Menu board for weekly meals
Being in charge of all the cooking in a household takes quite a lot of planning. You can’t eat Mac ‘n Cheese every day!
In this family of five I plan and prepare all the meals and do the grocery shopping, too. I don’t really even like to cook that much but I have to feed my family. So, I had to figure out a way to make this never ending food providing chore easier to handle. Now I have a system and things are running a lot smoother. I don’t need to think through all that ‘What are we gonna eat!?’ on a daily basis any more or run to get the groceries that often either. Yay!! Now I plan the meals on Sundays usually and do major grocery shopping the following day. On Fridays I need to go and get some unhealthy goodies for the weekend 😉
Here’s the system I use
1. Have a big enough freezer and fridge to store about a week’s food supply.
2. Make a menu board that you use to plan your weekly meals.
3. Make your grocery list according to your menu board and the get your weekly supply of food.
4. Stick to the plan and cook. Store the leftovers, freeze them if possible.
5. Rinse and repeat every week!
Having a written down weekly menu visible in sight has helped me with providing a healthy variety of foods. When you write down the list you can see if you’re having for example read meat every day and change that to fish or chicken here and there. Having the list written on the board helps you visualize what you’re going to eat and you can instantly check what you ate on each day. That way you can check if your leftovers are from yesterday or four days ago. Family life can really mess with the memory…
Having a menu board has really helped me to plan all the meals and grocery shopping accordingly. Having things planned means less visits to get the groceries. And that’s great! I’ve got better use for all that time. And we also save money on the grocery bill with this system. The amount of food wasted has been reduced, too, since I can easily check on my list, if a certain leftover is yet good to eat. So, make the plan and stick to it. Your family will have a healthy variety of meals and you don’t need to think about meal planning every day. I have slipped a few times with writing the list but always get back on track the next week. Having a list just seems to make the ‘plan-shop-cook’ process so much easier!
And another great thing with the menu board: Having the weekly dinner menu is super with bigger kids. They can read for themselves to see what’s for dinner. No more constant questions about what we’re going to have for dinner! If they happen to ask, just point the board!
And here’s the tutorial to make a menu board
It’s really easy to make. All you need is:
- a frame
- peel and stick chalkboard
- chalk paint in a darker and a lighter tone
- wax or lacquer to seal the paint
I upcycled and old frame with acrylic plexiglass that we had unused in the closet. This frame is real plain with just narrow trim around it but I completely transformed it with chalk paint.
Step 1. Measure the frame to see how much chalk board foil you need. And cut the foil.
Step 2. With one hand hold the foil perfectly lined up in place on one corner. First remove a couple inches of the protective sheet with your other hand. Make sure the foil is correctly lined up and keep removing the sheet by pulling it slowly and press down the foil smoothly from side to side to remove all the air bubbles as you proceed. Work your way to the opposite corner like this.
If you still have stubborn air bubbles you can get rid of them with either a pin or a sharp utility knife. Make a tiny hole and press out the air. Heat up the spot with a blow dryer to make the adhesive stick better and press down the adhesive foil.
Step 3. Paint the frame with the darker tone of chalk paint. I painted more than just the trim because I want these frames to look bigger. Let the paint dry for an hour or so.
Step 4. Tape the edges of the chalk board if you prefer clean lines. Paint the lighter tone chalk paint. I wanted kind of a rustic white washed look. I painted thick white next to the tape and used less paint working my way toward the edges.
Tip!! Great way to get a white washed look: dip the brush in water and then in a little paint and brush on the dry darker tone painted area.
Step 5. Peel of the tape while the paint is still wet. Let the paint dry for a few hours.
Step 6. Apply the wax or other suitable product to seal the work. The wax you just spread on with a cloth and rub it in a little.
If you use spray on lacquer remember to cover the chalk board area and protect the surroundings if needed. And let dry.
For the finishing touches add menu text with alphabet stickers or decorate as you like. Below is my menu board in use and an example of our menu for a week. It’s written in in Finnish which is our native language, English is the second (or third after Swedish) language.
The menu board is now ready and you can start planning your family’s weekly meals to ease your work load! Well planned is half done, as the saying goes.
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