For the first time this year, I made a proper holiday meal plan, and it really was a game-changer. Being so organized and intentional about my process, helped me be more productive, saved me time, and shaved dollars off my grocery bill.
Step one was decide how I wanted to create my planner: paper or digital? I know popular convention is to go all digital these days. With smartphones, iPads and organizational apps to help with organizing and planning. But I am somewhat of a luddite. I think many times good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine. Plus, it keeps me off the computer, where I will undoubtedly be distracted by emails, social networking, or other projects.
I created a small binder to be my planner. I inserted a pretty holiday themed art image for the clear pocket of the cover. Inside, I placed several clear pockets sleeves that will hold and protect my recipes, and created three divider sections: Main dishes, side dishes, and desserts.
Step two was looking at a calendar. I looked at my work calendar which includes both work meetings and appointments, as well as various personal commitments. I strategically chose days in which I would have time to shop, prep, cook/bake, (and, if baking treats for gifts) deliver.