Monday, September 24, 2012

Making a Plan

I always thought making a meal plan would be a drag.

Because I'm a spontaneous cook and I figure if I have a great meal idea that I should make it no matter what I have in my pantry.

But, this is not the best way to live, especially on a budget.

I've been learning that organizing the week's meals and grocery needs is a great way to get excited about dinner each night and not have to go back to the grocery store four times in a week to get random ingredients.

This blog post on meal planning by Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean helped me a lot with beginning my meal planning process.

It's so easy! Just sit down and write out your dinner plan for each night (including your dinners out or busy nights when no dinner is needed) and print out the recipes you need for the list. Then, add all of the ingredients that you'll need to your grocery list.

Here are a few other tricks I have to stay organized and cooking well within my budget.
  • Food apps!

Load your little smartphone up with some free food, grocery and wine apps. This will make your culinary world so organized and fun. Above is what my "Cooking" folder looks like.

  • Grocery List

Use this free iPhone app to add all of your grocery needs and make sure once you get to the store that you actually get them. You even get to check the items off once they're in your cart (or reusable shopping bag), which is fun. Also, I like to organize my lists by specific stores.

  • Always keep a few recipe apps and the FoodGawker and Pinterest app handy to look up scrumptious recipes for the week or weekend and make sure to "pin" or save them to your account so you can get them at any time.

Have fun planning!

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