Getting Organized: Menu Planning with and

Heather says:

We’ve all done it, you know, the 5:30 stare. You walk to the refrigerator, open the door and hope for dinner to leap into your arms and say, “Cook me! I’m the meal you want!” Unfortunately it doesn’t happen, so you stare past the eggs and the milk, you notice the leftovers that should have been tossed, but they’ll linger for at least another day or two. Sometimes you’ll close the door and wander away, only to return a few minutes later hoping something new has appeared. It hasn’t.

You know the solution is simple, right? Menu planning.

But, but, it sounds so structured, so constricting, so dull. Well, eating another peanut butter sandwich over the sink doesn’t exactly sound scintillating, either.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be a monumental task.

Over the last few months, many of you may have noticed I have begun providing a full, printable shopping list to go along with the weekly menu plan. I create the shopping list using the free tool I was pretty skeptical at first. Most of the menu planning sites I have played with in the past restrict users to a set selection of recipes or stores. SayMmm is different; it lets users easily create menus and shopping lists from their own favorite recipes. Bloggers will love that they can link to their own sites and create printable, sharable shopping lists to share with their readers.

As with any project this personal in nature -and it’s hard to get more personal than your diet- there’s a little customization to be done in the beginning. I’ve worked with the site creator, Brian Hutchins, to add over two hundred recipes from Home Ec 101 to the SayMmm website. Each of those recipes now has its own shopping list and links back to the original. understands that people work hard to find and curate their own trusted recipe collections. I’m a huge fan of because the site respects the work I’ve already done.

Menu planning with SayMmm isn’t a huge project. Just open the menu plan and list your recipes by day and meal. If a recipe you want isn’t already in the database, just add the recipe to the database.  Don’t worry, if any of this sounds confusing, there are video tutorials that walk you through the process.

Here are six menu plans to get you started. That’s a month and a half of not having to think about what’s for dinner. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful place?

It gets better. and my friend Laura from I’m an Organizing Junkie have teamed up with a few other bloggers and myself to put together a great giveaway to help you get started on your organizing resolutions. Yes, I know it’s February, but we already established that you’re not organized, right? Stay with me here.

If you hadn’t heard, Laura has a book out and SayMmm is giving away 40 signed copies of Clutter Rehab.

Head over to Organizing Junkie for full contest details.

Here on Home Ec 101, I’m giving away 4 copies of Clutter Rehab, 2 free six month subscriptions to SayMmm Plus, and 3 copies of Do the Funky Kitchen, an ebook from Heavenly Homemakers.

*Whew* that’s a lot stuff going on.

How does it work?

First, go check out SayMmm. Create an account and see how easy it is to create your own meal plan and printable shopping list -did you know you can view it right on your phone? That’s great for those, crud I left the list at home moments. Oh, and then there is also the whole, save a tree aspect, too.

Then come back here and leave a comment. (That’s entry #1)

If you want a second chance, tweet about this giveaway on Twitter, and leave a second comment with the url of your tweet. (Just right click the timestamp and click copy link to get the url).

And for a third and final chance to enter, post about this giveaway either on Facebook or your own blog, then paste the url in a third comment. (Or second if you skipped the tweeting bit).

This giveaway will run through 10pm EST on February 10, 2011. Any comments with a later timestamp will not be eligible. (Sometimes I go to bed early, raising minions is NOT for the faint of heart or night owls).

That’s not all,  that’s not all! You still have several more chances to win, each of these fine bloggers is also giving away copies of Laura’s book, so be sure to visit them, too:

Organizing My Kitchen {and Yours Too!} from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Breakfast Organization from Heavenly Homemakers

Say Goodbye to Disorganized Meal Planning from Once a Month Mom

Organize With Less from The Happy Housewife

Help Getting Organized from Say Mmm

Good luck!

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  1. I hadn't heard about saymmm before. Now I've already added my first recipies. We normally just hang our plan on the fridge but I sometimes forget which items I need for the different recipies so the shopping list part will be a big help!
    My recent post Madplan uge 5

  2. I adore I signed up a couple of weeks ago when I saw you mention it. Not only have I started whittling down the stuff in my freezer, I'm also spending less at the grocery. I've actually been an avid menu planner for a couple of years, but saymmm makes it even easier. I'm still adding recipes (and links to recipes!) but I've got a pretty big list so far.

  3. I can't wait to use! I'm really trying to be more organized and frugal…this helps with both!

  4. I'm going to love! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
    schroepfer 7 at gmail dot com

  5. Love the SayMmm site. Thanks for passing it on.

  6. Chris Williams says:

    This would be great! Thank you

  7. This site is awesome. I love the idea of being able to check it on my smartphone. No more lost/forgotten shopping lists!

