Two years ago I created my first Meal Planning board and it literally rocked my world. I was (and still am) completely shocked at how much time and money it saved me. Two years on, meal planning is still working great for our family however, it was time for an upgrade.
This year we are adding a new member to our family as well as more commitments and events to keep track of. It was time to upgrade from our meal planning board to a full blown command centre. I took our old meal planning board off our pantry door and came up with a new plan.
I started with this Family Calendar I picked up from Kikki-K last year. My day planner keeps me really organised and I always know what is going on however we had a bit of a missing link getting this info to my Hubby. We had tried electronic calendars in the past however they never really worked for us. With this family calendar, I can fill it out at the beginning of each month so B knows what is happening and what we have coming up.
The next thing we needed was a new meal planning board. I loved our old one however it had a few limitations, the biggest was being able to add new recipes to our rotation. To get around this, I have done away with the cards. I made a weekly meal planning page and put it into an A4 frame to use with dry erase markers. I then have a list of all the meals we regularly eat and another page which I can add to as we try new meals. Each week when I do my meal planning, I grab our list of meals, choose 7 and write them down on the board. It is really easy and only takes about 5 minutes.
A few months ago, I started using a shopping planner (post coming soon) where I write my grocery list for the week. We no longer needed our clipboard shopping list however we did need somewhere to write down items as we ran out. I added another A4 frame with a Shopping List page to our command centre so when we finish an item I jot it down on the board then add it to our shopping list at the end of the week.
At the bottom of our command centre, I added two Martha Stewart hanging pockets from Officeworks. In the first we put any paperwork which needs to be returned to day care or work. Having it in plain view means I can see if there is anything to fill out and ensures they are taken back on time. In the second pocket I keep our list of meals and a list of snacks for Hazel.
I added 3 small frames to the top of our command centre with a quote, family photo and a cute print.
Around the corner inside my pantry I have a pen holder for pens and whiteboard markers and another two pockets. The first has our takeaway menus and the second has recipes that we are planning on trying.
I wanted our command centre to be as easy to use as possible so I whipped up these stickers for our calendar. I have stickers for B’s shifts, day care, groceries, baking, bin day and pay day. It makes my weekly planning even quicker and they are so much neater looking than my handwriting. When I am not using them, I keep the sticker sheets in the notes pocket inside a plastic sleeve.
Our new command centre is working really well for us so far. I love having the calendar so everyone is on the same page and the simple meal planning board is so much easier to use. We use our command centre in conjunction with our launch pad which I will be sharing next week. These two systems together make our days run so much smoother and are seriously worth their weight in gold!