Meal Planning Menu Board

Erin Gappmayer, a Burlap & Denim reader, contacted me and wanted to share her BRILLIANT meal planning techniques.  She calls it her Menu Board.  I am honored that she has written the following tutorial for all of us to admire and recreate!  Take it away Erin:

I love this menu board. It has been a work in progress for a long time and I absolutely would not do my meal planning any other way now. To create it in Microsoft Word, I first typed in any meal my family might eat during the month. I also typed in some things, like pizza, twice because we have a tendency to eat them more than once a month and “Out” to identify when we would be eating out that month. Then I changed the font color to reflect my own coding system – green for Mexican, purple for Italian, orange for sandwich-type meals, etc.

I printed off the Word document, cut the labels into strips, and put them onto magnet tape.

Meal Planning Magnet Board
Magnet Strip with Adhesive

 

I then put them on a white board, organized by category.

Meal Planning Magnet Board
Meals Organized and Ready for Menu Planning

 

 


For $10, I bought a calendar magnet board. I fill in the dates for the current month, any activities we have going on that may affect dinner plans (out of town, friends coming over, late work nights), and begin my meal planning for the entire month.

Meal Planning Magnet Board

Getting Ready To Start

 

Completed Menu for the Month.   This is what it looks like when I’m done.

  Meal Planning Magnet Board

What I love about using this calendar board:

  • I keep coupons on the peg board at the bottom of the calendar and can grab them on our way out to eat.
  • On the right side of the board I keep a freezer inventory and can make sure I use items before they go bad.
  • I remember special days like birthdays easier because I’m looking at a calendar.

 

 

Meal Planning Magnet Board
Close-up.

 

 

 

Why I LOVE this system:

  • I save money on grocery shopping because I buy for two weeks worth of dinners.
  • If something comes up,  I can quickly look to see else I can make that will fit in our plans and that I will know I have the ingredients stocked in my pantry.
  • If I change menu plans for that day, I simply switch around the magnets. No crossing out and writing in changes like I used to when I wrote out our menu for the week.
  • If we try a meal and like it, I make a handwritten magnet for it. If we didn’t like it, I don’t make a magnet. When I have a stack of handwritten magnets, I type them in the computer. This way I remember to make the new meals and recipes don’t just get lost and forgotten in my recipe binder. They stare me in the face while I’m making our menu.
  • I can easily see if we are eating Mexican three nights in a row.
  • I make sure to use the entire jar or can of perishable items by putting meals that use similar ingredients within the same week.
  •  We eat out less and save money.
Isn’t that amazing?  I’m making one asap.  If you enjoyed this post, you might also like the following:

The Grocery Shopping List

My Corner Market: AKA an Organized Pantry

Linked Up: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors

11 Comments

  • Lifesaver, I’ve had trouble with planning grocery shopping and planning our meals, this would make it so much more easier. They have mobile applications available for similar needs, but this gives a better overall picture than your tiny phone!

  • WOW! What a menu board! I need something like this. I swear it is always five and I am still wondering what to make for dinner.

  • What a fantastic way to stay organized! I could definitely use this. Amanda, it was so great to meet you at the blogger meet up last week. After browsing through your blog I’ve decided you MUST be involved in decorating our next house.;) Seriously, you are so talented!

  • ERIN– love the idea!!! What do the red FREEZER tags mean? I may to plan for 2-3 months before I implement it- but I am adding to my list of “one days”.

  • The red FREEZER tags indicate that the meal is in my freezer and ready to go. I use those on days I know we will be really busy. I get my freezer meals from a Freezer Exhange I do with four friends. We each make the same meal five times, one for us and one for each of our friends. Then get together and swap meals. Since I don’t know what meal I will be getting from my friends, I just put one of the FREEZER tags on that day. :)

  • Erin,
    Great idea! I think I’m going to try it. What size font did you find worked the best for the magnet tape?
    Thanks,
    Shar

  • Shar – Thanks! I used a 20 font but that left room so you could probably use up to a 24 or so and be just fine. I hope it works great for you, too!

  • Where did you get the board?

    • Stephy, I’m not sure where she got the board, but try your local office supply store or Walmart’s office supply section.

      • I got the board at Walmart. $10! It’s over in the office supply aisle.

  • where did you get the magnetic strip with the adhesive backing? I’m sold, this is the way I’m going to menu plan from now on!

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