One of the number one things I do that brings sanity to my family and our schedule is to create a weekly meal plan. Over the years I have tried many different meal planning services because I needed help! I couldn’t stick with anything. Many of the ones I tried were wonderful services or apps but weren’t the right fit for our family. Today I want to share with you how I have been meal planning for the last 18 months, why I LOVE the meal planning app that I’ve used for that long (hint: It’s Plan to Eat) and how I think it can benefit you.
I’m obsessed with this meal planning app. Get ready. No apologies.
What is Plan To Eat?
Plan to Eat is a meal planning app that is available online. It allows you to add and organize your recipes, drag your recipes into a calendar and then automatically creates your shopping list based on the recipes you’ve planned.
It’s awesome. That’s what it is.
Why Meal Plan with Plan to Eat?
One of the misconceptions of meal planning for me was that it puts you into a box of recipes that you have to create in order to stay within your meal planning goals. Whether it’s budget or dietary you might feel like a meal planning service or app doesn’t give you the creativity your own recipe favorites allow you. That’s why when 18 months ago a friend shared Plan to Eat on her facebook page (shout out to my friend Amber from college!) I decided to give it a try. The thing that struck me the most was that I would be able to easily meal plan using my own recipes while also having access to hundreds of other recipes like this month’s Easy Meals In the New Year list of recipes.
As you know, I love to cook and I love to bake. I love flexibility within my meal planning. Some may say I’m a bit of a free spirit when it comes to cooking and planning. Plan to Eat allows me the creativity and freedom in using my own recipes or new recipes I want to try. You may be saying, why not just make your own list with your own recipes? And yes, you could do that. But it takes FOREVER. If you’ve done it and you have a busy week you end up taking quite a bit of time making your grocery shopping list and plan. Not fun. It’s one of the reasons I failed for years at meal planning.
Plan a week on Plan to Eat. Great. Plan a month. Awesome. Plan for five days. You’re good. It’s up to you, your schedule and your life. And then it puts all together for you in shopping list. High five!
Why Plan to Eat Works
What I love about Plan to Eat is that after I’ve taken the initial time to set up my account by inputing my own recipes that I love online (aka Cleverly Simple 😉), family recipes and their resources they have available – the rest of the planning takes just a few short minutes. I have all my recipes online and accessible at any time from my phone or computer completely organized. Seriously, it takes me 5 minutes to plan an entire week of meals AND make my shopping list. Whether I’m entertaining or planning a big holiday meal, it’s all done in minutes.
Here’s how I do it. Each Thursday night I sit down and I drag and drop meals into specific days of the coming week. I can look at my week and see what nights are busy (aka slow cooker night), what days are not busy (aka new recipe night) and use those meals I want to create on days that make the most sense for our family.
It automatically creates my shopping list. I remove the items I don’t need and add additional random items I do need and BAM! I’m ready to shop on Friday. That is why Plan to Eat is worth it and why it’s worked for me for so long.
A Few More Reasons I ❤️ Plan to Eat:
- Plan to Eat is not expensive. It is only $4.95 a month. That’s a few bags of chips that you don’t buy or produce that doesn’t go bad because you have a plan.
- The Shopping list is easy to use. My husband has the list on his phone as well. If I need him to stop at the store, he can easily access it. He loves that all the details are there on the app so he doesn’t have any guess work. Have you ever seen a husband in the yogurt section? They ask themselves the following when the simple word “yogurt” is on the list – What kind? How large? Greek? What brand? All of that can be easily specified for him! (These last two sentences were added by the hubs!) I personally love that he doesn’t call me every five minutes to confirm what I need (and this is my real reason!).
- I don’t forget about random items we need to buy. I can add things to my phone via Plan To Eat when I think of them at any time of day.
- I can add unique recipes to my plan like “Pizza Night”. I can slide that night into my list for Friday every week and it automatically lists everything I need to make our own pizza with our own recipe. I can then remove from the list what I know I have in my refrigerator or pantry.
- I can link with friends and swap recipes to plan. For example, my cousin recently joined Plan to Eat and now that we’re linked I can click over and see what she’s been saving and planning for her family and add them to my menu as well.
- It’s easy to add new recipes to my recipe list. They have an easy applet so that any recipe I find online that I want to try, I can easily convert to my recipe list so that I can find it later to add to my plan. It takes seconds.
- They have themed months which give me inspiration. This month is Easy Meals for the New Year. Love that.
If you love to cook. If you love to try new recipes but you still want to save time meal planning – and by time I mean a lot of it, I absolutely recommend signing up for Plan to Eat. You get a 30 day free trial without entering any of your credit card information. Try it out!
Like I mentioned, this month the theme is “Easy Meals for the New Year”. They have a number of delicious options you can choose from to mix in with your own favorite recipes. You’ll find Cleverly Simple’s sausage and cheese biscuits as one of the options. You should add it to your plan. 😜
I could go on and on about Plan to Eat. I’m about as obsessed with it as I am with “The Greatest Showman”! (I’ve been playing the soundtrack over and over again all week.) When you find a good thing – and you know it’s awesome you want to let everyone know about it! Go try out Plan to Eat, friends!
And then come back and tell me all about it.
I have personally been using Plan to Eat for 18 months so when they approached me about sharing Plan to Eat with you all, I enthusiastically agreed! I have been compensated for sharing this information with you. All opinions are my own.