This Plan to Eat review will help you discover how you can reduce food waste while also saving money and most importantly, your sanity.
I purchased a subscription to the Plan to Eat meal planning tool a few years ago and like any good online subscription or course purchase, it didn’t change my life so when it came up for renewal, I declined.
Wait, what? Why am I writing a review of an app I didn’t use?
A year went by and I decided to give meal planning a go again so I renewed my membership. Much to my surprise, when I actually spent more than 10 minutes on the website and used it, amazing things happened.
How many times have you gone to the grocery store, spent like $200 only to get home and have no plan for anything. Then when you choose a recipe, you don’t have the ingredients you need?
Or you go grocery shopping, are over ambitious on the fruits and vegetables you and your family are going to eat, everything rots in the crisper drawer and you’re left with a bunch of food waste.
This was constantly my struggle, and what made it worse was 5pm would hit and everyone was hungry and I had no plan.
Sound familiar to you?
In this Plan to Eat review, I will show you how easy it is to discover, save, retrieve and plan your meals so you can:
- reduce food waste
- always know what’s for (breakfast, lunch, snacks) dinner
- organize your recipes so you can actually find them
- easily make ingredient swaps when you’re at the grocery store
- share recipes with friends
No time to read this now?! No worries! Pin it for later!
What is the Plan to Eat Meal Planning Tool?
It’s basically the best answer to your food waste and meal planning struggles but let me be more specific.
Plan to Eat is a web-based tool (including an app) that allows you to easily save, categorize, drag and drop recipes into a digital calendar so you are no longer wasting food that you spent good money on and wondering what’s for dinner every night.
Once you make your meal plan, the Plan to Eat software automatically generates a shopping list with all your ingredients.
What the Plan to Eat Meal Planning Tool is Not
Sadly, it’s not a personal chef or a meal making fairy however, it’s also not an elaborate, confusing, hard to use meal planning tool.
There aren’t a bunch of spreadsheets to switch between or 15 different steps you need to go through to get your weekly meal plan together.
How Plan to Eat Makes My Life Easier
I am just about the most disorganized person on the planet, who can relate? Meal planning always seemed like a hassle and with kids, every day is different, who knows how much time you’ll have to prepare dinner, what time dinner will be, etc.
I’d finally gotten to a point where I was tired of hitting the grocery store with good intentions of healthy meals for the week only to wind up with produce rotting in my crisper because I’d forgotten about it and/or expensive organic meat that went bad because it had gotten pushed to the back of the refrigerator.
Go check your fridge now (but promise to come back), what’s rotting in there?
Pros of the Plan to Eat Meal Planning System
Easily import recipes either manually or via web links – you can manually type in ingredients and directions, import via a URL, import using their recipe clipping tool or upload a CSV file.
Share recipes with other Plan to Eat members – just like with social media, you can send friend requests to other Plan to Eat members so you can access their recipes and grant them access to yours. No worries though, there are privacy settings you can use if you’d like to ‘hide’ some recipes or not make them available to others.
Recipes and challenges already preloaded from Plan to Eat – your account comes preloaded with access to recipes from the Plan to Eat blog as well as Cooking Challenges they have run in the past.
Categorize so you can sort – when you import a recipe, there are so many ways you can ‘tag’ it – you can select the main ingredient, type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack), cuisine type (as defined by you).
Search by ingredient – this way, if you have a recipe that includes say cilantro, you don’t want to buy a bunch of cilantro and have most of it go to waste. You can easily search your database of recipes to find all that call for cilantro and choose a couple of those to make that week as well.
- Easily change number of servings to re-calculate ingredient quantities – makes it easy if you’re super organized and want to make enough for leftovers or a larger quantity
- Make notes on recipes – I find this super helpful because when I make a recipe that I have on a Pinterest board and don’t like it or made some changes or whatever, there’s no way to make private notes for myself. This enables me to remember if there were ingredient swaps or if one kid liked it and one kid didn’t, things like that.
- Automated shopping list – the shopping list consolidates all the ingredients for each meal to give you a total amount of ingredient, like garlic or pasta or whatever so you know exactly how much you need in total. You get a consolidate view rather than an ingredient list by recipe.
