Every where one looks, there are blogs, books, magazine articles and heroic claims that this is the next up and coming way to help you organize your meal time.
In fact, I wouldn’t have started an entire 10 Minute Dinners site to help us all if I didn’t think there was a great need in this area. (Food bloggers or DIY lovers looking for contract work? Let me know. I am hiring.)
Over the years, I’ve created elaborate meal plans only to have the process of the creating be inspirational and invigorating, but the implementation of the meal plans, ah, not quite so much.
Can I see the hands raised high and proud?
Often, it’s the simplest of plans that have the most success, so when I saw my sweet friend, Shannon’s, easy Cookie Sheet Menu Planning Board, I knew I had to share it.
The practicality of this Menu Board is perfect, plus the fact that you could create one right now in about ten minutes with just items you have around your home.
Please tell me I am not the only one with a “used scrapbook paper store” still in their closet. This is a perfect way to use that old paper, plus by varying a few cookie sheets of different sizes, you could create a “command center” with a spot for all the important tasks that the family needs to know.
Just last week, I had two old, slightly rusted cookie sheets ready for Goodwill. A quick coat of spray paint over the cookie sheet would make it look like new. If you’ve wanted to give some chalk board paint a try, this would be a great option as well.
I love this because you can customize it to your needs, plus make it to match your home decor.
So let’s gather a cookie sheet or buy one at the Dollar Store, rubber cement or strong glue, scrapbook paper, card stock, and any embellishments you desire. You can get as creative and detailed as you want with the the design of the board and magnets. These are home made bottle top magnets.
Getting your kids involved in the creative process of the meal planning gives them ownership. They will be excited to share in the art creation, thus making them a little more inclined to share in the work load as well.
I am a firm believer of starting our kids out early in the kitchen, both with the fun side of cooking, but also with the chore side.
Meals do not just appear on the table and by involving them over and over in the process, there is a new appreciation for the preparation process, plus teaching them kitchen skills that will last a life time. Their spouses will be forever grateful.
One evening, plan a great dessert night and brainstorm favorite meals. Make a huge list of at least 20-30 options, allowing every person in the family to give input. Write them down on strips of card stock, and note on the back where the recipes are located, or print off the recipes and stash them in your recipe binder.
For long term durability, cover the meals ideas strips in clear duck tape or laminate them.
Each weekend, decide on the meals for the upcoming week. Make sure that you have the ingredients and then take one hour to power cook all those little items that need to be done. It will save you hours and hours during the week.
Here are just a few that come up in our meal plan.
Pizza – Regular Homemade, BBQ Pizza
Tex Mex Chicken Chili or Taco Soup
Taco Salad or Chicken Asian Citrus Salad
Chicken Nuggets (Sesame Chicken Tenders)
10 Minute Chicken Cordon Blue – Chicken Divan
Mini Meat loaves or Turkey Meatloaf
Chinese – Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken Recipe or Thai Chicken Stir Fry
Kids Choice – Taco Casserole
Use this adorable magnets to secure your meal ideas. The “how to” of this post is still in drafts, but these magnets are so easy to make with a little paint, stickers or paper and modge podge.
Obviously, this is a very simple meal plan idea, but again, sometimes we just need to take a baby step to spur us on.
There are so many adorable ways to dress up your cookie sheets. Unfortunately, all of these were uploaded by pinnners with no link to their creations, but it sure allows those creative juices to flow.
You can include a shopping list area or even kitchen chores that need to be done. I love how she embellished it with a fabric ruffle.
This is a great example of a larger cookie sheet being used. With the extra size, you can truly make this a command center in the kitchen.
I love sharing meal planning ideas. I may not implement them all, but I love taking a peek into how others handle that task that we all struggle with day in and day out.
Do you have a board where you display your weekly meal plan? How do you handle it?
Jen, you inspire me every time! I put a sheet of paper on the fridge with our work/school schedules, menu, and other duties on it, but I really do need to get on the stick with teaching my boys to help with both meal planning and prep. Thanks for the cute menu boards for inspiration!
I LOVE THIS IDEA!! I am going to do it this weekend.!
I need to get my kids on board with this. I think they’d lvoe it.
Totally fun! I keep meaning to make one of these, and these are all awesome inspiration 🙂
I love this and am getting right to it! great idea.
If you make one, make sure you send me a picture. I’d love to add it to the post. 🙂
@Jen, 🙂 will do!
What do you use on the back to hang it up?
hi Brenda – there are some inexpensive Commando hooks that stick to the back of the project/wall but it’s easy to get off when you want to try something else. Lowes or Home Depot have tons in stock.
How did you make the holder for the meal card strips? I’m not much of a do-it-yourselfer. Liked this idea, maybe for a gift. Thank you.