Rosemary Chicken Recipe

What Made Your List?

New Years Resolutions

Eating Healthy.  Saving Money.  Getting Into Shape.  Taking A Painting Class.  Spending More Time With Family……

What made your list this year?

As a busy mom, many of our New Year’s Resolutions can relate back to family dinners.  Even if your goal is to train for a triathlon, finding the time to do so will require cutting back on time spent elsewhere.  You can’t cut family dinners out of your schedule when pressed for time, but you can find ways to spend less time on family dinners, thereby freeing up your day to check off that long list.

Meatloaf Recipe

Here are more examples of how tackling the chore of family dinners by making it simple and organized will help keep you on track with your New Years resolutions:

Saving Money

Whether you’re wanting to pay off credit card debt or save money for that dream vacation, family dinnertime is a good place to start by looking for ways to spend less.  Eating out less is one way to start spending less on family dinners, but there are also ways to cut back on your grocery bills, like through meal planning with The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System.

Grocery Store Driveby Trap from The Organized Cook

Saving Time

Finding the time to fulfill the long list of other resolutions on your list probably requires the commodity of time.  For me, time is my most precious resource and is rationed carefully to ensure my New Year’s intentions, priorities- and yes, resolutions, are met.  This is where meal planning comes in. Through careful planning and organization of my weekly family dinner menu, I have time to do the things I love to do (and the things I don’t love to do, but need to do).

10-minute meal from The Organized Cook

Making Dinner

Eating healthy is always high on my list of priorities, not only at New Year, but throughout the year.  Staying out of the drive-thru and preparing healthy, home cooked meals for my family is my solution.  However, it’s not always that easy.

Portabella and Steak Stroganoff Recipe by Toni Spilsbury

Meal Planning

Here are some simple tips used in The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System to help you reach those goals for 2012:


Have A Plan

Most moms tell me that “just knowing what to make” is one of their biggest challenges when it comes to preparing family dinner.  Having your family dinner menu planned in advance will help the week run so much smoother.  Without a plan, many moms get caught in the “Grocery Store Drive-By Trap” and end up running to the grocery store daily which ends up costing more time in the end, not to mention more money.

meal planning with The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Make A List


Defend yourself against impulse buying by arming yourself with a grocery list.  By making a list and grocery shopping only once a week, you’re saving yourself money by decreasing your exposure to impulse buying.

meal planning with The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Cooking Methods

In The Organized Cook, I take the task of meal planning a few steps further by planning and organizing my weekly family dinners in a way that reduces waste and saves time, like Reusing Time and Reincarnating The Leftover.

Reusing Time

If I’m going to steam rice to serve with my Thai Shrimp Curry, I’ll cook twice as much as I need and store the extra rice to use later on in the week in a Pork Fried Rice or Spanish Fried Rice.  By planning my meals using this method, I’m making my time have double its value.  Not to mention, that’s one less pan to clean!

Pork Fried Rice recipe

Reincarnating The Leftover

If your family is like my family, they don’t like to eat leftovers.  So what you’re left with at the end of the week is a lot of food to throw out.

Not only do I use my leftovers, I actually plan my weekly family dinner menu so that I intentionally have leftovers.  For example, when I saute chicken to make Chicken Madeira, I’ll cook more than I need and store the extra cooked chicken to use later on in the week for another recipe like Tomato Basil & Chicken Penne or Chicken Enchiladas.  I slice up leftover London Broil and store to make French Dip Sandwiches the next day.

By reincarnating my leftover food, dinner takes just a few minutes some nights.

Italian Baked Chicken recipe

Italian Baked Chicken

Chicken Asparagus Wraps

Italian Baked Chicken reincarnated into Chicken Asparagus Wraps


The Organized Cook is making it easy this year to stay and track with New Year’s Resolutions and is offering the Weekly Meal Plan System at 50% off in January only.

meal planning with The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

Saving time this New Year will help me reach more of my goals on my resolution list.


New Year’s Resolution Twitter Party

Thursdays just got more organized.  Each Thursday The Organized Cook and our panel discuss topics related to meal planning, cooking, recipes, organization and busy family life during our #mealplanning Twitter Party. twitter party

Join us this Thursday, January 5th to discuss “What Made Your List”!



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About Toni

Family meals are important. Iʼll show you easy ways to spend less time and money at the grocery store, less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.


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