Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Get Your Meal Plan Organization on Before the Holidays Hit {GIVEAWAY-NOW CLOSED}

November 9th, 2011 · 8 Comments · What to Buy

I’m a planner.

If I don’t have something in my calendar and/or to-do list for the day, dude: It’s not going to get done.

Because of that little personality quirk (which I think I share with many other folks), I can’t even get into the head of a person who doesn’t plan their meals, at least one day in advance. If I don’t have a plan, I totally struggle to get dinner on the table both on time and healthfully.

I strongly believe that meal planning helps families eat healthier food. Even if you’re not by nature a planner, you’re giving yourself a leg up on health by meal planning. (I could say it in the negative way and say that you’re handicapping healthy meals by not meal planning, but that wouldn’t be very nice, would it?)

For most of us, November and December are some of the busiest months on the calendar and even busier in the kitchen with extra baking and big parties to cook for. There’s no better time to get your meal planning organization game ON!

I’ve talked a lot at KS about my own mad meal planning skills, which dangle in the balance between unorganized and super type A, if that’s possible. Winking smile Here are some info posts if you need direction:

Do It Online

If you’re like me, at least half of your recipes (getting on toward 80-90% lately, I think!) are on the computer and/or online. Harness that availability and flexibility and do your meal planning online, too.

I’ve also talked many times about Plan to Eat and the great meal planning software/system they offer. Here are the greatest perks, in my opinion:

  • Easily organize your own recipes
  • Can tag recipes so you can quickly see your own “fast meals” “chicken main dishes” “meatless meals” “family favorites” or whatever. The system is what you make it!
  • Recipe sharing with other friends
  • Adding a recipe to your meal plan automatically adds it to the shopping list, which cross-references your pantry supplies. Seriously!
    • Many people say they save money because they don’t waste as much food, plus save time in the grocery store because their list is so organized!
  • QUICK drag and drop system to move meals from day to day as your meal plan shifts to accommodate real life
  • You can save and reuse meal plans quickly – great for the crazy busy times when you can hardly think
  • “Eat from pantry” button ensures that you can find one of your own recipes that won’t force a trip to the store if you can’t get there for a few days

But don’t take my word for it – check out Plan to Eat and read the testimonials from others, and better yet, try it for yourself! PTE offers a free 30-day trial membership, so play around with the system, test its power and capabilities, and see if it will work for you.

Win It!

Even better yet than the better yet: You can win one of two one-year subscriptions to Plan To Eat here today! ($39 value)

Shhhhh! A secret bonus: If you enter the giveaway, you’ll get an exclusive coupon code after completing the survey!

ENTER HERE

Giveaways at Kitchen Stewardship are run via a survey, which means comments on this post do not count (and will be deleted). In the long run, this is quicker for you if you go for extra entries.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY CONTEST.  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – THANKS FOR ENTERING!

There are 6 possible entries! Here’s what you can do to win:

  1. *Mandatory entry: Check out Plan to Eat and tell us what aspect would make the biggest difference in your meal planning process? If you don’t want to visit the site, you can simply type “no thanks”…but of course it’s polite to visit our generous sponsors and see what they have to offer!
  2. Subscribe in a reader or via email to Kitchen Stewardship (or tell me if you already do).
  3. Subscribe to Plan To Eat’s blog. [A quick note: lots of company blogs are kind of boring to read…but PTE has real bloggers, free recipes, and even someone doing a bunch of Nourishing Traditions cooking – it's always a genuine good read!]
  4. Tell us if you already “LikeKitchen Stewardship on Facebook.
  5. Email 5 friends about this giveaway along with the link to it. (Email subscribers can forward their message.)
  6. Follow @kitchenstew on Twitter AND tweet this:
    I’m getting my organization on for the holidays with @plantoeat and @kitchenstew (u can win 2!) [include link to post here]

Remember, comments here DO NOT COUNT. You must use the survey form.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY CONTEST.  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – THANKS FOR ENTERING!

I will use random.org’s integer generator to choose the winner, who will be announced on the blog and will receive an email.  The giveaway is open to anyone. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 15th and I’ll post the winners the following week.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure:  I received products for my review at no charge, which of course did not affect my opinion in the least. Giveaways are paid advertising and a great thing for my readers, so I’m happy to include it separately from the review. See my full advertising disclosure here.

Official rules and small print stuff: 1) No purchase necessary to win 2) must be 13 or older to enter and have a mailing address within the sponsor’s boundaries (see above) 3) only one survey entry per person 4) odds of winning depend on number of entries 5) employees of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC or sponsoring company not eligible for participation 6) contest sponsored by Plan to Eat 7) prizes must be accepted as is and are not redeemable for cash 8 ) Kitchen Stewardship, LLC and sponsoring company are not liable for any injury or damage to persons and/or things as a result of the acceptance of the prize offered. 9) This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Sarah

    I have a three day old baby and I”ve been thinking that something I can do while I am down and resting is meal planning for weeks. Thanks for the post!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sheila

    I’m still not much of a planner. When I’m at the store, I give a little thought to what I might make (will it be a chicken week or a beef week?), and then I just make all my usual chicken or beef stuff that week. Booooring … and pleases the hubby with very little effort. Lately I’ve been feeling creative (because my pregnancy tastebuds are SO SICK of everything we usually eat), so I plan a little more — but it’s still all in my head. I have never been able to stick to any sort of written-down planning system — even after three years as a teacher. My lesson plans were always in my head. So’s my grocery list, my housework schedule, and my blogging to-do list. I’m sure I would be less spacy if I could offload some of this to paper, but … how could I plan in the shower and while nursing and on the potty?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    LOL!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

    Thanks for hosting a great giveaway! I really like meal planning, but find I have too many steps. This may help streamline the process!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • WEFA

    So I have been using Plan to eat for a while and I am starting to like it better now that I have more recipes. I am wondering if you would share your recipes and be friends with me on it? I have a few recipes I have gathered, some you might like too! We are grain free, though some of the recipes I adjust at cooking time rather than worrying about having it right on the computer…

    [Reply to this comment]

  • jc

    katie- i really have enjoyed using your website to use more whole foods and more natural products and I am slowly trying to “green”ify the way i do things, but i’m not the best at planning. I just signed up for plan to eat, but I don’t have enough recipes for it to actually simplify my life and help with meal planning can you share your recipes with me? Thanks. I would love to share some recipes with you to as I continue to upload them.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jc,
    This is where I’m not so helpful! I made this recipe public: http://bit.ly/orr9U3 and I think one or two more of mine are in there, but because I don’t use it yet regularly, I’m kind of in the same place as you. I recommend uploading your 5 (or whatever) for the week, then 5 new ones next week, and after a month you’ll feel in control but won’t have to do a ton of work all at once. Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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