Why I Love This Easy System of Meal Planning for Busy Moms

Psst; lean closer and I’ll tell you a secret: There’s a way of meal planning for busy moms that’s so unbelievably easy you might not even believe it.

Or maybe, because it’s so easy, you have tried it but you haven’t even realized that’s what you were doing. Which is why today, I’m going to tell you all about my favorite, easiest system of meal planning for busy moms that gets the job done without putting in a whole lotta legwork.

Because sometimes we get all caught up in the “plan” of doing things, of following along a specific set of steps. And we miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. 

Because you want to know the real truth of meal planning? It’s that you know how to do it, girl. You got this on lock. Even if you don’t think you do.

What is this magic form of meal planning for busy moms, you ask?

It’s called the Meal Plan Rotation Plan, and yes, the title of it has the word “plan” in it twice. Just go with it.

I even feel a little silly talking about this in a blog post because it’s SO EASY. It’s SO NORMAL. 

Basically, the Meal Plan Rotation Plan can be chopped up into two “types” of meal planning. 

(By the way, have you figured out your meal plan type yet? Because that’s gonna make this a lot easier to start with. Click here to do so, then pop back over and read the rest of this post)

Ok. Here are the two types of meal plans, when using the Meal Plan Rotation Plan:

Type One: Just plan dinner and “wing it” for breakfast and lunch.
Type Two: Plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, BUT! You’ll have the same thing (or close to it) for breakfast and lunch every day, and have a different dinner recipe to serve each night.

The secret sauce? That once you create this meal plan, whether that’s Type One or Type Two, you stick with it. For WEEKS.

Utilizing the meal plan rotation plan means you “settle in” to a meal plan. You can vary this by making a 2-week plan, or even a three-week plan, and rotate those.

But by keeping it simple, by cooking and eating the same things for a period, you’re putting your decisions on autopilot for a while.

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


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Putting a rotating meal plan for busy moms on autopilot accomplishes a lot more than saving the time it takes to sit down and meal plan.

  • Number one, you’ll save money at the grocery store because you can comfortably buy in bulk, or semi-bulk, and take advantage of sales, space in your cupboard, and conquer food waste a little easier.
  • Number two, removing the mental strain of decision making, as minor as it may seem, can do wonders for your busy mom brain.

Have you ever heard of ‘the mental load’?

If you’re a mom, you probably know exactly what I mean: it’s the extra load of responsibility for the family that is typically carried by the mother.

It’s remembering doctor’s appointments, switching out winter clothes for summer, organizing the babysitter for date night. It’s the little things that fathers, as important and helpful as they are and can be, often don’t even think about.

And that mental load is draining, right?!

But guess what: creating a solid, simple meal plan for busy moms like implementing a rotation system can ease that mental load.

Instead of meal planning being something you need to take care of every week, you can just cross the meal plan figuring out right off the list. It’s taken care of for a while.

You might be asking: But what if I get sick of what we’re eating? Then I say: change it up! A meal plan is not written in stone. The beauty of using a rotation plan is that YOU DECIDE IT.  And the freedom it gives adds more space for wiggle room.

Below is an example of a simple Meal Plan Rotation Plan I wrote for my family recently.

For most of last month, my husband was plowing through three long weeks of double shifts at work, and I was solo parenting more than usual. 

Times like this, extra busy times, the Meal Plan Rotation Plan really shines. It takes a big weight off my shoulders to not have to think about meal planning, but still feel confident we’re eating healthy and with easy meals.

Breakfast: every day, my kids had whole grain waffles spread with peanut butter, and I had egg salad in lettuce cups. My husband grabbed breakfast at work.

Lunch: I had leftovers, the kids had homemade “lunchables” of cold cuts, cheese, and crackers. Occasionally I changed it up with PBJs and roasted veggies.

Dinner: I kept the ingredients for these dinners on hand and a list of them on the fridge. Then I made what we had time for or were in the mood for that evening.

