Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekly Meal Planning Tool

For those of you looking for a system that integrates your recipe organization with weekly meal planning, consider this option.

I keep a three-ring binder with recipes I've clipped from magazines or printed out and taped or glued on the pages. Everything in the binder fits in a category like "Main Dishes," "Appetizers/Sides," "Breads and Breakfast," "Beverages," and "Desserts."

I do my meal planning once a week by picking out recipes and slipping them inside a clear page protector in the order I plan to use them. Then I hang the page protector filled with full-page recipe clippings on my fridge with magnets.

When it's time to cook something, I pull it down off the fridge and bring it to my work area where it remains spill-proof while I cook. Then I move the front sheet to the back and the next recipe is displayed for the following day's meal. At the end of the week, I return the recipe sheets back to the binder and start over.

Note: If one of the meals I've planned isn't in my binder, I put a sticky note in the mix of the week's recipes with the cookbook's name and page number for easy reference.