Menu Planner


(This post also at Petit Elefant.)

As a graphic designer, no new thing I do or try will stick unless it involves some good design. I recently committed to planning meals weekly and keeping the family to a food budget. So what I felt would really help me out was a place to display what meals I had to eat, and what ingredients I had in my fridge that needed to be eaten before they went bad. Like my huge block of gorgonzola from Costco for example. I developed this.

This is a meal planner that I am proud to display in my kitchen. Remember that advent calendar that I made for you all for Christmas? Well, I designed this to use the same frame. I designed the poster and printed it out, then put it under glass. I can write on the glass in dry erase (or wet erase) marker. That way, both Mike and I can see immediately what’s for dinner every week. I can also list what needs to be used up and what I still need to buy. And there’s plenty of room for lunch and breakfast if I’m so inclined. I have put this print for sale in our store in 5 different colors; for $10 you can have the files that you need to print the menu planner at three different sizes!  You can print it at home, at a print shop, or with a photo developer (I print my 16 x 20s for only $6 at Costco).

(By the way, if you want to learn to create your own graphics, check out my online Illustrator 101 course. )

Finally I also put together this fun design that you can download for free! I hope that you feel inspired to plan your weekly meals too, and I hope that one of these menu planners can help you feel like you’re doing it in style!


Click on the image above or click this link: menu planner. Wait for the image link to come in—this may take a while because it is a very large file. Save image to your computer. Dimensions are 19.625″ x 15.75″ but image can easily be cropped to most other standard dimensions. As is, the image will fit well in an Ikea Ribba frame.

To print the large image, try a printer such as Kinkos. I printed my poster at Kinkos for just under $10. Alternatively, you can have a photo processor (like Costco) develop this image. Just make sure when you’re uploading that you don’t choose “auto color correct” or “faster upload speed”.

Place image in a frame, under glass. Fill in your menu each week by writing on the glass in dry or wet erase marker!