  8. I just signed up for SayMmm, I'm looking forward to seeing if it will work well for my family!

  9. All of these great tips! I am excited to add my recipes to the site and find new and exciting dishes to find through linky's!
    My recent post The Linen Closet- Project 4

  10. I really needed to get back to menu planning

  11. Love the SayMMM website. Great planning tool for meals. I think its something I can use!

  12. Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity! Love the new site!

  13. I have just started using SayMmm but I am not finding an easy way to add some of the recipes I found on the internet. Say if I like a Heavenly Homemakers recipe but don't seem to find it listed on the SayMmm site do I have to enter the recipe in by hand?

    • Hi Deanna. If the recipe has a printable shopping list, like many of the ones on Heavenly Homemakers do, you can save the shopping list and it will automatically save the recipe for you as well (or combine multiple recipes into one shopping list and save them all at once). For other sites, you would need to type in the name and copy and paste the URL to the recipe.

  14. SayMMM looks like a great resource, I signed up! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I signed up for Say Mmmm a couple of weeks ago, but have yet started using it. I feel like I never find time. I really need to though!! It seems so helpful!

  16. I visited saymmm and signed up for a free account =)

  17. I posted on my facebook =)

  18. I am already a member and fan of Say, but thank you for the giveaway and reminder to use it.

  19. Yes, I’ve done the hoping for the fridge magic dance many a night. Sigh. Maybe I can figure out a way to start the menu planning. Say Mmm looks very cool, I signed up and would love to be entered in the contest, thanks!

  20. Say Mmm sounds great. I'm looking forward to using it. Thanks!

  21. I like this website already. Thanks for posting it!

  22. I registered and tried out Say Mmm!

  23. Love say mmm!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. Say mmmm is a wonderful tool. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  25. Can't wait to try Say Mmmm…great site too!!

  26. inmykitchen says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing about this I just signed up for it.


  27. inmykitchen says:
  28. Joined Say MMM

  29. I had never heard of say mmm till today. What a great way to get over that meal planning hump.

  30. It’s a great site! I had never heard of it, but I love the idea of storing your recipes and getting grocery shopping lists from them. How easy! Thanks for letting us know about SayMmmm… And for the awesome giveaways.

  31. I've always made out menu's and the shopping list, but this will sure help. I like to plan meals, but sometimes something comes up and the whole menu gets changed. No problem though, I just do a switch days out with another. I always make sure I have plenty of items on hand, just in case plans change.

  32. My biggest source of disorganization is my bedroom and my bathroom! It only seems to stay clean for a few days at a time then clutter creeps slowly back in until it’s completely disorganized…HELP!

  33. I've never heard of and can't wait to check it out!! Would love to win a copy of this book!
    My recent post Another Round of Doctor Visits

  34. I just signed up and already did 3 recipes with printable grocery lists. It is so easy to use once you get the hang of it! Love it! Thanks for the giveaway
    My recent post Sweet &amp Tangy BBQ Chicken Coleslaw Wrap

  35. SayMMM looks like a great tool! I've been looking for menu planning resources so I was excited to stumble across your blog. Great giveaway.

  36. I'm sure I'm going to love it. I have it bookmarked to explore a little bit later, but I'm so tired from sledding today, that I can't do much more. Meal planning has saved me more than once. I'm looking forward to the new ideas I'm sure to get. Thank you.

  37. I registered for say mmmmm. Thanks!
    My recent post Winter Wonderland

  38. spoiledbyneil says:

    ur site is the best…i love how you cover so many topics! i have started following ur cleaning schedule, which has worked wonders for me…ur recipes are just has great…they are what i consider normal meals. thanks

  39. Signed up right now… looks like a really helpful site. Thanks for the link. Also liking the ideas on your site – thanks for sharing.

  40. I set up my account! I'm excited to try out this new organizational tool. Thanks!

  41. is a really good site with a lot of ideas which I sure must look closer at, thanks.

  42. disorganizedwifeandmom says:

    I just signed up for, thanks for the link! I am working hard on getting organized and this will definitely help. So far, I am struggling with the menu planning.

  43. disorganizedwifeandmom says:
  44. Hi!
    I signed up for Say Mmm…
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win in this giveaway!
    ~Mippy :)
    bunnysmip at yahoo dot com

  45. Hi!
    I shared this on FB
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win in this giveaway!
    ~Mippy :)
    bunnysmip at yahoo dot com

  46. I tried Say Mmm and it was so easy to use! I'm definitely going to use the printables feature when I put recipes on my blog. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
    My recent post Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

  47. I'm finding good comments on Say Mmm. Might have to check it out. Right now I just write down my menu and grocery list at the same time which has been working. But I love to check out new ideas.

