks

AWESOME: A Month of Menus is a 72 page printable pdf from Kansas State University complete with recipes, shopping lists, measures and substitutions! Everything you need is right there. Still more recipes are at Free Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.

George Foreman Grill Recipes, and a 120 page ebook.

This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in productivity
11 comments on “Food is a Four Letter Word
  1. You have done it again! MealsForYou.com is an awesome resource that I have never seen before. I love that it has the whole meal planned out. Plus, I can easily put together the list of things I need to buy. Perhaps I will surprise my wife with a home cooked meal.

    Thanks!

  2. […] Plan menus for the week and schedule items from your master list. […]

  3. Paul says:

    Incredible resource. Thanks.

  4. […] Plan menus for the week and schedule items from the master list. […]

  5. […] have a separate binder for meal planning, with favorite recipes and forms for menu planning and grocery […]

  6. […] What are your favorite menu plans? […]

  7. […] Menu Planning Share this:ShareEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  8. […] Plan weekly and daily. Since that time I’ve done some extensive updating on two posts: 1) Plan menus & 2) List repeating tasks, so this week is a good time to revisit these important elements […]

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