Looking for an easy way to organize your weekly meals? You’ve come to the right place! Read on to download your free printable weekly meal planner.
But first let’s back up… I’ve always struggled in the kitchen. I don’t have a mind for cooking and get easily frustrated and flustered when staring down the oven (I seriously still look up what temperature to cook chicken for, and for how long, every time I make it).
So, as a result, Kevin has naturally taken over the role of being our main cook in year’s past, but with me being on maternity leave right now, it seemed pretty ridiculous to have him cooking dinner after being at work all day. But, the idea of making dinner each night pretty much terrified me and caused me serious anxiety (silly right?). However, time to grow up and put on my big girl pants. So, I did what I always do when stressed, I designed something pretty! And the fact that it’s functional too is an added bonus…
To take the stress out of the ol’ “What’s for dinner?” question, I designed a meal planner. Planning out our meals ahead of time had greatly reduced my fear and anxiety in the kitchen! Knowing what I am going to make each day has eliminated my terrified stance before an open refrigerator that seemed to happen every day around 4 p.m. Phew.
I wanted something I could a) display in the kitchen in a functional, yet attractive way and b) write on with a marker YET erase each week to write on again. Like a white board, but not a white board if that makes sense. I also didn’t want to have to print out a new sheet every week.
My solution, get one of those plastic sign holders (that you see on retail counters) and a dry erase pen and bingo – problem solved! I found my frame at a dollar store, but it is like the one here. The pen is from Staples and is part of this pack.
Since the frame is slanted, it is hard to write on. To solve this problem, I lay it flat with the stand hanging over the counter edge.
Then, I write out my menu for the week…
Once complete, I place it on the kitchen counter. I have a great spot for it tucked away in the corner by our fridge. It’s not on grand display for all guests to see as they walk into the kitchen (on purpose), but still easily accessible and viewable by our little family. Chace has really taken to consulting the planner, seriously cutting down the “Mommy, what’s for dinner?” question firing squad.
I’ve almost created a little ‘admin’ area of the kitchen here since the menu resides next to my handy school/life organization folder solution which I blogged about here (note: Since that post I have moved a few of these folders to the other side of the fridge – higher up on the wall – and renamed them “Kevin”, “Elaine” and “Chace” to help organize the paper for each of us that the kitchen island seems to collect on a daily basis. New location, but still in regular use! The system continues to hold up great).
To keep it fun, I used a different colour to identify each day of the week.
This little meal planner has made a SERIOUSLY good impact on our daily lives. So simple, yet so good. And, as a natural side effect, has greatly reduced our weekly food waste. Another great benefit is that it makes creating our grocery list MUCH easier. Consulting the planner ensures that I have what I need for the week’s worth of dinners and not more. In the past we would buy based on different options for meals but depending on how the week went, we might not make it through everything (food waste) and/or change our mind and then have to run out mid-week to grab a few more items.
And when the week is over? Simply erase and plan again…
Would you like your own? DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE MEAL PLANNER PRINTABLE HERE.