Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Plan To Eat

Okay. So it's a new year and I have fallen off the "healthy eating wagon" a bit. I do every December! {sigh....} Such is life. If I eat well 11 months of the year, I'm pretty happy with that. But it's January and time to get back to REAL food and eliminate so many sweets.

For inspiration, I decided to get try a new menu planning program: Plan To Eat. Actually, I tried it a few months ago, but wasn't really motivated at the time and I didn't find out all that it could do. I was overwhelmed thinking I had to load every single one of my recipes by actually typing them in so that I could utilize the program well. Not so. After spending quite a bit of time on their site, I realized I had missed a lot this program has to offer. 

Here's the basic includes...

• a menu planner for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks with an easy drop and drag function from recipes you input into your recipe box (but you can also just type in your own items/notes - this is one of the things I failed to figure out the first time around!)

• a recipe book where you can store your recipes from home and from the internet and invite friends to join you and share recipes (more about this in a minute)

• a shopping list that will also store your pantry inventory and allow you to cook based on what's in your pantry at the moment (just click the "Cook from My Pantry" button and recipes matching your ingredients will pop up)

• the ability to create an iPhone mobile ready "app" so you can quickly access information at the grocery store or on the run (I'm forever needing to have my actual menu with me when I'm away from home)

Now that you know the basics, let me expand on one of my favorite things about this site. If I find a recipe on a blog or website that I like and want to try, I can easily upload it into the Plan To Eat recipe planner. There's a little link you add to your tool bar which you click when you find the page with the recipe you want - much like the "pin it" link for Pinterest. When you click the button on the toolbar, it opens a window up on the right side (see photo below) and will either automatically upload the recipe or if it can't do that, it will make it easy for you to copy the information and paste it in each section. Trust me... it works quickly and easily! (Again, this was something I didn't realize earlier and it makes it soooo much easier!)

After the recipe is uploaded into your Recipe Book,  you can then add a photo.

I looked at several other menu apps for iPhone, but I didn't find one that also had a computer version. And really, I wanted the iPhone app just as a back up for when I'm at the store and shopping. Most of my menu planning happens at home on the big screen. Plan To Eat had both.

Interested yet? What if I told you they give you a 30 day free trial? Sweet.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Go ahead... try it out and kick the tires a bit. See if it works for you. Give yourself 15 minutes each day for the first week or so to add some recipes and in no time, you're going to be loving this site. And you'll be oh-so organized and motivated to eat healthy! Just think... we could be friends on there and share recipes!

Bon appetit!

I have not been compensated in any way for my review of Plan To Eat. My opinions are my own based on my own use of the program.


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