The end of meal planning!

Today is for you if you love the idea of gifting yourself with something fun in order to follow through with a plan. I KNOW IT’S NOT JUST ME because I see those Fabletic leggings you bought last January when you told yourself you were gonna work out everyday! No shame in that game. After all, it’s almost time to bust them out again (versus bust out of them again…semantics are important)!

When I first became a Noonday Ambassador, I basically joined a tribe of women who are way trendier and cooler than me and hip to all the fun brands and products out there.  Punjammies, bullet journaling (only google this if you’re ready for your brain to explode), magnetic eyelashes, the Instant Pot, eShakti, Pact Apparel, Norwex, Elegantees, Beautycounter, The Root Collective…I could go on. And I will. Another such brand is May Designs! Although I wish they were paying me to rave about them, they aren’t. Probably because they’ve been listed as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and don’t necessarily care about my 17 blog views a week or want to be mocked by my father in law. Not that he’ll admit to reading this 😉 ANYWAY, if you know me at all, when I find something I love I can’t help but tell people to buy it. One of my personality descriptors is “the Promoter” so it’s out of my control, okay?

When I was trying to figure out a way to organize my meal planning stuff, and STAY organized, I knew a May Designs notebook was the answer. They are simple but still get the job done. They are super eco-friendly with a soft canvas cover made from recycled materials, the binding is stitched with thread so they are basically indestructible AND fully recycleable. And the best part: there are thousands of ways to customize your own. Choose from hundreds of cover designs, choose your own monogram or journal name, pick from 3 different sizes, and choose from a ton of layouts.

For this notebook I chose the classic size because it’s just right for my purse. As you can see, a toddler scribbled on the cover before I even wrote a letter in it, so use your imagination to envision how beautifully the cover started out. I am such a sucker for watercolor florals! I chose what’s called the “2018 Blush Agenda: Months + Dots.” The first few pages contain a 12 month calendar, followed by 55 pages of a simple dot grid. I know, a dot grid seems weird, but I pretty much want all of my notebooks to be dot grids now, thanks to a simple ‘bullet journal’ search on Pinterest. (I’m telling you, kiss an hour of your day goodbye if you choose to look it up right now.)

So here’s my calendar. I’ve decided I’m only going to fill in 3 months at a time here, even though I have my whole year mapped out on a printable calendar. Since there will be times we eat out or have dinner with friends and family, I’ll be able to adjust accordingly and keep a better handle on what’s still in my freezer whenever it’s time to stock up on sales again.

I decided I wanted to give my meal lists a perma-spot in the notebook so I can easily keep track of what we’ve eaten and, again, know what’s left in my freezer come November if we’ve only had honey sesame chicken two times. <- Nerdy, I know.

These pages are where the magic happens! Now you’ll know why I love the dot grid. I drew my own layout so that I can keep track of what I’ve bought each quarter and how much I’ll need to stock up on the next time something’s on sale. I also wrote down what I know is full price for things and have written down what I’ve seen for sale prices. It’s a perfect reference point if I’m scoping out flyers or if I’m in the store. There are also a few items I’ll be stocking up on that didn’t make the notebook cut. If you must know, it’s things like taco seasoning packets, okay? Cheap enough for me to not worry about if they’ll go on sale and therefore not take up my brain space.

The other side of this layout shows how I’m breaking down my budget by quarter. Each week I’ll write down what I’ve spent on groceries, what I’ve got left in the balance, and what that means for my weekly budget in order to stay on track for the year. I’m also doing it this way so that if I’m under budget one quarter I can transfer it to the next. Or pocket the difference and buy myself something fun 😉 Despite the insane amount of nerding out on the budget I’ve been doing here on the sassy side, I’m really what Dave Ramsey would call a free spirit, if ya couldn’t tell. The budgeting here is just a means to an end….

These pages are pretty self-explanatory. I wanted a page to keep track of new meals I want to add to the rotation and a place to keep track of extras I end up with in the freezer.

And finally, the rest of the notebook is where I’ll be making my grocery shopping list each week.

You guys. I’m into my second month doing this and I am really loving it. It takes 5 minutes to make a grocery list each week. 5 minutes!! I don’t have to wrack my brain for recipes, I’m not trying to remember what we haven’t had in a while and what we’ve had last week, I’m not getting sucked into Pinterest trying to find something new that may or may not fail. The grocery shopping itself is WAY faster. My list is shorter and I’m not trying to keep my kids entertained while I try to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. When someone asks me what’s for dinner, I KNOW THE ANSWER! And if I don’t feel like cooking it that night, I pick something easier from another day of the week. It’s made evenings less stressful and cooking more enjoyable because when dinner time comes around, I’m not exasperated that we don’t have anything in the cupboards I feel like throwing together or that I’m missing a key ingredient for something I planned on. IT’S THE BOMB.

If you aren’t ready to give yearly meal planning a try yet, what’s holding you back!?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *