The Ultimate Menu Planner

Get free printables for this amazing menu planner! It is unlike any menu planner you have ever seen, including an idea section so you never have to guess what to make for dinner again.


>>Free Downloadable Printables at the bottom of the post<<

Menu planner with post-it sticky notes

 Ready for the Menu Planner of your dreams? It’s free!

Menu Planning & The Last Minute 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 are 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.

I find myself entering dangerously close to the “whine” line, where the kids pave the way for the dinner hour with complaints of hunger…

Menu Planner with sticky notes

How This Menu Planner Works

The menu planner is divided into two parts: the Weekly Planner, which I reference to see what I’m making each day of the week; and the Menu Ideas section, which is where I pick 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, and the trusty dishes you cook weekly. 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 based on the dishes you’ll be cooking for the week. But if you really want to save money, choose your dishes based on the sale fliers for the week

Shopping list with menu planner

A Saving Solution – The Perks

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:

Menu Planner sticky notes


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.


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


Keep the food pyramid in mind when menu planning, and include more fresh fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have the proper variety of colored post-its, you’re probably not eating a well balanced meal. If you need to, prepare your vegetables, and salads the week in advance…you’ll be more motivated to eat what has already been prepared.


Try a new dish and a new seasoning every couple weeks. Glean inspiration from Pinterest Pins, or go online to a recipe directory for new dishes. Diversity of dishes, can also help with your health goals!

Post it recipes

Why use sticky notes / Post-it page markers?

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, but as long as they are housed between two laminated sheets, they will not come off, or lose their stickiness.

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.

Free Printables To Make Your Menu Plan

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, you can have them laminated at an office store.

Download Your Menu Planner Here:


 >>Word Document Format (for you to download then customize):



>>Print Ready PDF Format zipped (for printing as is):


Shop Supply ListAdditional Items you might need:

Let me know how you customized your menu planner! Share it to my Facebook page (or to Instagram), tag me at Home Made by Carmona and add #HMCmaker. I hope you find it as helpful as I have!

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245 Comments on The Ultimate Menu Planner

  1. Caitlin Winter
    November 25, 2018 at 11:51 pm (12 months ago)

    It is only letting me see breakfast for editing not dinner or lunch? do I have to change it all myself or are there other links to those?


  2. Pauline
    November 17, 2018 at 8:40 am (1 year ago)

    The download links aren’t working:(

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 18, 2018 at 6:43 pm (1 year ago)

      If the download links aren’t working for you on your browser, you can also click the “or Click Here” button right below it.

  3. Becky Hall
    October 11, 2018 at 9:10 pm (1 year ago)

    Not sure if this is because I am on my mobile but there is no link to download the printables, help please I’ve been wanting to add this to my kitchen binder.

  4. Nicole
    September 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m on mobile or what, but this link is broken for me. :(

  5. Laura
    September 7, 2018 at 7:43 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you so much….!!!!! I’ve been racking ideas on how to lay out meal plans! You nailed it!! YOU ROCK!!!

  6. Jamie
    June 4, 2018 at 1:34 pm (1 year ago)

    I have wanted to meal plan for some time now, and I finally have some time. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. Ellie
    April 8, 2018 at 9:06 pm (2 years ago)

    I am a first time meal planner, and I searched through many options, and i love the way this is set up! I am printing everything off, and can’t wait to get started! :)

  8. medlagu
    March 15, 2018 at 6:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I will be using that because that is what I have on hand. I’m not sure if someone gave you that suggestion already

  9. Jandelyn
    January 12, 2018 at 8:52 am (2 years ago)

    This is such a helpful and pretty idea! Unfortunately, I can’t get the word docx to work. It downloads as a blank doc each time. I’ve also tried emailing as an attachment to myself and that doesn’t work either. Thanks so much for any assistance you can provide. :)

    • Tiffany
      February 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

      I can’t get it to download either. The first page downloads okay but the second is blank as well. I wanted to edit because there is no meat section but can’t figure it out.

      • Michael
        February 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm (2 years ago)

        Same here. I was able to download the Sheet in Word Document Format but the second page is empty. Seems like the content of the second page went altogether with the first page.

      • Martha
        March 2, 2018 at 11:20 am (2 years ago)

        I was able to download by opening up the file tab. Going down to downloads and downloading as a Microsoft Word doc. Hope this helps.

  10. Laurie J
    August 24, 2017 at 10:20 am (2 years ago)

    I really like this planning idea! I have my binder put together and I am working on plugging in all my meal ideas. It is so much better than lugging out all my recipe books to look through to plan my menus! I didn’t laminate my sheets, I used the plastic sheet protectors and they are working great! Thank you so much for the idea!

  11. Katherine
    August 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Help. I need to use the word documents for the menu planner and they aren’t working. I get an error message that says “document does not exist.” Please fix this issue so I can use this great menu planning idea.

  12. Amanda
    July 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm (2 years ago)

    can I ask how this system allows for less time in preparing meals? I can’t see how that is possible?

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh no, not less time preparing the actual food…less time figuring out what to make! 😀

  13. Sue Kopp
    May 15, 2017 at 1:00 am (3 years ago)

    I’m a little late to this party, but I am so excited to try this. I just ordered the post-its from Amazon, and I will get those done on Wednesday. I also printed all of the (free) printables! Thanks so much for that. I’ll try and let you know how this works for our little family of two.

