Planning meals was always tough for me. Living as a single person was so easy. I would go to the store and buy whatever tickled my fancy at that particular moment in time and I loved it! I am a pretty good cook and I have my favorite ingredients that I can use to make several meals that I personally enjoy. All of that changed when I got married. I got lucky that my husband is not a very picky eater and also that he is a pretty good cook himself. However, my favorites are not always his favorites and so I have really tried to branch out to please both of us. With that creativity has come some intense planning. I made this menu board so that first of all I know which ingredients to buy and so that my husband and I know what to expect each day ie what to remove from the freezer, what to marinade the night before etc… Plus, it has saved us a lot of money from not wasting food because we only buy food that we need for the week or what we need for storage.
I felt like the whole thing came together perfectly into a project that I am not only proud to display in my home, but one that will be useful.
The big white board I purchased from the local craft store just as it is. I definitely lucked out there. I originally planned on painting it, but once I got it home, I fell in love with how it looked. It would not be too difficult to paint a pallet similarly and use some sandpaper to get the stressed look.
The most annoying part for me was the measuring. It took me a few tries to measure everything so it would fit. In the end, I was very pleased.
Writing the days of the week
I did all of my own calligraphy for this project. I painted it all using the same technique that is described in this past post. Some people may want to use stencils or even trace if they’re not comfortable with their own penmanship.
I hot glued clothespins to the board to hold the papers with the meals on it. I also painted the clothespins connect them a little more with the color scheme that I was going for. I only left enough room on the board for planning dinner meals because we are both in and out of the house all day and we get enough food to be able to make light breakfasts and lunches to go.
Choose your meals
One of the funnest parts was choosing the meals. I had fun looking through my cookbooks and finding favorite recipes. I typed the name of each recipe first and printed them off. Then I cut them all out and glued them onto cute paper. All of the back papers are the same size but some of the papers with meals are different sizes depending on the size of the word. That does not bother me, but my dearest OCD friends might do a silent cringe. After they were all cut and glued, I laminated them using contact paper to give them additional longevity. I left about 15 blank so I can add meals here or there as we see fit. I use a dry erase marker if we want to wipe them off, or a sharpie if it is one that I plan on keeping. I also have a few with things like “dinner with family” or “date night” as reminders for the meals that I don’t need to plan.
The board that I purchased has a small lip on the back that I put the meals that I am not using for the current week. However, you could make a little container on the side to hold all the meals or in a plastic bag just below. Do what works for you!
If you’re really feeling proactive, you could put the ingredients necessary on the back of each slip of paper so when you’re making your shopping list you only need to line up the meals and flip them over. I have not taken that step yet, but it is one of my next major projects.