Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{NEW} Menu Planner with Magnets!

Okay, ladies.... this has got to be one of the GREATEST printables I've ever made!  I've been playing around with this idea for months and I'm so glad it's finally out of my head and ready to share! It's basically a whole new way to plan your menu each week - and I must say... it's probably my most original idea to date!!  You ain't going to find NUTTIN' like it anywhere - so I'm claiming the originality award on this one!! Woot!! Woot!  

Get your "Menu & Magnets" Printable {HERE} or read on for tips and ideas on how to make and use your new menu board!

Because I've loved using my Annual Menu Planners for the last few years, I wanted to keep the format similar... but wanted to also update the process by adding an often overlooked step when meal planning... and that's considering what variety and TYPES of meals you want to serve! So, the process is simple.  First - choose your meal prompts (magnets) for the week... whether that's an international cuisine, a type of meat or type of entree - then move them around until you have the basic outline of your menu ready. Then, simply choose meals that fall into those categories and record them on the planner with a wet or dry erase marker.  Looking at your week at a category level  FIRST will help steer you away from your 10-recipe rut and add some serious variety to your nightly fair!

 Some fun challenges you can do with your magnets... when you take a week down - set those magnets aside and try to pick 7 new ones!  Let your kids choose a night, or better yet - let your hubby choose a magnet for HIS dinner night!!  Plus, I added super fun options like... "Mom's Night Off" and "Leftovers"... "Date Night" and "Take-Out"... I love the "Pinterest Recipe" one, but I think "Dad's Night" is my favorite!  With all 78 categories in 3 colors - you can choose whether to make up a set of just one color - or mix and match to have a variety.  And... don't be overwhelmed by all 78 categories.  I just did a huge selection so everyone could find ones that worked with their cooking style and tastes.  When I made my board - I only made up 39 magnets.

There are lots of ways to make up your magnets.  Probably the easiest and least expensive would be to simply punch, laminate and attach a magnet. Done!  BUT... if you want to add some extra flair and durability - try making them like this!  Here's what you'll need... E6000 Glue (great for adhering things to metal), round magnets, 1" punch, 1" Epoxy Stickers and bottle caps.

I buy my Epoxy Stickers & Bottle Caps from FIZZY POPS - but I've also purchased them on Amazon as well.  Just search "Epoxy Sticker" and/or "Bottle Caps" and you'll find tons of listings, some even have free shipping!  I typically also buy my punches on Amazon... the one shown is from EK Tools and can be found {here}.

PRINTING TIPS: This printable comes in both PDF form and as a collection of 8x10 JPEGS for photo printing.  I ordered the 8x10 photo prints of my magnets to get superior print quality - but here's a great tip to remember - because these are graphic images and not PHOTOS - for BEST results when photo printing - deselect the "auto color correct" option when ordering to keep the colors more true to what you see on your screen. Also, do NOT print the magnet pages at a copy shop if you plan on using Epoxy Stickers... the ink from laser printers does not work well with the stickers.  They work ideally when using something either photo or inkjet printed.

ASSEMBLY STEPS (shown above)...  

1.  Select the categories you want and punch or trim with scissors
2.  Apply the circle image to your Epoxy Sticker, image side-up and press to seal
3.  Using E6000 Glue, apply a tiny dot and press on (tightly)
4.  Allow glue to fully dry/cure (takes about 24 hours, or at least overnight)

After my tops were dry, I applied the magnets to the under-side.  You don't need much glue, a tiny drop will do... then press the magnet tightly to get a good bond.  This glue has pretty strong fumes - so work in a ventilated area or with window open. Also, not a great glue to leave lying around; make sure to keep this one out of reach.  The bond you'll get though - is awesome... so it's worth the extra steps of being careful.  I got mine at Micheal's... with a coupon it was less than $3 for a tube.

Another idea for your magnets is to use 1" flat glass stones (found at the Dollar Store).  Simply adhere the round images, face-up with ModPodge - then attach the magnet with hot glue, (here's a tutorial if you need one).

The easiest way to display your menu board would be to laminate the weekly image - then simply post it on your fridge with the magnets.  I actually wanted something a bit more substantial than that - so I grabbed a frame at Micheals.  The inside opening is 10.5"x13.5" and I bought a small piece of sheet metal at Lowe's.  I had to use metal cutters to trim it down to size... but then just removed the glass and put in the metal (then put in the regular frame backing to secure).  I laminated the planner, then mounted it on the metal with a regular glue stick. It looks awesome hanging next to my pantry and I get excited to plan my meals just LOOKING at it!

  PS... In the works is a matching recipe binder with coordinating recipe cards... I hope to have that out within the next week or two!


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Be sure to check out my most popular bottle cap post...

Happy Menu Planning!

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Bingham Co said...

Could you make tabs with similar categories (something you could put in page dividers. That way I could organize my recipe book with the categories. Then when the kids pick out a category, they could then go to the recipe book and find that category and then pick a recipe from that. It would sure help. I am anxious to see what the recipe book and cards look like. :D

Colette said...

That is a great idea! Thank you for your comment!! The Recipe Book is still a work in progress, I've had to start over a few times after printing and not having it exactly how I want it yet. I'm close though! I do LOVE the idea of having the magnets match the tabs... that's a wonderful idea!

Bingham Co said...

What font do you use so that I can match them with the personalized categories? I am kind of OCD about that. :D Also, any better idea when the recipe book will be done. I am excited to see it.

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