Monday, July 5, 2010

Plan To Eat Review and Give-Away!

                                Just one of my dudes that wants to know what is for dinner......
                                He is hungry and he wants YOU to enter this give-away! 

People begin meal planning for different reasons. Perhaps, for some, meal planning begins in hopes of eating out less. For others, meal planning is a way to organize and avoid that late afternoon (What in the world is for dinner?) crunch. I think most of us are familiar with that question, which is why when asked many Mom's and Dad's will nod their heads in agreement. They too have packed the kids up at 5:30pm , tired and hungry to the local dinner dive, to avoid another meal of thrown together Mac and Cheese.

There are other reason's to meal plan as well. These are some of our favorites:

I meal plan in order to help me budget.

I meal plan so that I can ensure my family is eating healthy.

I meal plan that way I have more time to spend with my kids, outside of the kitchen.

I meal plan to avoid wasting food.

I meal plan so that I do not buy duplicate items at the store, that will often go unused.

I meal plan so that I can bake a cake and eat it too.

There seems to be so much guilt in the kitchen these days, when parents can not figure out what to put on the table, and end up spending way to much money dining out.  Guilt does not belong in the kitchen. Food, my friends, is not supposed to send us into a frazzled mess.  Food is to nourish us, sustain us, melt in our mouth and comfort us. Food is to bring our family together, be a constant in memories our times together, and do wonders for our soul as well as our physical body. There is no room for guilt in that!

We have been introduced to a unique meal planning tool that serves to aid Mom's and Dad's in organizing recipes, grocery lists, and meal planning. The website's name says it all. Meal Planning Mommies friends and readers please meet~ Plan to Eat.

Plan to Eat is the brainchild of a father who wanted to help his wife remove the guilt from the kitchen. We are pretty sure he was hoping for more home made meals as well! At Plan to Eat a member has the three aspects of meal planning right in front of them in one easy to use application.

Let me break it down for you, but promise you will go see it for yourself!

Recipe Book

The recipe book feature is a place to keep all your recipes in one tidy place. Easily you can upload your own recipes, import them into your recipe book from other sites, or use any of the shared recipes from other users already on Plan to Eat that you 'friend'.

Meal Planner

Located at the bottom of your recipe book is your weekly Meal Planner. Once your recipes are in place,  which is an ever growing data base, you simply click and drag the recipe into your meal planner. You can then write notes to yourself, record events, and import individual ingredients. You can search your recipe book or the shared site using tags as well. All the recipes are organize by ingredients, popularity, course, and cuisine. Pretty, cool!
View your meal plan calendar in weekly or monthly format, see upcoming weeks, and look back at the previous weeks plan. This is helpful in rotating meals, to make sure you are serving up your family favorites.
The Shopping List
You have selected your recipes and planned the weeks (or months!) meals. Your grocery list is created automatically by Plan to Eat based on the recipes that you have put into the Meal Planner. You can set up the shopping list to coordinate with your favorite grocery store's isles, saving time and making grocery shopping a breeze. Remove items that you may not need this time around because you already have them in your home pantry. And, make notes to yourself (ie: bring coupon for this item!) which will show up on your grocery list when you print it.

Extra's: The Blog
Plan to Eat also has a blog, full of recipe ideas, food talk, and tips for meal planning. Even though you can add nutritional score and calorie count on your meal plan through Plan to Eat, the Blog reminds us of the importance of focusing less on numbers and more on whole, healthy, nourishing meals.  I like that!

If you would like to learn more~  like how you can also use Plan to Eat on your you can organize your grocery list by the stores you plan to visit....or.. how you can change serving sizes for your meals and the grocery list will adjust automatically. 

  1. First, go and visit Plan to Eat. Sign up for a completely Free 30 Day Trial and check it all out for yourself!
  2. Then, enter for a chance to win the Meal Planning Mommies/Plan to Eat Give-Away! The winner will receive a free year subscription to Plan to Eat!

