Organized With Clardy

Solutions For Simplifying Your Life

Simplifying Menu Planning ~ 8/27 August 27, 2012

Filed under: 2012_08,Meals & Menus — organizedwithclardy @ 4:25 PM
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Back to school is a new concept in our house this year, in eight days my girls will start Pre-K.  I am not sure if I should cry or jump for joy!  I probably will do a little of both next week when I drop them off at school for the first time!

Since this is our last week of summer vacation, I am going to try to cram as much fun and play into our days as I can.  I do not want to be spending spend a lot of time in the kitchen this week….




Monday ~ Taco Salad withGuacamole Salad (Last week I made Healthy Taco Seasoning instead of using the store-bought seasoning packet…I did not hear any complaints from the peanut gallery and it is so much healthier than the store-bought)

Tuesday ~ Best Ever Sloppy Joes with Fries and Steamed Broccoli (When I think of school cafeteria food, I immediately think of Sloppy Joes..couldn’t resist trying this recipe this week)

Wednesday (Meat-less Meal) ~ Zucchini Lasagna with Garlic Bread

Thursday ~ Leftover Buffet

Friday ~ Pigs in a Blanket with Baked Potatoes (I like this recipe, the only thing I do different is use all white turkey dogs instead of little smokies)

Saturday ~ Labor Day Grill Out!  Steaks with Corn on the Cob and Macaroni Salad & Watermelon Lime Sorbet (YUM!)

Sunday ~ Labor Day Grill Out Cont’d! Hamburgers with Baked Beans and leftover Macaroni Salad & Banana Smores ( I have been wanting to try these all summer!)


I hope everybody has a great Labor Day Weekend!  Would love to hear what everyone is cooking up for this last long weekend of summer…please comment below…








Simplifying Weekly Menu Planning ~ 8/13 August 13, 2012

Filed under: 2012_08,Meals & Menus — organizedwithclardy @ 11:43 AM
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Loving my new simplified meal planning system!  Life was much easier last week, no more trying to figure out what we are having for dinner at the last-minute or kicking myself for not setting out the meat to thaw the night before.  We also enjoyed some new, yummy Pinterest inspired recipes, the weeknight rolls are a new family fav!

I went back to Pinterest for more inspiration this week…


Monday ~ Taco Salad withGuacamole Salad (This might be our Monday go-to meal…quick and simple and a big hit with the whole family.  This week I am going to make Healthy Taco Seasoning instead of using the store-bought seasoning packet..hoping nobody notices a difference!)

Tuesday ~ Sesame Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Frywith Brown Rice

Wednesday ~ Vegetable Loaded Pasta Bake (I like this recipe because you can use whatever veggies you have on hand…we have a ton of vegetables that our awesome neighbor gave us from his garden…YUMMY!  I also really like the idea of having at least one meal a week that doesn’t include meat…big money saver.)

Thursday ~ Leftover Buffet

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza(sauce)

Saturday ~ We are going out to eat for my Birthday!  YAY!

Sunday ~ Pork Chop Bake with Green Beans & Weeknight Dinner Rolls


What are you go-to meals..quick, simple & everybody loves?



An Organized Deep Freezer ~ Simplifying Meal & Menu Planning August 9, 2012

As part of my menu planning project, it was apparent that my deep freezer chest needed a major organizing overhaul. It was a jumbled mess!













After reading this blog post by Amy Bayliss at Cajun Joie de Vivre, Creative Organization: Organize Foods in the Deep Freezer w/ Printables,  I was inspired to clean out and organize my deep freeze using the method Amy Bayliss discusses.

I made my tags….












I removed everything from my freezer and sorted everything by category into reusable shopping bags.  I used the insulated, cooler bags for all of my meat products to help preserve product in case of a short power outage.


It is amazing how easy it is to find items now that everything is categorized and tagged!











I reserved the basket for items that we use frequently, i.e. deli meat for lunches, individually frozen snacks (never know when you will need a chocolate chip cookie!!)


Fortunately, I was already in the habit of labeling everything so I already had half the battle won.










This will definitely make menu planning each week much easier, as well as, pulling out what I need for tomorrow’s dinner the night before.

Would love to hear your best menu planning tips and tricks…




Simplifying Weekly Menu Planning August 6, 2012

Today is Monday and I am going to do what I said I was going to do…I am going to plan my meals for the week.  I have a cup of my favorite coffee, I have my supplies…I am ready to get started.

Getting Organized

I use to write my meal plan out in my daily planner but I believe this is one reason I got off track before.  It was an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.  I decided this time to go with a magnetic notepad that I can put on the front of my refrigerator…right in front of my face!

#1 large divided notepad to write out my menus – this way I can see at a glance what is going on for the week, as well as, what meat I need to pull out of the freezer when.

#1 small notepad to write out my shopping list – this also goes on the refrigerator so we can easily write down an item we use up during the week.

Menu Planning Notepads













I also realized that I already have quite a bit of food on hand between my pantry and my deep freeze.  HOWEVER, this is what my deep freeze looks like…

Deep Freeze Unorganized

Yikes! who knows what is in that unorganized mess.  I do know that there is nothing older than a year in there…only because we lost all our food in a four-day power outage when hurricane Irene came through at the end of August last year.

I started searching the internet for the perfect freezer inventory printable and while I was doing that I came across this blog post by Amy Bayliss at Cajun Joie de Vivre, Creative Organization: Organize Foods in the Deep Freezer w/ Printables.

Love her ideas on organizing a freezer without the use of an inventory list!






Goals For The Week:

  1. Organize my deep freeze using Amy Bayliss’ method
  2. Make a menu based on the food I already have


Menu Plan for the Week:

Monday ~ Taco Salad with Guacamole Salad

Tuesday ~ Thai Chicken Pasta with garden salad

Wednesday ~ Leftovers

Thursday ~ Pork Chop Casserole w long grain rice

Friday ~ O.T. E (we are going out to eat with friends)

Saturday ~ Homemade pizza (sauce)

Sunday ~ Whole fryer (cooked in crock-pot) with mashed potatoes and Weeknight Dinner Rolls


Anybody else tackle meal planning this week?  How do you keep track of your menu?









How Much Money Can I Save By Planning Out All My Meals In Advance? August 1, 2012

Filed under: 2012_08,Meals & Menus — organizedwithclardy @ 2:05 PM
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I took on meal planning about a year ago and did really well for several months but then I got off track and have yet to find my way back.  The main reason I did it last year was because meal time was always a source of stress for me…forgot to set the meat out to thaw, forgot to buy the meat in the first place, do I really want my kids eating SpaghettiO’s three nights in a row, etc. etc. etc.

I have never been known for my culinary skills and I really just don’t enjoy cooking but I do LOVE to eat and I really want to make sure I am providing healthy, quality meals for my family not to mention that food prices are crazy.  I swear they raise the price of red peppers every week!

For weeks now I have been saying I was going to sit down and get organized but kept putting it off but I have been inspired by this post from the blog Planner Perfect. Meal Planning Made Easy.

So, I am making myself accountable by writing this post….Must tackle meal planning! Must tackle meal planning! Must tackle meal planning!
My goal will be to post my meal plan for the week every Monday and I will be sure to share any tips and tricks I find along the way….

Sitting down and planning out my family’s meals for the week seems like such a no-brainer but for some reason I struggle with getting it done….I would love to hear what works for you guys, please comment below.



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