We had something to this effect every week for about three weeks. I’m getting sick of it all now, so I’ll spend about 10-15 minutes (longer than I usually do when I’m making the 5 Minute Meal Plan, but it takes longer to decide on new stuff!)


So what do you think!? Does this sound like a plan that might work for your family during busy periods? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


Powered by ConvertKit
This easy system of meal planning for busy moms is so simple, you might be surprised at how effective it is! It starts with making a plan- and then sticking to it.This easy system of meal planning for busy moms is so simple, you might be surprised at how effective it is! It starts with making a plan- and then sticking to it.

Turkey, Cranberry and Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Up your finger food and party appetizer game with this super easy pinwheels! Just three ingredients and a few minutes to make, these are a crowd-pleaser.

The best part about a holiday party? The food! These turkey cranberry pinwheels are the perfect easy finger food for holiday parties.

If you’re looking for something simple to throw together, this is it.

It’s also a great lunch, kids think it’s awesome, and look at that gorgeous shade of red from the cranberry sauce.

Doesn’t that just scream festive!?

Other reasons to love this adorable, easy finger food option:

  • They’re no-bake.
  • They can be transported easily from your house to someone else’s, making them a great potluck option.
  • They’re super easy for kids to help with. That’s whether you need their assistance or just need to keep little hands busy for a while. (because yeah, I’ve been there).
  • You can use leftover Thanksgiving ingredients to make them (no extra shopping trips!)

If you’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers, they can really shine in these turkey pinwheels.

Did you know cranberry sauce freezes fantastically?

If you’ve got a lot left over after Thanksgiving, pop it in the freezer and pull it out to serve these pinwheels at a New Year’s Eve party!

The flavors in these pinwheels can be played around with as well. If cranberry’s not your jam, pesto makes a great substitute.

I’ll often make turkey rollups for my kids’ lunchboxes by rolling up pesto and cream cheese in a slice of turkey. It jazzes up the normal turkey lunchtime routine and by rolling it makes it easier for little fingers to grab!

 

Turkey, Cranberry and Cream Cheese Pinwheels
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

makes about 7-8 pinwheels

Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 4 slices deli-style turkey breast
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce
Instructions
  1. Arrange the turkey slices side by side on a flat surface and in a straight line, overlapping by about 1-2" each.
  2. Spread the cream cheese on the turkey slices evenly, spreading right up to the edge of the slices
  3. Spread the cranberry sauce on top of the cream cheese in an even layer
  4. Starting from the bottom (widest part), slowly and tightly roll the slices up into a log.
  5. Slice into rolls and serve

How to Survive Cooking Your First Thanksgiving In 6 Important Steps

Thanksgiving Survival Guide | Percolate Kitchen (click to read the full post!)

Cooking your first Thanksgiving can be nervewracking. It’s a big day with SO MUCH pressure, it can feel overwhelming!

So you’re the person in charge of Thanksgiving dinner this year. Lucky you!

Except…. not. There are so many moving parts to Thanksgiving, how can you keep track of them all!?

Maybe you’re freaking out about cooking your first Thanksgiving because you’ve never cooked for these many people before?

Or, last year you cooked and it was a disaster. Cold turkey, chewy mashed potatoes (how!?), and a dinner that finally got on the table 3 hours after you meant it to.

 

Or, your mom/grandma/aunt/uncle has always cooked an AWESOME dinner but they’re not able to this year, and the pressure is on!

Or, your kitchen is teeny tiny and you have zero space for a normal week’s groceries and gadgets, let alone the amount you’ll need for MORE.  

Fear not, my busy friend. I’ve been there, I’ve burned the mashed potatoes, and I lived to tell the tale.

You will, too!

But before that, here are 6 steps I learned from the ground up that can help you survive cooking your first Thanksgiving, whether you’re new to the game or just plain freaking overwhelmed.

Before we get into the 6 steps, download your copy of the Thanksgiving Game Plan! I’ve got a FREE packet for you, with 2 cheat sheets and a checklist for your Thanksgiving prep. Leave your name and email down below and I’ll send it to you!

