June 19, 2012

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Each week (usually on Sunday so I can shop on Monday) I like to plan our basic menu.  This gives me the opportunity to look at my schedule and see which days I have more time to cook and which days I might need something quick.  This really helps me not do the “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?” quandary, and helps me not repeat meals as frequently as I would if I didn’t have plans.

For a long time I searched for a software or website that would not only help me with my meal planning, but also help with my grocery shopping. I had started to meal plan using Google Calendar, but inevitably I would forget to buy an all important ingredient for at least one of my meals. And despite having a grocery list, I always seemed to buy a lot more than I actually needed, spending a lot of extra money that I didn’t have.

Then I found Plan to Eat! This website is AMAZING!!!! It has just about everything you could ever want in a software to help you plan meals, eat healthy, and shop quicker and wiser!

  • Add recipes from 100+ websites & blogs
    Search multiple recipe sites from your dashboard, import recipes with one click, and we’ll do the rest.
  • Share recipes with friends — not the world
    You see their recipes, and they see yours. You can also share your individual recipes with anyone, on your blog, Facebook and email.
  • Meal Planning for the rest of us
    Easily drag recipes from your personalized recipe book to your monthly meal planner and then import your meal plan to your personal calendar program. Save your favorite meal plans to use again and again.
  • Automated grocery list maker
    Your shopping list is automatically created from your meal plan, and items are combined and organized into grocery store categories. Add your own items or create separate lists for each store you shop. Print or email your shopping list to simplify your grocery shopping.
  • Mobile Ready. Shopping on the go.
    Access your shopping list and recipes on your mobile device. Check off items on your list at the store and they'll automatically move to your inventory list on the main site.

First stop is the Recipes page.  This shows all the recipe’s I have in my recipe box and lets me know how often I have used them. You can also use the Filter Recipes to find things quick.


When you click on Add Recipe, you are given the option to import recipes from more than 100 websites or you can input a new recipe yourself.  The bulk input is great for copying and pasting recipes from blogs and websites not available in the “import a recipe from a the web.” Plan To Eat also has a bookmark that will save recipe’s to your box when you browse.  Very handy!

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Next I go to the planner.  This is great because I can see what recipes I have been using lately and try to get some variety in our meals.  It’s all drag and drop.  You can add additional ingredients that you may need or make notes as well.  The main dish recipe is in dark blue.  Extra ingredients are in light blue. I also mark on the planner what is going on that day so I know why I have to cook that crock pot meal or I don’t have to cook at all!


Once you’ve planned your menu for the week you can go to your Shopping list.  Choose the time frame you want to shop for (the upcoming week, etc.) and it will pull all the ingredients you need for the recipes you’ve selected.  If you already have some of the items you can check the box and click “To Pantry” on your pantry inventory and it moves those items from your grocery list to your pantry.  You can drag and drop any of the items to which store you would like to purchase them from.  I mostly plan for dinners, so I usually need to add additional items (either by moving them from my pantry by checking on them and hitting “To List” or adding a new item at the top) for breakfast, lunches, and snacks. I also keep a “Staples” recipe in my Recipe list which has the items I buy pretty much every week. 


One of my favorite features is the “Edit Grocery Categories.” Here you can add new categories and rearrange their order so that they line up with your grocery store.  So when I shop and look at my list, everything is aisle by aisle.  No more hunting all over for the next thing you need to purchase.


This is truly a great website! It has cut my shopping time way down and I stay on budget a lot better!  You can print out your shopping list from the website, or you can even access it from your Smartphone and check things off as you go.  Love it!!!!

Plan to Eat offers a 30-day free trial.  You can then pay month by month or for an entire year.  $39 is totally worth it.  I save a lot more money by using their service and I know you will too!

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