  48. So glad to find Say MMMM … thanks, hope I win a book.

  49. Would love a chance to win a copy – I need all of the help I can get!

  50. ok…love this. i signed up!
    My recent post Going Gluten Free and the best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVAH!

  51. Christina Marie Vickers says:

    Just joined SayMmmm! Already have several recipes I want to add. Can't wait to take advantage of this site!

  52. Christina Marie Vickers says:

    Just tweeted about this giveaway!!/stinav96/status/33216760375

  53. Christina Marie Vickers says:

    Just shared about this giveaway on Facebook!

  54. this looks like a great way to keep track of everything!

  55. Just signed up for never used menu planning before so i looking forward to seeing what i can do with it. thanks for the great giveaways!

  56. I have an account at saymmm already. It's great!

  57. I love that I can make a grocery list on SayMmm and then post a link to it on my food blog.
    My recent post A Big Pot of Chili

  58. Melinda S says:

    I just signed up on SayMmmm. It really looks interesting. Thank you for sharing this and Laura's give away.

  59. I couldn't find a time stamp on my twitter account (I barely know how to get to it), but I'm including my post and the URL at the top of the page here:
    msstort Mel Stortenbecker
    Head on over to… for a chance to win some awesome prizes for organizing & recipes.!/msstort

  60. Melinda S says:

    I just posted on Facebook with your link Not sure if that's the link you wanted, but the other one took me back to your site (which is a good thing for you :-0)

  61. thanks for the contest hope to win!! need to get more organized in 2011!!

  62. I'm all registered for saymmm. I love it! I usually just use post it notes to plan out my week. This is so much more organized and not to mention green! :-)
    My recent post Freeze Dried Strawberries

  63. Love the saymmm website!!!

  64. Just signed up for saymmm and getting used to it. I have been looking for a menu planning style that suits me and this just might be it. I am always learning alot from all of you bloggers. Thanks.

  65. I'd signed up for saymmm but hadn't really had time to sit down and put any recipes in it so haven't played with it much. Having 6 menu plans in there that I can easily use is a great start for me. thanks so much for sharing

  66. I just LOVE! It is awesome! I even got the plus package for 3 months along with the 2 weeks free that they give.This is the system that I have been needing to coordinate my recipes and menu planning! I am on a limited budget as to how much i can spend every two weeks. This program is going to help me be able to stay within that budget!
    My recent post Pets everywhere

  67. Elainesister says:

    Menu planning the internet way – thanks a million :)

  68. A Prov 31 Lady says:

    HELP!…I need organizing CPR,..choose me

  69. Say Mmm looks like a great idea. Laura and her Organizing Junkie website are great. I would love to win her book.

  70. Linda DeFrees Franks says:

    Hi! I posted the giveaway on Facebook! what's that up above? CPR? Only CPR I know is Cardio-pulmonary rescusitation! I am an instructor! bahahahaha. Okay, I will have to look above me here and see what that means. my curiosity is piqued!


  71. Linda DeFrees Franks says:

    I did visit "Say Mmmm." It is a great site. the recipes are wonderful and now to have six weeks of menu planning done by each of you wonderful women is terrific!

  72. I visited Say MMM and realized I already had an account! I need to start using them, eh??

  73. shared giveaway on facebook

  74. That's very cool- I signed up!

  75. Can't wait to try out say mmm. I love menu planning…well, I love the results but don't love it while I am doing it!
    My recent post Menu Plan Monday

  76. Here's the link to my blog post mentioning the give away.
    My recent post Menu Plan Monday

  77. I checked out saymmm. Looks great! Can't wait to go back and start using it. Thanks for the info. Would love to win the book!

  78. Colean Oberkamp Brunner says:

    I checked out Say MMM and I have spent t he better part of 3 evenings importing all of my recipes! This is EXACTLY the sort of site I've been wanting! Thank you so much for the recommendation~

  79. Thanks for a chance to win! Now I really need to sign up for Say MMM…..thanks for all of the information!

  80. Wow, I had no idea these resources existed. I signed up for Say MMM and look forward to attempting a more consistent meal plan. Thanks for the giveaway.

  81. I just found this website and I'm glad that I did. You have so much useful information here. I've been searching for any trying out meal planning websites for months now, but I had never come across before. Just created an account – looking forward to trying it out. :-)

  82. _________________
    Every one should keep a mental wastepaper basket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it-torn up to irrecoverable tatters.

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