Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Planning Menus to Save Time

Each week we are posting a one-minute-ish quick video tip on something useful and practical that you can apply right away! So, what’s for dinner tonight? Are you mentally scanning the contents of your refrigerator or pantry right now? (Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player.)



Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, and today’s Clutter Video Tip is about menu planning. Did you know for every minute you spend planning you can save 10?  I don’t know a better place to put that to use in your home than planning the meals for the week. You can save so much time and just so much energy worrying about the eternal question of: “What’s for dinner?” So one thing I enjoy is that in my recipe book, that you might remember from another video, I have a list right here in the front pocket of simply all the meals that my family enjoys eating, and I just have a Word document where I just add to that periodically as we add new things, and it is a great memory jogger, because half the battle is just thinking of the ideas of what to cook this week. So here are all the ideas. Other supplies that you might need for this process are a pen. I also like using a menu planner pad. You can use whatever you like. This one works for me. Also you might want to have with you your shopping list. You can use a pre-printed one or you can just use blank pieces of paper, whatever works for you. And another good thing to have with you as you plan menus is your calendar. You might want to know if there is a soccer game that night, or if you have a meeting to go to, those meals are going to need to be a little quicker.

If you get tired of making these decisions, you can use what’s called a “rotation menu.” We have a sample one for you on our web site at It’s on the left sidebar of the page and it’s in Microsoft Word format, so you can use the suggested meals that we have already filled in, or you can put in your own family favorites and print it out. Basically, you have 28 days worth of meals already pre-planned, and then you just rotate them. So you already know what you’re going to have every week. You can do a master shopping list for that week, go out and get everything, and then your family never has the same thing more than once a month, so they should be happy. You can even do a different rotation menu for winter versus summer.

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for meal planning made easy or how to save time cooking.

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I started using an Excel spreadsheet for my menu plans. I like being able to shade the blocks (it seems to make my menu planning more fun, and is easier to read). I can cut and paste meals around in the spreadsheet in case I need to revise the week’s menus, and I also have experimented with creating my shopping list in a second sheet within the same workbook in Excel. I don’t religiously plan weekly menus (yet!!) but I know it’s true it’s a huge time AND stress reliever for me when I do it!


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