I desperately need to start planning my meals better.  I do the 5:00 “oh-crap-what-are-we-having-for-dinner” dance every night.  With school just starting, I know I need to get back to planning dinner because if I don’t get my act together stat my kids are going to live on cereal for dinners….they totally wouldn’t mind. So I scoured the internet and found these six menu planner templates to help with the planning. Laminate them so you can use dry erase markers to reuse them and then of course I had to do some magic to make them even prettier.

weekly menu planner printable DIY frame

I had some frames lying around that I purchased for $1 at Goodwill months ago.  A quick coat of Rust-Oleum Gray Primer and I popped the menu planning side into the frame.  Next, I added some super strong ceramic magnets to the back.


And then I attached it to my refrigerator along with a dry erase marker…


Here are 6 really cute free ones you can resize and print to fit an 8” x 10” frame.  Don’t forget to laminate it so that it becomes a dry erase.

   via The Happy Housie

via Live, Craft, Eat

via Cupcake Diaries


via Grace & Good Eats

via Mommy Hates Cooking


via Heavenly Homemakers


Need help planning your menu?  Here are some fantastic recipes our family loves.

Crock Pot Pizza Joes

Crockpot Sloppy Pizza Joes

Crockpot Shredded Beef


Crockpot Rotiserrie Chicken

crockpot shredded rotiserrie chicken


I would love it if you shared your tips to make meal planning easier in the comments below!


**This is a repost from April 2013.

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  1. Hi Beckie! I’m SO jealous of all the fun you guys had at SNAP! Nick and I will be at Haven, so hopefully we can meet you there!

    About meal planning, we live IN THE BOONIES… so I go grocery shopping once a month. I wrote a post awhile back about how I keep track of our inventory and the list of meals we have ingredients for. I’m not a planner, so I’d rather just choose from a list of meals each day instead of planning them out a week (or month!) in advance. Here’s the link if you’re interested! http://www.sawdustandembryos.com/2010/06/grocery-grief.html

  2. Ohh! What a great idea. I currently write out my menu plans on Thursday evenings on white paper and it goes up on the fridge for the week. I will say menu planning makes it so much easier for the week. Thursday’s I look at our next week and plan meals around what sports/times we need to be somewhere. If I didn’t we would eat fast food every night, which my kids would be totally fine with:) Not so much our budget though:)

  3. I literally laughed out loud at “I do the 5:00 “oh-crap-what-are-we-having-for-dinner” dance every night.” because I have been doing that for the last 17 years (that’s how old my oldest son is). I am in agreement though I have got to get a plan and quick, regardless of what the weather is telling us summer will be in short order. I will need to plan for lunches and dinners. I love your menu templates I am going to print some off and frame them in some old frames I too have from garage sales. Another option over laminating would be to put the glass in the frame and write on that. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and more importantly your humor. Have a blessed day!

  4. Yes, we consistently have this problem! I try to plan but get so busy. Food prep is just one of those things that does not take a lot of time, but I seem to skip. Thank you for the print outs!

  5. I am glad to know I am not alone. i am trying to make a more concerted effort at dinner time. If not the pounds tend to creep up.

  6. I am glad to see someone reads my posts and doesn’t just check out the pictures. HA! Good luck finding your menu planning strategy.

  7. Oh my heavens, thanks so much for including my menu planner in this bunch! Such an honor!! Totally thrilled over here. And PS, this post made me laugh right out loud. Glad I’m not the only one who goes, “What the crap?!” at 5:00 wondering what’s for dinner!! (And I’m a food blogger, for crying out loud!! ha ha)

  8. HA! That is encouraging! I thought food bloggers always had A+ dinners. You are welcome. Thanks for the great printable to include.

  9. Thanks so much for featuring my menu planner!! Love how you made yours into dry erase! I wanted to let you know the links don’t line up though, my planner is 3rd from the left. 🙂 Thanks again!!