6 STEPS TO CONQUERING THANKSGIVING DINNER

STEP ONE: WRITE IT ALL DOWN

This is the first, and possibly the most crucial step of the whole process of Thanksgiving dinner: get it all out on paper.

Start with an enormous list; include every single thing you’ll need to remember. Just get it all out, then work backward from there, breaking the list into smaller parts.

Write your whole guest list first.

As you’re figuring out the guest list, now is the time- before you decide on the menu- to find out who’s got allergies, who’s vegan, who’s able to bring their famous pumpkin pie along, etc.

Don’t forget the kids!

For example, do you have an uncle who likes to pour gravy all over everything, even his salad? Make a quick note of that on your guest list, so you don’t forget when you’re writing out your menu.

Then, write your entire menu.

This is the fun part! Keeping those with dietary restrictions in mind, figure out the recipes you’ll be making for the big day.

Cruise Pinterest, magazines, blogs, Google, ask your friends and family on Facebook for recipe recommendations. Keep it simple, but have fun!

If a recipe is super new to you, try to fit in a ‘practice’ run in the week or so before Thanksgiving. Being familiar with a recipe helps to take the edge off the stress of cooking on the day of.

Another important tenet of writing out your menu is deciding on what you can make ahead of time and chill or freeze until Thanksgiving Day; I’ll touch on the specifics of that later in the post. But it helps to, as you’re writing out your menu for the day, make a mental note of what can be made ahead to take some of the day-of pressure off.

How do I know what to serve at Thanksgiving dinner?

If you’re drawing a blank on what a typical T-giving day menu includes, no sweat. Here’s what I always make sure to have on the big day:

  • the turkey, turkey seasoning, and stuffing/dressing
  • gravy, made with the turkey drippings and extra gravy made ahead of time with chicken stock
  • mashed potatoes
  • salad
  • 1-2 casseroles/side dishes
  • cranberry sauce
  • bread rolls/biscuits/etc

THAT’S IT. Anything else is extra. Trust me on this one. You do not need to pull out all the stops!

Write a rough timeline

This is where the dirt meets the road, my friends. Once you have the particulars like guest list and menu figured out, your timeline (or ‘game plan’) will be the single most important process of the meal- before you start cooking.

I’d wager to say it’s more important than the actual cooking. With the right game plan, your stress load will be remarkably minimized! 

The trick is to start early. 

No matter how much more time there is between now and Thanksgiving, take a few minutes and write out everything that needs to be done between now and the morning of.

This includes grocery shopping. Turkey ordering. Booze procurement. Make-ahead items. The breakdown of cooking Thanksgiving day itself.

Still feeling overwhelmed? 

I’ve got a great download that will help you – and it’s FREE! Download this ‘Game Plan’ packet that includes three helpful cheat sheets: one to help figure out your overarching gameplan, one to figure out how much food to serve, and a Thanksgiving Day checklist. 

 

STEP TWO: UTILIZE YOUR GUEST LIST

Accept the help!

I get it, I do. It’s hard accepting help. I struggle with it all the time.

But with a dinner like Thanksgiving, it’s okay to lean on people. When someone asks, “what can I bring?” be honest. Tell them!

Here are some suggestions you can ask people to bring
    booze
    desserts
    whipped cream
    ice cream
    serving dishes and spoons
    napkins, cutlery, glasses, tablecloth
    side dishes

In all actuality, everything but the turkey can be brought potluck-style by someone else.

(And technically, the turkey can be brought in from somewhere else, too!)

What about the cleanup?

Don’t forget to figure this out! Try not to make it all on you; you’ll be doing enough that day!

Add extra plastic storage containers, cling film, and ziplock bags to your grocery list so that you store leftovers and send stuff home with guests.

If someone asks how they can help, ask if they’ll chip in with cleaning and storing food after the meal. It’s a cheesy old adage, but it’s true: heavy hands really do make light work!

STEP THREE: FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH FOOD YOU’LL NEED

Check out the image below; I’ve created an easy primer for figuring out how much food you’ll need for each guest. Obviously, you can play around with this; kids will eat less, some adults will eat more.

