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Meal Planning & A Free Chalkboard Menu Printable

loving this editable free chalkboard menu printable for family meal planning. makes it easy to stick to our plan and know who is cooking each night. great meal planning app, MealBoard, review as well.

I have another fun free printable for you all! This is not a sponsored post. Just my thoughts on a meal prep app worth gushing about, MealBoard, and a fun free chalkboard menu printable for my lovely email subscribers!

Before I get started, please share your favorite easy weeknight dinners in the comments section below. I’m currently obsessed with searching sites and magazines {Food Network Mag is my fave} to load up my meal planning app.

Weeknights Before Meal Planning

After having my little girl, I found it extremely difficult to get into the kitchen and do what I love, cook! Last year, baby girl had colic for 6 months, my 2 year old was “discovering his personality”, and my husband travels a lot. Add in a full time job, and I was very overwhelmed. At a time when I should have been doing what I find therapeutic, whipping up new recipes, I just couldn’t get to it. Thank goodness my husband kept us fed while I attempted to keep the house and kids clean. I truly was in survival mode at that time, and I feel like I’m still recovering from that very sleep deprived year.

On my nights to cook, it was complete chaos. I used my Notes app to document potential “easy weeknight dinner” recipes for the week, then I would have to go to my Pinterest board to locate the recipe, then link out to it in my browser. Then I would attempt to keep my grocery list up to date in a separate app. All of this clutter usually meant that even though I thought I knew what I was making, when it came down to it, I either couldn’t find the recipe, didn’t have all of the ingredients, or I would just destroy a recipe due to stressing out about getting food on the table at a decent hour. Once I’d had enough, I promptly went to my app store and searched for meal prep. The first result that came up was a highly rated app called MealBoard, a little pricey at $3.99, but very highly rated with a lot of useful features.

My Meal Planning Strategies

We’re eating amazing dinner’s these days, trying new things, mixing it up a lot more, and with a lot less stress.

With MealBoard, I can easily {using their built in browser} search and import my favorite recipes. The recipes then live in the app, so there’s no more tracking them down in my notes app, Pinterest, or linking out to them in a crunch. Once all of my recipes are imported, all I have to do is go to my home screen, which shows all of the days of the week, hit the plus sign and add in the recipes I’d like to make for each day.

I usually sit down with my husband on Sunday afternoon, we decide everything we’d like to make for the week, and once this is planned out, I hit the sync button to move all of my recipe’s ingredients into MealBoard’s built in grocery list. The list is organized by aisle, making it super easy to get through the store to find exactly what I need. More times than not, after marking off everything we have already, I usually only need about 3 ingredients to make all of our meals, so I really am saving money and reducing waste using this app.

loving this editable free chalkboard menu printable for family meal planning. makes it easy to stick to our plan and know who is cooking each night. great meal planning app, MealBoard, review as well.

I LOVE having a meal plan for the week. On Sunday after a grocery trip, I have everything I need on hand, and looking ahead at the app the night before, I know if I need to thaw out any meat, or bonus, if I have the time, I go ahead and lay out all of my pantry ingredients and spices.

MealBoard Pros, Cons, and Tips

Pro – Easily import recipes by searching or pasting the recipe’s url into MealBoard’s built in browser.
Pro – There’s also a web based version so you can easily import while you browse from your computer.
Pro – I’m not there yet, but if you have the time and interest, you can also log your pantry supply so you know what you have in stock.

Con – It’s a little pricey at $3.99, but so worth it. I only list this as a con because if you want someone else in your family to share your account, you have to pay for a version on their phone as well, log in as yourself on both phones, and then sync to the MealBoard cloud. Once you’ve turned on the cloud option, syncing is automatic. I think this is worth it, but the chalkboard menu printable should also help everyone know when it’s their turn to cook.

Tip – when you import a recipe, it also picks up on the recipe’s rating from the website. I always remove this so I can give the recipe my own rating after I’ve tried it out. That way, when I go to add recipes to my weekly plan, I can opt for meals from my “Top Rated” category.
Tip – I create categories for each type of meat so that I can mix things up throughout the week – chicken one day, pork the next, and so on. Before meal planning, we ate pasta and/or chicken A LOT!
Tip – I created an Easy Weeknight and Weekend Dinners category and if I have tested out a recipe and it is indeed easy, I add it to my weeknight category, otherwise, I save it for the weekend!

loving this editable free chalkboard menu printable for family meal planning. makes it easy to stick to our plan and know who is cooking each night. great meal planning app, MealBoard, review as well.