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm (3 years ago)

      I hope it works wonderfully for you!! <3

  14. Kelly
    May 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Ursula,

    I just found this idea and used my Xyron 2 sided lamination, bought Post-It sticky notes and they will not stick to this laminate! After all the printing and lamination supplies, I am discouraged that they won’t stick on there. Any ideas as to why since yours works perfectly?

    Please help! Want to use your wonderful idea.
    Thanks, Kelly

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Kelly,
      I’m so sorry to hear that. Wow, Xyron double sided must be some serious lamination…I’ve never EVER heard of anyone having this issue before. I’m assuming it is so slick that the sticky notes just won’t adhere? Just in case, try another set of post-its (to make sure it isn’t a defective batch), and if that isn’t it, I would suggest going with Scotch laminating sheets. They are inexpensive, and they work great!
      Good luck!

      • Kelly Paulo
        May 12, 2017 at 6:28 pm (3 years ago)

        Thanks a bunch! I see you have moved to North Carolina from Ohio. We did that too. From near Cleveland to Charlotte. We were in chlt for 23 years and we’re moved to Cali now. Enjoy the beautiful green trees for me!

        • Ursula Carmona
          May 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm (3 years ago)

          How funny! Well enjoy Cali for me…that’s where I’m originally from. 😉

  15. Jennifer
    January 17, 2017 at 11:41 am (3 years ago)

    I can’t seem to get the Word documents to download. I finally got it to come up, but then it won’t download and sends me to an empty page?? Any tips for me? I LOVE your idea!!!!!!!!!! I do the Trim Healthy Mama eating and want to tweet some of the categories for that.

    • Jennifer
      January 27, 2017 at 10:31 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for whatever you did. They are working like a charm. I love this system!!!

      • Ursula Carmona
        January 29, 2017 at 7:42 pm (3 years ago)

        Oh good! I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

  16. Sherry Burton
    January 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Wondering your system for organizing the recipes for your tabs – Great idea – can’t wait to put this together

  17. Y8 Games
    October 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm (3 years ago)

    I am circling the sales receipt as I put them up and then take the receipt to transfer to post-its.

  18. Johna329
    August 10, 2016 at 10:32 pm (3 years ago)

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute &amp help other users like its helped me. Good job. kedgedcadbcd

  19. Marty
    May 20, 2016 at 10:39 am (4 years ago)

    This is a great idea. Many thanks!

  20. F. Little
    May 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm (4 years ago)


  21. Jane Watkins
    May 11, 2016 at 11:06 pm (4 years ago)

    who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? I’m 69 and love the idea of the menu planner. I’m already putting mine together. I’m making a page called In the Freezer! I can put tabs for all those things that I tend to forget I bought. I am circling the sales receipt as I put them up and then take the receipt to transfer to post-its. Love it and love you too!
    Jane, Old Dog

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 12, 2016 at 8:16 am (4 years ago)

      You are my hero! <3 And I love your idea to make an "In the Freezer" page! Brilliant!

  22. Cheryl
    May 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Ursula. I love this idea!!! I am a certified personal trainer and health coach and meal planning is the area that my clients struggle with the most.

    I offer them meal plans, but they are either filled in already, or blank. I have given them links to apps as well, but I love this binder dry erase idea.

    I offer group weight loss/fitness programs. Would you mind if I added this link for my participants?

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you Cheryl! So far this is the one thing that has helped me regularly make healthy meals (and be cognizant of a healthy variety) for my family, so I’m glad to hear that from you! :) Oh yes, please feel free to share…and thank you for sharing!

  23. Claire
    April 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm (4 years ago)

    I just wanted to say that when you try to print the planner without downloading it in word the format doesn’t work and comes out all funny

  24. Elisabeth
    March 25, 2016 at 10:35 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Ursula.

    First of, this planner of yours is giving me so much inspiration. I absolutely love it! Now I’m trying to adjust a few things to make it fit more to my scheduling and I’m having a little problem with adjusting the meal planner sections. When I download the word document the words are no longer sideways. Instead the letters just accumulate below eachother. Is there any way, that you know of, that I can fix this? Because I would love to use this meal planner and personalise it a little further.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Ursula Carmona
      March 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad you love it!
      You should be able to highlight the words, and select “format” from the menu, then “text direction”. 😉

  25. Austen Hall
    March 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm (4 years ago)

    Sorry for the second comment but I couldn’t find my other one – could there be one for sides? I’m so excited to use this

  26. Austen Hall
    March 16, 2016 at 8:36 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello! Love love love this meal planner idea.
    Just wondering could you make a “snack ideas” one? I love it but I like to write down what snacks work well for my daughter. If it’s too much work you can forget it but if you do make one I’d love to have it!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      March 21, 2016 at 10:16 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Great idea for snacks ideas and for sides! I have included both PDF types, but also a downloadable word document for each. That way you can customize every little detail to suit you and your family! I hope that helps. Just so you know, when you open up the Google word document, things might appear a little scrambled at first (it has to do with what version you have), but just hit the download button, and then change fonts or sizes, or input anything you like! :)

      • Austen Hall
        March 25, 2016 at 1:37 am (4 years ago)

        you are the most amazing person!

