Every Sunday afternoon I find myself at the kitchen table. Recipe binder in front of me, weekly menu with shopping list ready to be marked on and my laptop to the side for extra guidance if I need it.
Unfortunately I have come to dread this process, it's such a pain to sit down each week and go through the same ole process and I hate dragging out my big binder and then flipping through all the pages of paper. I'm really just whining here, but sometimes whining is ok.
This is one of those times.
One day while perusing Pinterest I noticed a menu board. It wasn't something that I wanted so I didn't think much of it. Then weeks later as I was dreading the menu planning process I realized I could come up with my own version of the menu board. There were some great menu boards on Pinterest but I wanted to create my own to come up with something that would fit our family's lifestyle.
This is what I came up with:
It was really easy to do and didn't take much time at all!
First I knew for sure I wanted to make it a weekly menu board. We have found this is what works best for our budget. We tried to do bi-weekly menu planning and grocery shopping every two weeks and it was bad bad bad all around. We ended up making lots of "little" Target trips which resulted in lots of money being spent. Once a week grocery shopping works for us.
These are the supplies I got for the menu board:
Picture frame (big or small dpending on how big you want your board)
M-E-N-U wooden letters
4 small chalk boxes
M-T-W-T-F wooden letters
Fabric (enough to cover the glass of your picture frame)
Hot glue gun (not pictured)
Various colors of card stock
This was the first thing I started working on. Instead of pulling my binder out every week I wanted to get all our recipes on the cards for quick and easy access. I used Word to create a document with 2 columns and 4 rows. I then color-coded recipes the following way:
I printed the recipe names on the front and then wrote ingredients on the back of each card, and if I'm not familiar with the recipe I wore some basic directions.
I made my menu cards pretty big because I wanted to be able to write a lot on the back (and I have trouble writing small). But also made them small enough to be able to fit into the chalkboard boxes.
I will say it was tricky getting them the exact size I needed but I eventually got it.
I got wooden letters at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them with some spray paint I had in the garage. Also, I only chose enough letters for Monday-Friday. I've tried meal planning for Saturday and Sunday and it just doesn't work. Something will come up or we will end up just eating cereal or something. This works for us but you could do whatever works for your family.
I tore the top off of these and spray painted them. Then I added the stickers on front for each "category" (chicken, beef, crock pot and sides). These chalk boxes were the perfect size.
I bought the frame at Hobby Lobby and headed to the fabric section. This was one of the hardest parts; deciding what fabric to use! I ended up going with something a little loud, but anything would work. I took my fabric to the fabric woman (politically correct term I'm sure) and told her I wanted enough fabric to wrap around the glass. She got it just right. I then wrapped the fabric around the glass and hot glued it to the back.
After I had the letters and boxes painted, the fabric wrapped around the glass and my recipe cards ready to go I started gluing everything on the fabric covered glass. And it was done!
I am really excited about this and think that it will help so much with menu planning, now instead of pulling out my big binder of recipes I can pull out these cards and go through them easily.
I also created cards for Leftovers, Eating Out and New Recipes. I try and prepare a new recipe at least once a week and the "new recipe" card will be great for those nights. Then if we deem the recipe "rotation worthy" I can create a card for it and put it in the appropriate box. If we don't like it then I didn't waste a piece of paper by printing it out. (yes I'm an abusive paper printer, but I use reusable grocery sacks so it all evens out).
If you are a weekly menu planner this might work for you or you could even change it up and adapt it to fit your family's needs!