Free Chalkboard Menu Printable

To take everything one step further, I thought it would be fun to have a “visual” of what we’ll be making for the week so I came up with an editable chalkboard menu printable. Although I added MealBoard to my husband’s phone, he gets so busy throughout the day, I just don’t think he’ll check it on his own. With this chalkboard menu printable, he can glance at it on our buffet and know if it’s his turn to cook that night. We have so many things going on in our lives, that this is one less thing that I have to remind him about.

loving this editable free chalkboard menu printable for family meal planning. makes it easy to stick to our plan and know who is cooking each night. great meal planning app, MealBoard, review as well.

I’m also offering a white background version for those of you that don’t want to use up too much of your black ink weekly for the black background chalkboard. With that said, when you are printing the black background, please choose “Black and White Only” from your printing options so that it does not attempt to use some of your color cartridge to make up the shades of gray.

I’m using this white 8×10 frame from Michale’s, and removed the glass from the front to add to the “chalkboard” look. I actually stored the glass behind the paper, to keep it safely stored. Also, I print on card stock paper, and trim the white border so that I end up with a true 8×10 menu.

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Your Thoughts?

  • TheNewClassy

    I would like to do the whole meal planning thing. I cannot get my husband on board with it too well. He wants to play it by ear every night. I hate that.

    • just take over for a week, then hopefully he’ll get into it ;)

  • Candy Kage

    Meal planning has always been something I enjoy. First it saves me time and money. I only get what is on the meal plan when shopping and I know what we are having every night without wondering. Love a good printable.

    • yes! somehow i would always come back with meat and a lot of condiments, none of which seemed to go together very well lol.

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I really need to get my act together on the meal planning front, and i think this could be a big help. I KNOW planning can save me time, but the actual planning portion of things has never been my strong suit.

    • if you give it a try, please let me know how it works out for you, and better yet, if you have any tips, please share :)

  • This is a great printable. I definitely try to plan meals ahead of time, but there are definitely nights where I throw together anything I can think of. Some of my favorite ways to save time on weeknight meals are by making muffin tin meals ahead of time in the week, using my crock pot, and finding recipes that require minimal ingredients (5 or less) so that I can make a good meal in a hurry.

  • Kelly Hutchinson

    I love this printable! This makes sure everyone in the family knows what we are having each night for dinner. I love to meal plan, and I don’t mind paying the $3.99 for the app.

  • Jennifer Van Huss

    I love that printable menu! IT is so cool!! I have never heard of this app, but I have recently been thinking about meal plans so it is very timely!

  • Thank you so much for the great tips and ideas! I really want and need to do better at meal planning! Love the printable!

  • Liz Cochico

    I’ve been thinking of doing this, but I don’t know where to start. Thanks for these tips.

  • I am all about meal planning. Not only does it reduce stress, but it definitely helps me stay within a budget and only buy what I need at the grocery store. Such a cute sign!

  • Sally Wright

    Sorry to be dense, but how do I download the printable?

    • hey @disqus_0ZuxWdPQxq:disqus thanks so much for your interest in my printable. did you subscribe to the newsletter using the form in the post? if so, then once you confirm your subscription with MailChimp, then your first newsletter will contain the private link and password :)

  • Christy Garrett

    I really should take the time to plan my meals. We are always saying that we don’t know what we want for dinner. Which reminds me, I totally forgot to put some chicken in the crockpot. Opps.

  • Oyinkan Ogunleye

    I love meal planning. It makes everything go by smoother! Great for those who are busy.

  • I am so bad at planning! I think meal planning would make my life a lot easier!

  • I love meal planning. Saves me so much time to do other things. Thank you for the printable.

  • Jennifer S.

    Okay that chalk board is AMAZING! I need this in my kitchen, it’s soo pretty! So professional too, and very handy on top of all of that!

  • Rose Ann Sales

    Wow! That’s great. So creative and amazing! I like the idea all of these. Nice post.

  • Stephanie Holmes

    Fav quick dinners especially with summer are salads with homemade dressings: taco salad, chef salad, Reuben salad. We try to grill when we can.
    I also love stir frys because it’s usually some chopping and no more than about 25 min stove time tops so it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
    Thank you for the cute print out. Can’t wait to use it!

  • I suck at meal planning! I need to print off this chalkboard printable and maybe that will help! LOL!

  • Clare H

    I love mealboard too! I really like that I can edit any recipe after I import it. (I.e., remove spices we don’t like and/or add other ingredients). I rate them after I make them. I also keep my recipes in several catagories, such as instant pot, beef, quick and easy, etc. My daughter and I can send recipes back and forth to each other and quickly import them into our own mealboard account. I don’t feel like $3.99 is a lot to spend on an app – it’s one coffee or not even one children’s meal if you don’t cook dinner and go for fast food!

  • redheadmomblog

    Ok, so I have never heard of this app before. I am gonna definitely check it out though!

  • Cyradis

    The app looks like exactly what I’ve been wanting in an app but it’s not available on android. :-(
    Thank you for this post!

  • Stephanie

    How do I print the menu?