I’m a busy mom. You’re a busy mom. We’re all busy moms. As a busy mom, I like to use whatever tools available to me to make my life easier. Any time I read a blog about saving time or money, one of the tips is always to meal plan.
The problem is, meal planning can seem so daunting. You drag out your cookbooks and grab a notepad or scan Pinterest for some cute meal planning calendar. Then you make your list and sometimes you remember to actually take it to the store with you. This is madness. So often, in Facebook groups, I see mamas asking for meal and meal plan ideas. This is my favorite way.
Years ago, I was reading a blog about surviving when your income is low. One of the suggestions the mama had was to use a meal planning service. She said even though it was a paid service, it was a low fee and worth every penny. She used Plan To Eat.
Using PTE is really simple. You load your favorite recipes into their system. This is great if you have amassed quite a collection on Pinterest. They have a Google Chrome extension that will pull them straight from Pinterest into your PTE account!
You can tag and sort your favorite recipes so they’re easy to find. I like to tag my recipes like I prefer to meal plan. If it’s a sandwich, that’s how I tag it but I also tag it as a Monday meal because we usually have some type of sandwich meal on Monday.
My favorite feature is Drag & Drop. You can and filter your recipes and then drag them to the day you want to plan. It’s also easy to duplicate the meals. If you have pizza every Friday, you can just click that day and duplicate or drag it over to the next week. My favorite part about this screen is that you can print out the menu and stick it on the refrigerator so your kids don’t ask you 100 times what’s for dinner this week. Or is that just my kids?
Once you have your meals all planned, it’s time to shop. You can print this page and head to your pantry to see what you actually need to purchase that week. Or, if you’re trying to be a little more eco-friendly, you can use the app to create your grocery list. You just tap the items when you find them in your pantry and it removes them from the list. Then, you can easily go and load up your favorite grocery pickup or delivery cart and you’re done.
This system has honestly saved my sanity. I recommend Plan To Eat to everyone that asks. I usually plan for a month and then shop for each week. Seriously, try it.
Do you have any other meal planning tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them!