How to Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel

Two Parts:Making the PlanCustomizing Your Design

Making a meal plan for your family can help cut costs on food, as well as make sure everyone is happy with what they are eating. This article will help you plan a meal for your family using Microsoft Office Excel. Exact button layout may differ depending on your version of Excel, but the steps are similar in any edition of the program.

Part 1
Making the Plan

  1. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 1
    1
    Open Microsoft Excel. The icon is green.
  2. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 2
    2
    Plan. Decide how you want to categorize the chart. This depends on how many meals there are and how much time you want the plan to cover.
    • For this demonstration, we will create a three day plan for a family that eats together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  3. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 3
    3
    Select a blank WorkBook. If you are using Microsoft Office Excel 2013, the start page will ask you if you want to create a blank WorkBook or use a template.
  4. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 5
    4
    Label. Across the top of the chart, label the meals. Down the sides, label the days that you will be doing the plan.
  5. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 6
    5
    Color in columns and rows, if desired. It may help you to color in the parts of the chart that are headings so that it doesn't get confusing and cluttered.
    • Select a column or row by clicking the letter or number that it corresponds with.
      Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 7
    • Click the paint can near the top of the screen. It is under the font selector.
      Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 8
    • The default color is yellow, but you can change it by clicking the downwards triangle to the right of the paint can.
      Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 9
  6. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 10
    6
    Decide what you are going to eat. A good way to do this is to have a family meeting. Make sure you have your chart up and type down what you decide on. To fill in the chart, click the cell that corresponds with the meal and day you have chosen and type.
    • Be as brief or as detailed as suits your needs. You can use a basic label like "stew" or go into detail on ingredients and side dishes. You can even find recipes online and copy the links to them into the chart, if desired.
  7. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 11
    7
    Expand the Cell Width in case the text are too long to display. Drag the line between the cells to adjust its width.
  8. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 12
    8
    Complete the meal plan. Input the days from Monday to Sunday and put the desired meal according to your preferences.

Part 2
Customizing Your Design

  1. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 13
    1
    Align the header in center to make it more visible by highlighting the top row then click the "Align to Center" button in the toolbar.
  2. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 14
    2
    Select the cell with the name of days from Monday to Sunday.
  3. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 15
    3
    Change its font color. Click on the button beside the Fill Color button and change it into what ever color your want.
  4. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 16
    4
    Select the rows of the day. Select Rows 2 to 8
  5. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 17
    5
    Change the background color. Click on the Fill Color button and change it into any color your want.
  6. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 18
    6
    Select again the cell with the name of days from Monday to Sunday and change its color same as the color of the header column.
  7. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 19
    7
    Make the table more presentable. You can add grid lines or any other color depends on what you want.
  8. Image titled Create a Family Meal Plan in Excel Step 20
    8
    Change the plan as needed. You may want to change the plan from week to week, or even during the week to use up leftover ingredients, accommodate a change in daily routine/schedule, or adjust based on preferences or cravings. When this happens, make sure you plan ahead of time, but don't be afraid to be flexible. A meal plan shouldn't lock your family into a pattern that's set in stone.

Tips

  • If you have a menu item with a long name, such as "Roasted Chicken and Vegetables," and you want to prevent it from spilling over into other columns, hover your cursor over the top of the column you are in and a line with arrows on either side will appear. Click the left mouse button and drag to extend or shorten the length of the column.

Article Info

Categories: Family Life