I used to teach a Menu Planning class in town and it was fairly popular. It started with old-fashioned pencil and paper and during the course of the class we discussed ways this can be adapted to the computer age. I had tried several times to move to a computerized system, but none ever suited my needs. Then I discovered a web-based program that I now cannot live without!
- I can eliminate so much paper! I’m a list maker. I need to easily refer back to my menu and list. I can with this system by taking my internet-enabled phone to the store with me! You don’t need an iPhone or Android, but any phone that can pull up a web page. Then as you pick up each item, you check it off your list. And the list is automatically created when you add your recipes to your calendar.
- I am also eliminating paper by directly importing recipes from the internet into my Plan to Eat account! This gives me a flexible, personalized cookbook without all the paper and shelf space.
- The calendar is incorporated and works with google calendars, as well.
- It creates my shopping list AND allows me to build a pantry list. Then you can just shop your pantry. Is it the end of the week and you just don’t feel like taking the baby to the store? Click “Cook from my Pantry” and the site will compare your pantry with your recipes and let you know what you can cook from your own food stores. Saves money!
- It allows for unusual and changing schedules. The Captain’s work schedule changes quite a bit and is not M-F. I work sporadically and with homeschooling and church obligations, we do not have a “typical” week. I can easily click and drag recipes to build my week and then re-arrange my week very easily when something changes.
- I can use MY recipes. Have an unusual diet? Trying to adopt a new way of eating? These aren’t someone else’s recipes fit into my week. They are recipes that I know will work for my family.
- Tag recipes. I love this feature. You can easily sort and find recipes based on pre-set categories, but you can also create your own tags. I often sort by “crackpot,” “make ahead,” “soaked flour” and more.
- You can also connect with your friends and see their recipes.
- The Freezer Meal Feature! You can add freezer meals to your “stock” and then drag them from the “freezer” to the date you’ll eat them and know how many meals you have left of that type.
- The app is new in 2018 and it’s lovely. The calendar layout is user-friendly and you can easily go between it and the recipes. I’m so happy with this update.
There are MANY other reasons I recommend this menu planner. Watch their free video, take their tour, learn more about how it works. They offer a free month’s trial so give it a whirl! PTE is a subscription service. I rarely pay for a subscription to an online service, but this, this is soooooo worth it to me. I have continually subscribed for about five years now. I don’t think I could manage without it. It’s about $40 per year, but be sure to renew during their Black Friday sale when it’s half price. Then it costs $1.62 per month. Definitely worth my sanity and saves me much, much more in time and groceries.
PTE is a great tool to help you use up items in your freezer or pantry. Want other tools to help you save money by clearing out your pantry and using what you ALREADY have? Check out the products page. Or read here about why you might consider a pantry challenge.