Why I Turned Down a Free Lifetime Membership (and Get Ready for Another Meal Planning Bootcamp!)

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I loathed meal planning.

On a particularly low day during my first pregnancy, I sat at dining room table staring at dozens of takeout menus. With all the despair of Anne Shirley, I laid my head down and cried, “I Just. Don’t. Know. what to have for dinner!”

I was overwhelmed by meal planning, and…I wasn’t even COOKING!!

It doesn’t get more pathetic than that. I couldn’t meal plan…even when I was just ordering take out.

Like I said, I loathed meal planning.

But then, a couple years ago I found a site called Plan To Eat. I fell in love and told everyone I knew about it.

Why I Turned Down A Free Offer

Well, not long after, the nice folks at PTE appreciated all my referrals and offered to give me a free lifetime subscription to their service.

Now, I’m all for saving money, but it is crucially important to me that my priority is always you, my mom friends. We don’t have time or money to waste, so I never want to feel obligated to a business in any way. (That’s also why I don’t have ads here on the blog.) I only want to share things that have had a huge impact on my home and that I think will help you too.

So, I said no thank you.

If figure, if I’m encouraging you to put down your hard earned money for something, I should do the same.

So that’s why I get excited when they do their Black Friday sale each year. That sale is going on right now, which means you and I can get their service for 50% off for a whole year!

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

I’m definitely signing up and if meal planning is your enemy too, check out their service (they have a free trial) and see if it’s for you. (Or at least watch the video I made for them. I’m such a dork on video.)

I’ll be holding another round of my Meal Planning Bootcamp after the holidays to make sure everyone gets started on the right foot for 2014!

Do you love or hate meal planning? What tips and trick can you share? Click here to leave a comment.

(Note: When I do share something I love, I try to use an affiliate link, which means that at no cost to you, I receive a small percentage if you purchase it. This makes it a win-win for both of us and allows me to offer my ebooks and resources for free. Thank you!)

Comments

  1. Grace in London, UK says:

    Kat, I happen to be a meal planning pro and can do it with my eyes close. But I am not writng to boast. I am writing to thank you for your intergrity. I have ALWAYS apprecited the fact that you don’t take ads on your blog and you are never trying to sell me anything. This is the reason I come back to your blog again and again. Us Europeans can smell an agenda a mile off and are often suscipious of those who are trying to sell us something. So thank you for your intergrity. YOU are the reason why I read (and action) on your blog. Thank you for being the encouragement and cheerleader for us moms. Thanks

    • Grace, that means SO much. Thank you for sharing that. It means a lot to me! And….meal planning pro? Do you have a favorite tip you could share?

      • Grace in London, UK says:

        I was about to put down a detail breakdown of my low tech version, then I reaslied the one singe golden tip is actually this: do what works for you as a family. For example, I work 4 days a week, and 2 of those I get home late. So on those days, I make sure we have something that can be ready and on the table in less than 20 mins. My kids loves pasta of any sort so Monday is always pasta day (The sauce is premade over the weekend and 20 mins is just about long enough to cook pasta and reheat the sauce). On Thursdays we have a fussy eater who visits after school so we always have the quienttssential British fish and chips. In fact my kids favourite are baked potatoes, cheese and bake beans so we make sure that features in our meals too…! I usually bulk cook over the weekend so we have at least one extra dinner (for 4) to go in the freezer for another time. Nothing fancy, versatility and flexibility is the key.

  2. Yesterday as I took a mental inventory of all I was thankful for you definitely were on the list. You help me be a better mother. I am currently working on being a woman of action (vs information overload). I love and have used Plan to Eat for a long time (user: ericalrawson) and am glad to purchase a renewal subscription through you.

  3. I’m an on and off again meal planner, but something that has always stuck was to make a bigger batch of food each dinner (so twice what you could eat that night) and eat the extra for lunch the next day. We only do this Sunday to Thursday, so Saturday and Sunday is usually a special lunch, but it sure saves my mental energy for meal planner for dinner. Actually we have recently incorporated Sunday as the day of “make extra food” because we’re usually home a lot before and after church doing family time. My husband loves to bake (I’m blessed I know!) so he usually makes homemade muffins to freeze and sometimes a large deli salad to use up through out the week.

    Now to just keep up with dinner planning. I will definitely be checking out PLAN TO EAT, thanks for the tip.

  4. I LOVE plan to eat! Not only for meal planning but also for storing recipes. I like Pinterest but it can be an enormous time suck for me. So while I do pin some recipes, ones that I really plan on making or ones I’ve tried and liked I save on plan to eat. That way when I want to look for a vegetarian appetizer I don’t get distracted by preschool Christmas crafts ;)

    Also it’s awesome that if you have a plan to eat membership that’s not set to expire for a while (like me), you can but the half of year membership and it simply extend your current membership an extra year. So now mine won’t expire til July 2015!

  5. Early on in my marriage I discovered the joy of cooking. I did not know how to cook and neither did my husband, but eating out every night was not an option. I first got excited when I realized I could eat anything I wanted at a fourth of the cost of restaurants if I just learned to make it. I started with a cookbook entitled: 5 Ingredients or Less. Very Simple and Easy! I was also tremendously blessed that my husband was and is always appreciative of my efforts.
    Now that I am working more outside the home, dinner time is more of a challenge because of time pressures. I have founds these tips to be very helpful:
    1.)Plan meals for the week on Sunday.
    2.) Days that I have more home time I double recipes and then freeze the second meal for the following week. That way I have a quick meal prepared for busier days.
    3.) Have the table set as early as possible. My boys often do it in the morning after breakfast. This keeps the table free from unwanted clutter and sends a message: We will all be together here at 5 for dinner .
    4.) Planning ahead especially helps with those stressful days. After a long day I don’t have to worry about figuring out what to make:)
    5.) Delegate as much as possible to my assistants in training aka my kids. :)

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