  27. Lisa
    March 14, 2016 at 12:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Your video was great. I really liked this idea. I started printing out your pages and I noticed that you are a vegetarian. As much as I like this idea, my family and I do eat meat. keep up the good work. But, this is not for me. I’ll keep looking.

    • Ursula Carmona
      March 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Yes we are vegetarian, so I do include a Word document for those who would like to edit it and customize it to their family and diet.
      Best of luck, and thanks so much for following along! <3

  28. Zoraida Krusina
    February 22, 2016 at 9:28 pm (4 years ago)

    This has got to be the BEST idea EVER! Thank you so much! Did this today and meal planned for the week in 5 minutes! 5 minutes!!!!! That’s insane!

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Yay! So glad it is helpful for you! :)

  29. martina
    February 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm (4 years ago)

    I would love your recipes you have them saved anywhere that you can share with me? :)

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 14, 2016 at 8:28 am (4 years ago)

      Sadly I don’t at the moment, but I will keep that in mind when I start transferring to something digital rather than handwritten! Thanks!

      • alexandra
        February 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm (4 years ago)

        Hi, Ursula, just came across your blog. What an excellent idea! I will also be looking forward for your recipes, me and my husband are vegetarians as well. I will surely print your planner and probably I will just add a recipes section and separate it into: breakfast, lunch, dinner or by the main ingredient, because sometimes you have like a lot of potatoes, which you bought on sale;) and you have hard time trying to think of some recipe… Not to type recipes (to make it digital), I can just write them on stickers and whenever I cook, stick it to the wall or some other place and then return them back to the correct section.

        • Ursula Carmona
          February 24, 2016 at 10:57 pm (4 years ago)

          Welcome! Great idea to make it work for the way you live! I love it. :)
          Thanks so much for the kind compliment, and for following along.

  30. Angela
    February 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm (4 years ago)

    I seriously love this idea! I was searching the web looking for a way to organize our vegetarian lifestyle. Thank you so much for making this readily available.

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like it! Haha, I joke that it was precisely designed for a vegetarian lifestyle…since I made it for my family (we are vegetarian and our kids vegan), and adding a meat category didn’t even dawn on me until someone asked why I didn’t include one. Woops. 😀

  31. Julie Corl
    February 5, 2016 at 8:04 am (4 years ago)

    I am so excited to try your system! I will be coping, laminating today and working on the rest tonight. I even have gotten a friend excited about giving it a try. I love the sticky notes idea. Other plans haven’t been much of a success for me and I think it is they look boring. This just looks fun which means I will tend to use it. Thank you for making this available!

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 5, 2016 at 11:01 am (4 years ago)

      I’m so glad! I hope this one keeps you excited and motivated! 😀 I’m the exact same way, if it isn’t easy to use after putting it together and fun to look at, I don’t keep up. lol! Thanks for reading!

  32. Marta
    January 31, 2016 at 4:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you! This is the first meal planner that has actually made sense! I am so happy to have found this and your youtube video is so helpful. While I am adapting it to a digital format with excel I love this!!!

  33. Gayle
    January 28, 2016 at 5:24 pm (4 years ago)

    This came at the perfect time for me! My husband was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and we are learning how to adjust his diet. I’m going to set this up with his healthy eating plan in mind…it should really simplify meal plans! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm (4 years ago)

      Good for you for being so on top of it! A healthy eating plan is important to us too. 😉 Thanks for following!

  34. Sara Boutin
    January 24, 2016 at 1:50 am (4 years ago)

    Love how you do your meal binder!!!

  35. Shirley
    January 2, 2016 at 11:52 am (4 years ago)

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for creating these meal planning sheets. I’ve been meaning to give it a try so I appreciate all the help possible. Thank you!

  36. Julia
    November 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you for your generosity! I think your menu planner will be ideal for me. I can’t wait to begin using it.

  37. Cindy
    October 30, 2015 at 1:04 pm (4 years ago)

    I really like this and want to start using this! With having your meal plan ideas in the book – great idea, but how do you know what ingredients are needed when it comes time to write the grocery list – do you look every recipe up then to find out what is on sale or do you have ingredients listed with the meal item? Thanks!

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 30, 2015 at 4:39 pm (4 years ago)

      Great question! I don’t tend to use recipes very often…but I will think about what a good solution is for that…maybe an inventory sheet? Hm. If you have great ideas, I’d love to hear!

      • Loni McLean
        November 2, 2015 at 11:32 am (4 years ago)

        I was thinking of having a 3ed part where I had recipes. So when I decided what we where having, I just had to flip back to see what it all needed.

        • Ursula Carmona
          November 2, 2015 at 11:42 am (4 years ago)

          Fantastic idea! It is a menu planner and recipe book all in one! 😉

          • Billie
            March 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm (3 years ago)

            One of the ideas I’m working on right now involves printing recipes to fit on a large index card, then put the cards in a binder just like your own homemade cookbook (with dividers for breakfast/Chinese/Pork, whatever works for you). Once you have decided on your meal plan, you move those recipes to photo album slots in the front of the folder so you can see at a glance what ingredients you need and won’t have to search every night thru the whole book to find the recipe you want. At the end of the week, return the cards to their rightful place and start over.

