I don’t know about you but I find menu planning for the family one of the least enjoyable jobs of the week. Trying to keep everyone happy and keep them healthy whilst fitting around everyone’s busy schedules is hard! Keeping up with changing tastes is impossible. It is easy to get into a rut of making the same dishes over and again. Even this only works till everyone gets bored and tastes change – which seems to happen every other week!
I have two free printables for your family bullet journal to help you with the job. Firstly, a tracker that lets you list all the meals make and get feedback from everyone on which dishes they like or do not like. We keep this list in our family bullet journal and anyone can update their preferences as they change. Everyone’s tastes change from time to time but this is especially true for children as their palettes develop.
From time to time we try new recipes and we decide as a family whether or not something new is worth adding to the list – ie would you ever want to have this again!? The format of the tracker allows you to list down the left hand side the dishes you make. Along side the list of dishes, we take a column each and put our initials at the top. Everyone scores the meals according to their own preference. We use a rating of 1 – 10. You could just put stars next to your favourites or use ticks and crosses – choose your own method to show your preferences! The free downloads for these printables are at the bottom of this post in both UK (A4) and US (letter) formats.
The other bullet journal format that I like to use is the documented weekly menu plan. I find that this helps in soooo many ways! Firstly it helps keep cost under control – planning ahead for the week enables batch cooking and planned use of leftovers. We also do less impulse buying which means reduced waste. Where possible we involve the family in planning which can lead to happier meal times and less grumbling (note I say ‘can’ lead to!). Keeping a bank of these sheets also means that you can refer back to weeks that worked well and repeat them – although too much repetition is a source of grumbling, at least it is in our house!
It helps when starting the plan for the week to run through the favourite dishes list at the top of this post – it is easy to forget things that you have made in the past that have worked well. It is also fun if your children are old enough, to get them to add dishes from recipe books that they themselves can make. Anything to add a bit of variety is a good idea.
Each day and meal on the menu plan has a space to write how many people the meal is being made for and the boxes are deep enough to include more than one dish. We have some days where we cannot all eat together and other times when we have family or friends round. The notes section is helpful to include any info for the week eg if someone is away from home or has decided to avoid meat for the month! 🙂
Here are the links. I hope you find these printable trackers helpful and that you come back again for more of these free downloads as I build the collection for your family bullet journal. Please let me know if there is any particular format you are looking for and I will try to produce it for you.Menu Plan layout - A4 size (136 downloads) Menu Plan layout - Letter size (132 downloads) Favourite Meals - A4 format (138 downloads) Favorite Meals tracker - Letter format (127 downloads)
Happy menu planning and have a good week!