Meal Planning 3.0

Meal planning and I go way back. I've always been a fan but my methods have varied quite a bit throughout the years. Roughly, this is my third system that's been used for a solid length of time.

As four years of marriage have passed and we're embarking on our first year as parents, I searched for a simpler system. Something that wouldn't eat up too much of my time, where I had our regular meal ideas as well as the freedom to add new ones, and which didn't take long to plan out each week. 

In With the New

Meet Big Clip: (it sounds like that's what I normally call it, but I just made that up.) A giant clipboard from IKEA that houses our meal plan each week. The idea for this new layout was a combined effort between my husband and me. 

J: What if you had all the meals we regularly eat listed in a stack of papers you could just pick from each week and display easily? 
N: You're so smart.

Ok, so mostly Jordan’s idea.

The Setup

What you'll need:

Plain white (or colored) computer paper
Clipboard (or board for clipping meals to)

In our kitchen hangs a giant clipboard that had yet to be used. I took a blank kraft paper card I had (thick like cardstock), cut it into seven equal rectangles, slips of white paper cut into smaller rectangles, and a Sharpie. Using the envelope from the card, I taped it to the middle of the board where I could easily store all of dinner options. 

I wrote out several meal ideas, as well as options for "leftovers" and "out," and on the back of each idea I listed the main ingredients needed so I know what’s needed before heading to the grocery store. Using mini clothespins I snagged from the local craft store, I clip the meal under the day of the week I intend to make it.

And voila. The Shirkman meal planning board was complete. I did a little calligraphy on the days of the week (pictured here in Slovene because, ya know, I live in Slovenia, but choose whatever language tickles your fancy). I was pregnant with our little girl at the time so one of her ultrasound pics made it up there. She's six months old now but I like it there still =)


Why It's Golden

I love this system because you can obviously add as many options as you want with next to no effort. You also don't have to do a lot of work to figure out what to feed your family (unless you're looking for an excuse to browse, er get distracted on, Pinterest for a few hours). 


A good friend of mine recently sent me a picture of her own rendition of Big Clip. Beautiful, Katelynn! I'd love for you to share your meal planning systems, whether you replicate this one or have your own.

What's your meal planning system? Any favorite, go-to meals?