  38. Shelly
    October 11, 2015 at 4:11 am (4 years ago)

    I was wondering where you got your sticky notes from. Love the range of colours but haven’t been able to find any for myself.

    • Nicole
      October 19, 2015 at 10:55 am (4 years ago)

      I was wondering the same thing! I can’t find them either. :(

      • Ursula Carmona
        October 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm (4 years ago)

        Nicole, I just shared with Shelly that I find them at Walmart or Staples. And here is an Amazon link for you (my affiliate link) in case you still can’t find it:

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Shelly, sorry to hear that. I got some from Walmart, and some from Staples. But you can also find it here on Amazon (affiliate link):

  39. Emily
    September 10, 2015 at 5:26 am (4 years ago)

    I’ve seen this pin dozens of times. I’m always curious to know what your beautiful binder of teeny Post-It’s looks like after using it for 3 years.

    • Marla
      October 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m curious to know also. Before I spend the $ I would be interested to know if it is still working?

      • Ursula Carmona
        October 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm (4 years ago)

        3 years later and it still works like a charm every week! :) As a matter of fact, I never ever replaced the post-it markers in all that time. I guess that is a nod to how well the company designed them. 😀 As long as they are between two laminated sheets, they stay on with no problem. Good luck!

  40. Frenchmum
    August 28, 2015 at 5:41 am (4 years ago)


    Thank you so much for this menu planner.
    I’ve been searching the right solution for a long time. And I think I find it !

    I think your blog will inspire me and I find it clear and beautiful. It makes you want to read it.

    And your video is clear as your blog.

    See you soon

    (Sorry for my English but I’m French)

  41. Christine Turner
    August 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your printables.

  42. DanDan
    August 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm (4 years ago)

    You are a genius!! Menu planning is the bane of my existence. Thank you for your help, I can’t wait to start this (and I get to use my laminator!)

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 5, 2015 at 7:41 am (4 years ago)

      Anytime someone gets to use their laminator I’m happy! 😀 I hope you enjoy!

  43. Juli
    July 30, 2015 at 2:35 am (4 years ago)


    I think that this is wonderful and am in the process of setting this up. I am having a problem with the weekly menu plan sheet, it is printing so much smaller than the other sheets. The boxes are almost half the size and the sticky notes are not fitting. I have tried printing and downloading them over and over and wondering if it is user error or if the somehow got copied in a reduced fashion. It is not how it looks on your video. Help! :)

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm (4 years ago)

      Ah, yes, the weekly menu planner is on a legal size…you may have to adjust your print parameters to print legal (then just use a letter sized sheet anyway). Hope that does the trick for you! Thanks for following!

      • Juli
        August 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm (4 years ago)

        Thanks!!! Worked like a charm!

  44. Kolleen
    July 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm (4 years ago)

    I am looking forward to trying this. I love organizing, but for some reason just could not wrap my head around menu planning. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Christine
    July 21, 2015 at 7:51 am (4 years ago)

    I came across this article via Pinterest this morning. It’s so cool. I do something similar but populate my menus into Google calendar and then set them to repeat. I wrote an ebook about this process step-by-step – you might enjoy it – feel free to check it out here:

  46. kay43026
    July 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm (4 years ago)

    I did monthly menu planning while raising my kids. At the time, I knew of no one else that did this…and when I began, there was no internet yet!! When my youngest went off to college in 2003 & I got away from it. I’m now starting it up again. Even though I’m retired, I just want to eat a little healthier ( and not eat out as much!!).
    Thanks for the motivation!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 13, 2015 at 7:17 am (4 years ago)

      That is fantastic! I love to hear stories of super-moms! And I’m so thankful I could be a little bit of motivation…thank you for sharing! :)

  47. Laura
    July 7, 2015 at 8:40 am (4 years ago)


    I am just beginning my journey into home management. I have not really planned meals but starting this planner today. I have 4 children (2 teen boys) and I am starting to do so many different things to help cut our expenses that family won’t know what hit them. lol! love this journey and I know it will be hard to stick to a budget as I have never done it before but I have to now. this summer marks a new start. thank you for sharing this.

  48. Kara
    June 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm (4 years ago)

    What about meats? Chicken, pork, beef… how would that fit in?

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 11, 2015 at 7:14 pm (4 years ago)

      I would do it under protein, however if you download the customizable word document you can add your own category!

  49. Barb
    May 10, 2015 at 10:50 am (5 years ago)

    Ursula, this is brilliant! I’ve been cooking for 35+ years, and struggling for much of that time with various methods for organizing menus. Your plan is simple and elegant, and looks perfect for the way think about meals. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you so much for such kind words! I hope it works as well for you as it has for me. 😉

  50. Aindrea Yockel
    May 9, 2015 at 11:57 am (5 years ago)

    This is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It will make my life 10x easier!

  51. Marie Husøy
    May 5, 2015 at 6:33 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks for the printings 😀 Remember that plastic holders also works for this. I got lamination machine but the plastic pockets worked fine for me.