And don’t forget the leftovers! Turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite parts of the holiday!

Click the image to enlarge. You can also fill in your email address in the box below the image to download this AND the gameplan primer AND a checklist for the day, all in the one go!

STEP FOUR: CREATE A GAME PLAN

What’s your Thanksgiving game plan?

Think of a football coach in this way; you need to have a full ‘game plan’ mapped out ahead of time. This is what helps you create a clear path to Thanksgiving victory.

The best way to create a ‘Cooking Your First Thanksgiving’ game plan is to start big, then whittle it down to actionable steps.

Here’s what I mean by starting big, then whittling down:

BIG THING: grocery shop

WHITTLED DOWN:

Decide on the items you’re making (don’t include the dishes guests may be bringing).

Write down every single ingredient you’ll need, then check your cupboards and fridges to see what you’ve got and what you can substitute in.

Then, write your grocery list.

Clear your fridge for the onslaught of new items you’ll be bringing home.

Bring your list to the store (aside: Somehow, I manage to forget this every year 🤦 Don’t be like me. Remember your list!)

BIG THING: Cook Thanksgiving dinner

WHITTLED DOWN:

Decide the time you want dinner to be on the table, then work backward from there: How long will the turkey take? That’s when it goes in the oven.

Other questions to help figure out your timing: How long to prep the turkey before it goes in the oven? What items can be cooked beforehand and then reheated for dinner? What can be made in the ~20 minutes while the turkey rests after it’s out of the oven?

Tip: To avoid looking at your now enormous list of clear steps and getting overwhelmed, start with the smallest, easiest things first. Not only will it feel good to cross a handful of things off your list in a short period of time, but it will get the ball rolling in a ‘snowball’ effect; more things done means more momentum for the rest.

Need help organizing your thoughts? Here’s a game plan primer to download!

Click the image to enlarge; OR, leave your name and email below and get this game plan, plus the food amounts cheat sheet I mentioned in the last step and a master checklist.

You can do this!

 

STEP FIVE: WORK THE GAME PLAN

Getting down to business on the day of Thanksgiving

Now comes the real balancing act: cooking (and reheating) everything on the day of Thanksgiving, and getting it all on the table at the same time.

This is the step that I struggled with for years! I would find myself frantically mashing potatoes while everyone else was sitting down to dinner, privately cursing my mismanaged time.

But I’ve gathered a few tips in the meantime that will help you not make some of the same mistakes I did early on! Click the images below to enlarge. You can also pin them to save for later!

STEP SIX: HAVE A PLAN FOR CLEANUP

It’s the least fun part of the day, but don’t forget the post-Thanksgiving dinner cleanup and storage.

Having a rough idea of how this will play out will make it go much smoother and faster. I personally kind of enjoy cleaning up after Thanksgiving, although I’m usually beat after all that cooking. But it’s a nice time to reflect and chat with people on a more casual, one-to-one level.

Plus, when you’re in the kitchen you’re located at the prime advantage point for sneaking another piece of pie or a glass of wine. Score!

When people ask if they can bring something to help, sometimes I’ll tell them not to bring anything but to plan on chipping in to wash dishes.

I also make sure to always clean as I cook, which cuts down on the anxiety-inducing pile of post-dinner casserole dishes.

And lastly, I make double sure that there’s plenty of big ziplock baggies, plastic storage containers, cling film, tin foil, etc to both store food easily and send people home with leftovers.

There you have it; the Six Steps to Cooking Your First Thanksgiving!

If you’re a veteran Thanksgiving cook, or you think I forgot something- I wanna hear about it! Do you have any extra tips and tricks you wish you knew before jumping into cooking a Thanksgiving dinner? Leave a message in the comment section below!

Don’t forget to download my FREE Thanksgiving Game Plan by entering your email in the boxes below. You’ll get access to a gameplan breakdown cheat sheet, a checklist for the big day, and my food amounts cheat sheet. It’s a really helpful little packet!

