Menu planning is always something I'm trying to work on. I keep up with it for a while, then things happen and I stop. Making dinner is a lot harder when you don't have a plan. You waste the evening asking each other, "I don't know. What do YOU want for dinner?" and then you eventually give up and go out to eat instead or end up eating cereal. Neither of those options are bad, but not great when it happens every. single. night. Menu planning seems a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be so much easier and life at dinnertime will become less stressful.
To help solve the "what do you want for dinner?" problem, I designed a monthly calendar to plan our dinner menu. At the end of the month, get out the planner and decide what to have for dinner every night during the next month.
Start by writing in any important dates, holidays, or occasions where you might be going out or eating at someone else's home on the calendar. Then, to make things a little easier, make a separate list of your family's favorite meals. Save this list with your other monthly menu planners so you have your options on hand.
If your list isn't very long, or you need some ideas, try assigning a certain day of the week a specific type of meal (i.e. Monday=Italian, Tuesday=Soup, etc) to help make choosing meals a little easier. For any ingredients your are missing, add them in the shopping list section. You can shop for the perishable ingredients two weeks at a time, or buy freezable or canned items for the whole month since they will last longer.
The monthly menu planner printables come in both horizontal and vertical formats. Each set includes a print for each month with no year and no dates filled in so that you can use it every year! Punch holes in the planner pages and add to your current planner (don't have a planner? Download my free printable weekly planner) or take it somewhere to bind the pages together (you can do this at any OfficeMax/Depot, FedEx, or Kinko's for a reasonable price).
Or, you can print out one of the blank printable monthly menu planners to customize on your own. Laminate and hang on the fridge or put in a frame to plan out your monthly menu with a dry erase marker. To clean the laminated page, use the dry eraser, then wipe with a rag dampened with alcohol.
The blank menu planners are available in both horizontal and vertical format. For best results, print the menu planner on cardstock.
Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
*You may NOT modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the watermark.
*If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to my blog.