Planning to eat
Sounds so simple doesn’t it!?
But it isn’t. Put into the mix five children, two of which need to eat gluten-free diets and a mama who strives to avoid massive amounts of sugar or anything processed. Then move a mom who loves to cook from her tiny kitchen where she learned to love cooking into a big kitchen with a new place for every cooking item. Sounds lovely I know, and it is, but I’ll admit I’ve been lost in this wide kitchen since we moved. The mental effort to think about where each thing is at every meal and then to figure out what we could/should eat has totally exhausted me.
I’ve been heaping guilt on myself for not getting into a great cooking groove here much sooner. Told myself over and over how lovely this kitchen is and that it should all be a breeze. That always helps motivate doesn’t it?! But instead I have simply lacked the mental capacity to figure out the what, the how and the when to our meals. I might come up with a great idea but lack the ingredients to actually make it. Or I might find a yummy recipe but too late to actually get it on the table for dinner.
I have planned meals before, a week at a time never longer. But like many things I try to do, the grind of actually doing it week after week wears on me and unless it is inherently usable, practical and (don’t laugh) looks nice….I probably won’t stick with it. This is precisely why my homeschool planner needs to not only be highly functional but also pretty. I’m serious!
Enter Plan to Eat. I’ve seen it advertised and read reviews of it many times over. I couldn’t justify spending money to do something I can do myself. But once I actually took the time to see what it could do that I can’t, it was worth trying for certain. I wrote this email below to the Plan to Eat creators as my feedback after a week of my free trial:
So far so GREAT. I have made it a whole week without a frenzied email (or text) to my husband asking him to grab Papa Murphy’s or Teriyaki on his way home from work. It took me about 5 hours of inputting to get started but SO worth the time invested. It has brought a sense of peace to my day knowing, “just look at the list on the fridge, that’s the dinner plan” AND to know I had all the ingredients because I had shopped with the Plan to Eat list in hand. Why didn’t I do this sooner!?
I still have a couple dozen recipes that need inputting into my recipes list on the Plan to Eat site. And yes, it’s taken a lot of time. But once in there, its just a matter of clicking and dropping meals to created a menu that is perfectly suited to my family. Many of my recipes are from websites and I could just cut and paste the link and voila the recipe was listed for me instantly.
The highlight (besides being able to make 8 dinners in a row – for the first time since we moved) was when my sis and her fam decided to come for dinner last weekend and I just shifted to a meal that was easy to double that I already had the stuff to make!
Only time will tell if I can keep this up. I promise to post again after a month has passed. For now I’m consulting my cute little print out on the fridge (that I drew on with markers to make more colorful!) so that I know we are having Broccoli Cheddar soup for dinner tonight!