Meal Planning and a new Menu Board

We have been Meal Planning in our family for more than a year now.  In the past our meal planning has involved,

1. Writing down a weeks worth of meals onto my meal planning template

2. Creating a shopping list.

3. Getting home from the grocery shopping only to find that because my shopping list and menu plan are on the same piece of paper it is now ticked, scrawled upon and rather un readable!

And then repeat a week later, with no record of what we ate the week before!

So we had a few problems with this system.  So I turned to Pinterest for some “Pinspiration” and stumbled upon this gem. 

 

Source: pinerly.com via Angela on Pinterest

 

Oh be still my colour coding, OCD, creatively gorgeous heart. I am in organising heaven. Isn’t she beautiful! You can read all about this amazing idea at the homesihavemade.blogspot.com  

Unfortunately I have neither the freezer or head space to plan a month in advance. But once you have this clever  system in place you could plan as far in advance as is convenient for your family. For me it is a fortnightly plan and a weekly shop.  So to solve the problem I set about creating my own version of the menu board.

So now to put the idea into action. First things first I HAVE TO HAVE those magnets!!! Luckily Meg from thehomesIhavemade sells them in her ETSY shop!

The Magnets come as a printable PDF file.  You need simple photo editing software to create your own recipe names.  The category headings to help you colour code come pre labelled.  There are even labels for “NEW” recipes, “OUT” eating out, “LEFTOVERS” and + for when you are going to make a double batch and freeze.  Meals are categorised according to their protein so,

Seafood

Poultry

Beef

Vegetarian

Desert.

There are then smaller labels for side dishes like Pasta, Rice, Vegetables, CousCous.

I changed the system slightly to suit my family.  We rarely have Dessert so I swapped that category for Pasta/Rice.  We like to have a pasta or rice dish once a week.  I also swapped the Vegetarian category for Vegetables/Salads.  I really want to try and eat a wider variety of vegetables and vegetable and salad based meals this year.  By having it’s own category I can see over a two week period that we just don’t eat potato, pumpkin and Broccoli every night! It is also helping to expand my salad repertoire.

Print the labels on to printable Magnetic paper.  I bought mine off ebay, 5 sheets for $10.  It is also available from Officeworks and glides through your printer like ordinary paper!  I think this paper will be getting a work out in our house. What a great way to organise any project or timetable.

Now cut!  This is the most time consuming part!

 

 Once they were all cut I sorted and contained them in a little craft organiser. This photo was taken before the seafood recipes had been added. 

$2 from KMART. 

Now how to create a Menu Board!

I loved Meg’s large calendar style board but I don’t have the room for one so big and I just can’t plan a month in advance so……

Whilst searching for the perfect small whiteboard, I stumbled upon this clever alternative to a whiteboard.  This Martha Stewart (at Officeworks) product is a removable, adhesive, mini whiteboard, divided into a weekly planner.  Simply stick it to any magnetic surface and it becomes a magnet board!  I love the example in the picture of putting it on your fridge!  This product has so many uses that I bought two, just knowing I will use it for other projects. Stay tuned.

I stuck mine onto the bottom of the whiteboard in our Organisation Station.  The top row is this week, the bottom row is next week! It was great to plan meals two weeks in advance and I can start to see some patterns arising in our meal plans! 

Now the meal planning!

Well that is a whole other post but for a bit of a heads up check out 

Meal Planning 101.

You could also use this system to plan lunch boxes!

So what do you think? Would this system work in your house?


Comments

  1. Love it. I have been a fan of her magnet system since it first came out (and featured it on my site) but just did not have the space to devote to it. I already have a weekly white board sticker / magnet attached to my fridge front so may try a version of this myself if i have time later in the year.

  2. Love the idea of using magnets that you can move around. Would give you a bit more flexibility during the week if there was a meal that you didn’t particularly feel like…you could just swap it for something else in the week.

  3. Wow, very nice!! I love the flexibility and of course the colour coding!

  4. That is a great idea Larissa. I could use a variation of it.
    I love it but I have two little problems – the magnets are very attractive and they loved to move our routine ones around.

  5. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest
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  9. dear Larissa great tips.

    i try to use a variation of it.just likeyou.but i have a problrm : the magnets are very attractive

    but i like your tips.

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