Add notes to the calendar – if you are doing leftovers or eating out or don’t have an actual recipe to put in the meal slot, you can just add a note indicating what the meal is. Saturday is always pizza night from our favorite pizza place so ‘pizza’ goes in that slot (or usually not since it’s been this way for years and I don’t even need to write it down). One day a week (usually Thursdays) is what I call ‘fend for yourself or FFYO’. My kids are teens so this works but on that day, everyone is responsible for their own meal.
Weekly or monthly view – you can toggle between a weekly or monthly view so if you’re a planner, you can plan a month or even months ahead. If you want the same meal every Tuesday for the rest of the year, you can drag and drop that
- The app you can download to your phone – if you’re at the store and can’t find an ingredient, you can easily figure out which recipe it was for and easily make a swap. Truth be told, I use a different app for my grocery list but if I’m at the store and can’t find a specific ingredient, it’s super easy to just pull up the Plan to Eat app, go to the planner, see what recipes I have for the week and figure out which one I need to check.
Honestly, three of my most favorite features of using Plan to Eat:
- the ability to import and save recipes via a URL so I am no longer pinning recipes from Pinterest to one of my boards and then never being able to find them again
- the recipe card view (which they call Cooking View) inside of Plan to Eat that just shows the ingredients and the directions so I’m not fighting the ads and videos that are constantly popping up when I view recipes on websites
- search by ingredient because how many times have you bought a bunch of parsley or some other herb and only need a tablespoon? Then the rest goes to waste. With this tool, you can easily find all your recipes that call for the same ingredient so you minimize food waste.
Drawbacks of Plan to Eat
Honestly, I haven’t found much. There is a 20 minute video tutorial to help you learn how to use the site. I’m not sure about you but for me, 20 minutes is a time commitment (insert eye roll). I’d prefer it to be broken up into shorter videos but I find the site fairly intuitive so I haven’t watched the video.
I’m a learn it when you need to know it kinda gal so the more I use the tool, the more I learn about the features it has.
Cost of Plan to Eat
It isn’t a free tool, you do have to pay for it but you can get a free 30 day trial (that doesn’t require a credit card number) and then it’s $4.95/month or $39/year.
I think you’d get a pretty good feel for whether the tool is right for you during the free 30 day trial however, life happens and sometimes we sign up for stuff and don’t get around to trying it right away.
They also have a 60 day ‘no questions asked’ guarantee so if you buy it and don’t like it, you can request a refund.
Plan to Eat Review – Overall Opinion
I really like the tool. I’ve tried on and off in the past to be organized and meal plan (when did that become a verb?) but never stuck with it because even though I’m a pen/paper kinda gal, I found it all so cumbersome. Probably because I would write down the meals but then I still had to make the lists and go find the recipes when it was time to cook.
With the this tool, I can take all the recipes I find on Pinterest, import them into Plan to Eat, the ingredient list is consolidated and auto-generated and then I can simply go back into the app and pull up the recipe when it’s time to cook. How stinkin’ easy is that?
When I originally signed up for it and didn’t put in the 10 minutes to figure it out, I was convinced it was a waste of money but then I learned…
Just like a gym membership, you do actually have to use it to see results.
Who is the Plan to Eat tool for?
This tool is perfect for anyone who is:
- tired of saving recipes in Pinterest and never being able to find them again
- disorganized when it comes to getting dinner on the table most nights and wants to change that
- has a rotation of favorite meals, the drag and drop planning feature is super convenient for adding meals as frequently as needed
- wants to reduce food waste and wasting money on food that never gets eaten
- wants an easy to use tool for meal planning
- needs the ability to check recipes on the go
How Does Plan to Eat Compare to Other Options
The only thing I can compare this to is pen to paper meal planning and if you haven’t caught on, pen to paper meal planning doesn’t work for me.
There’s no sense buying produce, letting it take up space in your fridge only to then move it out to the compost bin. I may be speaking from experience.
I hope you’ve found my Plan to Eat Review informative and useful in your decision making. With a free 30 day trial, you’ve got nothing to lose.
So if you haven’t already signed up, what are you waiting for. Head over and get your meal planning groove on and stop letting that food rot in your refrigerator.