Update: this post now contains links to download the printables shown here. To see all my free printables available for download go here.
Welcome back to the Home Management Binder Series! I am sharing my process of creating a home management binder, and hope to pass along some inspiration to others for managing their household. For those of you just joining us, here is a quick rundown of the schedule for this series.
9/7 – Family
9/14 – Pets
9/21 – School
9/28 – Cleaning postponed
10/5 – Home
10/12 – Finances
10/19 – Food and Grocery
10/26 – Health and Fitness
11/2 – Beauty
11/9 – Crafts and Projects
11/16 – Vehicle
Feel free to follow along (or jump in and out depending on your needs) and make your own Home Management Binder as I whip mine into shape! Many of the organizational tools and tips you”l see here can be used in other types of home management systems as well, if binders aren’t your thing.
This week I have a section that is short and sweet but packs a lot of organizational punch when it comes to planning our meals and buying groceries.
My first page in this section is a page for all the numbers of various food delivery places we’ve used and loved. I wanted to include this page so we have a handy reference with all our favorite delivery places whenever we (or should I say Melissa) don’t feel like cooking.
I’m really excited to fill this out so we can throw away what seems like hundreds of take-out menus we keep just in case we need the name or number of the restaurant. This page will also save us the guess work of whether or not a specific restaurant delivers to our apartment. If it’s on the page, we’ve had it delivered before.
The next page is a simple list page, for us to write down the names all our favorite recipes.
I don’t keep actual recipes in my Home Management Binder, since I have another binder specifically for that purpose. I’ll be showing that to you guys soon enough!
The reason I included a favorite recipes page was to help with our menu planning for the upcoming week. It seems we have tons of recipes that we always want to make again or remember for the future, but when it comes time to planning the week ahead, we draw a blank. This will help the process by having a list of our tried-and-true recipes.
The final pages in this section are a bunch of menu planning pages. We only have the need to plan dinners, as breakfasts and lunches are more fend for yourself, eat whatever we have on hand type of meals.
Down the left I have a box for each day of the week. This is where I will list what we’re planning on having for dinner that day. I included enough room in these boxes to also be able to right any sides or vegetables we’re planning to have, along with the main dish.
The right side in just a big shopping list for the week. Once we plan out the meals for the upcoming week, I’ll take the recipes out of my Recipe Binder and write down all the ingredients we need for those 7 meals in the shopping list column. I’ll also add any other grocery needs to the list. Then I can just take my meal plan and shopping list to the grocery store and get the shopping for the whole week done.
I am especially excited about instituting this meal planning system into our lives. Without it, it seems as though either Melissa or I are running to the grocery store every other day to get stuff for dinner or restock staples like milk. With the new system, hopefully we’ll be able to cut down to just once a week!
These constant trips to the store also makes our grocery bill higher, because the more often we’re at the grocery store, the more likely we are to buy impulse purchases. We also tend to buy food that doesn’t have a specific purpose for a meal in the upcoming week, so it ends up going bad, or sitting on our shelves taking up space. So hopefully not only will this meal planning system save me time and energy in the long run, it will also save us money!
And that concludes my short but oh so sweet Food and Grocery Section. Now it’s your turn. Do you plan meals ahead of time for your family? If so, how do you keep it all organized? Do you do one big weekly or monthly(!) grocery shop, or do you find yourself at the store every couple of days like we do?