Sunday, January 27

Menu Planner


The Eleventh Hour Cook
How? How is it that the entire day went by and I STILL don't know what to make for dinner? I find myself entering dangerously close to the "whine" line, where the kids pave the way for the dinner hour with complaints of hunger that grow increasingly more pathetic. Just as I enter that last half hour,  the kids rolling on the floor dramatically holding their little tummies, I frantically grab at the first box of what-ever-that-was to "whip up" something. Forty minutes later I am sighing with relief, as the kids and hubby wolf down their admittedly mediocre food, and I am safe for yet another day...until breakfast when I will do this dance all over again!
Nope, I don't want to do this forever...That's how I eventually came up with the perfect solution! I created an easily reusable Menu Planner, one that includes a much needed idea section. 


Saving Solution
Yep, I can't decide if the worst part of cooking is the clean-up or the 2 hours before when you're racking your brain for ideas on what to cook. Well, no more sir! I'm not sure how to elude the monstrosity that is my kitchen after cooking (I'm a ridiculously messy cook), but I refuse to settle for menu mediocrity. So menu planning strategy it is! I have been employing this menu planner for a few months now and it has been my saving grace! We are eating healthier meals, it takes less time to prepare meals, I am saving gads of money, and we have culturally diversified our meals more than ever! It's a win-win-win-win!
Here are just a few menu planning tips you should employ to gain all of these benefits:
To save money: Pick one day to in advance to plan your meals. Create your menu and shopping list at the same time by browsing the sales ad's as well as your cupboard.
To save time: a menu plan gives you the opportunity to prepare entire meals or parts of a meal in advance, use a crock pot whenever you can. Do double duty by choosing meals that have a common ingredient and prepare (pre-cut, pre-soak, pre-wash, pre-cook, etc.) that ingredient all at one time for both dishes
To save your health: Try a new dish and a new seasoning every couple weeks. Keep the food pyramid in mind when menu planning, and include more fresh fruits and vegetables. If you need to, prepare your vegetables, and salads the week in advanced...you'll be more motivated to eat what has already been prepared.
To diversify: Try a new dish and a new seasoning every couple weeks. Glean inspiration from Pinterest Pins, or go online to a recipe directory such as allrecipes.com .

How It Works
Why sticky tabs? I like my menu planner to be tactile, and I am constantly changing my mind, or moving my meals around. This allows me to do so easily, without constant erasing or scratching out ideas. You would think these page marker sticky notes would lose their stickiness over time, as long as they are housed between two laminated sheets, they will not come off, or lose their stickiness.
The how to use is easy...besides the obvious grid/post-it operation, there are a couple little tricks I use to keep my menu planner working for me. The menu planner is divided into two parts: The Weekly Planner, which I reference to see what is being made for each week of the month. The Menu Ideas section, which is where I take from to populate my weekly meal plan.
First take the time to populate the Menu Ideas section. Go crazy, write on post-it page markers all the dishes you've ever wanted to make... the dishes that make you look like a superstar, the trusty dishes you cook weekly, etc. I went on Pinterest for inspiration and went wild! 
Next glean dishes from your Menu Idea section to populate your Weekly Menu. This is also the time to make your shopping list.
You know , it is far easier to show than to tell: Watch my Youtube Menu Planner webisode to see how, and gain a few important details.



How to Make Your Own
Simple. Customize, print, laminate, punch holes, and start populating your menu planner! 
I've done most of the work for you, but I won't take away the fun of personalization! Below you will find the Menu Planner printable in word format that you can download and customize, or in pdf format for those who want to print and use as is. Just remember, the word format will be a little discombobulated and needs to be downloaded to view and alter.
If you do not own a laminator, use Scotch brand full-sized self-laminating sheets, just follow the directions on the package.

