My goal this weekend it to plan and prepare 80-90 meals . These will last us all through the summer, and canning season when I really don’t have time to cook and the stove is taken up with tomatoes.
I thought I would share a little about how I plan for such a large endeavor. It really isn’t hard it just takes a bit of planning and organization. I start by looking through my recipe books and jotting down meals that we like, meals that are good for the particular season I am cooking for, and meals that will freeze well. My storage cookbook (I have two)
After I have made my list I then copy each recipe so I can put it in my go-to notebook. My go-to notebook is simply a small thin 3 ring binder. This keeps everything I need for the months in one spot for easy access. I will refer to it every time I pull out something from the freezer.
It sounds like a lot of extra work to copy each recipe but it is really worth it to not have to search for anything while you are cooking. Then after you have done it a few times there is less and less to copy. This means my regular cookbook has doubles of everything. I keep my recipes in plastic sleeves so they don’t get ruined. I am not a neat cook!As you can see some are copied out of cook books and some I have taken the time to type out and put in my 3 ring storage binder.
After they are copied I group like meals together, chicken, pork, beef, marinades, etc. This is how I will cook. I usually do the marinades first as they are easy, then move on to the beef dishes, and then the chicken and pork. Each of my plastic sleeves in my go-to notebook is labeled with a number, and I usually have 20 recipes each cook. These numbers correspond to my shopping list so I make sure to buy enough of each item. You can see the numbers on the labels in the top right of each plastic sleeve. I reuse these sleeves each cook. I print our four pages of my shopping list planner. It usually takes that many when I fill in each ingredient. Starting with the first recipe in the book I write down all the ingredients and fill in how much I need for each under the number one. Then I move on to the second recipe writing down any ingredients that I don’t all ready have listed, and the amounts for each under the number 2 and continue until number 20. After I have finished this step I triple every recipe as I am totaling up the numbers in my total columns. Your totals should look big! You’ll notice that for 20 meals I have a double number column. This is so I can fit them all on one page, otherwise it is to much to keep up with and I forget to buy something or I buy to much.
Then my last planning step at this point is to transfer it all to my shopping list per the layout of the grocery store. I group meats together, dairy, canned items, dairy, etc. This will make it easier to shop.
Tomorrow I will share with you how to shop!