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Meal Planning & A Free Chalkboard Menu Printable

today, i'm offering up a free printable - customizable, editable chalkboard printable along with my best meal planning tips using the MealBoard 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 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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