Menu Board Ideas So Your Family Knows What's For Dinner
Do you get asked a lot by your kids or other family members what's for dinner, or other meals? If so, I would suggest creating a meal board that you place somewhere in your house that everyone in the household can reference when they want to know that answer to that exact question.
This week we're focused on meal planning as part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.
Once you've taken the time to plan those meals, why not let everyone know what the plan is. It can really help get the family on board with the whole planning process, be an easy way for you or whoever else to know what will be cooked for food preparation, and like I mentioned above, hopefully stop at least some of that dreaded question from being asked over and over again.
There are all kinds of ideas shown below, by readers, who've incorporated a menu display in their homes. The simpler the better, and all the better if it's also pretty to be something nice to look at.
There are two main places people put these menu boards. The first is the kitchen, obviously. The other is wherever they place their family calendar or their command center.
As with many parts of home organization there is no right or wrong way to do it. Instead, choose the place that makes sense for your home's layout and also where you know your family will actually look at the display.
In addition, consider how easy it is to change from week to week, or whatever other time frame you're going to show. If it is a huge pain to update it won't happen consistently. That's just human nature!
I've got ideas below that can work for you, but the sky's the limit really. So if you've got another way you display your meal plan for the week I'd love to see it. You can submit your photos here and I'll add the best ones to the page!
Use A Chalkboard For Easy Display Of Your Meal Plan
An incredibly popular method for displaying each week's meal plan is a chalkboard.
It's easy to see why. They're relatively inexpensive, easy to mount on a wall, and easy to change out each week or if you need to make adjustments to the plan throughout the week.
The example above is from a reader, Glenda, who said, "Blackboard menu on the wall of my kitchen. It allows others to start dinner if I'm not home yet, and stops the "What's for Dinner?" question."
Here's another example of a chalkboard in action sent in by Elizabeth. She said, "I meal plan every weekend, make my grocery list at the same time and then write it in our kitchen chalkboard so no one is asking me after I get off what's for dinner?"
If you don't want to actually purchase a chalkboard another idea is shown by another reader, Tysha. She just used chalkboard paint directly onto a wall and uses that for their menu display. She said, "This is on the wall next to the fridge. You can buy the chalkboard paint at Home Depot and use it on any surface. I don't know what we did before this."
Here's what it looks like:
A similar idea if you don't want to use chalkboard paint would be to purchase a peel and stick chalkboard sheet to place on your wall. (See below for a link.)
In addition, if you don't want the chalk to come off until you want it to, some people like to use the chalkboard pens.
Here are some chalkboards, and the chalkboard sheets that are available for purchase:
Another simple idea, similar to using a chalkboard, is to use a dry erase board, or white board, to list out your meals for each week.
That's exactly what a reader, Krystal, does. She explained, "Our menu is a dry erase board. Use a sharpie for lines and days and erasable for menu items. Super easy."
Depending on the size you need for listing your meal choices you can get a small board for the fridge, like Krystal uses, or a bigger one that mounts on the wall.
Here's some more examples from readers of how they use white boards for this purpose.
The photo below is from a reader, Tina, who said, "Bought this at Target yesterday with a gift card I found decluttering my desk! Perfect for what I need!"
Here's another smaller white board, this one in a frame, used by a reader, Regina. She said, "I have several Food boards on Pinterest and I have one called 'Food I've tried and loved.' This white board also helps, I mark recipes P - Pinterest A - All recipes so I know where to find them. This also helps the little people in the house from asking me what's for dinner a million times a day!"
Finally, a reader, Natasha, uses a much larger board, because she combines a display of her menu with several other functions. She explained, "I just bought and started this in our house about a month ago. I bought the white board at Walmart. I drew the lines in myself. It really helps, not only to avoid so many "what's for dinner" questions, but also because they know what outings we are planning, so that no one finds out at the last minute that we're heading out the door because they 'missed the memo.' The first row is morning activities, second row is afternoon, third row is what's for supper, and fourth row is evening activities. As a day is over, I fill in that day for the following week, so that it's continuously rotating, and the kids (and parents) have a good length of notice about upcoming events."
Just like you can use a chalkboard or white board for displaying your menus, you can also use a bulletin board or pin board for a similar purpose.
This is a photo from Shae, who has displayed what they'll have for the week, based on a theme for each day of the week which makes it easier to keep a good variety of dishes, as well as keeping the other ideas not currently in use right there in a container on the board.
You can get bulletin boards here, including both ones with exposed cork and those which are fabric covered:
Here are even more of these framed menu plans that readers have made. I tell you, I have the most creative and artistic readers!
Here's one from Kelly, who said, "I had an unexpected snow day today, so I used watercolor pencils to make a menu board."
Even if you can't paint something yourself like Kelly, you can use festive holiday scrapbook paper like a reader, Cynthia did. She said, "It's an 8x10 picture frame, stickers on the glass for the titles and day of week, and scrapbook paper in the frame that we will rotate every month."
In addition, another reader, Christy, used a different kind of frame for planning and displaying her week's meals. She explained, "Here's my menu board I made with a $10 multi frame from Wal-Mart and scrapbook paper. I've been doing meal planning for about 2 yrs and it's amazing the stress that it relieves."
Rhoda provided this photo of her organizer board. She explained, "It has a cleaning routine, weekly menu, shopping list, to do list, goals, and appointments. I free cycled a window taken out of a friends house!"
Go Digital & Make Your Calendar On The Computer & Print Out
Yet another idea is to fill out a calendar online, such as a google calendar or any other program and then print your plan out so everyone in the family can see it.
That will also often allow it, depending on the program you use, to also be available digitally for people in your home to check it that way as well, which can be especially convenient if they're outside the home when they want to know what's for dinner.
This digital method is what ah reader, Samantha, does. Her picture is shown above. She explained, "I plan a month at a time and make 2 trips on one day at the end of the month! Saves me a bunch of money AND time!!!"
A reader, Jeanie, submitted this photo of her menus, above.
She has made cards of her family's favorite meals, and then each week she can clip the cards onto the string of the bulletin board showing the meals they'll be eating.
Here's a similar idea from another reader, Susan, below, who explained, "Here's a picture of a partial sample menu. Top clip is for anything special I'm making, then Sunday through Saturday clips. Back of cards show ingredients I might not have on hand (buns, rice, wine, a special fresh herb). Top box is meal cards to be used; bottom is blanks, recently used, and unusual things I picked up at the store and need to use... in this case, a jalapeno kielbasa. In addition to the meeting night cards, I have things like leftovers, date night, restaurant, and family dinner w/in-laws."
More Home Storage Solutions
I hope you enjoyed these ideas for making a menu board in your home to display your meal plan.
In addition, if these ideas have inspired you to get organized make sure to join the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge. It's a free year long challenge that helps you slowly tackle all the areas of your home to get them organized, while developing habits to keep it that way!
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