Friday, July 6, 2012

I am organizing my life: The 90-day meal plan

A few days ago I was surfing pinterest when I saw something about organizing your whole life. I immediately clicked on it because I really would like to have my whole life organized!! My mom even came over last week and helped me get rid of all the excess toys we had so that I could keep all THAT organized (and I am happy to say my house hasn't been a mess since)!

Okay, I tend to go into too much detail.  One of the ideas on that site, was to create a 90-day dinner meal plan that you can circulate through over and over. I thought that was genius and would really solve my weekly "what the heck am I going to make this week...." conundrum. And so I spent the next 2 days making one. And since lots of people on facebook and Instagram have asked me how I did it, here it is!
 1. I went through all my "EVERYDAY FOOD" magazines and tore out only the recipes I thought I'd actually make.
2. I went through my file folder of torn out recipes, recipes from friends, etc and eliminated all the ones I never got around to making or again-- thought I probably wouldn't make.
3. I went onto my pinterest and printed out all the recipes I'd tried (and liked) or REALLY wanted to try for dinner.
4. I made copies of all the recipes in my cookbooks that I liked and then put them (the books) in a pile to be donated!!!! (except for the few that had so many recipes I liked that I am actually keeping them.)
4. I compiled them into sheet protectors and put them in a notebook. All in one place.
 5. I printed out 3 blank calendars (and saved the file for future use) and began to fill in the days with the recipes I had in my notebook, my personal cookbook, and the 3 other cookbooks I kept.
Above: the four cookbooks I saved (besides my notebook)

Above: an example of one of my months. I didn't say it was pretty! I purposely left Friday and Saturday off because I usually have leftovers from one or two nights during the week, and I hate cooking on the weekends. Sundays we eat with my parents and that is a joint effort so I never know what I need to bring.

1. I tried to make mondays really quick-prep or crockpot meals because that is the day I grocery shop and that is exhausting enough.

2. I wrote the ingredients that I might need to get at the grocery store that week (there are more ingredients than what I listed, but the rest were all staples I usually have on hand) at the bottom of each day. This will make my grocery-list making SO MUCH EASIER!!!

3.I haven't done this to the whole calendar yet, but if there are repeating ingredients that are pricey (such as fresh herbs or specialty meats) I make a note to freeze the rest for a future meal. Even better would be to have similar -ingredient recipes close enough together that you don't have to freeze the ingredients.  I am learning. (Also, I don't love eating the same foods or flavors day after day so we'll see about that.)

4. I am pregnant so I only listed meals that sounded good to me right now.... previously we had been eating mostly meatless and SUPER DUPER healthy (sprouts, low grain, dairy-free, etc) but seriously, when I think about that food I feel like hurling now. Hence the meals I have chosen are not un-healthy, just not AS healthy as I know I could be/possibly should be eating. But dang they are yummy (and contain only whole foods--except for one)!

Here is the calendar I used (I just printed it in B&W) and I didn't fill in any dates, because I plan on repeating the 3 month rotation multiple times!

And though these calendars won't work for you since you don't have my recipe books, people have asked to see them, so you can take a look and maybe get some ideas! Some of the recipes are right here on my site (see the right side of my blog).

(this one has lots of blanks because it is for the "fall/winter (which we don't have in Florida)" and I want to fill it in with pinterest recipes I come across in the meantime)

Phew! I hope this inspires you and is helpful because I can already see it working in my life! (For instance, today they had beef and chicken broth on sale as well as angel hair pasta, 2 things I noticed repeating a lot on my calendars. So I stocked up!)


Becky said...

Okay I love this and have been trying to figure out a menu plan that will stick. I'm totally trying it. Thanks for the inspiration!! (And I love that it isn't perfect!)

Claire Kiefer said...

I am so impressed by this. Your life is going to be so much less stressful! I'm tempted to do a version of this, although mine would have to allow for more flexibility b/c I work a million jobs, some of which are at night (I teach a night class on Mondays, babysit a couple nights a week, etc.). Maybe I could just come up with a bunch of recipes and stick them all in a book but not calendar them, so that I could rotate through whenever I do cook. Amazing!

Tasha Guinn said...

Gracias! This was perfect! I'm starting pronto!!

Cristy said...

This really is a great idea! I especially like the fact that you went through your cookbooks and got rid of them. I've thought about doing something like this in the past - more alone the lines of making 3 month menus for each of the seasons since what I make changes with the seasonal fruits and veggies available - I think what's great about this is you've started. Over time I'm sure you'll refine the process and what works for you - add new months for seasons, etc. Starting is the hardest part and you are always amazing for just going for projects with gusto. You're amazing!

Maggie said...

Wow! How organised are you?! Great idea and well done for seeing it through too. Maggie xx

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