  52. Aimee
    March 31, 2015 at 10:52 pm (5 years ago)

    I have a feeling that my mum would absolutely LOVE this! -I know I do! The colours, the neatness, the organisation…the everything, it’s beautiful!! Can’t wait to use this! Thank you so much!! 😀

  53. Carolyn V
    February 16, 2015 at 7:44 am (5 years ago)

    what a magnificent well planned meal planner guide; I need to get ‘cracking’ on this project and what a complete tutorial, thanks so much Ginger

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 16, 2015 at 8:20 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you Ginger, I’m glad you like it! I hope it helps make meal times a lovely experience! :)

  54. Cris
    January 26, 2015 at 1:27 pm (5 years ago)

    I printed out everything but the Weekly Menu Plan has way smaller blocks compared to the other sheets. Did I do something wrong? Thanks.

    P.S. – Love this!

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 27, 2015 at 8:25 am (5 years ago)

      Glad you like it! The Weekly Menu Plan is actually formatted for printing on legal size paper rather than letter… and while it can still be printed on letter, occasionally it get’s messed up on different peoples version of Word… be sure that you check to see what print layout you have it set at, you may have to change that and see if it prints out at the proper size. Hope that helps!

  55. Jane W
    January 20, 2015 at 12:20 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you so much- this is by far the most helpful meal planner advice I have seen! I just moved in with my BF and I am attempting to do this!! :)…Is there any way you’d be willing to share some of your menu ideas for dinner? I love your categories but I’d really to see how you categorize different dishes (for exmaple, where do you put a cream of mushroom chicken?! and how is a grain dish not a side?) THANK YOU and PLEASE keep posting!

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 20, 2015 at 8:01 am (5 years ago)

      Aw, thank you! I’m glad I could help! Well, our meals are a little unique since we vegetarian, plus we are a very multi-cultural family, so our meals are pretty worldwide. So for example, grains (rice, quinoa, millet, oats, polenta, etc.) are a main staple in our Asian background…often combined with sauteed vegetables, a homemade cream-of-something topping, with soups, etc, etc.

  56. Julia
    January 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm (5 years ago)

    First of all this looks like a great idea and I’m seriously considering doing it. Also another idea for those who don’t have money to buy a laminator or self laminating sheets you could use sheet protectors instead. I will be using that because that is what I have on hand. I’m not sure if someone gave you that suggestion already. There were too many comments too go through them all lol. I currently want to make better eating choices for myself and my family and I’m sure this meal planner system would be a tremendous help in achieving that.

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you! Unfortunately sheet protectors don’t work too well…I believe it is the stiffness and lamination of the sheet that makes it more like a dry erase board and allows the sticky notes to adhere well without rubbing each other off. Self laminating sheets are the second best option. Thanks so much for your kind comment!!

  57. Jenn
    January 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm (5 years ago)

    I watched your video here last night and my pc crashed today and I forgot where I saw it. It took me an hour of non-stop googling and pinteresting to actually search the right thing to find it. Totally pinned so that never happens again. I went and bought a laminator today and sticky notes!!! I am starting to get my household to run better (2015 resolution/mission). Thanks for the great idea/layout… totally in love and LOVED the video!

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh wow, that is some dedication! Lol! I totally love you for it! 😉 Good luck with your resolution, I know you’ll do great!!

  58. Nancy M
    December 29, 2014 at 11:41 am (5 years ago)

    I stumbled upon this about a month ago and since that time I’ve been trying to get my recipes organized and on the little post it notes to begin using it. I’m getting closer. It has taken me awhile. I love trying new things and so I’m needing to weed out recipes as I go a long. But I have a question about your printables. All of the printables except the “weekly plan page” printed in the correct large format. Each time I go to print that weekly plan page it shrinks it to a smaller scale and then the post-its do not want to fit. I tried both the Doc and PDF and both did the same time. Is there anything that I can do about that?

    • Ursula Carmona
      December 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm (5 years ago)

      Sorry it is giving you some trouble. It is in legal size, while the rest is in letter… you will need to change your print parameters. Thanks so much for following along and reading! I hope you enjoy your menu planner! 😉

      • Nancy M
        December 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm (5 years ago)

        Thank you, I got it to work now!

  59. Nancy Pothier
    December 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m 43 and I never did a meal planning of my life. I’m tired of asking myself what will I cook. On YouTube, I’ve watched your meal planning video. I want to give it a try. Don’t know if I will keep it on but one thing is sure: if I don’t try, nothing will change. Thanks for your video.

    • Ursula Carmona
      December 7, 2014 at 9:06 am (5 years ago)

      Hahaha, that sounds like where I was at! Well I hope it works well for you! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  60. Brittany
    November 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm (5 years ago)

    This is just brilliant!! I just started a new diet plan and this is going to help me keep all the different types of meals organized and make my planning much easier. I was using an online planner but I’m a paper and pen kind of girl. Thank you for creating this!

    • Ursula Carmona
      December 1, 2014 at 8:08 am (5 years ago)

      Haha, I too am a paper and pen gal…I tried the online method, but kept forgetting to use it. lol! I’m glad you like it, thanks for stopping by! 😉

  61. Candice
    November 22, 2014 at 8:40 pm (5 years ago)

    Love love love this! I am so excited to have stumbled upon this on Pinterest. I can’t wait to explore more of your blog!