Still nervous about cooking for the big day? I got your back, busy friend. Click here to buy my whole Thanksgiving meal plan, including recipes, grocery lists, cheat sheets, worksheets, storage and make-ahead ideas, and fully itemized grocery list. It’s insanely helpful and jampacked with info that will save you a TON of time planning, prepping and getting ready for Thanksgiving!

Pick and Choose Chart for Kid’s Packed Lunches

Use these ideas to get your kid's packed lunch ideas flowing! Pick one thing from each section for each lunch packed and be sure your kids cover their food groups and enjoy their lunch at the same time. There's even space to add in your own favorites!

I may be new to the ‘kid’s packed lunch scene’, but it doesn’t mean I’m full of fresh ideas as to what I’m supposed to pack!

“Will she eat this? Is this even healthy? Wait, am I including enough food groups?” Seriously, packing a kids’ lunch shouldn’t be this dang stressful. And yet it’s one of my most dreaded chores.

My kids aren’t school age yet (my son is 1 and my daughter is 3) but three days a week, they go to a babysitter/daycare situation from 9-5, and they bring a packed lunch with them on those days.

I do this so I can actually get, you know, work done.

I send them off (despite working from home) so that I can actually work, instead of, say, losing my mind or temper or plonking them in front of the T.V. for eight straight hours. It’s a win-win for everyone, and they absolutely adore their babysitter.

I make their packed lunches the night before, while I’m cleaning up after dinner but before I put leftovers away. I find that if I try to cram in packed lunch prep in the morning, I usually forget something – plus, it’s way too stressful! We have enough morning time battles to fight, such as trying to brush my daughter’s hair without her running away from me. Ain’t nobody got time to deal with lunch making, too.

Use these ideas to get your kid's packed lunch ideas flowing! Pick one thing from each section for each lunch packed and be sure your kids cover their food groups and enjoy their lunch at the same time. There's even space to add in your own favorites!(click the image to pin straight to Pinterest!)

I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way regarding these packed lunches:

  • Try to only have one food group item at a time (so, say- one piece of fruit, one vegetable, protein, etc)
  • Cheese sticks are my very best friend
  • Those reusable baby food pouches I bought too many of when my daughter was just getting into solids? Those are the perfect vehicle for applesauce.
  • My daughter tends to try more things at the babysitter’s house, so this is prime time to add in things like green beans, roasted broccoli, dried apricots, etc. She lives by the credo, “If it’s from mom, it’s gross. If it’s from the babysitter, I should try it!” So, I totally take advantage of this.
  • Leftovers are my other bff after cheese sticks. The nights before the kids go to the babysitter, I try to cook a dinner that is easily ‘leftover-able”. This saves me time and money, stretching a meal out this way!

Want some great ideas for a simple recipe you can make at home that works fabulously in kids’ packed lunches?

Check out this Facebook Live I did, where I made 15-Minute Peanut Satay Chicken Skewers and Broccoli Pesto Pasta.

Percolate Kitchen on Facebook Live: 2 Easy Back to School Packed Lunch Ideas

( Plus, I share my faaaaavorite reusable food containers, from Kids Konserve. They’re leakproof and practically indestructible! )

But wait! I went one step further, and created this handy little ‘Pick and Choose Packed Lunch’ cheat sheet for you! 🙌

Guys, this takes SO MUCH of the thought process out of planning and packing kid’s lunches. Add in a few extra options that your kid’s like; make it personal to you and your family.

Then, when it’s time to take care of the kid’s packed lunch, just pick one item from each section on the chart. Add it to the lunchbox, zip that sucker up, and toss it in the fridge or backpack.

It could.

Not.

Be.

Easier.

Well, easier if you had like, a maid to do this stuff for you. But you know what I mean.

Anyway, the download’s FREE!! No strings attached, no email to hand over. Just click and save and go about your merry little lunch-packing way.

Enjoy the school year!

Click here for the straight-up pdf version. Or, click the image below to download!

Use these ideas to get your kid's packed lunch ideas flowing! Pick one thing from each section for each lunch packed and be sure your kids cover their food groups and enjoy their lunch at the same time. There's even space to add in your own favorites!

