How to Create Your Own Meal Planning Binder

Many moons ago when I was a brand new mom, I had a few fledgling attempts at meal planning that ended badly.  I won’t go into the unpleasant details, other than to say they involved a few recipes scattered throughout my kitchen in various cookbooks and recipe boxes, along with a notebook and a couple of crossed fingers. I really didn’t know how to balance a meal, how to find recipe inspiration or how to do it all in one quick 30 minute session. I was scattered.  Disorganized.  And ultimately ineffective.

But since then, I’ve had an odd 20 years or so to figure this whole thing out.  You see that photo above?  Yep.  They were my boot camp.  I’m talkin’ four boys who can easily eat their weight in tacos.  Plus a girl who can certainly hold her own at the dinner table.  Then there’s hubbs and I.  And oh, yeah.  My littlest dude is on a special diet. Gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, yeast-free and organic.  Whew.  These innocent looking little punks are quick to eat me out of house and home if I don’t have a plan.  They’ve done it more than once.  They were my source of motivation for learning the ropes of meal planning.

They say necessity is the mother of invention.  And what a mother she was.

All of this is to say that I am happy to save you the bumps and bruises I endured as a young mom by sharing everything I know.  In fact, I’m so passionate about sharing my hard learned skills that I’ve written a book on the subject.

Shameless book plug coming.  Brace yourself.

Get the ebook version for just $4.99!  Includes all the free printables you need to make your own meal planning binder. Get Operation Dinner – How to Plan, Shop & Prep for Easy Family Meals.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program…

Now whether you buy the book or not, you’ll need to know the ins-and-outs of making your own meal planning binder (which is just part of what you’ll learn in the book).  So for the next two weeks, I’m going to show you just how it’s done.

In this series we will cover:

  • How to Use Pinterest as a Meal Planning Tool
  • How to Find the Perfect Recipes
  • Gathering Materials to Create Your Binder
  • Your Binder Contents
  • Choosing Weekly Meal Planning Themes
  • Making Your First Meal Plan
  • Composing a Shopping List

Are you ready to get started?  Good.  Here’s your first assignment, and I think you’re gonna like it.

Today’s Assignment:
Visit the Moms by Heart Pinterest Board to see how I have organized my recipes, and to get some ideas for how you might do the same. Tomorrow we will dive in by discussing how you can use Pinterest to maximize your meal planning effectiveness.

We all need another excuse for spending time on Pinterest, don’t we?

You’re welcome.

UPDATE: Scroll through HERE to see the entire series on Creating Your Own Meal Planning Binder.


  1. Thank you! I’m a mom of 4 and this is going to truly help me out! I will be purchasing this today!
    Love your blog, your awesome, keep up the great work!!

  2. Just bought your book. I love your site too. So, I know I’ll love your book!

  3. Hahaha “many moons ago” I love that phrase :) I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for taking the extra effort of having a mobile and desktop version of your blog. I work 12hrs 6 days a week and rely mostly on my phone to browse and research. This is so very helpful! Thanks again!!