Organization: Monthly Menu Planner

The start of a new year is filled with reminders to get organized.  Stores are filled with all the essentials to help us organize our lives in multiple ways.  

When it comes to organization, I work on this all year long (and enjoy every minute of it..ha!).  Over the years, I've developed my own system for managing our family finances, schedules, home projects, and many other things.  But I'm always tweaking my system and looking for new and innovative ways to simplify my life and my responsibilities.  

I learned long ago that the best chance for success is to find a system that works and stick to it. So when it comes to grocery shopping (with the least amount of trips to the store possible!) and eating healthy, I have found that having a monthly menu plan and shopping list is a HUGE help.  

You don't have to use anything fancy....a notebook will do.  But I have several go-to sites that I use that offer FREE printable downloads.  I Heart Organizing and Organized Home are two of my favorite sites.  Just click on the links and see all of the neat stuff available.  

I actually enjoy the process of planning and organizing things, so I'm always inspired the first of the month to plan monthly menus for my family.  I basically plan on 5 meals per week to get me through supper time during the busy work weeks.  No one is home during lunch, so that's easy.  Because I buy the bulk of my groceries bi-weekly, I don't fret about having the entire month filled in at once if I can't decide.  And of course, I try to keep extra meals on hand for the weekends.  It just makes life simpler when I don't have to decide at the last minute what to cook when I get home from work.  It also makes it easier for Scott if he wants to start the cooking before I get home.

Needless to say, when Dillan's not going to be home from Atlanta and when Scott's work schedule requires him to travel during the week, my menu planning is real easy!  I can live off of a pot of soup for several days....or tuna salad, oatmeal, etc.  I save the big meals for when everyone is home.

Speaking of meals, someone asked me the other day about sharing my menus for January, so I thought I'd list the first couple of weeks here.  I'll try to share links to the actual recipes where available, but some don't require one.

Week 1:
Grilled pork chops/baked potatoes/salad
Baked spaghetti/ salad
Homemade pizza
Slow Cooker Pot Roast/ creamed corn/ peas/fried okra
Meat and Potato Quiche 

Week 2:
Beef tacos/ chips & salsa
Potato Soup (compliments of Ashlee Wood at Across the Branch from my hometown)
Sloppy Joes/ fries/and kale chips for me
Country Style ribs/ corn on cobb/ baked beans
Trisha Yearwood's Un-fried Chicken and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower/ butterbeans

I hope my menu planning will inspire you to get more organized about feeding your family.  I'm always looking for new recipes, so if you've got some you'd like to recommend, please do!

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