You might also like: 

 How To Cook ‘Family Meal; Just Like a Chef 

3 Reasons Why You Need Better Kitchen Organization

The 5 Minute Meal Plan (Quick Cooking Tips #1)

This is How To Store Your Fall Produce

How do you store your favorite autumn fruits and veggies? Use this handy guide (and free printable!) to help keep your fall produce fresh, tasty, and ready to use!

How do you store your favorite autumn fruits and veggies? Use this handy guide (and free printable!) to help keep your fall produce fresh, tasty, and ready to use! How do you store your favorite autumn fruits and veggies? Use this handy guide (and free printable!) to help keep your fall produce fresh, tasty, and ready to use!

Fall’s bounty of fruits and vegetables is hard to beat, but how can you best store fall produce so it stays fresh and tasty!?

I love buying fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market in the fall when the air is warm and the breeze is crisp. Wondering how you can store fall produce from the market, so you can enjoy all that autumn-y deliciousness while it’s still fresh? I made a handy guide to help you with just that, showcasing some of the fall’s most popular fruits and veggies!

I’m writing this in July, in the middle of a heat wave, dreaming of fall leaves, pumpkins, and steamy bowls of apple and sausage chili (swoon). Thinking cool thoughts keeps me from melting in the heat!

Another thing I love about fall produce is how it easily lends itself to roasting.

Summer produce is delicious on its own, but squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, eggplant… they’re all so much better with a little roast-y caramelization, don’t you think?

I love to toss roasted veggies warm on top of a salad or stirred into pasta. So simple, and then you’ve got a totally deliciously healthy meal with very little hands on time.

Most of all, I love how roasting fall veggies on chilly nights both warms up my kitchen and smells so dang good. Three cheers for double duty! (or would that be two cheers? hmm…) 

Why just these veggies and not others? Blame fall’s cornucopia of produce!

I used some of my favorite fruits and vegetables in the printable below since fall’s bountiful harvest was a litttttle more than I could possibly fit on a graphic and still make it easy to understand and follow along.

If you’re looking for a great resource for help figure out just how long all your produce will last, I recommend heading over to the site EatByDate.com. There you’ll find a huge trove of not just fruits and vegetable use-by recommendation dates, but other foods as well; dairy, meat, etc. I refer to it all the time!

Click on the image below to download the pdf, no string attached! It’s free, it’s handy, and it’s super easy to print off and hang up on your fridge or pop into a meal planning binder.

How do you store your favorite autumn fruits and veggies? Use this handy guide (and free printable!) to help keep your fall produce fresh, tasty, and ready to use!

Enjoy!


 You might also like: 

Caring For Your Cast Iron Pan

How To Cook ‘Family Meal’ Just Like a Chef 

3 Reasons Why You Need Better Kitchen Organization 

The 5 Minute Meal Plan

I’m spilling my favorite secret today with my ‘5 Minute Meal Plan’ tip!

Today I thought I would share one of my favorite time saving, quick meal planning ‘hacks’. It’s Evernote, the cloud-based note-taking app! I’m going to break down, step-by-step, how I use this super simple app and program. Then you, too, can work a super quick 5 minute meal plan! 

My Evernote system is something I use regularly when I’m making my own family’s meal plans, and I also use it when I create my customized meal plans.

It’s nothing special or crazy or complicated, but you do need a smartphone to fully pull it off.

I use Evernote to store all my recipes.

No binders or recipe card boxes here!

If you’ve never used or heard of Evernote, I urge you to check it out! It’s a cloud-based list-making app, and it is so powerful. Since it’s based in the cloud, it will take up very little room on your phone, tablet, or computer. Yet it has the capacity to store thousands, if not millions, of your recipes. 

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


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Here’s a quick rundown on how I have my Evernote set up:

First, I created a handful of ‘notebooks’ in recipe categories I knew I’d use often, like Dinner, Snacks, and Salads.

Then, I added all my recipes I had bookmarked online and on my computer, dividing them into the correct folders.

