Menu planning has grown in popularity in recent years and is a particularly favorite topic among stay-at-home and homeschooling moms.  In the blogging community too, women are always eager to share how they organize meal time and save money through meal planning.

So widespread is meal planning in fact, that today’s household managers need do nothing more than find a favorite menu planning blog or two and learn all of the tips and tricks they need to know.  As a bonus, most blogs also offer resources,which usually includes all of the printables needed to begin meal planning with very little effort.

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In a previous post, we talked here about Meal Planning for the Non-Planner.  In future posts, we’ll cover additional aspects of the meal planning process as well.

Today, we’re bringing you a simple idea for those getting started using magnetic menu boards.  This is an easy one to build (though admittedly not as attractive as others found on the web) for those intimidated by some of the fancier designs or just not as handy working with lumber and power tools.

This completely functional magnetic menu board  takes no time at all to build and looks pretty darned cute.  It’s made from an ordinary dry-erase board that you can purchase for $20 or less plus some ordinary scrapbooking supplies you may already have in your craft/sewing room.  You can customize it to your taste or have the children help to make it with you, as we did (that’s why it has a carnival of colors!).

Directions:

Start with a dry-erase board like this one, the kind with the calendar grid already on it  (this one has a cork-board area, too, although that’s not really necessary):

Cover the magnetic white-board area with your choice of scrapbooking papers, neatly cut to the correct size.  Use glue-stick, rubber cement the edges, or use double-stick tape as we did here:

Now, add lettering or decorations of your choice.  We went with these puffy letter stickers found on clearance at Kohl’s, because they matched our paper perfectly:

but you can use any stickers or rub-on lettering to write whatever message you like.  We wrote this on ours:

Now, using self-stick borders, grossgrain ribbons and double-stick tape, or any other method you’d like, cover up any rough edges and finish up the general design.  We went with some of these great self-adhesive borders that are easy to stick on:

Once the design is completed, it’s time to think about your menu.  Type up a list of 30 or more of your family’s favorite recipes, using free digital images if you like. Print them onto card stock, laminate, and cut apart.

Or, make it easy on yourself, and print out some of the ready-made meal labels you can find for free on the web.  We went with these from Heart of Wisdom because we loved so many of the meal options.  Then, we hopped onto the computer and made up a few more of our own, in the same size and shape as the ones we found on the web:

We protected the menu cards from splattering food and sticky fingers by covering them with Avery self-adhesive laminating sheets:

and then used a good pair of sharp scissors to cut them all apart:

For magnets, we chose a coil of adhesive magnetic strip, purchased at a local craft store for $2.99, and cut little sections of magnet to stick on the backs of each menu item.  Individual magnets and drops of glue would work just as well:

Finally, use a dry-erase marker to enter the month at the top and place menu cards in the order in which you plan to serve them up.  We added “Leftover Night” and “Clean out the fridge” cards every now and then, as well as a “Mystery dinner” night just for fun:

We also added an extra strip of magnetic tape to one of the edges of the board to hold all of other unused menu cards:

If you make one of these, or have an easy magnetic menu board idea of your own, please share a link in our comments area so that readers can check it out.  Bon Appetit!

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