Customization & Assembly Tips:
Type in Your Own Categories: My categories are: Drink Ideas, Salad & Appetizer Ideas, Breakfast Ideas, Lunch Ideas, Dinner Ideas, and Dessert Ideas. Use as many pages per category as you like. Decide your layout and page order, and place pages back to back so they will be double sided before laminating.
Type in Your Own Subcategories: My planner contains subcategories according to the way I plan and search for meals. Personally I think of my meals by predominant ingredient or meal base: Grains, Bread, Pasta, Potato, Vegetables & Legumes, and Sides. 
A more "normal" labeling method would probably be: Appetizers, Bread, Pasta, Soup, Salad, Sides. Or perhaps label according to cultural food type: Asian, American, African, Indian, Italian, etc. The ideas are endless, the point is to divide up your sections according to the way you think. 
Color-code Subcategories with Post-its: Keeping your subcategories further defined by using one or two colors in each section will make it quick and easy to put the stickies back in their place when not in use. Don't forget to customize your stickies too! I chose to use Post-it page marker signets, but I loved the adorable Martha Stewart brand 1 1/2" x 2" size as well!
Change the Font & Colors: While you're already customizing, why not make it suit your personal style? Whether you change the font, or the colors, or drastically change it, you'll be more motivated to use something you put a little work into.

Customizable Word Format (must be downloaded to be viewed properly)

Print Ready PDF Format


Let me know how you customized your menu planner! Upload pictures to facebook and tag HomeMadebyCarmona. I hope you find it as helpful as I have!






103 comments:

  1. This is a great idea and it is so colorful and pretty. Thanks for sharing.

    Ginger
    http://www.literallyinspired.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ginger! If I remember correctly, you're blogging about a closet transformation in progress... such a great blog! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I love this idea! It seems so user friendly, I can't wait to try it!

    thanks so much for sharing!

    I am so glad to have found your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you find it helpful. If you end up giving it a try, feel free to share it with us on facebook! I'm always interested to see how people personalize it to their needs. A friend of mine uses dry erasers instead of sticky tabs! :)

      Delete
  3. What a great idea. I am printing this now. I will let you know how it goes. My mom, brother and I are all starting diets and we have been trying to come up with a good plan on how to be organized. We plan on getting together after church on Sundays and cooking/creating what we need for the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that your whole family is working together toward a fantastic goal! Best of luck!

      Delete
  4. This is a fantastic idea! Its colorful, organized and who doesn't like laminating and post-it notes! lol I had a similar one but never took the time to organize it all out. Instead, I sometimes wrote on note paper or would think about it and plan in my head for 2 days or so in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is sooo awesome! I can't wait to do this! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this idea! I have been trying to keep a menu planner for YEARS (25!) and think your way of doing it will actually work great for me. I am using your customizable documents, but for whatever reason the menu planner document will only pull up as legal-sized. I've downloaded it and tried to change the document size and it won't let me :-( I have a Mac and don't know if that is why I am having that problem, or I am wondering if you happened to save the document as a legal-sized doc (?) I would love to be able to use it. So far, the other documents I have downloaded are letter-sized and work great. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tina, I hope this works for you!
      The legal size is intentional... if you can print using legal sized paper, then trim to size, the lowest boxes won't be cut off by a 1/8th of an inch... if however you are like me and don't care about that bottom line, you can still print it onto letter sized paper. I did! :D

      Delete
    2. Nevermind ;-) I figured out that it prints fine on the letter size. Duh. Thanks again!

      Delete
    3. Oh, and it didn't even cut off the bottom line - fit perfectly on letter size :-)

