Menu Planning Ideas For Busy Women

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I love to cook, but one of the areas I struggle with is getting organized in the kitchen.  I have a vast collection of cookbooks, and I love to try new recipes.  That said, when it’s dinner time, you will often find me standing in the kitchen wondering what I’m going to make for dinner.  When I do decide what I’m going to make, you’ll find me hunting through the cupboards trying to figure out whether or not I have all the ingredients I need to make what I’ve chosen. I don’t, and the cycle begins again.

Meal planning ideas for busy women


Menu Planning Ideas For Busy Women

In the Decluttering Made Easy 52 week e-course, it discusses getting your recipes organized, creating a meal plan, and organizing your kitchen. These courses really hit home with me.  I can see how my disorganization and clutter in the kitchen are really having a negative impact on my menu planning ideas.

  • Cookbooks.  I have tons of them and they are not organized at all. I can’t find my favorite recipes even if I remember which cookbook they are in.
  • Loose recipes.  I have printed recipes, clipped recipes, and recipe cards. Again, not organized.  Decluttering Made Easy gives some fantastic ideas for organizing all of this into a method that makes it easy to find exactly what I want.
  • Internet.   I am always looking for new recipes and menu planning ideas but I often lose them once I find them. I now have some ideas for keeping track of this information to make dinner time easier.

Finding menu planning ideas can save you time and money as well as help you get healthier.  When I am stuck for last minute ideas at dinner time, I often find myself turning to frozen pizza or take out.  Neither of those ideas is good for my waistline or my pocketbook.  Menu planning also helps reduce stress at dinner time.  There is nothing more frustrating than realizing I will have to run to the store for a forgotten ingredient at 6 PM. Dinner is late. The kids are cranky. My relaxation time after dinner is cut short because dinner is late. It’s just not a good thing all around.

I’ve tried a lot of menu planning ideas in the past and have never stuck with them before.  In Decluttering Made Easy, there is an entire lesson devoted to menu planning ideas.  You will learn exactly what you need to consider when you are setting up your meal plan as well as learn about some great tools that will help you create them. Best of all, there isn’t just one way of creating a menu plan! There are several ways explained so that you can choose the method that works best for you.

There are checklists, templates, and websites for more information and recipes.  There are even suggestions for those of us who have to deal with health issues, weight loss or allergies when menu planning. I found some great new recipes for my daughter who is gluten intolerant.  The author shares a variety of websites you can visit to print out FREE menu plans for the whole week with shopping lists. Huge time saver!

If you are working on decluttering and organizing your home, I highly recommend the e-course, (affiliate) Decluttering Made Easy.

Menu Planning Ideas For Busy Women

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  1. Sabrina Espinal says
    For some reason I started keeping two separate lists. One that is for food and one for the other stuff (napkins, etc.)  That keeps me focused on what food items are running out. I think because I no longer get my non food items at the grocery store. Either way, it's a lot! I'll glance at the system.
    • Ellen Christian says
      That's definitely a great idea. I never thought of two separate lists.
      • Sabrina Espinal says
        It's probably more work, but it does keep me focused on keeping my "go-to" ingredients in the house. Like Yellow onions, green peppers, red peppers, olive oil, spinach, balsamic vinegar, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, mixed greens, tomatoes, brown rice....  I would love to have fresh cranberries year around...but I try to buy as many bags as possible and freeze them...but alas, they don't last long. 
  2. Hi EllenI can be so organised in some areas of my life and so unorganised in others! My desk at work is always cleared at the end of the day. My desk at home. Hmm ..........I love organising and preparing meal plans, but I sometimes feel like I'm fighting a losing battle when the rest of the family doesn't play ball! I'm going to check out that course :)
  3. Jacqui Malpass says
    I always stock my freezer with stuff I can add vegetables, rice or pasta to, have a stock of vegetables and onions and just make whatever I fancy each night. Whilst I don't have a formalised menu plan I do have a mental what is easy to cook plan. I look recipes up on the internet and then mentally add the ingredients to my head and then just make it how I fancy.  I never time my food and I rarely measure anything - I just go with the flow. I find the idea of a recipe inspirational but limiting.So whilst I may seem disorganised it is actually organised, at least that's my theory and I am sticking to it.
  4. Lanaya @ Raising Reagan says
    What  a great idea ... I know that this would come in handy when I made trips to the grocery store. I feel like I'm buying the same meals over and over again.
  5. I absolutely have to meal plan or I am an unorganized mess!
  6. Krafty Max says
    I try and try to plan, but somehow it just doesn't every work!!
  7. Menu planning is great for saving money, time, and frustration. Good tips. Thanks!
  8. i admit, I am terrible about planning menus! I try hard to keep a well stocked fridge and pantry but most nights I just wing it!
  9. Evelyn @ My Turn for us says
    I always need help getting organized and am always looking for ways to achieve this:))  I will be checking this out.  Thanks
  10. I love the idea of a planning menu, love the tips!

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