College Life

How a $7 Whiteboard Is Helping Me Meet My Meal Planning Goals

published Dec 18, 2023
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U Brands 7"x16" Modern Bevel Dry Erase Weekly Planner with Marker on colored background
Credit: Target

As a busy college student, one of my biggest struggles is fitting meals into my schedule. I live off campus, so the dining hall isn’t my go-to like it is for most dorm-dwellers. I love a good home-cooked meal, but it’s so much easier to grab something while I’m out and about, whether it’s fast food (drive-thrus are my kryptonite) or going to restaurants with friends. However, after taking a look at my finances, I’ve realized most of my money goes toward dining out, and I’ve decided this is something that needs to change in 2024. That’s why one of my New Year’s resolutions is meal planning. 

When I’m on the go, deciding what to eat, and when to eat it, is very difficult for me. However, I found a simple, budget-friendly product that I think is going to make this much easier in the year to come: a dry-erase weekly whiteboard planner. 

While this board could be used for any kind of weekly planning, it has the perfect amount of space for writing out the meals I’ll make each day. And bonus: Because it’s magnetic, I can display it right on my refrigerator so the meals I’m making are front-and-center when I’m in the kitchen.

Where to Buy a Weekly Planner

While the exact planner I found at Five Below is no longer available, there’s a very similar option available at Target for only $7. Its sleek, modern design fits with almost any aesthetic, and it’s small enough to fit on a mini fridge, if you’re still living the dorm life. 

How I’m Using My Weekly Planner for Meal Planning

I’m super passionate about making this resolution a reality — so passionate, in fact, that I’ve already gotten a head-start. Every Sunday (my go-to day for productivity around my apartment), I fill out the planner with all the meals I plan to make in the coming week. 

I start out by asking my roommate what they might want to eat in the coming days. (We mostly focus on dinner, because that’s when we’re typically both home at the same time.) Then we decide on our meals and write them on the board. This makes it easy to form a grocery shopping list, as I can visualize all the meals we’re cooking and determine the ingredients we’ll need for each. It also gives us something to look forward to, as we already know what food we’re having each day. 

Credit: Madison Harrison

Meal planning doesn’t mean we can’t ever go out to eat. But instead of frequently resorting to grabbing something quick because it’s late and we’re hangry, we can actually plan dinners as a “special treat” we’ll actually enjoy. 

So far, using this planner has helped me create balance in my schedule and I’m excited to see how it’ll help me stay on track with my goals in the new year. 

Madison Harrison

Dental Hygiene

Madison has a huge creative side and a love for decorating as a creative outlet. She is most excited to help others create a life and space they love during her time at Dorm Therapy. Starting college led her creative side to skyrocket, and she cannot wait to help others with projects, inspiration, and more. She loves creating videos on YouTube and TikTok.

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SchoolSouthern Illinois University of Carbondale '24
MajorDental Hygiene
FavesThrifting, dogs, plants, painting, reading, movie theaters
Get to know Madison Harrison
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