free printable meal planning guide.

Oh you are going to be so glad you came back for Meal Planning, Part 2. Because it involves a free download!! Yay!

As a graphic designer, no new thing I do or try will stick unless it involves some good design. 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 Etsy shop; for $5 you can buy the PDF that you can print at whatever size and color you prefer! (Many thanks to my husband Mike for taking these pictures for me!)

I also designed this retro looking fridge if you prefer this design. I feel it’s well suited to a square frame, and you can write what the meals are in the mat area. (By the way, I’ve updated my Illustrator 101 course to use this fridge, so if you’re in the Salt Lake City / Provo area and want something fun to do this weekend, join my Illustrator course!) (As another parenthetical aside, I would like to tell you that we took these pictures in the sun and I’m using a shadow box frame, so you can see the shadow of what I’ve written on the glass. This doesn’t happen inside the house. Instead it just looks like the text is floating. Which is pretty cool.)

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. 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.

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

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  1. Petit Elefant :

    Going on fridge immediately. Maybe it will help my meal planning madness.

  2. Beth :

    This is awesome!! I do plan my menus, but usually stick them only on my blog and I’m constantly forgetting what I said! This will be perfect!

  3. oh amanda :

    Love it! I actually planned my weekly menu for the first time in months today…and this will make it much much cuter!

  4. KJ :

    these are great, Alma. As for designing useful yet good looking things, how about custom chore charts for toddlers and children? I’m trying to implement a little system with my 2 year old, so he feels in control of his day, but can’t find any cute job charts out there.

  5. Petit Elefant :

    Ooh, I second that emotion KJ. How about a rewards chart for tweens too? Maybe one for me while we’re at it?

  6. Susan :

    I adore your charts! Congrats on selling out the etsy shop so quickly today!

  7. Alma :

    Susan and everyone,
    These won’t sell out on etsy! If you go to the shop and see it sold out, try coming back in a couple minutes! I’d love to share with everyone. And yes, I’ll get started on chore charts too!

  8. KJ :

    alma rocks my world.

  9. joolee :

    oh my, i NEED this to help with my meal planning. I absolutely detest cooking and this would MAKE me plan the week out so my family doesn’t end up with cold cereal again…and again… :)

  10. Run DMT :

    That is the coolest there EVER! You are so creative! :-) I am passing this along to all my mommy friends!

  11. UK Yankee :

    These are fantastic! I'm forever throwing away food that's gone past its expiration date, and it makes me sick to waste money like that! Hopefully with these charts I can get my act together! Many thanks!

  12. Stephanie :

    Loving that bottom chart especially. Those cute little Le Creuset-esque pots are simply adorable.

    p.s. I am a huge fan of meal planning too.