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A fresh take on meal planning - gonna have to make some space on the fridge!

Meal Planning Made Easy with The Home Collection – Part 1

Why is it that I can never get enough when it comes to easy meal planning systems? I know I really only need one, but I’m still fascinated to see how everyone else makes dinner time work for them.  

Today our contributor Kaley is teaming up with our newest sponsor, Post-it® Brand, and using some of their uber cool new organizational products from the Home Collection by Post-it® Brand, Scotch Brand® and Command Brands to set up a meal planning system of her own.

I have to say, this one is mighty impressive! I’m especially loving the idea for tracking what’s in the freezer – I lose so much food to freezer burn in there… I think I might have to find a new spot for some of the kids’ artwork so I can create this bad boy on my own fridge.

Its 5 o’clock, and I have no idea what I am going to fix for dinner. Again. The baby is crying and my 4 year old is whining at my feet about being hungry.

The fridge is a jumbled mess of food but I feel like there is nothing in there to make into a presentable meal. I had a recipe I wanted to try, but I can’t remember if it is saved on my smart phone, or on Pinterest, or maybe tucked into a binder where I have been stashing all of the pages I tear out of magazines.

In other words, I am a hot mess.

Meal Planning 101 with Post-Its

Are you feeling my pain on this one?

A friend of mine was telling me that she plans her meals a month in advance, and dinners are a breeze in her house because she is so organized.

Easy breezy is exactly what I need so I decided to give meal planning a shot. It has got to be better than what I have been doing, which is basically flying by the seat of my pants. And resorting to the old stand-by “breakfast for dinner” more times than I’d like to admit. (Which is a great one, by the way, when you are really in a pinch!)

But I couldn’t decide on a system. All digital versus the 3 ring binder versus the wall. While they each seemed to have some definite pros and cons, the out in the open and organized in one place on the wall (or fridge) seemed like it would work best for our family. Out of sight (like the binder system or all digital) seems to be out of mind for me these days and I need as much help as I can get – an “in your face” reminder of what I need to buy to make dinner happen.

Meal Planning with Post-Its

When I saw the awesome line-up of new products from Post-it® Brand, Scotch Brand® and Command Brands, and was offered the opportunity to have them sent to me, I actually got pretty excited about my new meal planning ventures.

Not only did they think of absolutely everything you could possibly need, they made it all look great, too. Because if I’m going to have something on the fridge staring me in the face every day, it had better be easy on the eyes.

Meal Planning - use the valuable real estate on the front of your fridge!

Previously, the front of the fridge was used for nothing more than practicing letters and displaying art work. Both of which are very important, and will be incorporated into the new look, but I knew that this very valuable real estate could be working harder for us. So I cleared everything out, and went to work setting up our new meal planning center.

The things I wanted to incorporate into our meal planning system were:

  • a weekly meal plan (of course)
  • a grocery list
  • somewhere to keep track of what’s going on each day of the week
  • a way to jot dot reminders or quick notes
  • somewhere to keep a pen handy – because they always seem to disappear when you need them
  • a way to track things that I have in the freezer – so they will actually get eaten
  • a place to store recipes I want to try
  • a place to store take out menus for when I’m not in the mood to cook
  • and most importantly, a way to display artwork (without it taking over the entire fridge)

This is what I have set up so far:

Meal Planning with Post-Its

  1. Post-it® View and Go Pockets
  2. Post-it® Magnet Grip Disc
  3. Command Smart Phone Caddy
  4. Post-it® Reminder Tile
  5. Command™ Medium Clear Caddy
  6. Post-it® Planner & Perforated List Pad
  7. Post-it® Dry Erase Planner
  8. Post-it® Display Cards
  9. Scotch® Display Frame
  10. Scotch® Restickable Display Strip

Now that I have everything in place, I am actually excited about getting myself organized and filling everything in. I can’t wait to check back in and let you know how things are going after setting up and using the new system.

Be sure to check back here next week for my update and wish me luck!

UPDATE: Check out the finished product here!

 

 

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?



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Kaley is a photographer who spends her days starting lots of projects and finishing few of them. She lives in San Francisco with her awesomely creative daughter and her amazingly understanding husband.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Stephen May 1, 2014 at 12:07 am

I am always looking for a meal planning system that works too, and also is right in your face so we follow it! Do you know if these post it products are available in Canada?

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ami@naivecookcooks May 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

So much good stuff and such helpful info here!! loving your blog!

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Steph (MPMK Founder) May 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

Thank you so much Ami – glad you’re finding the ideas useful!

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Heather May 17, 2014 at 7:14 pm

It looks great. Now what? I have a long history of spending good money of beautiful new products, only to have them sit there, beautiful and unused because I don’t know what to do with them. In other words, I’m looking forward to your update on how you’re using all these clever products. :)

Reply

Stephanie May 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

I definitely agree with Heather! Pretty new products are my weakness, I need to be better about actually putting them to use. Excited to see how this all turns out!

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Thia Lutich July 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

i need help!! where do i find all these wonderful products to set up my meal planning!!?

thank you!!!

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Milly Jacobs August 17, 2014 at 12:16 am

I love the idea of meal planning, and really think it’s best to be organised when it comes to cooking: base your ingredients around your planned meal, and not your meal around the ingredients you have left over.
Personally, I am a person who thrives on routine, and don’t mind eating the same foods repeatedly.
I have finally devised a meal-planning system that works great for me. I have a complete daily food and drink guide for an entire week, complete with a calorie count and recipes. In fact, I have four different versions of complete weekly dining guides.
A guide for week A, for week B, and weeks C and D.
I alternate between the four weekly meal plans, and always cook those recipes and stick to those diets; all foods are recommended by my dietician and are organic.
This is so that I am never caught off-guard and always have a plan – one I know I’m comfortable with and is good for me.
This plan will obviously change depending on parties, going to restaurants, and hosting dinners.
It may seem tiresome eating the same meals over and over, but each day of the week in all four of the weekly plans provides a different set of meals. This means around 60 different meals in all. So, I don’t get bored: if I ever do, though, I’ll just make some adjustments to the plan.

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