Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed your weekend and that it might have given you some time to gather more thoughts on your functional family binder!!!

Series Cover Photo

Today I want to talk about menu planning! This is something that has taken me 5 years and counting to figure out. Our first year of marriage my husband did all of the cooking until I had baby number 1 and I was staying home. But then we were so short on money that we RARELY had groceries in the fridge. Nursing eliminated the concern of having to buy food for our babe. BUT, I hadn't come around to having a servants heart, I was rather resentful and almost hateful to my husband at the time so meals rarely happened. It was a real fend for yourself kind of deal. We would do chicken and rice frequently and sometimes some ground beef and rice with stir fried veggies but other than that, we just didn't do nice meals.

Since then, I have tried a little harder each year to plan meals out but with our tight budget we would buy things for our meals and we would eat it with a simpler meal that we made on the fly. Having a fluctuating schedule has really hindered meal planning as well. For a long time I never knew when my husband would be home from work because he seemed to always have to stay super late. I fed the kids something simple and just found something to much and if I made something I threw it in the microwave until Andrew got home but a lot of the time I just didn't bother to make anything.

Until now. Back in November, I posted about meal planning and how much I was actually enjoying it! I did like 10 freezer meals and they lasted us until just recently with all of the holidays in between. I also did lunches for my husband which he loved. I have been feeling guilty lately because I have been meaning to but dismissing it and we haven't had consistent meals again. BUT, with our new binder, I am hoping to remedy and refresh that! You'll notice that I added a Dinner line on each day of the week:

the creative jayne functional family binder meal planning

I like to do that so I can actually have a plan and by looking at all of the days I will know what's going on that day and be able to plan, ok this day can be a little more complicated, or this day we HAVE to do takeout or a crockpot meal.

the creative jayne family planner weekly spread

I also have a freezer meal plan spot on the Month overview page.

the creative jayne functional family binder meal planning 3

I LOVE my crockpot. If there is one thing in the kitchen that I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS go without, it's that. I LOVE it. Did I mention that already?! Thank you Uncle Jim and Aunt Katy for gifting it to us for our wedding!!!  BEST. THING. EVER.

Anyways. I have also enjoyed pinning monthly meal plans and freezer meals. I split my food board up into three different sections, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. It makes it super easy if I want to go on and print something off specifically for one of the meals or if I'm going shopping and suddenly remember a really great post about a certain meal.

The other thing I like to do is find freezer meal menus that have printable recipes and shopping lists and print them. Only problem is I ALWAYS lose them. I print them, lose them, can't find the original post again and have to start all over. In the back of my binder I put page protectors for just such an issue. I literally started from the back and loaded my menus and lists there so it would be super easy to go back to. I also want to get a zippered pencil case to put our receipts in. I like to look back at them after we made it through a good grocery shopping spree and remember what we did and what we bought.

the creative jayne functional family binder meal planning 2

So, that's how I do meal planning and how I am incorporating it into my binder. I could probably do a whole separate binder for meal planning but I like to have it right there so when Andrew and I sit down we can go over it together then and there without having to shuffle books.

How do you do meal planning? Will you add menus and such into your binder?

Until tomorrow Friend,
<3 Kayla

Part 5 | conclusion | or Begin at Part 1

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