I am a big fan of helping kids learn life skills. And one of the most important ones, I think, is learning to prepare meals. It’s more than just learning to cook. It’s being able to plan out a meal — entree, side and dessert, decide what ingredients we have on hand, what we need to buy at the store and then preparing the meal and cleaning it all up in the end. I also think it gives kids the perspective to see how much things cost as well as how much effort it takes to put a nice meal together.
For many years I have been using The Food Nanny’s cookbook and strategy with my family. So with school starting and all the craziness of a new school year, I knew I wanted to get this tradition started again with my family. And I thought it would be great to have a central place to keep the menu board so everyone in the family knows what the menu schedule is for each week. So I created a weekly menu planner (back to school free printable)!
I am so grateful to be moved into the #1905Cottage and get ready for a new school year with the kids!! I took a cabinet that I had in my previous bedroom and repurposed it into a buffet for my dining room. I have my cake plate collection on shelves above the buffet and I keep placemats, napkins and linens in the drawers for easy dining access. So I thought this area would be perfect for my printable. And to make things easy, I printed the big 11×14 (a frameable size) on my Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer.
I framed it in an 11×14 frame so the kids can use dry erase markers on it.
This is how it works:
- Every Sunday we plan out the menu. I have an assortment of cookbooks everyone can go through.
- Each person chooses a day of the week and writes their name on their day.
- Then they select a meal – main course, side and a dessert and write that on the menu board.
- Once they have a meal they want to prepare, they see what we have on hand in the fridge and pantry and then write down the ingredients we need to purchase at the store.
- We have a couple days a week that are free days – one where we go out to eat or order take out food. And another that is for leftovers.
I have found that this method really helps the household run smoother. PLUS, the kids get really excited when it is their day to cook. Sometimes they invite a friend over to help prepare the food and enjoy it.
It’s one of my favorite things! Here are the printables. All you need to do is print them off, trim them and put them inside a frame with glass. You can use regular dry erase markers to write and then simply wipe the writing off at the end of each week and start new!!
I’ve provided them in three styles and two sizes. If you have a regular-sized printer, you can use the 8×10 sizes. If you have a printer that prints bigger prints like the Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer, I’ve included 11×14 sizes (to match a regular 11×14 frame). All of these are, as always, for personal use only. I hope you enjoy the printables!
Here’s the 8×10 in color. Just right-click this link or the image below and choose “save link as” to download the printable PDF.
Here’s the 11×14 in color. Just right-click this link or the image below and choose “save link as” to download the printable PDF.
Here’s the 8×10 in grays. Just right-click this link or the image below and choose “save link as” to download the printable PDF.
Here’s the 11×14 in grays. Just right-click this link or the image below and choose “save link as” to download the printable PDF.
Here’s the 11×14 in mixed gray and color like I used. Just right-click this link or the image below and choose “save link as” to download the printable PDF.