Friends, my menu planning area was pretty disastrous. Between moving and just not being fully organized in that portion of my life, I kind of dreaded Thursdays when I needed to make my menu and grocery list for my Friday trip “into town”. I had been brainstorming what to do with the bookshelf that we store my cookbooks on to make it into a more streamlined and clutterless area that would hopefully help me feel excited about planning our menus. I unfortunately do not have a before photo of this shelf, because honestly, I was pretty ashamed at how crazy it was. I finally found motivation for my menu shelf on a recent trip to Target.
Target is a beautiful, blessed spot for relaxation for me and many mommas I know. Previous to our relocation, I had not one, but two Targets within reasonable driving distance from our home. Now, our closest Target is about 45 minutes away. Thankfully, its right by my OB’s office, so I can shop the aisles of my momma mecca once a month right now, and more frequently as Pumpkin grows! My favorite space at Target, to be completely honest, is the Dollar Spot. They have such fun things there. I usually cant resist and purchase at least one item from these shelves.
It’s on these shelves that I found the inspiration to make what I now refer to as my “Menu Planning Station”.
(The chalkboard is currently still in creative mode. I’ll update with what I decide to put on it!!!)
Everything in my Menu Planning Station was purchased at Target with the exception of my yearly planner. The metal file folder bin was my only “big ticket” purchase (outside of the Dollar Spot) but that was something that we already had in our possession from a previous organizing idea that ended up needing a bigger file folder bin.
Here’s a full view of the bookshelf. It certainly doesn’t all match, but hopefully as time goes on I can invest in some different storage containers. The two clear totes on the top shelf currently house what we lovingly called our “Junk Drawer” at our old house. We literally have NO drawers in our current rental home, so we have had to get creative with storage space. The polka dot bin houses cookbooks that aren’t frequently pulled out and the 31 tote on the bottom shelf has our winter gear.
The Weekly Menu Planner was purchased at the Dollar Spot a couple years ago when we first got married. It was a blessing to find something that could keep me organized in those early months. Joseph had a crazy job installing cable tv, and would sometimes come home after 10 pm. If I didn’t have something set for a menu, I would probably just make myself a box of macaroni every night and call it a day, but I had a hungry hubby to feed. I’m sure he appreciates this pad of paper more than he is aware of! The cute chevron and floral notepad on top of the menu planner is currently in the Dollar Spot at Target. I use this to write down recipes that I need to print from internet sources like Pinterest. I get a lot of my meal ideas from there.
This little cutie is a magnetic white board. It was one of the $3 items in the Dollar Spot and came with magnets on the back and a clip on marker. I’m storing the marker in the metal pail with the rest of my writing utensils currently. The magnet board gets stuck to the fridge so I can easily see what’s on the menu for the day and can pull out frozen meat or throw ingredients into the crock pot in the morning while I’m getting Junebug’s breakfast ready.
These file folders came in three packs for $1 per pack. I scooped up three packs with different patterns on them to have some variety. My goal is to make a monthly menu at the beginning of the month. Each of the folders labeled with a weekly menu will get the recipe cards or printed recipes that correspond with that week’s menu items. I’m hoping this brings some variety into our meal plan, since we seem to sometimes repeat meals from week to week.
This planner was actually purchased at the Dollar Tree, for $1 (another store I sorely miss in our new town). I use this to plan out the monthly menu at the beginning of the month.
anal matchy, I got two sets of matching pens to go into this adorable metal pail and this cute little sticky notepad for little notes to go on recipes. I have a permanent marker stashed in there, too, from writing on my folders. This totaled at $4 for everything in the picture.
Overall, I spent around $15 to set this station up. Now I can just grab the metal file folder bin, a couple cookbooks or my phone, bring it to wherever Junebug is playing and go to town on menu planning! Being cute and organized doesn’t need to cost a fortune!