      Delete
  7. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are a GENIOUS! THANK YOU! I've been searching forever for something that works in the way I think. I've been wracking my brain for even longer on HOW to create my own meal planning system. I think it will work perfectly in a kitchen binder that will include my inventory sheets, THESE meal planners, my grocery lists, AND my recipes. Thanks again... I'm off to create!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really love this idea! I will be trying this for sure. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for sharing! I'm customizing now, however, I think I'm going to start off with sheet protectors instead of laminating. (Mainly because I have tons of sheet protectors and only limited access to a laminate machine) Any ideas/thoughts on if this will be a problem with the post-it notes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always happy to share! If someone else can benefit from my crazy creations, why not? ;)
      I also tried using sheet protectors at first (I did not own a laminator at the time), but the post-it tabs do not stick to them well. Walmart produces a generic brand of sticky tabs that might work better on sheet protectors...it is "stickier". :D Let me know how it works out for you. Otherwise I suggest using the self laminating sheets that do not require a laminating machine, that is what I finally used. I have listed it in my amazon store for anyone wanting to find them at a good price. Here is the link: http://astore.amazon.com/hommadbycar-20/detail/B00006HZ5F
      Hope that helps!

      Delete
  11. This is perfection! I've been looking for a system that I could use that would also be a record of our favorite foods and the cookbooks where the recipes are found. I revised the word docs to my favorite fonts and added a page for a cookbook list and the abbreviations I use for each book/recipe...ie Thai Peanut Noodles RT5, p104 (RT5 means Robin Takes 5). I'm so happy with this system. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Peace, Love & Light!
    Hope

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you! Oh I think it is wonderful that you customized it to fit your needs and style! That is my goal for sharing...usefulness! :D I would love to see it! If you ever want to share feel free to share via Facebook, Google Plus, or link! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS IDEA! I totally love it and will start with it right away!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been flipping through all of your posts like crazy. They are so inspiring. I only dream of being like this one day. I'm pretty messy and unorganized and I have low self esteem because of it. Any ideas or tips on how to discourage low self esteem and encourage organization?
    Thanks
    Myrella (23 year old waitress, student, wife and mommy of a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old. )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Myrella, I'm glad you like the blog! Oh honey, you have young kids, I was a hot mess when mine were 1 and 2! And I'm still working my way out of disorder 5 years later! :D Someday I'll write more about my low points, but just know you are NOT alone! I'm sharing the process it takes me to BECOME organized and tidy...I have not arrived. But I believe we can do it, one day, one habit, one space at a time... and it's ok that it takes time, so don't let it get you down!
      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Feeling your pain too Myrella!! My kiddos are 3 (boy) and 1 (girl) both VERY busy and I cannot leave them alone for a second....oh and to top it off I am 4 months pregnant! Whew! :) Good luck sister...we are all in the same boat with little kiddos.

      Delete
  15. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to begin implementing this now!
    Beverly

    ReplyDelete
  16. I LOVE this! I created a home management binder at the beginning of this year. I have been looking around at different blogs to see what most women put in their binders. I am adding a menu section for sure! Can you share a blog post about other things you have in your binder? I would love to know.
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica! Geesh, don't you just love the idea of a home management binder? I too have been thrilled to see what so many others have come up with! If we all put our heads together... ;) I shared my blog organization section, and next I'll be sharing the printable calendar section. I would love to see what you have come up with! Good luck!

      Delete
  17. Wonderful idea and I'm so glad you did it for us! Girl, you should patent(copyright) this idea quick! Make your kids college fund!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Thanks for the compliment!

      Delete
  18. I LOVE this whole idea!! I am on Weight Watchers and I am going to put the points on each Post-it as well! The only problem I am having is that when I print the Weekly Menu Plan it prints too small and the post-its don't fit. I have tried both the PDF and the word document. Any ideas on how I can get it the right size? The rest of them printed out fine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a fantastic idea! I love that!
      I double checked with a couple friends, and they said it prints fine for them... hmmm, wish I had a tech guy. :D I would suggest checking the print paper size... since the document was created to be legal size, either ignore it and try printing it letter, or try to change your print parameters to legal. I hope that does it...

      Delete
    2. I know this is an old post, but hopefully the "Unknown" poster will see this. I just printed it, too. When I clicked on the link, it opened in my browser. To get it to print full size I had to download it (open it in Word) and then print it. It worked fine, then. Thanks for this wonderful resource! Post it notes and dry erase markers are my best friends!!!

