Sunday, December 01, 2013

Meal Planning Tool: Magnetic Dinner Menu Board

A menu board is a tool I use to organize meal planning in our home. 

DIY Upcycled magnetic board
Plan your meals and you'll be less stressed about them!
But before I had a good system in place, I tried using a store-bought magnetic calendar dry eraser board.  

And overtime, I just couldn't commit to it. 

So one day, I decided to cover it all up.

It's not that I didn't try using it. It's just that sometimes the ink wouldn't erase.  Or maybe I needed more space.  Or, maybe it was just too tedious to erase and rewrite and erase and rewrite again.  Or maybe the smell of the dry eraser marker finally got to me.  For a few months, I was stuck with a used-up magnetic board (with ink that no chemical or saliva could probably erase). So I began to wonder how I could upcycle it. 

That's when I came up with the idea of covering it up with scrapbook paper and using it to post my weekly dinner plan.  

There are four reasons why this was a better way of using a magnetic board:

  1. It's a stylish way to post our dinner menu (and it wins out over my handwriting).
  2. When the hubs comes to me and asks "What's for dinner?" I can just look up from my laptop and quietly point to the fridge and he'll instantly be informed.
  3. Throughout the day, the board becomes a visual reminder for me of what planning and preparation I need to do for each meal. 
  4. I can easily rework the menu by moving the magnets around (no more using the eraser or printing more paper!)
And it was really easy to make.  

Upcycled magnetic board covered with scrapbook paper
Making a dinner menu board is easy!
First, I converted the 30 day calendar board into a two-week calendar by using scrap book paper to cover up the board.  I titled the board "Menu Plan". 

Second, I also printed out a stack of recipes titles to post on the menu plan (such as "Chicken Adobo" or "Crockpot pork roast" or "Leftovers"). 

I have to admit, this little DIY project has helped motivate me in this area of meal planning. In the beginning, I had to learn to plan my meals at the same time I was learning new recipes. So I did whatever I could to inspire me to keep going at it---even if it meant getting a little crafty! 

Magnetic Board Dinner Board Refrigerator
The menu is up on the fridge and ready to use.
The result?  It works for us. I find that sometimes I plan meals one week ahead and other times, two weeks ahead.  I tried to plan out meals a month ahead but I realized I have more flexibility in weekly or bimonthly planning.  

I have to say it's been great to quickly glance at the fridge and know when I will be cooking and on those few occasions, when I don't have to (leftovers night!)

It's your turn: 

 Do you post your meal plan?

 What motivates you in your meal planning process?

 What can you do this week to streamline meal planning?  

 Try making a menu board for the fridge! Or instead, try a printable menu plan.

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