How to Use the Seasonal Meal Planning Journal
I've had so much fun this fall meeting customers face to face and chatting about getting into the kitchen, meal planning, and struggles we have! One thing I heard over and over again was that women felt like they didn't have time or that they weren't organized enough to use the Seasonal Meal Planning Journal. If I'm honest, this is one of my biggest fears because it's with these women in mind that I created the journals!
I intentionally designed the journals to have a no fuss, straight forward approach that didn't take a lot of time or prior organization to get started. You can literally pick up the journal and start even if you feel like the biggest loser in the kitchen at the moment (been there!).
I shared this post on Instagram recently and it really rings true for me. I genuinely believe these journals can be life changing and that is my constant prayer for them and the women who use them. I'm asking God all the time to change families and communities by taking the stress off of women when it comes to cooking, and freeing them up to use their tables and their homes as places of rest and relationship building among their people - whether that be family, kiddos, neighbors, roommates, or the random stranger.
So, that being said, I wanted to share a little step-by-step of how I put my journal to use on a weekly basis.
1. I usually do my meal planning for the week along with our calendar on Sunday afternoon during Reaghan's nap. I take a quick look inside the fridge, freezer and pantry first. Then I pull my calendar, Seasonal Meal Planning journal, my recipe binder, laptop and pen and sit at the kitchen table to make a plan.
2. I look at our calendar and figure out what we have going on each day. Is there a shower coming up I need to prep for? Those ingredients get added to my grocery list. Do we have friends coming over for dinner, or will we be eating out one night? I figure out how many meals I need to plan for, and I write it all in my journal.
3. Then I look through my favorite Pinterest recipes or my recipe binder for tried and true, simple dinners. I choose the ones that fit the best for the week, and try to stick to seasonal ingredients. If I need help remembering what produce is in season, I just flip to the back of my journal for the list of seasonal food.
I highly suggest writing your favorite recipes in the back of the journal as well. There are 16 sections for each part of the year where you can write down your favorite recipe and where it is located (cookbook, website, etc) This helps me on those weeks I'm really lacking in inspiration and just need to choose something I know will work.
4. As I write down each dinner in it's box, I flip the sheet over to add the ingredients I need onto my grocery list. I also take into consideration what I want to feed our family for breakfast, lunches and snacks throughout the week, and add those ingredients to my list too.
5. I write out anything I want to prep ahead of time, and try to get these done on Monday's while Rae eats her lunch. We do our grocery shopping on Monday mornings because it's the least crowded time at the stores, so as I put groceries away, I usually prep. Some examples of prep would be chopping veggies, making cookies for an event, making granola bars or roasting nuts for snacks, etc.
All the pages are perforated too so I rip them out - take my list to the store with me, then either post the meals up on my fridge when I get home or re-write them on our white board. I also stick our lunches and prep items on the side of my fridge so I can easily remember what to make for Jordan each day.
If you want to get your meals organized, these journals are listed in our shop! We have two covers this year, lemonade and joyful stripe :)