Real Food Meal Planning Inspiration (Do You Need a Nudge?)

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Let’s talk Pinterest.

You’d think, as someone who practically lives online, that I’d know everything about every social media development that there is, but I’m really kind of resistant to change, believe it or not.

I was taken by surprise by how quickly Pinterest became a household word, and I feel like I’m still catching up! I finally gave in and at least started a Pinterest account, but I really only use it as a fancy file folder/bookmark system for recipes I want to try.

I hear friends say things like, "Yeah, I check Pinterest and see, like, ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’" That, I don’t even get. First, I have to have dinner planned before that afternoon. Second, I don’t get how to browse Pinterest…but maybe that’s okay, because I really don’t have time, and I have a gazillion recipes I always want to try anyway!

Meal Planning Help

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Are you a meal planner? I hope so, good kitchen stewards, since I’ve talked about meal planning approximately 26.8 times here at KS…but if you’re new here, or if the habit just hasn’t sunk in yet – or if you got OUT of the habit over the summer and need to set goals for fall to get back into it – I have a new little tool to help. (By the way, my deepest apologies for mentioning fall. I know that’s painful to think about! I should warn you – I’ll be starting to talk back-to-school next week, since in some places in the country, school starts mid-August. For myself, I’m blissfully pretending there’s no such thing as school or routine until Labor Day!)

I’ve teamed up with my sponsor Plan to Eat, an online meal planning service that doesn’t plan menus for you but gives you the structure to plan your own stuff with utmost efficiency and success, to create a Real Food Meal Planning pin board.

If you visit the board, you’ll find all my best stuff on HOW to meal plan, plus a bunch of recipes pinned from the KS group at Plan to Eat, where there are currently over 75,000 recipes shared by members of this community – that means you have a lot less junk food to sift through compared to a Google search if you’re looking for a recipe.

Our Meal Planning pin board has a great variety, from beverages to slow cooker meals, grilling ideas and cold summer sandwiches, grain-free baked goods, and of course, all the meal planning resources you’ll ever need. We’ll be adding to the board at least once a week through October, so follow the board for the best real food inspiration for those times your own meal planning is "in a rut." We’ve all been there!

If you are a Plan to Eat user already, you can just click on the KS group link while you’re logged in and you’re automatically a part of the group. If you’re not a PTE user, try the 30-day free trial and see what you think. They just added a new feature "cooking view" that blows up the ingredients and method in bigger text, plain background, and no scrolling (less greasy or floury fingerprints on your laptop! Yay!).

Get Your Game On

I hope this post is just a little nudge for those of you who do need a "reset" on your good meal plan habits, and I hope you’re inspired to plan ahead and find the resources to help on the new meal plan pin board. Remember to follow it for new inspiration every week!

What sort of meals or recipes would you most like to see pinned on this board?

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I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

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: This post and the Pinterest board are sponsored by Plan to Eat. See my full disclosure statement here.


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6 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Jen M. says

    Oh, thank you! I am excited about this. I have a Plan to Eat account, but haven’t used it to its full potential. I want to get better at planning meals. Good, healthy meals. My planning so far is very inconsistent. I can’t figure out why, but maybe by perusing Plan to Eat and the KS Pinterest boards I can finally get it under control!

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  2. caroline says

    I try to meal plan but it never seems to work, i think part of my issue is only having to cook for myself so it is real easy to change things at the last minute. (For example I forgot to take something out of the freezer yesterday – so I had a frozen dinner, forgot to take something out today so I think I”m going to get a rotisserie chicken from Costco – already cookes, 3 or 4 meals minimum and I can use the bones for stock.

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  3. caroline says

    My mom gave me a year’s membership to emeals.com, so far I haven’t been too impressed. I’ve tried the low fat plan, low carb plan, and now I’m on the slow cooker plan. They do have both a Paleo plan and a clean eating plan that I haven’t tried yet – not sure if those would seem too restrictive to me or not since I don’t worry about gluten and what not. I just try not to eat too many prepared foods and I’m being more conscious about stuff like MSG & trans fats.

    Also wondering if anyone has seen the new Lean Cusine ‘natural’ meals – supposedly they don’t have all the preservatives and stuff of their regular ones but I did not see them at my Target. Not sure if i was looking in the wrong spot or if Target isn’t carrying them.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Caroline,
    I have perused the emeals plans for Paleo and clean eating, and they’re both decent IMO at least as far as not using processed ingredients. I just don’t like others to plan for me, I’d rather use what I have in season and what I know my family likes. I do think part of meal planning is having a routine of thinking each night, “What’s for dinner tomorrow?” and taking a few necessary steps (thawing meat) to prepare. Once you get that habit, you’ll be able to plan regularly!
    Good luck :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    caroline Reply:

    I think that’s my big issue with emeals – a lot of the menus have ingredients I don’t like (a lot of the low fat have salmon or tilapia for example, yuk). Mom is a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan and he pushes emeals as a way to budget for food. I’m still working on that, but I find I can get by on $50 a week for all meals (probably 2 eaten out at work) and the dinner only meal plan is $90.

    [Reply to this comment]

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