Crazy Easy Meal Planning With One Powerful App

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The crazy easy meal planning app that can solve your dinnertime question every night.

 

So…quick question: When 5:00pm rolls around at your joint every day, do you know what’s happening for dinner?

If you answered ‘NO’, or even ‘maybe’, you should probably look into meal planning, especially with a meal planning app.

We used to let the 5 pm-deadpan-stare-showdown happen at our house every. single. day.

“What do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know, what do you want?”

“I don’t know what do you want?”

….infinity.

See, the husband doesn’t want to have to think about it. He’s happy to cook–as long as he has a recipe and time we want to eat. (Which is another story because I literally tell him every single day-during the school year- that it needs to be ready by 6 pm, but he still feels the need to ask me every day of our lives, “What time do you want to eat?”) I digress. So the solution, obviously, was to just bite the bullet and do meal planning. What I learned is that you don’t have to rely on the meal planning services and sites, either, if you already have a lot of good recipes you know your family will eat. Which is why I do DIY meal planning.

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I am going to do a whole separate post on meal planning sites, because I believe each has its own merits for what’s best based on your family’s needs (dietary) and your personality type (how it’s organized and what its features are.) But for now, I want to talk about DIY Meal Planning the digital way. (Check out this other post on DIY Meal Planning the Paper (non-tech) Way.)

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I used to have piles (I’m not kidding here–my husband actually was super angry at me for wasting tons of $ on paper and ink to print all this crap out) of recipes lying around. Like, so many that I thought I’d never get out alive. So what I decided to do (even though I’m really bad at doing everything digital), is to go paperless on this one.

Going paperless if you’re used to tangible paper anything is realllly hard. But I promise you–for this it’s SO MUCH BETTER. (Let me add in here that I do still keep a family recipe book that I started for my kids–and it has paper recipes in it. We put only the recipes in here that I want to make sure the kids know how to make for their kids–when that time comes–and these recipes are things that we absolutely love to all eat.)

Anyway, I started using the Mealboard App. This app actually has a ton more features than I actually use, but for now I just want to talk about the meal planning and shopping benefits.

 

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Basically on Mealboard, you can enter all your recipes, put them in categories, and create meal plans for a specified number of days. Once you have your meals put in, you go into the shopping feature and sync the days you want a shopping list for. When you have your list, you can take off any duplicates or anything you already have. Also, you can add in anything extra you need (like TP, for example.) Then you can email yourself the list. Or just pull up the list on your app and use it in the store while you’re shopping. You’re also able to have lists for different stores, so if you shop more than one place, you’re covered.

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What I love is this: I’m not relying on recipes from meal planning sites that I have no clue if my kids will eat. (Or husband. He can act like a picky toddler sometimes.) I can input our own recipes that I know and trust, thereby eliminating the possibility of the Dinner-Time-Whine.

I also picked up a trick from a meal planning site I used to subscribe to. The trick is to go ahead and do ‘prep’ either on your shopping day before the week starts. It literally takes less than an hour. (Usually only took me like 30 minutes.) And makes the week ahead at dinner time sooooo much easier!

To prep, you just look through each recipe at what veggies need to be chopped/measured out/mixed ahead of time, and do those things, then just put them in a baggie and label them. Keep them in the fridge until the day of, and you’re ready to go!

Having meals ready to go like that makes my life immensely easier during the school year!! We have lots of after-school activities happening all the time, as well as allergy shots one day a week, and the husband traveling through the week for work. So for me, after a long day, this is what saves my sanity (except for wine. Don’t forget the wine.)

 

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So what’s your current sitch on meals at night? Do you meal plan? Wanna try it the digital way? If you’d like a tutorial on the Mealboard App (which is totally FREE, btw), click the image above!

Let me know what works for you! And if you try the Mealboard app, let me know how you like it! It’s saved my sanity more than a few times!!

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13 Comments
  • Shell

    August 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm Reply

    These are great tips for making meal prep go easier!

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm Reply

      Thanks, Shell! It’s so much trial and error, but once you get a good working system, everything else falls into place pretty easily! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Darlene Dee

    August 15, 2017 at 10:14 am Reply

    This sounds great, but when do you find time to enter all your recipes? Can you scan them in? I have lots of actual paper recipe books. And no time to meal plan which also means no time to type recipes into an app.

    Genuinely looking for a solution, so any suggestions welcome. Thanks!

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm Reply

      Hi, Darlene! So…yeah you have to find time to enter them–which kinda sucks. I know that there are a few programs that will now convert scans to editable text (I want to say Adobe Acrobat does it now…) What I’ve done before is since I had like a million printed out, I went through them all first to make sure I really want them at this point, then just went one by one entering. Some I had printed from websites and was able to look them back up online to import. But maybe try the scan thing with Acrobat first–I’d think that would save a ton of time!! (Let me know if this works for you, I’ve still got a giant pile I haven’t had time to get to yet!)
      xo, Stella

  • Laila Laurson

    August 15, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

    I am going to look into this app. I have tried meal planning, but I would make the food put it in containers and reheat it (I personally never liked doing this). I never thought to do it the way your describing. I wouldn’t mind prepping everything and then skipping that part when cooking. For me cutting up and portioning out everything is tedious, especially when we get home late and my husband and I are exhausted. I am excited to try meal planning this way, because planning ahead does help. Thank you for your post!

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Laila, I’ve found that prepping immediately helps soooo much!! I will actually have a post in the future that compares all the meal planning sites, because I’ve used one that details out what to take out and prep on one day of the week so everything is ready on that day. That also makes it crazy easy–we definitely lack motivation at that time of the day, too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Torche' Nash

    August 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm Reply

    You’ve given some really nice tips on planning. I have always been an advocate for planning out our meals, not only for the sake of saving time, but also for the sake of saving money.

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

      Absolutely!! I find that if I have no clue what the meal plan is, I just buy random stuff trying to cover all my bases, lol! Also, if you know what’s on sale, you can just do a search for that item in the recipes you have and come up with a recipe to use it in that week! 🙂

  • Fairweatherpaddler

    August 15, 2017 at 3:57 pm Reply

    I need this. I am lethal for not knowing what’s for dinner. Couple of times I have tried meal planning on paper and it’s worked for week or two but then fallen apart. Maybe digital might be the way to go…..

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm Reply

      In all honesty, I tend to go back and forth with digital and paper, just because my ADD brain works that way, lol! But having this app has made my life infinitely easier when I use it! It also will integrate into your calendar (well, Google calendar anyway) so that when I pull up my daily agenda it tells me what’s for dinner. 🙂

  • madi

    August 15, 2017 at 10:19 pm Reply

    I need to try this- it seems amazing!!

    • Laura

      August 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm Reply

      Madi, it takes a bit of work to get it set up initially, but once it’s done, meal planning is so incredibly easy!

  • Jiya B

    August 15, 2017 at 11:33 pm Reply

    The app looks promising. I would love to try this. Meal planning some one does for you what else I can as k for. Thanks for sharing

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