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 23, 2014 at 5:33 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m glad you stumbled too! Lol! I hope you enjoy your explorations. 😉

      • Candice
        November 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm (5 years ago)

        Started my Menu Planner (soon to be home management binder) today!!! :)

        • Ursula Carmona
          November 24, 2014 at 7:13 am (5 years ago)

          Woohoo! I hope it will serve you well!! 😉

  62. Mary Jo
    November 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm (5 years ago)

    What a wonderful and great idea! I love all your tips & suggestions….such an “easy” thing to do …thanks for sharing….I found your link via BuzzFeed…..

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 9, 2014 at 11:54 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad you think so! Glad to have you here.

  63. Marie.J.
    October 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm (5 years ago)

    Hello Mrs.Carmona! I am just right now populating my Dinner ideas, but the right side of my stickies are “bending up” and getting blended when I try to close my binder, What do you suggest doing?

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm (5 years ago)

      As long as the pages are all laminated that shouldn’t really happen. If the pages are laminated, then I’m guessing that when you are pulling off a sticky note it is curling as you pull it off. I pull it off from the stuck end so that it doesn’t curl…and if it does, just straighten it out a bit before sticking it on.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Laura
      July 11, 2019 at 1:17 pm (4 months ago)

      I’m also having the same problem. I thought it was just my stickies that were causing this.

  64. Jill
    October 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm (5 years ago)

    I just love your menu planner! It’s just what I have been searching for 😉 We are a family of 7 so planning is essential!
    Could you please tell me how you color code your planner, in detail? Like pasta, pink. Potatoes, blue. Etc.

    Please please!

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Jill, sure I’d be happy to share…although, it is pretty arbitrary! lol! Grains-orange, breads-yellows, Pasta & topping-pinks, Potato-purple, veggie/legume-greens, and sides-blue.

  65. Sarah @ Just The Bees Knees
    October 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm (5 years ago)

    Such a great idea!! I’ve been searching for a great meal planning system and the sticky note idea is genius! Thank you!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 17, 2014 at 7:31 am (5 years ago)

      Aw, thanks Sarah!

  66. Phoenix
    September 29, 2014 at 4:59 am (5 years ago)

    Great idea! I too love post-it notes for organising stuff. In fact I just did a post recently showing how I use them to keep things running in the Squirrel house. I never thought to use them for meal planning, though! I might have to make up one of your lovely printables for the kitchen wall so the rest of the house stops bugging me about what’s for dinner. 😉

  67. Jen
    September 25, 2014 at 11:51 am (5 years ago)

    I LOVE this! One question though: where do you store your recipes. It seems like an additional step to just write down the name of the dish I want to make and then have to go remember where I have the recipe (pinterest, bookmarked, recipe box, etc). How do you handle this? Perhaps, first, I need a post on organizing my recipes! :-)

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you!
      Interestingly I haven’t needed to organize recipes because I don’t use them…I cook in the old Spanish style “toss a pinch of this and a palmful of that”… lol! But now that my kids are just old enough to cook some dishes I actually need to write recipes out and store them. One of these days I will figure out a recipe organizing system and post. 😉 Until then, all recommendations are welcome! :)

      • Chris
        September 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm (5 years ago)

        I am printing out all the recipes I use and putting them in page protectors and into the binder behind the organizer. This way I can pull them out to use them and they won’t get dirty, they are all together with the organizer and I can pull them out whenever I want to make revisions (such as healthier alternatives, or new things I’ve thrown in that we liked). I will probably divide them into beef, pork, chicken etc, like I have with my post-its.

        • pat
          October 21, 2014 at 11:08 am (5 years ago)

          Chris, I was going to say the same thing. I have a huge collection of recipes and I use binders for most of them. Ursula’s menu planning has given me ideas for organizing these binders a little better. It will be a huge task as I currently have 7 binders, but winter is coming so I will time. I am a stay at home grandma and help my single son care for his young boys. I will put nap time to good use! :)

      • cheryll
        December 19, 2014 at 11:47 am (5 years ago)

        I use cozi’s free site. It has a recipe box – if you’re browsing the web and find a recipe you want to put in the recipe box, you simply click a button on the tool bar and it gets added to your recipe box. You can tag it with any category you would want to search by. It also has a calendar which can be shared by the family and for those with kids, their school activity calendars can be imported. They also have a paid version with additional features.

      • Adrianna Blanco
        September 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm (4 years ago)

        This is how I have/am going about creating a file of family recipes. When I am cooking something with no recipe, I have whichever child is the “sous-chef” that day take note…essentially they are jotting the notes for the recipe. Then, it only takes me a few minutes to type into the computer with any notes. Many times we will even snap a photo of the final work (esp with baked goods)and add to the page. When they are on their own, we can print them should they choose a more traditional recipe binder or use a jump drive to transfer to their own computers. I learned to cook the hard way (no recipes) as no one passed them down, except for a couple of “word of mouths.” As the older generations leave us, a lot of the heritage leaves too…esp the food heritage. Anyway, thought I’d share. I have been using menu planners for a bit and saw your last night and thought I’d try your method :) Thanks for sharing

        • Ursula Carmona
          September 27, 2015 at 8:38 am (4 years ago)

          I LOVE this! Yep, you definitely rock parenting! 😉 I’d looove for you to share a pic of your cookbook with us. If you ever take a pic of it, do share to Instagram, or upload it to my Facebook page, tag me and add #HMCmaker so I can show off how awesome Home Made by Carmona readers are. 😀

          • Adrianna B.
            September 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm (4 years ago)

            Thank you! I will send you one on FB. As for parenting, I hope my kids will agree with you! I’ve been on this parenting road almost 26 years :) and love it! Thanks again

    • Marie J.
      February 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm (5 years ago)

      Hi Jen! I wrote the source of which I got the recipe on the BACK of my stickies, and that has been working pretty well. Example: All Recipe, download on iphone, cookbook, etc.

