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May 13 2010
8 years ago
7:25 PM MST

YOU In Bloom (Week Two, Day Four)

May 13, 2010 @ 7:25 PM MST
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Guest post written by Thanks for sharing your great idea with us!

Okay, this is so simple and yet SO BRILLIANT!

The idea is to find 30 meals that your family loves MOST and compile those meals/recipes so that they are easy to access. Then make a master list of all the ingredients you would need for all of those meals, so you can keep your cupboards (and food storage) stocked! On any given night you can pick a meal and whip it up in a jiffy or plan a week/month at a time… easy peasy!

The beauty of this is that you still have a great variety and you can shop the sales, stock up on those ingredients, and make less trips to the store! This in turn saves lots of time and $$$$! Plus, no kiddos complaining, “This is disgusting”… you can now make everyone happy and get the kiddos involved in planning the 30 meals!


If you’re like me then you use a lot of the same recipes over and over again. I have several cookbooks and an over-flowing recipe box, but honestly I make maybe 15 of those recipes on a regular basis. So the first step is to step out of your comfort zone and find 30 recipes your family LOVES. Experiment with some new recipes and make it a fun project! I obviously picked all 15 of our “standard recipes”. Plus, we’ve been trying out new recipes regularly to start building our 30 meals.

Every night, after dinner, we go around the table and vote on whether or not we should add this to our 30 days of meals.


Put your recipes/meals on individual cards. Even if you don’t have ALL 30 of your recipes picked out yet (it may take awhile to find 30 meals you LOVE) go ahead and start copying the ones you have onto individual cards.

There are several ways you can do this, but I wanted to have them on my computer, so that I could reprint the cards and easily email them to friends and family. I found these free recipe card templates here. You could also use a word processor and print them on your printer or even hand write them onto index cards.

This is what our cards look like– and by the way, if you love Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, you should totally make this recipe! It’s awesome!

After we printed them, we laminated each card.

Then we punched a hole in the top left corner and put all of the recipes on a ring.

At the beginning of the week we can pick the meals we want to make for that week and stick them on the fridge in a cute little holder we made!


Master Ingredient List

This step is why I wanted to do the 30 meal plan in the first place… it just makes sense!

It’s great to have all of my recipes compiled, laminated, and ready to go, but I can’t make any of those yummy recipes without ALL the ingredients…

Melissa and I thought and thought about how to do our MASTER INGREDIENT LIST we proposed this and that, but then it hit us and here it is…

I used Microsoft Excel to make this lovely table (this is just a piece of my table) with the names of the meals on the left and ALL of the ingredients needed to make those 30 meals across the top. I separated the ingredients into sections to make it easier for shopping, i.e. meats/proteins, carbs, dairy, veggies, spices, etc. I think I will go back and alphabetize those sections to make it even easier.

The beauty of this is you can see EVERYTHING you need (and how much) at a glance.

Also, if you are at home looking in your fridge and thinking you need to cook up the chicken ( or veggies, etc) before they go bad, you can just pick up your Master List and check out the chicken column to see which meals you could make to use that chicken quick.


Okay my “30 meals” friends, I hope you are working on your 30 meals and your master ingredients list and hopefully you are starting to reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

I know I am and I am seriously LOVING IT!
So, this is the final step….
Create a Binder to keep yourself organized. Inside my binder I have several sheet protectors which I am using as pockets. I just took a sharpie (because I’m fancy like that) and wrote on the front of each of the sheet protectors. This is what I have so far:
1. Recipes to add to my 30 meals. (btw your 30 meals may eventually be 34 meals… nothing wrong with that).
2. Recipes I want to try. Now, don’t put just any recipe in here! You worked hard to simplify, so don’t go making things crazy again. But, if your bff goes on and on about a meal that her family gobbled up with lots of “mmmmmm”, and “yummy”, and “mom you are the best cook ever!” then you should definitely add that recipe to this pocket and try it out.
3. Special Occasion Recipes. In this pocket, you would put special recipes you make just a few times a year (ex. Holidays, summer salads, winter soups etc.)
4. Side dishes. Eventually I will type these up and put them on their own ring, but for now my funeral potatoes and vegetable recipes etc. will be found in this pocket.
5. Desserts. Again, eventually I will take all of my FAVORITE desserts and type them up and add them to their own ring (might need 2 or 3 rings, lol), but for now they go in this pocket.
6. Breads/ Appetizers/ drinks
7. Other Recipes. This pocket is for those recipes that didn’t make it to the top 30, maybe the kids nixed it– but the adults loved it.

The beautiful thing is once I’ve gone through all my recipes and divided them among the pockets, I can finally THROW AWAY all of those recipes that are crowding up my cupboards! Yay!

(If you want to print off this cover page for your binder, just download it here.)
**For the original nannygoat 30 Meals posts check them out here!
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