Meal Planning

I am once again trying to get on top of things before the busy school year begins. There are so many areas to be organised in otherwise I feel like I am drowning. I confess I am a bit of a planner junkie and always feel so much better when I have a list or a planner in hand.

The first Planner I have updated and would like to share with you is a Weekly Meal Planner. I like to plan dinners for the week, so if everything goes to plan we know what is happening. On the odd occasion we might end up eating something different but I find it frustrating to be thinking about what we will have for dinner, on the day, and then having to shop for items. I am using a weekly planner to start with but would like to progress to a fortnightly one. I like to shop kid free (for the big one) so I will be doing the weekly shop, on a Wednesday. This suits us as I work on a Monday and Tuesday, kids activities on a Saturday and other plans for Thursdays and Fridays. Hence, our meal plan for the week, will start on a Thursday. I will race to the shops on a Saturday, after swimming lessons, to get any fresh food that might be needed, as well as bread and milk.

HOW TO MEAL PLAN

1. Sit down with your family planner (so you have an idea of who is where during the week) and your new free Meal Planner sheet.

2. Note the days when you will be late home from work or a kids activity, as well as times when someone might not be home at all.’Choose meals that will be prepared beforehand or are quick and easy to put together. This makes deciding between cooking or take away easy. Obviously choose the former.

3. Now plan the rest of your meals. I try to alternate with red meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian. We try to eat fish at least twice a week and vegetarian once.

4. Remember to check your fridge, freezer and pantry for food you may have and base a meal around this. Maybe make this a focus for one of the meals. Also check the fresh fruit and vegetables so you don’t buy too much. We waste so much food and should try to cut back on this.

5. After checking what ingredients you need for the grocery list, confirm you don’t already have this. Last year I kept finding I had doubled up on spices which was such a waste of money.

6. On the Meal Plan, I have included a space to add some baking for the week. I like to do this for the kidlets (and husband) so we buy less processed food.

Now, download the free Meal Plan sheet and print it off as many times as you like. This is for personal use only and can be shared with as many people as you want. It is not to be used for commercial use, without permission. Click on the snapshot below and it will take you to a PDF instantly.

Meal plan snapshot

Planner Addiction

Hello. My name is Paula and I am a planneraholic. I have always loved lists and planning for what needs to be done. I cannot seem to work any other way. I am always looking for a functional planner that works best for me. I have a Blog Planner that I use and am always looking for ways to make it better. Lately I have been searching for ideas for a personal planner that fits my lifestyle. I will then be working on a budget planner and a Home Management Binder. There are so many out there, ready for printing and even places that will make a personal planner up for you.

There is so much to consider when on this journey. Cost, look and effectiveness. I don’t want to spend too much. It needs to look pretty and inviting and has to fit in with our family lifestyle.

I have even joined a group on Facebook and have already discovered some fabulous things out there. Unfortunately, everything I love is in the USA and no matter how much I search, I cannot find it in Australia. Oh well. I will keep looking. If you love planners and planning head to Planner Addicts and request to join the group. You will love it.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Click on the picture below to view the range at Erin Condren. Her planners can be sent to you ready for use. They are gorgeous and very user-friendly. Price could be an issue for some people.

2013-2014 life planner -paisley

Jen’s planner at I Heart Organizing. This is a very reasonable price. It will take you to her Etsy store where you can buy it and have an instant download. Then you will need to print it out yourself and bind it in the way you like. Below is what it looks like when using the Martha Stewart range.

I have gone with Jenn’s planner for now as I am still searching for the perfect one and the price helps.  I am thinking of making me own down the track.

Happy planning.

 

Blog Planner (To Date)

Yeah, I finally have something to show for the Blog Planner I have been working on. There are still some pages I would like to add but this is a good start. Graphics are courtesy of Petit Tatti

The Planner consists of:

Cover Page

3 blank monthly planner pages – different colours for more choices

* You will need 12 copies, one for each month of the year

* Write the month at the top and then use the Yearly Calendar to see where 1st goes for each month. Fill in the days in the coloured circles.

Weekly blog planner page

* You will need 52 of these should you be blogging every week. I do 10 at a time in case I don’t blog in a particular week.

Blog expense tracker sheet

* Print out sheets as needed

Blog statistics page

* You should only need one of these

More details of how I use these pages will be in a later post.

You are able to download the pages for free by clicking on the pictures below. I also use a Yearly Calendar and insert this after the cover page. This is used to circle significant dates for the year ahead. I only ask that you use it for personal use and not sell or download it to share as your own.

Untitled

Month planner - pink

Monthly planner - green

Monthly planner - grey

Weekly Planner

Expense tracker

Blog statistics

To Do List (Free Printable)

Having a little play today with some different options when making printables. This is a To Do List I made. Click on the picture below to download the free printable. When printing it out make sure your paper is set to A4. There are 2 per page so print, cut and put together, however you like. Bulldog clip, staples, peg etc. You could just put one at a time on the fridge with your favourite magnet. Let me know what you think.

Untitled

2013 Calendar (Free Printable)

I just realised that in the business of school holidays, I forgot to complete the rest of my 2013 calendar that is free to download and print.

Here we go. Just click on each month to print it for free.

January February

March April

May June

July August

September October

November December

Hopefully these come in handy. Click on the freebie menu at the top of the page to find the Family Planner that works really well with this. I have a in up boar that has the 2013 calendar, Family Planner, Weekly Planner and Meal Planner. I must seem a little OTT but I cannot function any other way.

Enjoy

Weekly Planning

How do you go planning your week. Yesterday my husband and I briefly discussed the coming week and what is on. I then fill out the weekly planner and do the meal plans. When doing the weekly planner, I refer back to our calendar and family planner for the month. I wasn’t very good at this during the holidays but we are back into the swing of things.

Below is a free printable for February, from my 2013 free Calendar.
February

When Meal Planning, I first write down all the activities for the week. Then I will plan the dinners around this. Finally, I am now including a basic plan for the School and Kindy lunches. This helps so I can plan leftovers or cook extra to cater for these.

Below is a copy of the Meal Plan template I am using this week. Click on it to download it for free and print it out ready for use.

Untitled

Happy planning

Paula