How to Use a Recipe Box to Meal Plan Like a Pro
Meal planning has become a very trendy thing to do. It saves you time in day-to-day life by not having to guess what’s for dinner, but it also saves you money by reducing how often you go to the store to pick up food. What’s interesting about meal planning, however, is that it also creates the possibility of a healthier diet, weight loss, and a higher food variety.
Despite the overwhelming benefits of meal planning, getting into the swing of things can be challenging. It’s also difficult to look at the initial time spent and trust that it actually saves you time. With all the ways out there to meal plan, it’s hard to know which way to choose or what to try. Here are the steps I take to make a meal plan.
I like to start by finding recipes. I either look through my cookbooks, look on the internet, or go through my recipe binders. I usually plan for two weeks at a time, which means I need approximately fourteen dinner meals and something for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
After finding the food you want to prepare, the next step is to gather them together. I like to write down the recipes from the internet on recipe cards, so I don’t have to look for them when I need them. I want to utilize the space on the recipe cards to write down the time it takes to prep and cook. This will help you plan when you need to start cooking, but you can also use that estimated cook time to plan for days you have less or more time to prepare meals.
When I have finished writing my recipe cards, I make a list of ingredients I need to make them. Recipe cards come in handy by having all of them right in front of you.
The other reason I like to write recipes on recipe cards is to keep them handy and together. Because, after making my shopping list, I place them all into a recipe box. Heart & Berry has some beautiful options for recipe boxes. They are made of metal and have a hinged lid for easy opening. It also comes with 24 coordinating 4”x6” recipe cards and 12 pre-labeled dividers.
I like to organize my recipes by category, then when I will be making them; this takes the work out of finding the recipe and wondering what is for each meal every day. I recommend keeping extra recipe cards on hand to avoid running out.
After making each meal, you can place your recipes back where they belong, in a different recipe box or a recipe binder.
It can be a bit of an adjustment getting into meal planning. But once you do, it becomes second nature, and it will start saving you more and more time. If it seems too overwhelming, try starting small by doing a week at a time, then build up to two weeks or even a month.