    • Cassie
      May 16, 2015 at 11:05 pm (5 years ago)

      I keep all of my recipes in an organized (tab divided) recipe book. No matter where the recipe came from, I re-write it on a recipe card with my tweaks and the original source. Then I place it into my recipe book which is a recipe binder from Hallmark. When I have new recipes I use Evernote (program) to keep them organized with keyword tags. Once I have tried them, I re-write them.

  68. Meagan
    September 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm (5 years ago)


    Love love love this!!! I want to make one for my family but had a questions. I noticed in your video that you had other dividers/sections, one said “To Do”. Do you mind me asking what the others say? Just want some ideas for the one I plan on making to help us be more organized. Thanks so much in advance.

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 17, 2014 at 8:59 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you! I have shared three other sections from my home management binder on the blog. You can see my Dry Erase Calendar here, my Blog Organizer here, and my Address Book here. The To Do is just a laminated mostly blank sheet where I jot notes. 😉 Thanks for following along!

  69. Kayleigh Taber
    September 16, 2014 at 10:24 am (5 years ago)

    Don’t know if you are still watching this post for comments… But do the sticky notes hold their stick well enough?? I would hate to do all the work only to have them fall off all the time.

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for asking! Because the post its are stuck on laminated sheets, they stick perfectly! As long as they are sandwiched between the laminated sheets, you’ll never need to replace them either…it has been 2+ years of continuous use, and I’m still using the same post-its I started with. 😉 Thanks for reading!

      • Cressida
        November 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm (5 years ago)

        I think that most “Sticky Note” issues that people seem to have is whether it is name brand, or off brand. It seems to be the issue that I am having so far with this. Also, plastic sleeves versus the actual laminating. Laminating worked so much better. I went with the cheaper so see if it would work for me, and when I realized it did, I spent the money to make it more solid of a binder.

  70. Linda foltz
    September 8, 2014 at 6:30 am (5 years ago)

    What color coding do you have so I can get an idea.

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 8, 2014 at 8:28 am (5 years ago)

      I personally color code by food base. So pasta based foods might be all pink stickies, potato based meals might be all purple… etc. Thanks for reading!

      • Cassie
        May 16, 2015 at 11:21 pm (5 years ago)

        I love this idea! I have tried something similar but not as organized as this. I am also always trying to perfect the ideas out there, but with this concept I have no desire to do that, just wanna jump right in! I am working on getting this together and was curious about your organization with the stickies. I see that you have two colors for some categories (pink and light pink or purple and light purple). How do you implement those into your weekly plan? Is it a mix and match concept? But that doesn’t seem to follow through with your ‘vegetable and legume’ category. I understand how this works, but I would like to know more about your personal usage for the stickies that you labeled. If you don’t mind of course :)

        • Ursula Carmona
          May 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm (5 years ago)

          Thank you! That is such a high compliment, I appreciate you saying so!
          I’m happy to share! I simply broke things down even more using color. So say under my “potato” base category I put in dark purple as a main dishes made with potato, but I use light purple as potato side dishes or potato based toppings that go with another type of dish. It simply helps sort it out even more. 😉 Good luck!

  71. Sarah
    July 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm (5 years ago)

    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.

  72. Chelsea Schwartz
    June 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm (5 years ago)

    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??

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm (5 years ago)

      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! 😉

  73. Brigitte
    June 9, 2014 at 7:16 am (5 years ago)

    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!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 9, 2014 at 9:23 am (5 years ago)

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you like it! Fantastic way to customize it! 😉

  74. Rebecca Zemnickas
    May 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm (5 years ago)

    I love this idea and many of your other one’s also! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  75. Vicki
    May 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

  76. Wichita Falls + Kids
    April 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm (6 years ago)

      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.

  77. Anonymous
    February 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm (6 years ago)

    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. :)

  78. Genevieve
    February 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm (6 years ago)

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

  79. shecar
    February 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

  80. Robin V.
    January 30, 2014 at 2:07 am (6 years ago)

    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.

  81. Prachi Lustgarten
    January 21, 2014 at 12:21 am (6 years ago)

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

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 14, 2014 at 8:47 am (6 years ago)

      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! 😉

  82. treehugginishard
    January 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm (6 years ago)

    3 words:
    You have made my life soooo much easier as of today!

  83. JourneytoMLMSuccess
    January 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm (6 years ago)

    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?

  84. Susie Willett
    November 13, 2013 at 12:41 am (6 years ago)

    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.

  85. Jenny Kyles
    November 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Aw, thank you! *blush* I’m glad someone out there (besides me) can find use for my crazy creations! 😉 Thanks for following along!

  86. Jk Zinda
    November 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

  87. AvaS
    November 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm (6 years ago)

      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!

  88. Karen @ THEBUSYBUG
    October 25, 2013 at 10:35 am (6 years ago)

    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!

  89. Unknown
    October 22, 2013 at 10:41 pm (6 years ago)

    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…?

