Monday, April 23, 2012

clipboard/chalkboard menu planner.

i'm pretty excited about this post because there's a little bitty chance this idea is actually original. don't quote me on it, but i haven't come across it anywhere else {yet}.

i've been searching for months for the perfect solution to my weekly meal planning. i've found tons of great ideas, but none of them have been quite right for us. 

this all started awhile back when andrew asked me to start posting a list of every meal we were going to eat for the week somewhere in the kitchen where he could see it. He loves knowing what my plan is so he's less tempted to suggest eating out. I searched and searched and searched online to see how other people manage their meal planning. Each idea had at least one con for our family...

style #1 - the pre-made card system. 
menu organization lorieb
{i can't find the 
original poster of this. 
none of the pinterest 
links lead to original pages}
  • how it works: these types of meal planners consist of 20 or so cards that have permanent meals on them that you hang on a calendar indicating the day you're going to make it.
  • why i didnt like this one: andrew and i love to cook. we rarely repeat meals because we're constantly trying new things. there's no way we could only cycle through the same 20 recipes, we'd go crazy. if we were to make a card for every recipe we've made and liked, we'd go broke on scrapbook paper. and i'd go crazy having so many pieces of paper to store. and the idea of putting it all together seemed like too much work. {need any more reasons?}
  • who this works great for: people who don't love being in the kitchen, people who have recipes that they love to repeat, busy families, etc.
style #2 - printable menu planners
weekly menu planner downloads
  • how it works: chose a template that works best for you, print them off weekly, and fill in with the weeks meals
  • why i didn't like this one: first, i couldn't find a template i liked. most of them were just for dinner - i needed one for all 3 meals and a section for snacks for the week. I finally ended up making my own basic spread sheet in excel with what little computer skills i have. it worked great until my new printer ran out of ink for the first time and i found out it cost $50+ for a new cartridge. I would like as few reasons as possible to have to pay that again anytime soon.
  • who this works great for: people who are wanting to plan just dinner. people who don't mind shelling out the cash for ink.
style #3 - the wipe off board menu
menu board

  • how it works: fill a frame with scrapbook paper, add stickers to spell out the days of the week, and use wipe off markers to fill in the menu.
  • why i didn't like this one: for the record, this was my favorite of the ones that weren't right for us. it saved me money and the recipes weren't limited. However, i wanted something that was a little more helpful - my recipes were in a pile on the kitchen table, taking up space.
  • who this is good for: people who have a great plan on storing their recipes for the week :-)
style #4 - my ah-ha moment - 

creative idea # 7: the clipboard/chalkboard menu planner.

  • clipboard
  • chalkboard paint {here's how you make it}
  • a different color paint or sticker letters
  • paint brush
  • blue tape
  • paint a clipboard {front and back} with chalkboard paint. 
  • Paint or use sticker letters to make your desired template ON THE BACK of the clipboard. 
  • Use the front of the clipboard to hold the recipes for the week. 
  • Hang up! {we chose to hang it inside a cabinet door to remove visual clutter}

side notes: 
  • i plan on buying these because writing in small spaces with regular chalk is ridiculously hard. 
  • when cooking, i finally discovered my favorite new trick - i use a magnet to hold my recipe on the range above the stove. I used to constantly search for my recipe while cooking because i would move it around to all the diff spots i was working. i love keeping it on the range because i always know where it is and i can read the next steps while i'm stirring!

how do you organize your weekly menu??

love and chalkboard paint,


  1. I don't.. but your idea is great! I'm thinking about "stealing" it, as I always have recipes I'd like to try - ripped out pages from food magazines are taking up space outside the kitchen. Now I could chose a week's supply of recipes, put the menu together and start cooking them. :)

  2. totally steal it! i had the same problem - the magazine pages get out of control! hope it helps :-)

  3. I love this!!! Thank you for linking up! I need to do something like this. Blessings from Zagreb: A Little R & R:

  4. I LOVE this idea! Totally pinning it for later. Thanks for linking up at Making Space Mondays. I hope we see you there next week! -Tabitha