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DIY

Meal Planning Board

Lana Hawk

Cooking can be fun. I love cooking new dishes, favorite dishes, and for guests. The problem comes with the mundane, quick weeknight meals. What usually happens with our grocery shopping is we go with no plan, buy a bunch of random items, and our weeknight meals turn into a constant “What are we having for dinner tonight?” problem. That is when I do not like cooking. The scramble, throw something together, functional cooking. All of the scrambling also goes against those type-A tendencies I hold so dear. So, to alleviate the stress of weeknight cooking, I started to actually plan meals in advance and make grocery lists. Talk about a revolution. To help with the planning, I made a meal board to organize our weekly menu and keep my husband and I on the same page each day. It was really quite easy, and I ended up using materials I already had on hand. It’s all about finding a way to use all the craft stuff I have accumulated over the years. Hopefully, you can find some inspiration to create something similar and start planning those weeknight meals.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Old frame

Scrap fabric cut into the size of the glass in your frame

Tape

About 14 inches of twine

7 small circles of paper

7 clothespins

3 pieces of paper (appx 2×4 for pockets)

Hot glue gun

Marker

Scrap paper for menu options

Paint (optional)

Needle and thread (optional)

STEP-BY-STEP

  1. Plan: First, decide on your color scheme and choose your paper and fabric being sure they look okay together before diving in. I went with stripes for the fabric, a more colorful print for the days of the week, and a neutral for my envelopes.
  2. Frame: After choosing the coordinating fabric and paper, decide on a paint color for the frame. Obviously, you don’t have to paint the frame, but I wanted a pop of color. I chose a bright turquoise/blue color to accent the printed paper and painted over a couple coats on the frame.
  3. Fabric: Pull out your fabric and wrap it around the glass. I actually just attached the loose edges to the back using tape. Better to keep your options open for future use with the frame!
  4. Twine: With the fabric in place, measure your twine to the length of the long side of the frame with a bit of length to spare. Place the twine down the left side of the glass (a couple inches from the frames edge) and again tape it down in back. Then, fix the glass into place inside the frame.
  5. Planning: Now comes the planning space. Make seven small circles of equal size labeling each one with a different day of the week. I went with the first initial for the sake of space. Attach each of these to the edge of a clothespin using your hot glue gun.
  6. Pockets: For the pockets, the measurements are approximate. Depending on the size of the frame, your pockets may be slightly smaller or larger. Fold your pieces of paper into half and seal up the edges. This is where I used a needle and thread. Again, I wanted to add a little something and decided glue wasn’t going to cut it. Once the pockets are sealed up, label them with three different categories. I chose “Soups & Crockpot”, “Go-To’s & International”, and “Sides & Others.” This fits our normal meal routine quite well and the last category pretty much covers the rest. Attach your label or write the categories directly on the pockets.
  7. Assembly: Assembly time! Using your trusty hot glue gun (and lots of glue), attach the seven clothespins to the twine and then attach the three pockets to the far right side.
  8. Finishing Touches: Once it is all assembled, cut small slips of paper to write down your favorite recipes or recipes you use regularly. The weekly plan will then be attached to the clothespins, with the extras going in the proper pocket.

The planning board has really helped organize our weekly grocery trip and weeknight meals. It is more enjoyable having a plan for the week and knowing what needs to be done to prep in advance. We still have days/weeks without a plan, but having this on the wall serves as a great reminder to make a plan to alleviate the stress of those weeknight meals.

How do you plan out your weekly meals?