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 23, 2013 at 9:48 am (6 years ago)

      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…

  90. Jenni S
    October 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm (6 years ago)

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

  91. Quinn
    October 9, 2013 at 11:05 am (6 years ago)

    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

  92. Brandie
    September 30, 2013 at 6:00 am (6 years ago)

    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??

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 30, 2013 at 9:16 am (6 years ago)

      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!

  93. Robin Strickland
    September 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm (6 years ago)

    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 5×7 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!

  94. Sherra
    September 11, 2013 at 9:02 am (6 years ago)

    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!

  95. Becca
    September 11, 2013 at 12:17 am (6 years ago)

    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!

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

      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!

  96. Sheila
    September 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi Sheila,
      Hee hee, I wondered if anyone would notice that! Let me congratulate you on excellent observation skills and the first to notice. 😀
      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!

  97. Bobbi
    September 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm (6 years ago)

    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! :)

  98. MG
    August 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

  99. MG
    August 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

  100. tess j. estelrich
    August 13, 2013 at 4:07 am (6 years ago)

    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!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 13, 2013 at 9:51 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks chica! I love that you are changing your lifestyle, I’m there too! Good luck! 😉

  101. Michelle Young
    August 9, 2013 at 7:38 am (6 years ago)

    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!

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm (6 years ago)

      Ah, someone who operates like I do! Lol. I’m so glad you like it!

  102. Charmi
    August 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m dying to know more about the WHOLE binder! Will you share that some time?

  103. Chrissy Easter
    August 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

  104. carrie.parent
    July 8, 2013 at 8:02 am (6 years ago)

    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)

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm (6 years ago)

      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.

  105. Adrienne
    July 3, 2013 at 6:40 am (6 years ago)

    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!

  106. Crystal
    June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm (6 years ago)

    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!!

  107. Leslie McFall
    June 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm (6 years ago)

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

  108. Tatiana
    June 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm (6 years ago)

    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

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm (6 years ago)

      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! 😀

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 5, 2013 at 8:40 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks for the helpful information Kim!
      PS. Adorable blog!

  109. Amanda and Matt Charlton
    May 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm (6 years ago)

    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.

  110. Lily Kun
    May 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm (6 years ago)

    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!

  111. Meg Powell
    May 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm (6 years ago)

    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. :-)

  112. Karen Cruz Suarez
    May 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm (7 years ago)

    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

  113. Jill Snelson
    May 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm (7 years ago)

    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!!!!

  114. Sharon
    May 5, 2013 at 9:04 am (7 years ago)

    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!

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm (7 years ago)

      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! 😉

    • Sharon
      May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm (7 years ago)

      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

  115. CaraMagic
    May 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

  116. LannaM
    April 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm (7 years ago)

    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. :)

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 22, 2013 at 7:22 am (7 years ago)

      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!

  117. A Creative Operation
    April 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm (7 years ago)

    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

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 14, 2013 at 7:38 am (7 years ago)

      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!

  118. Unknown
    April 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 11, 2013 at 9:29 pm (7 years ago)

      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. 😀 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…

    • Carlos and Janis
      June 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm (6 years ago)

      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!!!

  119. South Cullman
    April 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

  120. Jessica
    April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm (7 years ago)

    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.

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 9, 2013 at 8:36 am (7 years ago)

      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!

  121. Beverly Borwick
    April 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing. I’m going to begin implementing this now!

  122. Myrella Macias Flores
    March 5, 2013 at 2:42 am (7 years ago)

    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?
    Myrella (23 year old waitress, student, wife and mommy of a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old. )

    • Ursula Carmona
      March 5, 2013 at 8:47 am (7 years ago)

      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! 😀 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!

    • Jessica
      April 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm (7 years ago)

      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.

  123. Teacher Rebe
    February 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm (7 years ago)

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

  124. Ursula Carmona
    February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am (7 years ago)

    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! 😀 I would love to see it! If you ever want to share feel free to share via Facebook, Google Plus, or link! 😉

  125. Hope
    February 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

  126. Brandy G.
    February 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm (7 years ago)

    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?

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 22, 2013 at 9:17 am (7 years ago)

      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”. 😀 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:
      Hope that helps!

  127. Kalley C
    February 15, 2013 at 12:50 am (7 years ago)

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

  128. Jennifer Todd
    February 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

  129. Tina
    February 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm (7 years ago)

    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!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm (7 years ago)

      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! 😀

    • Tina
      February 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm (7 years ago)

      Nevermind 😉 I figured out that it prints fine on the letter size. Duh. Thanks again!

    • Tina
      February 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm (7 years ago)

      Oh, and it didn’t even cut off the bottom line – fit perfectly on letter size :-)

  130. Orthodox Mom
    February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    This is sooo awesome! I can’t wait to do this! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  131. KBarnesy
    January 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm (7 years ago)

    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!

  132. Karin
    January 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm (7 years ago)

    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.

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 1, 2013 at 11:16 am (7 years ago)

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

  133. Leen
    January 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm (7 years ago)

    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 :)

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm (7 years ago)

      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! :)

    • Ursula Carmona
      January 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you Ginger! If I remember correctly, you’re blogging about a closet transformation in progress… such a great blog! Thanks for stopping by!


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