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Old 03-27-2014, 01:23 PM
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Question Meal Planning Websites

Has anyone ever tried one? What did you like/dislike about them? Any recommendations?

I'm really terrible about planning meals and half the time I will skip meals or eat crap because I'm too tired to go to the grocery store. Then when I am there I never know what I need more than a day away... which means that there may be multiple days in a row I don't really have what I need.

I'm hoping if I actually start PLANNING meals, I can do a weekly grocery run and then have real, healthy food to eat, which will cut down on my dependance of quick fixes, and hopefully also cut down on my habit of letting things rot in the fridge or over buying things because I randomly decided I want to make x today and here are all the ingredients and I don't know if I have them because I decided while in the store.... so in the end, I'm hoping it saves me money on food while also helping me eat better!

Problem is that seems like an impossible task! So, I was hoping one of those planner websites might help me get into the hang of it without so much pain.

I signed up for a free 30 day trial at plantoeat.com... but I'm super open to other recommendations/ websites to check out.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:35 PM
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I'm in the same boat. I've been looking at apps but not many fit what I want :\ I have Big Oven and its okay but it's not very fluid. Let us know how your website works!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:45 PM
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I will def let you know how it goes... so far idk. I added some recipes for this week and now I'm trying to add them to my planner because I need to go to the grocery store tonight.... so far I can't figure out how to get them on the planner. HAHA. It says just drag and drop, but it's not letting me!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:38 PM
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This isn't really answering the question that you asked, but I find the most important part of meal planning is having a variety of things you can make quickly and from memory and that you enjoy. When I go to the grocery store, I'm primarily on auto-pilot, buying the same things every week. I'll pick one or two recipes I make often and get ingredients for those (hopefully they require some pantry staples I already have, like onions, canned beans, chicken breasts that I keep in the freezer, pasta, etc). Keeping a well stock pantry of staples that you know you'll use is also great. I always make sure to buy more of these items when I run out so I know I can put together a quick meal any time.

I try to make a steamed or sauteed veggie every night, no matter what we're eating, so I buy my regular veggies every week in an amount that I know we'll probably be able to eat. There's one healthy side dish I don't have to think about or plan for beyond buying the same stuff every week.

I only add one, maybe two, newer recipes per week. Half the time when I try to do something new I end up not buying everything I need, no matter how well I plan, and going back to the store during the week. That never happens when I'm making my usual stuff so it's the new stuff that blows my planning.

For lunches I keep things simple and have the same basic thing every day for a week. It might be sandwiches with deli meat or tuna salad, it might be soup that I made on the weekend, etc. Any time I try to get fancy with different lunch options it just doesn't work.

Also, leftovers are your friend! Make a lot of food and eat it for lunches and other dinners when you're short on time.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:39 PM
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I typically keep frozen veggies in the freezer, and pick up 3-4 meats/fish at the store when I go (fresh veggies when they look good too). Always some chicken breasts, often sausage, so it's easy to put something together quickly - just grill the meat (I love my foreman grill) and microwave the veggies. You could prepare a bunch of chicken breasts and freeze them too. We always have pasta, rice, egg noodles or couscous in the pantry to add on if we want - and tuna. Worst case we can do pasta with sauce or tuna sandwiches too. Either way we can have a meal ready in 15 minutes with that stuff.

We don't really do 'fancy' meals that often - maybe twice a week. I've been cooking more (we used to have one a month maybe) but I'm running out of ideas frankly. Typically I find a recipe I like (it's got to be easy) and decide to try it, but then I'm the same in this case, I have to go back to the store to pick up an ingredient or two.

Or you can look up 'ground beef' ideas or something and plan your meals around a big pack of ground beef. I did that last week, so far I've made cheeseburger casserole and meatloaf (both new recipes, both delicious and didn't last two days), and we still have enough for tacos, for example (we keep salsa, cheddar and tacos on hand too).
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:07 PM
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My problem with cooking is that I can't constantly eat the same thing. I get sick of it and never want to even touch it again. I'm good for eating the same thing maybe 2x a month.

This is why I want a meal planning/grocery list website. The cooking isn't the problem it's the having no idea what I want to make all week when at the store and then not wanting to go run to the store again later. I also have a terrible memory about things which is why I tend to buy things I already have if I don't make lists. I need lists when I shop. Need them.


Anyway, I used the plan to eat website to make a list for tonight through Sunday. It prepared a grocery check list for me. I printed it and went through my pantry to cross off what we already have. Importing the recipes was annoying.... but once I get some in there I'll only be importing a few a week instead of now where I need about a months worth of different ones. LOL. So we'll see how this site goes.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:44 PM
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Something I really like about the shopping list... The ingredients have alphabet markers at the end and then at the bottom the alphabets are matched to your recipes. When going through the kitchen I realized I still have pesto left and decided I wanted to just make an easy pesto pasta dish.... So it was super easy for me to just delete a recipe off my list because the matching ingredients all had "D" printed after them.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:51 PM
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I've heard good things about allrecipes.com!
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:22 PM
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I just want an app that sorts my shopping list by aisle in the store. I'm so tired of having to go back and forth because I passed by something I needed but was way down the list, lol.

But yeah, I don't know any meal planning site... Plus I'm always out of ideas about what to make so we eat a lot of the same things, just with variations.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran27 View Post
I just want an app that sorts my shopping list by aisle in the store. I'm so tired of having to go back and forth because I passed by something I needed but was way down the list, lol.

But yeah, I don't know any meal planning site... Plus I'm always out of ideas about what to make so we eat a lot of the same things, just with variations.
This is why I just write my list down so I can roughly order it by where things are in the store. Drives me crazy when my husband adds things to the list in the wrong spot. Lol

To the OP, It would be really hard to meal plan without eating the same thing at least a few days a week. I can see why you have a hard time keeping up with it!
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