  10. So Cool! Where did you get your magnetic dry erase holder??? I am so doing this — already printed it out!!!

  11. So glad you like it, Monica! It is the Duck Brand Grip-It Grabbers. I found it on Amazon and then just glued a magnet to it.

  12. I use an excel spreadsheet that shows a couple months worth of menus going back. I put what we’re having each day as an all day event in my Google calendar so my phone reminds me the night before to take whatever it is out.

  13. My husband and I plan our meals. We write enough dinners for the week and then just pick one (we may have what I wrote for Tuesday on Friday, but it’s less thought). We sit down on Sunday morning and plan our meals for the week. I look at the grocery circular and clip any coupons from the paper, make our list and then as a family we head to the grocery store (all 4 of us, my husband, me, the 2 yr old, and the infant). We have always grocery shopped together and people find that strange, but this way neither one of us can complain that something wasn’t gotten at the store. Meal planning has really helped us avoid eating out. We are both teachers and exhausted when we get home and the last thing we want to do is try to figure out what is for dinner. When it’s a multiple choice question it’s a little easier. And now that we have a new little one (2 months today) it’s even harder to think about things when we get home because we are so busy with him and the toddler. We put our sheet in one of those plastic sheet protectors and use a dry erase marker and just magnet it to the fridge. I like one of your templates you posted, so thanks for that. I didn’t like the format of the one I had.

  14. You are welcome! It sounds like you’ve got a good system going. Hopefully the printable will streamline things even more for you.

  15. This is a brilliant idea!
    I did this and it was super easy and cute that I am doing the same thing for my To Do’s Board!
    I also blogged about this. ^_^

  16. The one I used I had actually gotten for free at the SNAP conference. I included the link where it is available for purchase. I shared six other free printables though. You can access them by clicking on the links at the bottom of the post. Hope that helps!

  17. Right under where it says “left to right”… click on those links and you’ll be taken to the templates shown above.

  18. My children have asked for input to the menus lately and I agreed. There are a couple of things we do in particular. One is that I try to have 1 beef, 1 chicken, 1 pork, 1 fish, and 1 vegetarian meal per week. We plan on a weekly basis. I plan sides as well. We look at the schedule for the week and decide how many nights we are going to need the crock pot. (Usually 3-4 in the school year and 1-2 during the summer.) We utilize the produce co-ops such as Provident Produce and Bountiful Baskets. With a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday pickup, this makes the following week’s side dish planning easy and budget friendly. If I am using marinades or rubs, I try to season and prep as much as possible on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It usually takes about an hour. During the week, I can pull out each meal and have dinner ready in a minimal amount of time this way. Thanks for the templates! I am excited to have a few different ones to use!

  19. i was thinking, if the frame has the glass in it still, I bet you could just frame the menu planner without laminating it. You should be able to write on the glass and wipe it back off with dry erase markers. You could save a little more money. Either way, this is an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing.

  20. what a great idea! It looks like something my daughter would do. Ha! She is so organized & resourceful like you. I am so going to do this… I already have some yard sale frames I’m not using that will work great. I am putting this on my frig and she will be so surprised when she comes over and will think I’m getting it together. This is a big start. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Love it

  21. I love your meal planner and the frame idea! I use a frame for my calendar and just write on the glass instead of laminating, I think it even works better than a regular dry erase board!

  22. I’m a bit late to the comments, but I found this on pinterest and LOVE IT!! Very creative so I’m off to make it tomorrow. I was curious though in the photo with the grey frame and primer it shows a bunch of grey dots on the inside of the frame. Maybe a stupid question, but is it glue? What kind is it? It’s so evenly spaced!! :-0

  23. No, it wasn’t glue. It was actually just part of the frame. 🙂 I am so glad you like the idea though and hope it helps with your meal planning!

  24. You don’t even need to laminate. If you are placing in frame you can write on the glass. Of course if you are having by magnet laminating could be a good idea. We use the picture frames w glass as dry erase message boards

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