      Delete
  19. Hi, Ursula. I printed out the sheets and finished writing my post-its today. I came back because I am going to print some more pages to put just my veggie side dished on, as we LOVE veggies here, and usually have at least two per meal (not including salads!) I am going to try this system and see how it works for me. I love the idea!! I work late 4 days a week, so any planning really helps. I appreciate your sharing this with us. I did have problems printing out the weekly menu page, but I figured out a work-around. I changed my settings to US legal, and printed only one page at a time. That gave me the correct size printed. If I printed out two pages at a time, I got some of the 2nd page on the first and not the right size. I'm not sure why. Anyway, for those having problems, they might give that a try. The other pages printed just fine! I would love to share this on my blog if you are OK with that. I thought I would show my progress and, of course, give a huge shout out to you. Is that OK? Thanks a bunch!
    Michelle at creativeoperation.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle! That is very helpful! I haven't the foggiest idea why it is behaving so strangely, but I will have to post a letter size version and hope it doesn't do strange things! *smh*
      Oh golly, I love to see people make it their own and share it with others! Solutions were meant to be shared... of course it would be alright with me, I appreciate the honor!

      Delete
  20. I don't suppose you have a template of the weekly plan (that fits the little post-its) in a half-sheet size? My planner's of the 5.5"x8.5" variety, and I have no shame in admitting the computer and I don't get along for designing super cute stuff like that. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, sorry Lanna but I don't! In the future I will have to figure out a way to do that, I'd love to have a half size version! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  21. Hi! I love this, I have been using it for 4 weeks now, and it has really helped me with the planning of meals and with grocery shopping. I really love this system! I did do a post on my blog about it, and I would love for you to come check it out. Thanks again for sharing and giving me the OK to do that!
    http://creativeoperation.blogspot.com/2013/04/moms-diner-menu-planner.html
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is the best idea I have seen yet. Thank you so much for your helpful ideas and printable sheets! I can't wait to use it this week!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is a fantastic system!

    I have a question - are the 1 & 2 Weekly Menu Plan pages supposed to be on 3/4 of the page instead of a full page like the others? That is the way it is printing out.

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon!
      So sorry you are having technical difficulties... I recommend downloading the editable version, perhaps your computer will read it properly if not printed directly from Google drive. Hope that helps! ;)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Ursula - he edited version was also 3/4 the size on the page. I must have had the same issue that Michelle had, and changed the page feed to legal and it stretched it out, lol! It fills the whole page now! Blessings, Sharon

      Delete
  24. I love this system!!! You said in your video that you use the post-it notes in your home binder as well. I'd LOVE to see that!!! I've been trying to get a good system down and your menu is fantastic - I'd really REALLY like to see how you are using the post-its on your home binder!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Recently got married (1 month ago) and I'm trying to figure out a way to make the meal planning easier for the hubs when I work late. I love cooking and I'm very creative at it, but the hubby, on the other hand, struggles with it so he grabs anything from the fridge and pantry (without thinking that we had the same thing the day before, or even worse the same day for lunch), so hopefully this method will do us great. thanks soo much for sharing <3<3

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm going to try this! Meals are my most frustrating area because with 5 people (3 kids and two adults) no one wants the same things so it seems like a big stress every time. I think I could pick one favorite for each of us per week. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you so much! It's so kind of you to share this with everyone! Also the video was great, you are a great speaker!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is awesome! I am always looking for an easy wat to plan my meals, and this is exactly what I need! Got my post it notes this morning! I can't wait to write all my favorite meals down and start using the printables! Thank you SO much for allowing us to download and customize the printable files.

    ReplyDelete
  29. For printing issues, choose next to Page Scaling AND unclick/uncheck . This should make it able for you to print the full 8.5 X 11 page. :)

    -Kim
    http://solaceamidthechaos.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the helpful information Kim!
      PS. Adorable blog!