(if you use Chrome as your browser, the Evernote Web Clipper Extension is a huge help for the online stuff!)

For recipes I had stored outside of the computer (think recipes ripped out of magazines, recipe cards, even some favorite cookbook recipes)

I use the camera scanner within the Evernote app on my phone. Guys, this is my favorite part of the whole Evernote program.

You can use their app camera to snap a picture of anything and it will store it whichever way you want; as a pdf, a scan, an image.

Using the Evernote camera, you can crop images right there in the app and write notes on them, too.

If you’ve got, say, a recipe card that has a front or a back, you can save each image separately within the same “note”.

Here’s what that looks like ——>

And it helps a ton with clutter; after I scanned in all my scribbled recipes and ripped-out-of-magazines-recipes and such, I carefully put away the recipe cards that meant something to me, like the ones in my Grandma’s handwriting. Then I recycled the rest.

Evernote is so handy for saving everything you need, especially recipes!

Now, when I sit down on Saturday afternoon to decide what we’re going to be eating that week, I get it all done with a quick 5-minute meal plan. And Evernote makes that super simple. As long as I’ve got my phone, everything I need is accessible!

Another great thing about Evernote is the search function is incredibly powerful.

It makes it really easy to browse through a specific category and pull recipes out really quickly.

Evernote’s search capabilities will even scan handwriting, so you just have to save the image and it’ll come up in search! How cool is that?

For example, say I know I’ve got some chicken breasts that need to be eaten that week. I’ll type “chicken breasts” into the search function of Evernote, and it pulls up all the recipes I have in there that use chicken breasts. Then I pick what fits best into our meal plan!

Another bonus? When I’m in the kitchen and I want to cook from a specific recipe, I’ll just prop my phone or tablet up and open the Evernote app. Then I cook right from there; no dragging out cookbooks! It’s super handy when I travel, too.

I know this is a bit of work at first setting it up, but I really hope you’ll try it. Once you’ve got a system down, it’s crazy easy to add recipes in, no matter where you find them.

Have you used Evernote? Do you have another super easy system for saving your recipes? I’d love to hear from you!

You might also like:

Is Online Grocery Store Thrive Market Worth the Hype?

9 Best Quick and Easy Cookbooks Every Busy Cook Needs

10+ Cooking Hacks, Tips and Tricks That Will Save You An Insane Amount of Time in the Kitchen

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

Grab the exact sheets I use to create my meal plans with the handy Meal Planning Bundle! Includes weekly meal plan template, recipe ideas, cheat sheet, and checklist.


Powered by ConvertKit
This is hands down the simplest way to organize your recipes and then to make your meal plan so fast! She gives step-by-step instructions for setting up Evernote to hold all your recipes, organize them, and then how to access them super fast so you can just bang out a super fast meal plan in 5 minutes.

This is hands down the simplest way to organize your recipes and then to make your meal plan so fast! She gives step-by-step instructions for setting up Evernote to hold all your recipes, organize them, and then how to access them super fast so you can just bang out a super fast meal plan in 5 minutes.

This is hands down the simplest way to organize your recipes and then to make your meal plan so fast! She gives step-by-step instructions for setting up Evernote to hold all your recipes, organize them, and then how to access them super fast so you can just bang out a super fast meal plan in 5 minutes.

This is hands down the simplest way to organize your recipes and then to make your meal plan so fast! She gives step-by-step instructions for setting up Evernote to hold all your recipes, organize them, and then how to access them super fast so you can just bang out a super fast meal plan in 5 minutes.

This is hands down the simplest way to organize your recipes and then to make your meal plan so fast! She gives step-by-step instructions for setting up Evernote to hold all your recipes, organize them, and then how to access them super fast so you can just bang out a super fast meal plan in 5 minutes. How I create my '5 minute meal plan' each week, using a super simple system! Once you have it set up, you won't believe how easy it is to use. How I create my '5 minute meal plan' each week, using a super simple system! Once you have it set up, you won't believe how easy it is to use.