Meal planning made easy with a DIY Menu Board

This year we’ve vowed to be better about meal planning.  There are tons of benefits to planning your meals out ahead of time but here are the ones that have made the biggest impact on our family:

  • We find ourselves creating more healthy, well-rounded meals when we sit down in advance and actually take the time to plan out what we are going to eat.
  • There are often leftovers to pack for lunches which prevents us from having to scrounge around in the fridge at the last moment only to end up frustrated when all we come up with is an old moldy apple.
  • We’re able to be more budget friendly throughout the entire month.  Saving each week equals larger savings each month.  When we plan out what we’re going to be making, we can plan meals that use similar types of ingredients which usually results in less wasted products and an ability to take advantage of coupons or weekly store savings.  This also prevents us from having to resort to take out like we used to when we would realize at 5:30 pm on our way home from work that we did not in fact have anything left in the fridge for dinner and it would take entirely too much time to go food shopping AND cook.
  • It helps us carve out time to try new recipes.  Hellloooooo Pinterest!
  • It’s helped us to learn that making dinner doesn’t need to be stressful and that it can actually even be a fun activity we look forward to.

But if you’re anything like us, you probably have so much going on at any given time that it’s difficult to remember all the yummy things you planned to make.  If you planned your weekly meals out over the weekend, it can be difficult to remember exactly what was on that list by the time Thursday rolls around.

So we decided to try a menu board.  There are so many great examples of these around the web but here’s what we’ve found has worked best for us (please excuse the crappy iPhone photos):

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Don’t you just love how you can see the iPhone reflected in the glass of the frame?  We thought that was kind of funny.

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We use a dry erase market to write directly onto the glass front of the frame and a wet paper towel when we need a clean slate to work with.  We keep the frame near the fridge so we always know what ingredients we need for our next meal.  We’ve found that these meal boards are the best way to help keep us organized in a way that is creative, fun and personalized.

How d0 you plan and organize meals for your family?

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