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I’ve been meaning to write a meal planning post for a very long time. It’s been kicking around my brain but I kept it on the back burner for a while because I wasn’t quite sure that I was the best person to be teaching people how to effectively meal plan.
I mean, I’m not bad at it, per se. I’ve been planning our family’s dinners and some basic lunch and breakfast options for a few years now. It definitely saves us money and a few unnecessary trips to the grocery store. This also gives me the freedom to go about my day knowing I have a few delicious options ready to go for that night’s dinner. But my method of meal planning has never been flawless. Far from it.
In the past, I’d look all over the place for different dinner recipes using a slew of books, websites, pins and my own papers containing family recipes. From there I’d make a list of the days of the week in my phone’s notes section and fill in the meals I intended to make. I’d also list the ingredients I needed to get and try to remember to add things to it throughout the week that we needed more of (in addition to a little white board that’s living on my fridge where we add items that we need to pick up).
After that, I’d have a rough idea of what I was cooking that week and could sometimes shuffle meals between days if I found myself more in the mood for pasta than chicken one night. And for the most part, this has worked out well. But the flaws are still there and it was admittedly pretty cumbersome having to juggle recipes in a bunch of different places.
Often, I’d also forget to add the items that we run out of and have listed on the white board to my list. And many Saturday mornings, I’d be in a rush to get out the door to our grocery store before it gets packed and would fail to take into account the ingredients we already had on hand in our kitchen, costing us more money and sometimes creating unnecessary food waste.
So when the fantastic people at Plan to Eat reached out to me to discuss a collaboration, I was genuinely intrigued and had to learn more. I mean, I’m all for finding a better way to be organized in my meal planning and also making our weeknight dinner’s more efficient so I get more time with my girls and J.
Meet Plan to Eat.
Plan to Eat is your one-stop, online meal planning site that makes it all so much easier. This is an online recipe organizer that allows you to collect recipes from a variety of different sources- online, cookbooks, even your own recipes! You can then drag and drop your recipes into a calendar to plan your weeks (or months) meals. And from there, Plan to Eat automatically creates a shopping list for you. Talk about a streamlined process!
Dinners made easier with One-Pot April:
You can sign up for a free 30-day trial whenever you’d like but now is an awesome time to try it out because Plan to Eat is hosting a One-Pot Challenge. Throughout the month of April, Plan to Eat will be sharing twenty one-pot recipes from a variety of sources that are simple to make and delicious to eat (one of which will be my delicious 20 Minute Taco Pasta!).
There will also be a Facebook group full of all sorts of fantastic tips and tricks for making delicious meals without all the hassle (or clean up!).
Here are the details about Plan to Eat’s One-Pot April:
- Dinner time can be a little crazy, but One-Pot April provides twenty simple and flavorful recipes that are easy to make and a snap to clean up (gotta love only having to scrub one pot!). And best of all, it’s real food!
- Use Plan to Eat to collect and organize your recipes from a variety of different sources, drag and drop your chosen recipes to plan your weeks (or months!) meals and then Plan to Eat creates a grocery list broken down by the sections where the items are located in the store.
- Access the One-Pot April recipes by adding One-Pot April as one of your friends on the Plan to Eat site so you can easily access all these great meals.
- Join the One-Pot April Facebook Group to swap tips, trick, recipes and support with other Plan to Eat users.
- The challenge itself is easy and free for everyone and you can sign up for a 30 day trial to try out all of Plan to Eat’s great features as well!
You can get started with One-Pot April by clicking here and begin making dinner easier, tastier and give yourself more time with your family!
And to streamline your meal planning even more, I’ve creating a special printable Kitchen Inventory List for The Life Jolie subscribers, to help you make note of the ingredients that you already have on hand in your home. This simple form will not only help you save a little money while planning your family’s meals, but also help reduce waste in the kitchen.
Check it all out and start making dinner time a little bit easier and a little more delicious!
You can find a full index of my recipes here.