My Meal Planning Secret Weapon (and the only reason we don’t eat burritos every single night)

If we’ve ever chatted about meal planning you know two things about me:
1. I hate meal planning.
2. Also, I hate meal planning.

In fact, I think meal planning should be used by the CIA as a high level interrogation tactic. Hand the bad guys a calendar, various sporting schedules, food allergies, food “preferences”, seasonal items available on sale, a budget and BAM!! World peace, baby. They’d spill their secrets faster than a 4 year old “accidentally” spills his plate of peas.

My Solution

Everything changed this year. I no longer have that familiar twitch when Friday comes around and it is time to (shudder) meal plan for the next week. I almost…..look forward to it.

Ok, that might be stretching things a bit. But at least there are no more tears involved or hours of avoidance induced web surfing.

About a year ago, a friend told me about a website called PlanToEat.com. At first, I was a little iffy about spending money on a meal planning tool, but it has saved hours and hours of planning, list making, wandering around the grocery store and possibly millions of trips BACK to the grocery store for forgotten items.

I consistently meal plan now and we no longer have burritos or cereal for dinner 1,987 times a week.

The Secret Weapon


One feature I really like is their drag and drop calendar. I review our family calendar for the week and drag and drop recipes that will fit into our schedule for each day.

But my favorite feature is the option to save your meal plans. I’ve created several and I can simply drag and drop that meal plan onto the calendar and it auto-assigns the meals to each day AND creates a categorized shopping list for me that I can immediately take to the store (on my phone or printed) and knock my shopping out.

I can quite literally meal plan and have a ready-to-go shopping list in seconds.

Someone deserves a Nobel Peace Prize…

Why I’m Telling You All of This…

I’m telling you all of this because Plan To Eat is having a huge Thanksgiving sale. Their yearly service is HALF PRICE (This weekend only)! I just purchased another year and I couldn’t imagine you in tears at the kitchen table with recipes spread out before you and not reach a hand down to pull you higher.

So, dry your eyes dear friends and come with me to the happy place where meal planning is easy.

Click here to check out Plan To Eat and take advantage of their Thanksgiving Weekend sale.

Now, I’m just waiting for a solution for cleaning my bathrooms.

What is your least enjoyed homemaking task?

Note: This post contain an affiliate link, but I have no official association with Plan To Eat. I loved saving 50% and thought you might too. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Do you have to key in the recipes or is it all provided for you to choose from?

    • Nevermind. I just took the tour and see the answer to my question. ;)

    • Southern Gal,
      I’ll go ahead and answer for anyone else who’s curious.

      It comes with some pre-entered recipes, but it’s not really a pre-made solution. The intent is to use your own recipes.

      However, it’s SUPER easy to add recipes from websites. It takes just two clicks. I add recipes from Pinterest often.

      Also, there is a community feature where you can view and share your friends recipes and menu plans.

  2. Love this website! And one of my favorite features is you can take the mobile app to the store and check off items as you buy them, automatically populating your virtual pantry. Plus, it exports the calendar to iCal (or google cal) where I can check whats for dinner on my iPhone and see if I need to hit the store or not!

    Oh.. AND the bookmarklet you can put in your browser so ANY recipe you find online can with the click of a button be automatically imported to Plan To Eat, picture and all.

    “Friend” your friends or people with similar eating habits and see what they have in their recipe book so you can copy what they are doing, in case you are feeling REALLY meal plan challenged. which I do.

    And the last thing I’ll say before cooking…something from this meal plan…for breakfast, is that I have come to appreciate my mother a whole lot more after using this, because it is so easy to find, plan, and shop for meals, then make them, and she did it without the internet!

  3. Another tool that has been HUGELY helpful for us is eMeals.com. Doesn’t use your own recipes, but I love how it’s spelled out for me. Totally been worth it. But I’m checking this one out, too, because I’d like to be able to use some of my own recipes.

  4. Meal planning is definitely one of my least favorite homemaking tasks. I enjoy cooking, but the planning part sucks all the joy and fun out of it. It really stresses me out. I tried eMeals for a few months, but found that I still had to plan meals because I never wanted to cook everything that was on the eMeals menu for that week. I’ve used Plan To Eat in the past, but not to its full potential, so I’m giving it a go again. Thanks for the reminder about the 50% off deal. I heard about it a few days ago, but completely forgot about it!

    Happy cooking (and planning)!

    • Hi Meagan!

      You know, I toyed around with it for a few months before I really committed, and I have to recommend committing an hour or two to adding your favorite recipes and making a couple staple meal plans. Once you have that, meal planning is more fun because you always have a fallback.

      I’ve tried more new recipes (from Pinterest or all recipes) since using PTE because I wasn’t just frantically trying to get something…anything…scheduled.

      So if you can, I highly recommend setting aside a couple hours to get a great jump start.

  5. Well, you got me. :) I’ve been eyeing Plan To Eat for a long time, and the %50 deal is reason enough to take the plunge. Most of my recipes these days are from online sources anyway, so it should be a huge help. I’m excited!

    • Danielle,
      Make sure to add their bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar. It makes adding recipes super easy. Hope it helps you as much as it’s helped me!

  6. I hate laundry!!! And, I’m using your affiliate link heading there now. I actually just got of that site and considered it but then saw you loved it so I’m thinking I’ll try it!
    Thanks so much!

    • Aw…thanks Jennifer! Let me know if you have any questions – not that I’m an expert, but I’m happy to share what I know!

      • Hey. Since you said to ask :)….any idea why I try to open the site on my phone it shuts the internet off??? Is there an app or something for them? Do you mind adding me so I can check out some of your recipes, no big deal if not…share any tidbits you might think handy. It’s actually quite confusing to me but I’m hoping it will be GREAT!

    • Jennifer,
      I have no idea why that’s happening. That has never happened to me… I definitely recommend emailing support, the owner – I think his name is Clint – is super responsive.

      I’m happy to add you, but I promise you won’t be impressed with my recipes. There is a reason this isn’t a food blog. :)

      It looks like a lot of readers have joined PTE – I’m thinking about doing a screencast of how I use it to help get everyone jump started…

  7. Ursula Liao says:

    hehe, Kat, I know you don’t know me, but you crack me up. :) I love the way you write and you speak volumes to my heart. Thanks for being you and sharing you with us. :) I’ve been eyeing Plan To Eat for a couple of years and have hesitated in taking the plunge. Your screencast was SUPER helpful. Thanks for sharing that with us! I finally signed up. And I used your affiliate link. :)

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