There is a phenomenon that exists in this world: the person who loves to plan weekly meals.
It is a marvel, really, the pleasure that some find in the drawing up of menus for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks; the delight they encounter when scouring cookbooks for culinary ideas that might please each family member; the gratification they experience when crafting shopping lists that include all the necessary and sometimes exotic ingredients.
While I can claim to know on one hand the number of people who epitomize this mystery, I must confess that I in no way, shape or form understand or exhibit it in any way.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for people like me — people who dread and avoid and procrastinate the meal planning process — and it will add even more sparkle to our friends who already love meal planning.
This hope and sparkle is a Web service entitled Plan to Eat.
I have been using this service for a little over six months, now, and I have recommended it to everyone I know. Why? Because it has transformed my negativity toward all things menu-related in my household, and - dare I say - even made me kind of enjoy it (* gasp *)!
So what is Plan to Eat? The simplest way to describe it is that it is an online “drag and drop” monthly meal planner.
But it is that and so. much. more… Plan to Eat is…
A Personalized Cookbook:
It is a place where you can upload (or cut & paste, or type in), save, and categorize all of your recipes. So you know all those fun recipes you pin to your boards on Pinterest? With Plan to Eat, you can use their customized “Save the Recipe” button that works exactly like a pinning button, except instead of saving the recipe to an unused board, you will save it to your working recipe book.
A “Drag & Drop” Meal Planner:
Once you have a good number of recipes entered into your account, planning meals takes seconds. I’m not kidding! All you do is “click” on a recipe title, “drag” it to either a slot on your calendar, and ¡voila! — your meals are planned. You can plan a day, a week, a month and more in advance!
An Automated Shopping List Maker:
This is my favorite feature because it saves tons of time… I’m not talking minutes, I’m talking hours of time saved! After you have dragged and dropped your recipes into your calendar, you click on the “SHOPPING LIST” button, and in less than one second, you have a shopping list that corresponds to every item in the meal plan you created. And the list is categorized (i.e. dairy, meat, produce, etc.). Furthermore, you can customize the shopping list by clicking the “Add Items to List” button. Seriously. I. Love. This. Feature.
A Handy Phone App:
Included in your membership is the Plan to Eat phone app which has a “phone-ready” shopping list where you can check items off as you go. Brilliant! Also, you can access your recipe book ANYWHERE which means you can pull up your individual recipes right on your phone… in the kitchen, at the grocery store… wherever!
A Social Community:
You can find friends within the Plan to Eat community with whom you can swap recipes. It’s as easy as clicking on the “Friends” button to find foodies who share your interests such as gluten-free eating, Paleo diets or vegan foods.
The best part is this… you do not need to take my word for it that the service is worth every penny of it’s $4.95 per month or $39 per year subscription because they offer a FREE 30-day no-strings-attached trial to anyone who wants to give it a try.
Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here.