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Howdy-ho friends! Two posts in two days?! What-what?! My husband is out of town…how else am I supposed to spend my time after all the kids are in bed? Yes, wine and Netflix are also good choices…buuuut I have to tell you about my new favorite thing: plantoeat.com! I first heard about Plan to Eat from my friend Jessica a little over a year ago. I’ve always done my own meal planning using Excel spreadsheets and such, but I was never exactly happy with how that all worked out. It still felt like a lot of work to go through my recipes, plan the meals, make a calendar, get my recipes in order, not to mention the grocery list. I never really got down a system that I felt was simple and didn’t take a million little steps to accomplish what I wanted to do. My friend kept talking about Plan to Eat and telling me how wonderful and helpful it was…and she’s not a planner at all (don’t worry, she would tell you the same thing!) but I thought that since I am a planner/list maker, it wouldn’t be something I would use. However, after the babies came along and my time for planning became even more limited, I thought, I should probably check this thing out. Believe me, I was skeptical at first. How could a website possibly do this meal planning thing better than me? Friends, I was wrong. My friend was right…it is so helpful! Let me tell why I am now a fan of Plan to Eat…because I have more than one reason 😀
They have a free 30-day trial. And when I say free, I mean it’s free. You don’t give them your credit card number or anything. You sign up and get 30 days to test it out for yourself and at the end of 30 days you either sign up, or that’s it. I love that. Seems so honest and completely fair! I don’t know about you, but I’ve signed up for a few trials in my life, forgotten to end it, and bam: I paid for the whole thing because I remembered two days late to cancel. Laaaaame. (Ok, so I really actually do love free 2 day shipping from a company that shall remain nameless…but it was by total accident that I still have said free 2 day shipping. But I digress…) Anywhoooo…free 30 day trial…after the trial is done everything you put into your recipes, planner, everything….it’s STILL THERE. Even if you end your trial and go back months later and decide to pay for the service…it’s.still.there. Unreal.
It reconciles like a boss. This is my favorite part. Seriously, I’m still geeking out over this a little. You know all those recipes you have pinned? Well you know what a pain it is to scroll through your recipe board to attempt find that recipe you want to make? Total pain. And then you get there and have to write down what you need, go back to that site when actually make the recipe…you know the drill. Talk about time waste. Well, Plan to Eat has your back my friend. They have a nifty little button, much like the pin-it button. Let’s say you are at a blog with a recipe you want to make next week…you push the nifty button…BOOM. They reconcile the recipe into your recipe file FOR YOU. You don’t have to type it out. You don’t have to copy and paste. You push a button. Done. Love.that. But the awesomeness does not end there. When you plan our your meals, they take all the ingredients from every meal and put it in a shopping list for you. I’m going to say that again because it is a game changer…and please imagine that I am putting my hands on your beautiful face right now, pulling it closer to mine and I am looking you in your eyes…whatever you put on your meal calendar is put into a shopping list for you!!! Doesn’t that just make you want to dance??!! Of course if you already have bread crumbs for Meatloaf Monday and pancake mix for Saturday morning breakfast, but also need to get coffee, TP, and dish soap then you just delete the items you don’t need and add in items you do need but aren’t ingredients from recipes planned. You can also make lists for different stores. I have a special list for Costco so then when I need formula, diapers, and Naan bread they pop up on my Costco list and not my grocery store list. Bonus. You can print your list or like my friend Jessica does, you can use the mobile version on your phone. Personally I enjoy making my list on my iPad and then printing it from another room wirelessly…makes me feel like I know technology 😉 Anyways…you probably think I’m a total geek now…and I am…about lists, calendars, and the like. So yeah, I’m passionate about this.
You can share recipes with friends. I haven’t taken full advantage of this feature yet, but I certainly love that it’s available! If you see that someone has planned a certain recipe 15 times, you can bet their family enjoys it and yours might too! (If you were to look at mine, you would notice tacos are a thing in our house. Taco Tuesday! Now, who wants a taco?!)
The shopping list is categorized. You can even move the categories around and change the names of the categories! So when you walk into your store of choice and you go through that store aisle by aisle, you just go right down your list without skipping around, missing items and having to go all the way back to the beginning for one thing. (We’ve all done it, don’t pretend it doesn’t happen to you!) These Plan to Eat people…they think of everything!
You can manually add in your family favs. My mother-in-laws meatloaf recipe, our family friend’s Hawaiian meatball recipe, my moms hamburger gravy…I manually added those recipes in. You can store endless amounts of recipes. I had a bunch of magazines with a couple recipes I wanted to try, I typed out the ones I liked and then tossed the mags. I’ve gotten rid of a couple cookbooks too. Less paper and less stuff around that I rarely-to-never use…I’m all about that. Also, if Grandmas apple pie recipe has secret ingredients, you can select that a recipe be private…because you wouldn’t want Grandma to be mad at you for revealing her secret for great tasting pie!
Reasonably priced. All the time saving is worth every penny in my opinion. One place where I can access everything in an easy to use format is simply awesome. It’s $4.95/mo or $39/year. I signed up during their Black Friday sale last fall when a year subscription is half off…so you could always wait until then. But to be perfectly honest, knowing what I know now about Plan to Eat, I’d totally pay the $39/year. It is completely worth it friends.
I cannot say enough about Plan to Eat. Meal planning is no longer a hassle or a drag…I actually look forward to it. Not to mention that grocery shopping has been made a lot easier with the list that is pretty much made for me, in the order that works best for me.
I encourage you to go to Plan to Eat. and poke around a bit! They have videos, a blog and lots of information you can read! Or sign up for a 30 day trial and check it out for yourself! If you do sign-up, please look me up and be my friend! You can find me with my username stewielou or my email address, eventuallycomplete at gmail dot com 🙂 I’d love to swap recipes with you! If you already use Plan to Eat, let me know so I can look you up!
Happy meal planning friends! Have a great week!