Meal Planning Fun!

I’ve been searching for an online menu planner and price tracker and finally decided on Say Mmm. I started entering all the recipes but decided that since I already have them in a binder I’m rather wasting my time when all I’m really after is shopping list planning. I don’t want to have to print the recipe each time, and I don’t want to have to run back and forth to the computer either!

So what to do? First, I’m entering the recipe title and ingredient list into Say Mmm. That way I can make meal plans and shopping lists more quickly and easily. Second, while I’m entering recipes I’m sorting through my recipe binder. I started a new binder for the recipes that have not yet attained to the high status of our “keepers” list. The new binder also gives me a place to store new recipes I want to try without having a cluttered pile hanging around.

Prepping all the ingredients before I start cooking…”Mise en Place” in action!

In the end my original recipe binder should match what is in Say Mmm. Once everything is entered I can then put together meal plans…so much easier than deciding each week what to fix for each meal. For instance, I can add a meal that is set as “cheese meatloaf, escalloped corn, and harvard beets” and then choose that meal in my weeks plan.

Eventually I can upgrade and track my shopping costs, and add more than 100 recipes. Once I am using the program regularly I’ll feel the $3/month is more justified. No sense spending money when I haven’t yet proved I’ll use the program regularly (no matter how excited I am now).

(update: I wrote this in February but am publishing it in July…the system has been working pretty good. I upgraded and really like having all my loved recipes in one place – both in my binder and on Say Mmm. I’m still working on getting meal plans together and working out some of the bugs but my meal planning has gone much better since I started this.  I find their system a bit bulky but still the best from what’s out there to choose from. Hoping they upgrade their pricing system soon.

I also wrote down what is in all the aisles at our local grocery store so that when I write my lists by hand I can sort them exactly how the store is laid out. I dislike searching for things!)