      Delete
  30. Thanks for this nice post

    Meal Planner

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm a serious perfectionist and artistic freak by nature. If I COULD make something better (which I always could), I had a hard time understanding why I SHOULDN'T. Then came kids. I used to do things like this all the time, spend all kinds of time making things organized and pretty... Now I'm expecting my fourth child (making 4 kids under 4), and because energetic-hard-worker isn't among my traits, I've had to give up most everything that was ME for the sake of time and sanity. I just can't believe my good luck in finding this... Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing!! It took me 15 minutes to customize it the way I like it (15 easily justifiable minutes) and I just want to cry (blame the hormones) for the sheer joy of being able to get a part of myself back, even if it is just in one binder! But heck! It's a binder I'm going to use ALL THE TIME! I pretty much love you.
    Me---> :*D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that is high praise, thank you! LOL!! I'm so glad you like it, I hope it works really well for you... because I can identify! Thankfully life gets more sane when they are all older than 4! :D

      Delete
  32. I love this idea and will be making this binder this weekend. What else do you have in your binder with the menu planner?
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is FABULOUS, I have been in the throws of menu planning for a while but always found it horrid I hate using a pre made plan b/c well I have to alter so much and them my aunt was like well make your own and I was like well I could but how, then I saw THIS and I LOVE IT I have 6 kids and we eat a funky kind of diet and I am very much about seasons so I LOVE that I can change and move and stick and think and color code. Office supplies meet meal planning a match made in heaven if you ask me!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love the way you made it simple and yet easy to change. Populating is easy and culling out what doesn't work out anymore is even easier. I'm looking forward to setting this up!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Have to ask - where do you get all your colours of sticky tabs?? I am looking online and here in Canada, because wow, such a pretty rainbow! (thanks for the tip on the self-laminating pages by the way)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carrie! I got my post-it's at Staples with a coupon...but I also use Walmart brand page markers as they are much cheaper. I have added the exact ones I purchased in my Amazon Store (found in the side bar) if you still can't find it and prefer to order online.

      Delete
  36. I love this idea!! I would love to know what kinds of things you have on your sticky notes!! Like maybe a picture closeup of them on the page!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm dying to know more about the WHOLE binder! Will you share that some time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I have shared 3 sections so far, you can find all of them here: http://homemadebycarmona.blogspot.com/search/label/Home%20Mangement%20Binder

      Thanks so much!

      Delete
  38. This is wonderful! I have been using a spreadsheet for years and it requires a new one each week. Like you, I move things around and have to write on it and it drives me crazy. I also end up forgetting about awesome recipes I have made in the past. All summer I have attempted to find a way to catalog them painlessly. This came just in time for a busy fall schedule and school to start (I am a teacher). Also, I will customize my adding snacks. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, someone who operates like I do! Lol. I'm so glad you like it!

      Delete
  39. omg i loved your idea, i'm 16 and a few months ago i started my eat-clean life and this is what i needed!! it's totally a great idea and i'm downloading the whole file. Thank you so much for this great idea!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks chica! I love that you are changing your lifestyle, I'm there too! Good luck! ;)

      Delete
  40. Bummer...I'm having a really hard time printing out the correct size too! I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Anyone ever figure this out? I'm going to re-read through comments to see if I'm missing a trick. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hold on to your hats....I may have figured it out for myself. It let me do "page set-up" and it was set to 80% and I switched it to 100%....sorry to jump the gun. Always happens, when I give up and ask for help, it comes to me! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  42. You did very well! I will be trying this system soon. I printed out everything. My only suggestion would be to add FRUIT and/or SNACKS. Of course that as you said can be customized, so well done! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love this and can't wait to try it out! I desperately need to start planning my meals out so we eat better and can do the grocery shopping all at once. One question I had and maybe I missed it. How you do you make accommodations for meats in your planning? I don't see a category for it. Thanks again for sharing. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog and can't wait to tart following you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sheila,
      Hee hee, I wondered if anyone would notice that! Let me congratulate you on excellent observation skills and the first to notice. :D
      Crazy us, we're a vegetarian/vegan hybrid so I had no need for a meat category. However I did provide the customizable word doc for people to create the categories that apply to them and their families! ;)
      Thanks so much for following, and good luck with your planning!

