How my bullet journal saves me time, money, and food

A few years ago, I bought this awesome whiteboard calendar at Walmart and glued earth magnets to each corner so I could put it on my fridge. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could come up with a menu for an entire month, each month. I was tired of wasting money on food that had spoiled because I’d forgotten about it.

When that cheap Walmart whiteboard broke in half after years of use, I found myself once again having the same problem. Walmart no longer sold them and I couldn’t find one I liked online or elsewhere. 

I tried (unsuccessfully) to create the same thing in my bullet journal a while ago but in list format with a running grocery list on the opposite page so I could see everything on one two-page spread. I remember why that happened: I turned to the internet searching for monthly bullet journal meals and what I found was in list format.

With optimism I gave it a go but quickly discovered it wouldn’t work for me. I like having a running shopping list area in my bullet journal, but I don’t want it next to my meal plan. Weird, right?

And then it dawned on me: make a monthly calendar just for meals. After using that whiteboard for years, putting my meals in list format didn’t click. So I made this:

My perfectly-imperfect menu for February.

When I turn this page I have a monthly running shopping list page—right next to my monthly brain dump.

This is what I love about the bullet journal system.  I was able to create a spread easily and in the way my brain likes to see it.

I use my shopping lists as kind of like scratch paper. I’ll even jot down a recipe I want to look up but don’t want it cluttering my menu. That’s why it made sense to put the shopping lists next to brain dumps.

So why did I call it “Menu Ideas” and why’s it facing the wrong way? It’s a mistake I went with. But no matter because it’s all laid out on one page without me having to brainstorm what to make for dinner the following week…one less thing to stress over.

Next month it’ll be properly titled “Monthly Menu” and facing the right way though. 🙂

You’d be surprised to know that between the layout, marker fill, and writing in the dinners, this took just under an hour. Yes, one hour spent planning and I don’t have to worry about what to make my family for dinner for an entire month.

In all fairness, we do have a lot of repeats and simple meals because it’s easier. And by using my crockpot I also make bulk meals to freeze and use as leftovers later.

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