Warning: I'm about to suggest that Working Moms do more work, but it'll be worth it in the end. If you want to simplify your meal prep use Pinterest and keep an organized online recipe box. Here's how.
When my family converted to a (mostly) gluten-free diet I needed a way to keep track of a bunch of new gluten-free recipes. So I hit Pinterest. I started following gluten-free pinners to help create my own gluten-free recipe board.
But when that GF board became full with many amazing recipes it became hard to search through. I needed to get organized pronto.
Organizing your pins by "have to try" and "favorites"
If you are new to Pinterest, you are lucky! You have a clean slate to work from. If you have been pinning recipes for awhile what I’m suggesting will take some time and effort but it's worth it.
Board placement is important to simplifying your meal prep. To clean things up I created two sets of recipe boards. One set of recipes is titled "<type of food> - like to try" and the other is recipes I’ve tried and the family loved which I call "favorite GF <type of food>". For food type I used beef, chicken, pork, side dishes, appetizers and of course desserts.
Ask these 5 q's before you pin
When I find a recipe I click over to the webpage. I do this to avoid pinning images with dead links as well as to investigate the recipe.
After reading the recipe I ask myself these five questions:
- Will the family eat it?
- Is this a quick week night (WN) meal which will take 30 minutes or less to make?
- Is this a weekend (WKD) meal which will take more than 30 minutes and I wouldn’t mind putting in the work to make it?
- Do I need to make changes to the recipe to make it gluten-free?
- What are the ingredients? Is there anything I don’t normally buy?
Loaded with my answers I decide if I’ll pin it and if I do I always change the description of the pin with answers to the above questions.
I’ll add how long it'll take to make the meal and what the oven temperature has to be set at. If there is an ingredient that I don’t normally buy I’ll list that in the description, too.
Growing your favorite recipes and simplifying meal prep
After I’ve made the dish the pin is either delete on the spot or it's promote to a “favorites” board. If the family picked around it but my husband and I liked it I’ll save it to favorites and note it’s a "parents meal". If I make it again the kids can just eat hotdogs.
The Favorite boards have been the key to simplifying my meal prep. When I’m unsure about what to make for dinner (which I feel like constantly) I check out my tried and true favorites. Looking at the pictures helps me, and the family, decide what we want to eat for the week. I'm not a fan of making food shopping lists (but I still make them) but when I hop on Pinterest it makes this unfavorable task tolerable.
I can also have the kids just look at the favorites and choose for themselves! Having meals planned out for the week is one less task I need to worry about. It also helps the kids because they don't have to ask "What's for dinner, Mom?".
All of the work I spent on cleaning my pins has helped me alot not only stay organized but also buy food to make yummy meals I know my family will love.
Now I want to hear from you!
Do you use Pinterest to meal plan? What are some tips and tricks that you use? Will you start cleaning out your Pinterest boards this weekend? Tell me about your Pinterest plans over on my Facebook page!