      Delete
  44. Hi! I love this and made my own! http://talenttoplay.blogspot.com/2013/08/make-it-monday-post-it-meal-planner.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely post! Thank you!
      What a neat idea testing and reviewing ideas already set in place... I think if I did that with Pinterest my house would be complete by now! Lol!

      Delete
  45. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been wanting to organize and keep better track of our family menus. I am so excited to purchase my sticky notes and get my binder ready!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I found this on Pinterest! What a great idea! This is very clever. Thank you for sharing your system and taking the time to create the printables!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love this! I normally use a calendar and a list of meals we usually like. Once I used to use a family calendar but I was the only one that paid attention to it! lol. So I wanted something that would benefit ME and my crazy obsessive compulsive need to organize. I have an agenda book, like a modern filo fax so I took your pages and scaled them down some to fit my agenda book and since they may 5x7 laminating pouches, it still worked really well! I also changed your topics on the idea pages from "breakfast/lunch/dinner/etc." to "beef/pork/etc." During the day I'm the only one in my house and my son eats a tiny breakfast here and then again at school! lol. So I really didn't need separate menus. All his lunch items are in a box (except for the meat) with an inventory list laminated and glued to the top so we always know what's there. I have my own ways of organizing some things but I love how your idea for this menu got me started!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Do you have your menu idea post its in a single layer? Im finding that I may need a page or more for just chicken dishes, etc. I thought of layering my ideas, but seems it would be a little less efficient. Thoughts??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brandie,
      I do not layer post-its in the menu idea section. If I find I need more pages I customize and print more. I have provided a word document version available for customization in the post. You could entitle it "Chicken Dishes", and create custom categories to break down your chicken dishes... ;) You must download the "Customizable" option in order to use it though. Good luck!

      Delete
  49. Oh my goodness, Carmona!! I LOVE this! Just bought myself the sticky tabs to do this and can hardly wait! Thank you for your genius with this! Have tried many different things and I really think this will work best for me. So grateful! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  50. What a great idea! I'm excited to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  51. How did you get your stickies not to over lap on your pages. I printed these, laminated them & then realized afterward when I went to put the stickies on that there is not enough room for them to fit end to end 3 across like yours is...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I don't know exactly, but a couple things come to mind: It is possible (if you downloaded the customizable option) that things got altered a bit if you opened it in an older version of Word. Another thought (although I think this is unlikely) is that the sticky tabs you are using are larger than mine...I have extra space around each tab, and I use Post-it brand and Walmart brand stickies...

      Delete
  52. Hi Ursula, I just watched your video and read your blog. This is what I have been needing!!! Thank you so much for putting it into such an easy well managed format!! YOU ROCK!! I'm on my way to Walmart for some post it notes! Can't wait to get this party started!! :) Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello! Thanks so much for this great idea! I, too, am having problems with the sticky notes overlapping on the Ideas sheets---but the worst problem I am having is the Weekly Menu Plan prints out so small I cannot use the post it notes on it at all---any ideas on how to enlarge it? I have windows xp and word 2003. Thanks for any help you can offer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ava,
      I'm sorry you are having difficulties. The truth is that it could be any of many operating system problems. I'll list a few common mistakes/troubleshoots for you below.
      -It has to be downloaded onto your computer to print properly.
      -Uncheck page scaling when printing.
      -Make sure your print is at 100%, also print legal size for the weekly planner.

      Hope it helps!

      Delete
  54. I love this idea! I already do a weekly to monthly meal planner in excel, however I make a lot of changes so I have lot s of cross outs by the end of the month. It also takes time to retype many of the same meals that I use over and over. This is so great! I plan on making mine tomorrow. I will let you know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  55. You are my new hero! I found this post when I was searching on Pinterest for "home management binder". This is such a fantastic idea, and the video was really helpful in explaining it. You were made to be on camera - you're very at ease with yourself! I'm subscribing/liking to whatever you have and really enjoying your website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! *blush* I'm glad someone out there (besides me) can find use for my crazy creations! ;) Thanks for following along!

