I've been wanting to change up my meal-planning form that I hang on my refrigerator for several weeks now. I got tired of printing out a monthly calendar and writing in our meals for each week. I had to squeeze it all into one block, and most times I couldn't plan in advance for any side dishes because they just wouldn't fit.
I searched a little while on the Internet for meal-plan templates, but I couldn't really find what I was looking for. I decided to make my own. Using Excel (because the Numbers program was too complicated...), I made a two-week plan with enough space for me to write in main dishes and sides. At the bottom I left a place to list the dishes I have ingredients for, things that are ready-to-make. If there happens to be one or two little things I've forgotten to buy, I have a column to the right of that where I can write them down.
To start, I list the main dishes that I'm ready to cook at the bottom. As I put them in place on my two-week calendar, I check them off. If I realize I need something from the store in order to make something, I'll add it to the grocery list space and add that meal later in the calendar, with an asterisk beside it.
I like the way it looks, and I'm really hoping it'll work for me. Something else I've done is to print one page, then put it in a page protector sleeve. With that on my refrigerator, I can easily see what's planned for and wipe off and rewrite as I need to. When the two weeks are up, I can just wipe it all off and start over again without having to print out another form, wasting time, paper, and ink.
I made a PDF file and tried to upload it, but for some reason, I got an error message saying the file was corrupted or unusable. I'm not sure what that means exactly - or how I can change it so I can upload it later. I'll play around with the file and see if I can figure something out...