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brown paper packages: {family meal planner}

Thursday, January 21, 2010

{family meal planner}

This project is not only adorable, it's extremely helpful and practical. Preparing meals is something we do everyday, and this is something I came up with to make my life a little easier.

Family Meal Planner

When I'm getting ready to go grocery shopping, I always sit down, make a menu, look at the ads, and then make my list from that information.

Well, I don't know about you, but I have more than one cookbook I use on a regular basis...a favorite recipes binder, a church cookbook, and couple others that I love. This means that when I sat down to make my list, I was pulling out a stack of cookbooks to go through to find a specific recipe and the ingredients required.

So, I decided to do something about that. I came up with "The Family Meal Planner", and I love it! I got that stack of cookbooks out, found all of the favorite, tried & true recipes our family eats the most, and got to work. I listed the name of the recipe, a list of the ingredients, and where I could find the recipe (in which cookbook). Now I can just pull out my meal planner, decide what our menu will be, and have a ready list of ingredients all in one place. It's the perfect size for my purse, so even if I don't have time to make a list, I can easily refer to it to make sure I don't forget anything. It also allows for new recipes to be easily added at any point.

  • cardstock
  • scrapbook paper, and coordinating papers
  • cookbooks, favorite recipes
  • silver clasp ring
  • distress ink
  • ribbon
  • Open a blank Word Document. I formatted it into 2 columns, and fit 4 recipes per page.
  • Print onto cardstock.
  • Cut into 4x4 squares, with one recipe per square.
  • Cut your scrapbook paper into a 4x4 square, and embellish as desired. Distress edges.
  • Using a hole punch, punch a hole into the left corner of each square. To make sure all the holes are in the same place, try this: punch a hole in the first square, then place each additional square one at a time underneath that first square. You will be able to then punch a hole directly over the top of the original hole.
  • Stack all your squares together, and place on silver ring.
  • Tie ribbon on ring.
This will initially require some time to get it all together, but you will be so glad! It's definitely worth it.



Blogger Miss Dot said...

Perfect!! I hate going to the store and forgetting that one stinkin' ingredient that I need for some recipe. What a great way to keep them all together and at hand!

January 21, 2010 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Wendy Ferguson said...

Love this idea! Nothing worse than pulling down all the cookbooks and searching through them all and then still forgetting something. Gonna go make one now!

January 21, 2010 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger mayasmom23 said...

What a great idea. I am so going to do this. Thanks.

January 21, 2010 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Will you show a picture of how you did each recipe? Do you have your list of ingredients on the front and the recipe on the back?
I would love to include your idea in my recipe section of a 365 organization blog that I am doing. Are you game for another link? Just let me know through email at or
Thank you! ~Laura

January 21, 2010 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Summer Rae said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

January 21, 2010 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger melanie said...

Love it! I have been doing something similar with handwritten 3x5 cards, but this is definitely prettier. One thing I did do that helps me is that each main type of meal (i.e. chicken, beef, fish, egg, etc.) is on a card with different colors. For example, beef is on pink cards, chicken is on green cards, etc. Then I can just pull out the cards I am using for the week and in an instant I can see if I need to mix it up a bit to make sure we are not eating the same type of food each night. Great idea.

January 21, 2010 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

YES, I have been dreading putting my recipes together SOMEHOW lately and I think this is PERFECT!

January 21, 2010 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you for your comment and persmission. The post is tentatively scheduled for February, so I will email you first. I was thinking that maybe we could put a picture of your favorite recipe binder with the family meal planner. Making and preparing meals for our families is one of the most challenging and rewarding things that we do, so being organized in this department of our lives, is a MUST. I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your family blog. It is one of my favorites. I have a counselor who just had her second set of twins and her oldest and only single is only SIX! I linked her to your family blog to show her that she, too, can do this. Thanks again! ~Laura

January 21, 2010 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What a great idea and purse companion to run to the store! I love having the family favorites all in one spot! Thank you for this!

January 21, 2010 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Great idea! I might just have to copy you and make one for myself! :)

January 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Country Dreaming said...

Love it--saves on going through all my cookbooks.
Would make a great gift too.


January 21, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Missy Luukkonen said...

Great idea! I may be making one of those this weekend!

January 21, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger De Javu Crafts said...

That is such a good idea...i have a cabinet FUll of cooking books i need to make one of these and have one big book...thanks for the idea!!

January 21, 2010 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

brilliant. and cute. yesterday, I forgot my grocery list. it was raining and it made me mad. This would be perfect and I can throw it in my purse. Super idea. No more ticked off mommy in the parking lot. That is not a pretty sight.....

January 22, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger The Girl Creative said...

I love it. Where do you get that paper that you use (the white stuff)? We just started stock-piling and shopping for the month, making menus, etc. This would help me out a lot. I've thought about doing something similar and should take your cue to do it. :)

January 22, 2010 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger sweetpea said...

Girl Creative--it's cardstock by Bazzill, and I get it at my local scrapbooking store. I love the texture of it--it's really all I use. They have hundreds of colors to choose from!

January 22, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger StepherB said...

OMG I LOVE this idea! I will definitely be making me one! I especially hate when you think you have the recipe memorized and find out after you get back from the store that you have forgotten one of the ingredients! Wonderful idea!

January 22, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

You are so organized! Very cool !

January 22, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger The Faveros said...

I love your blog and all your ideas - I was given an award and I passed it on to you on my blog!! Go check it out if you want:)

January 23, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

What great ideas you have! I love your blog, and I'm going to follow you! Stop by and visit me sometime!

January 23, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Luv 2 Craft said...

Hi my name is Shanna and our little craft blog has nominated Brown Paper Packages for the Lemonade Stand Award. Thanks for everything that you've shared and all your creativity! Our blog is! Thanks!

January 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

It looks like that recipe book contains a cafe rio pork recipe?? Would you share? I've tried some recipes that swear they have found the way to recreate that magical meat, but we don't think so. So would you share it so we can give it a try?? Thanks for sharing all your cleverness.

January 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this idea... I pull out all my books/magazines everytime I plan my shopping list.

I featured this on my blog at

February 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What a great idea, thanks for sharing!
God's blessings,
Sarah :D

June 6, 2010 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thinking...I was just printing out recipes I love and am going to laminate them and bind them together with a for meals and one for yours though!

July 7, 2010 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger FamiLee said...

I LOVE this...anyway you might share your recipes and shopping list that you already did? I like to try new things. :)

September 22, 2010 at 1:51 AM  
Blogger Sandi {Lucy Doo} said...

I just discovered your blog through UCreate!! I'm hooked!!! I think I'm going to make the Valentine blocks tomorrow!! And I might even make the Meal Planner too!!

Thanks for giving us such great projects!


January 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM  

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