 To enter this give away~ a full year subscription~ leave us a comment telling us something special you did over the fourth of July. And, to double your chances tell your Facebook friends about our give-away!
You can enter every day!   The give-away will end on Saturday, July 10!



Stephanie said...

Looks like a great program.

We gave the boys homemade ice cream for the first time on the 4th and the loved it! Something special about homemade.

Julie said...

Did nothing majorly special over fourth of July just spent extra time with hubby (which is special to me) and caught up on household chores. Oh, I did register for college AND get a job... :)

Julie said...

Shared with my f/b friends. (Julie PIerce Driver)

Hate to say it... hope I win and they don't. :) Being honest is a good thing...right?

Brighid said...

We had a pretty calm 4th - took care of the garden, and throughly reorganized our living room. The reason for the stay at home day? One of our children is recovering from surgery and just needs that quiet time. I'd appreciate the help of the Plan to Eat program and intend to check it out!

Kristi said...

I took Friday off from work to be able to spend a nice 4 day weekend with my family. We swam, cooked, and relaxed!!!

We are the Smith Family said...

I would love to win!!!! What did we do...well, we spent lots of time together....had a family new in town that works with my hubby over for dinner on the 4th...enjoyed an awesome patriotic service at church....tried out the new slip n slide.....ate too much....and just played! What a blessing.....all 3 of my angels are under 21 everyday is a busy blessing!

Nikki said...

We rode our bikes all over NW Indiana, okay, maybe just Valparaiso, and had a few picnics and saw some fireworks.

Allison said...

As a teacher, grad student, and youth pastor's wife, I have been wanting a good time-saving, meal-planning resource. This looks AWESOME--just wishing we could add it to the budget (Dave Ramsey fans, anyone?)...

Something special I did on the 4th was return from a mission trip with our middle school students- only to discover my car wouldn't move out of park! It was memorable indeed!

I am excited about the prospect of the giveaway and am telling my Facebook friends about it now (Allison Ball). Thanks, ladies!

Allison said...

I'm not sure if you need the link or not, but in case you do...Posted it to my FB and crossing my fingers!!/profile.php?id=157900033

bruinhoya said...

Took my kids to see 4th of July fireworks for the very first time! It was amazing!

Terra Jones said...

We are staying at my in-laws, so for the 4th, we grilled out and swam in the pool all afternoon - bliss :)

thanks for the chance! I signed up for the free trial! I can't wait to try it as I plan next month's menu!

terraljones at gmail dot com

Stephanie said...

We had a low key fourth of July. We took some time to try to organize what will be the baby's room. Time is moving along quickly, meanwhile I'd moving along slowly.

Stefanie said...

We had a great day! My dh works a lot so it was really nice to have him home all day. We got to grocery shop as a family, hung out, lit some fireworks and watched the firework display.

kjtoiu said...

The 3rd was much more fun than the 4th. We had a party with friends and family - celebrating our oldest's 6 yr old bday! On the 4th I worked 12 hours at the town's celebration, but it was still fun. BEAUTIFUL fireworks!!

kjtoiu said...

The 3rd was much more fun than the 4th. We had a party with friends and family - celebrating our oldest's 6 yr old bday! On the 4th I worked 12 hours at the town's celebration, but it was still fun. BEAUTIFUL fireworks!!

Trevor and Lisa said...

Spent the weekend with family and enjoyed a long afternoon visit with my 13 yeraa old niece that just had back surgery! What a remarkable young woman!!

Brighid said...

Just stopping by to say that it would be nice to win a subscription to the Plan to Eat site. I'm off to go sign up for my 30 day trial!

Brighid said...

Just stopping back to add in another entry for the giveaway. I do think it will be useful for the lucky someone.

Chris said...

We were on vacation together in FL, and we spent the day shopping, eating good food, and watching fireworks together. I would love a subscription to Plan to Eat!