These are my "essentials":
- Binder for recipes I want to try
- Recipe cards for recipes I want to keep/make again
- Binder for recipe cards
When I copy down a recipe, I always put the website or book I got it from so I can give credit where credit is due if I pass it on.
I number the pages for a reason I will get to in just a bit.
I prefer to use the binder because it is too awkward to carry a recipe box around and I like how the page protect the recipe for me. And yes, I do carry all these books around! I bring the notebook with me to and from work nearly everyday and the binders come to work with me at least once a week while I work on my menu planning during my lunch break.
I also like the recipe cards because I don't have a good, easy digital way of viewing recipes while I am cooking.
ReciPage is in this binder. So, see? I do have a digital version as well... just for you! :)
Usually on Wednesday, I sit down and think about what we have in the freezer that I can use. If I see deals while I am shopping the week before, I will pick them up to be used the following week. I then try to plan the next menu based around as much of the stockpile as I can. I also try to balance out our proteins, with chicken as every other one. The guys would revolt if we had vegetarian meals. :P
I also try to plan ways to use leftovers as well as planning for leftovers that I can take for lunch. In the menu above, I planned on having pork leftover to use in the Cuban sammiches. I will often plan to roast a whole chicken over the weekend and use the leftover meat in another meal a few days later.
You see those numbers in parentheses? Those are the page numbers of the recipes in the white OmNom binder. :) Not only do having the page numbers make it easier to find the recipe, but it also lets me know that this is a new recipe.
After I make my menu, I go through each recipe and make a first draft of my grocery list. After I have everything I know I need to the meals, I add whatever else we need. On Thursday, I then rewrite the list in the basic order of the aisles at my grocery store. For me, this helps eliminate the need to run back and forth as I realize I've forgotten things on the list. I also clip whatever coupons I may have to the list with an asterisk next to the list item to remind of the coupon.
So that's how I