Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Ultimate Meal Planner

I hate meal planning, because I can never think of a weeks' worth of meals and it seems as though we are always having the same thing. And once I figure out what we are going to have that week, I write it down to do my shopping and then forget where I've put it. 

So I've been looking at these fancy meal-planners that people have made for a little while now. It turns out that Pinterest can actually come in handy sometimes (for things other than just browsing) so I looked around at different types of meal-planners people had made. I found lots of really beautiful ones but none of them were quite perfect for me so I took away the parts I liked and created my own version!

What I like about my meal planner is that it was free to make (I already had the supplies in my house, but if you were buying everything it wouldn't be that expensive anyway) and there are no permanent alterations of the frame. If I ever want to change this back into a picture frame I can do that in about five seconds. It was also extremely easy to make.

I've had a few people ask how to make one so here is my little tutorial!

I thought it was dirty in this picture, then I realised it's the reflection in the glass!
First, find a picture frame: I found one conveniently located under my bed so that was good. It already contained a white boarder which I kept in place. 

I used two pieces of cardstock, one patterned and one plain, to create a background for the board. I glued it to a thick piece of cardboard that was in the frame already using a hot glue gun but any adhesive would do.

Then I cut small 2in x 4in rectangles of cardstock to make the recipe cards. On a piece of paper I compiled every single dinner we've ever made, and then I went through all my recipe books to find more recipes that we could be making more often. I also wrote down where I found the recipe. 

Once you have all your recipes written down, write them on the cards. I used a Sharpie to write the name of the meal on the front and then on the back I wrote the source of the recipe and a list of ingredients. Then I can just check the back of the card to see if we have everything needed and I know where to find the recipe. This part is very time-consuming and I recommend typing it up instead of hand writing it (but I don't have a printer, so it was all hand-written).

Once your meal cards are all written up, that's pretty much it. I played around with spacing and stuff and made little markers for days of the week to go on the background. I used a whiteboard marker to write a title on the glass at the top. This wipes off the glass very easily so if you make a mistake it doesn't matter. 

You can see that the menu cards are on top of the glass while everything else is underneath.
Now the meal cards stick to the glass using blu-tak so I can easily see what's for dinner each night and can move them around quickly. I made a few cards that say 'take away', 'out for dinner' and 'leftovers' on them to cover all scenarios. I recommend laminating the cards to make them sturdier and stain-proof, something which I haven't done yet! 

And now you have a menu board which looks really cute and makes your life a thousand times easier.

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