Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Plan To Eat - My Impressions

This week I have begun working again.  This means many things for our family, the most important of which is planning meals ahead.  I know, I know.  I could have been saving money, keeping my family healthy, and saving the world by meal planning every Monday through the summer.  But, I needed a vacation.  So dinners for the last two months have ranged from a bowl of Special K to the most fantastic crabs cakes in the world!

I decided to try an online service called Plan to Eat.  It is a sponsor of several very successful Mom Blogs, so off I went.  My review is unsolicited.

With a plan, delicious meals are possible, keeping in mind that I was able to do this while preparing for another 180 day school year with 300 middle school band students.

Pesto Pasta with Peas
Plan to Eat offers a free 30 day trial, so you can explore the program free of charge, without even entering a credit card.  Here are some of the great features of Plan to Eat:

You can create a week or months worth of planned meals.  Recipes for you meals can be chosen from those that you input yourself, or from searching recipes online via the program.  I was in the mood for pasta, and typed in key words on the internet search.  Up popped recipes from the Food Network, All Recipes, Epicurean, etc.  So cool!

Once you create your meals, Plan To Eat generates a shopping list for you!  Already have some of the necessary ingredients?  Simply click a button, and those are added to your Pantry List (items in your pantry). Shopping lists are printable, and you can even have your items coded by the recipe in which they will be used.

Plan To Eat also allows you to email shopping lists, get HTML for a recipe (to post on your blog), sync your calendar with ICAL (easily accessible on your IPhone), and more!

This little gem is user friendly and a great way to diversify your cooking without much trouble.

Anyone else using Plan To Eat?  What are your impressions?