One of my biggest challenges about life is dinner time.
Cooking is really not one of my passions. I wish it was (husband does too lol), but really I struggle sometimes to get a decent meal on the table.
It's not unusual for me at 5 pm scrambling to figure out what to make for the family. Most of the time I don't have ALL the ingredients I need anyway.
I know I'm not the only one who does this.
Luckily there are many blogs that share their ideas and experiences on this matter that has helped me. (You can check out A Bowl Full of Lemons Linky Party on this for tons of ideas here).
When I don't cook dinner, husband will resort to grilling a steak most of the time, which he likes, and I'll just eat a bowl of cereal or something.
Actually I like to tease him that if all we ever ate for dinner was steak he'd never complain (and I've been tempted to do it too). But eating unplanned meals (and steak) can be real expensive!
However, lately I've been trying to work on this. We all hear the benefits of families actually sitting down and eating dinner together.
I think it even somehow miraculously makes my cooking taste better when you eat it together as a family.
So to help my planning meals go smoother I felt it was time to create a Recipe Binder.
It's really close to what I read on The Nanny Goat and their AMAZING Favorite 30 Meals Binder. With a little touch
of Clean Mama's as well.
Here's my binder. Isn't it cute? It goes with my country sunflower kitchen.
My creative sister-in-law gave me this for Christmas last year with some of her own recipes typed up. I just added my own recipes to it and made it cutsie inside with scrapbook paper dividers.
Oh it matches my kitchen oh so nicely.
But the coolest part is how it
helps plan my meals.
So here's how my binder works...
1) Compile the recipes your family will actually eat.
In my binder I have about 40 of our favorite entrees along with favorite sides, desserts, dips etc.
2) Type it up, make a copy, print from a website, tear out of a magazine. Whatever to get it into the binder in sheet protectors.
3) Next for my dinner entrees have a list so you can see it quickly when trying to plan your meals.
It's nice to have it as a quick reference. Then I'll write it on my cute matching Menu Board.
Here's mine. I have all our favorite dinner entrees listed in alphabetical order on an Excel spreadsheet.
In the next columns I listed some healthier options for the meal, summer cooking, and freezer/prep work I need to do.
4) This step is the best part. A chart of ALL the dinner entrees ingredients.
So you can take it to the store and know exactly what you need to get.
I made a few copies, one I keep in my binder and one to take shopping with me. I might make an extra one for the car so when you have those unexpected stops.
Mine is about two pages. I may have it laminated when I get a chance.
This is just how I do my binder. It's a good idea to search other's ideas and see what would work best for your family.
Hopefully this will continue to work for me and my family! It has so far.
Plus I'd love to hear what other tips you great ladies have for planning/making meals!