      Delete
  56. What an amazing and colourful idea. I'm so glad that I've found you ... like Jenny said, you're my new hero! Your system is super simple to use, and the colour coding is so much easier with post-it notes than having to write everything down on paper and then use a highlighter (my old system). Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  57. These are great! Where did you purchase your binder? Also, will you do a full tour of your notebook? What do you have under each section in your binder?

    ReplyDelete
  58. 3 words:
    I.LOVE.YOU!
    You have made my life soooo much easier as of today!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I absolutely loved this! I saw it and it inspired me to make my own version. I filmed it for my youtube channel & blog, and gave you a shout out for an amazing idea! http://happily-a-housewife.blogspot.com/2014/01/meal-planning-for-busy-moms.html That's the blog post if you want to check it out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, that is fantasic Samatha!
      Thank you so much for the shoutout! I love how you bound it, and that you used your label maker to create such neat and tidy post-its. My handwriting is awful, I may have to do that! ;)

      Delete
  60. Finally one thats easy and quick to do! I love sticky notes and dry erase markers too!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hey Ursula, I was searching Google for a monthly meal planner and happened to like the picture of yours the most. All I can say is WOW! Not only did I find the perfect meal planning method (I feel like I'm a lot like you describe yourself ;-) ), but I LOVE all your organizational ways! Thank you so so much for sharing what works for you and allowing us all to give them a go as well. I for one really appreciate it. I cannot wait to see more project and such as you go along.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I would love to see you put your link or "homemadebycarmona" on the bottom of your sheets. This makes it easy for me to find you again and also recommend you to friends. I can't always remember where I get information unless there is a link on my printable. I have to many saved tabs to just add another one would be kaos.
    Thanks for considering this and I can't wait to try to get organized with your menu planning sheets. Maybe sometime you can figure out a way to organize recipes. I am already thinking that I could color code my recipe cards to fit with your color coded menu planning sheets.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I can't get it to open properly as a Word Doc :( Are you able to email it to me by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Ursula, I keep finding myself coming back here again and again (as I love seeing new ideas on getting meal planning done!) Your system is just so fluid! I'm pinning to my meal planning board so it keeps encouraging me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love this idea and thank you for the print outs. I was just wondering if you use the same recipes / meals over and over again. If it would be worthwhile making little laminated post-its for those recipes and attaching them by Velcro? Surely that would save you time and money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure! Yes I use the same meals over again. I use the same meal post-its over and over again... in over a year of use I have never had to replace any post-its, they haven't lost their stickiness. :) Once you put it in your menu planner, you just move it around.

      Delete
  66. This is a great idea! I'm finally getting more organized at age 42 and with my kids almost out of the house. I'm definitely doing this! Your blog is great! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I love this idea and many of your other one's also! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  68. My breakfasts and lunch usually take care of themselves so I changed the weekly menu plan sheet to say Main, Side and Vegetable as that is my goal for planning. Thanks for the template!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you like it! Fantastic way to customize it! ;)

      Delete
  69. This is an amazing weekly menu planner!! It's so funny how the simplicity of post-its and dry-erase inside a binder can make SUCH a difference!! What else do you keep in your Home Management Binder and have you thought about making a tutorial about the other things in there?! In the video I saw the front of the binder and LOVE the look of it. Do you have that on here somewhere??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chelsea! I don't have a full feature on my Home Management Binder yet, just parts... I will be sure to do one! ;)

      Delete
  70. The sticky notes are brilliant. It never occurred to me to use stickies - just scribbling out and arrows. I can't wait to get this all set up. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for posting. Your comments mean a lot to me! But to help prevent spam, comments have to be moderated, so you may not see them post right away...