Spring Giveaway Week: 2 Year-Long Subscriptions to Plan to Eat!

How Plan to Eat Works and a giveaway

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

In this digital age it is easy to find a lot of great recipes online. Perhaps you pin recipes to Pinterest, bookmark them, or save them to your computer. Whatever you do, there are still the extra steps of menu planning and grocery list making to deal with.

Plan to Eat makes all of this so easy, you won’t believe it.

Here’s a basic rundown of how Plan to Eat works:

Virtual Recipe Book

Plan to Eat allows you to save recipes to a virtual recipe book. It’s like having your own customized cookbook with only recipes you love and use (or ones you want to try).

Recipes can be typed directly into Plan to Eat or saved from around the web. It’s easy to add recipes using the handy Save Recipe button in your web-browser tool bar.

Save recipe button

Just click the Save Recipe button whenever you find a great recipe online and Plan to Eat will fill in the ingredients and directions for you:

PTE saving recipe screen

It will also include a link to where the recipe was found, a picture, and select whether it is a main course, side dish, soup, and so on. This can also be done manually.

Sometimes this info doesn’t upload and you will need to copy and paste it in yourself. But this is fairly quick.

Add categories, tags, and any other information you like before saving.

I used the tag feature a lot when I was doing the Whole 30 challenge. It was nice to be able to easily filter my saved recipes by label so I could select a menu just from the Whole 30 approved recipes, without wading through all of the ingredients.

Saving a recipe from the web adds it to your Plan to Eat recipe book; you then have the option of adding the recipe to your planning queue or directly to your meal planner, if desired (or do nothing and simply save it to the recipe book).

Plan to Eat also allows you to save recipes of friends and join recipe groups. These recipes will be part of your recipe book and visible when menu planning.

Meal Planner

The most exciting aspect of Plan to Eat is how easy it makes meal planning.

PTE menu planner screen shot 1

The drag-and-drop feature makes planning a menu quick and simple.

View recipes in the left bar and drag them to the appropriate day and meal. If you make a a mistake, simply delete it.

I love how clean dragging and dropping is. When I plan on paper I often find myself writing  a meal, then scribbling it out when I realize it is not suitable for a particular day. With Plan to Eat I simply drag it somewhere else. So nice!

Recipes can be filtered in the left bar to make finding what you want easier. For example, you may choose to view only main courses when planning dinner and breakfasts only when planning your morning meals.

It’s also possible to filter recipes by tag, member, website, or rating, or view saved menus, or your queue (recipes can be added to the queue after saving online or when viewing in the recipe book).

Notes and extra ingredients can be added to each meal. For example, say I planned a baked salmon dish for dinner but wanted to add a side salad. I could drag the salmon recipe to the dinner space and side salad to the notes and add lettuce, carrots, tomatoes to the ingredients list (if I want them added to the shopping list).

add ingredient

Meals can also be added to the meal plan directly from the recipe book. This is handy if you are browsing through recipes and find something you know you’d like to make this week or next. When that happens, just click “plan” and a calender will pop up. Then select a date and it’s on the menu. Easy.

Shopping List

Plan to Eat automatically generates a shopping list based on the menu plan you created. This saves me lots of time! No flipping through cookbooks trying to make sure I have all of the ingredients.

Ingredients are even categorized!

PTE shopping list

The beauty of this is that shopping lists can be viewed on your smartphone while at the store! No lost shopping lists (mine always hides at the bottom of my purse or is left on the kitchen table!).

Occasionally items will show up as instructions, such as: “combine yogurt and berries in a bowl.” This is easily remedied (simply, click and edit).

Shopping lists can be edited considerably, items deleted, and ingredients rearranged (drag and drop to whichever location and order you chose).

Menu plans and shopping lists can be created for any time frame you choose. If you only shop once a month or every other week, you can print off everything you need to buy or view it on your phone.

Mobile Ready

PTE mobile ready
Image from Plan to Eat

The recipe book, meal plan, and shopping list are all viewable on your phone. I don’t have a smartphone, but have viewed them on my iPod touch. I love this feature!

You can also check off items once they are purchased and even view your previously purchased items (pantry inventory) so you know exactly what you need to buy.

The whole mobile ready thing saves a lot of time and frustration (if you’re apt to lose things). It also cuts down on paper clutter.

Is it worth the cost?

I signed up for Plan to Eat a few months ago (after seeing it around the web for almost a year). I was worried it wasn’t worth the money; couldn’t I save recipes online for free?

After using Plan to Eat for some time, I can say that yes, it is worth the investment. While it’s true I could save  recipes online for free, I can’t organize then, menu plan with them, or create shopping lists with then as simply as I can with Plan to Eat.

I find that Plan to Eat saves me time and money as well as keeps me organized (at least in the menu planning department). I paid for my own Plan to Eat membership and plan to renew again next year.

You can win a membership!

Today we are thrilled to offer 2 year-long memberships (worth $39 each) to our readers, because we are such huge proponents of meal planning! It saves you time, money, sanity, and truly helps you to put nutritious, homemade meals on your table.

If you know that you need to make strides towards regular meal planning and you’re looking for a tool to help you do it, I highly recommend that you check out Plan to Eat’s tour (so that you can see what it’s all about) and then sign up for a free 30-day trial to see how it would work for you!

Would you like to be entered to win 1 of 2 Year-Long Memberships to Plan to Eat ($39 value each)?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As a huge bonus, all Keeper of the Home readers who use the coupon code “NaturallyInspired” before July 31 will receive 30% off of their annual subscription to Plan to Eat.

Giveaway ends 6/9/2013 at midnight.

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. I honestly use and love this system. This giveaway was generously sponsored by Plan to Eat.



  1. This is an area where I really struggle. I can’t have corn, eggs, or gluten, and I have found myself cooking the same meals all the time. Thankfully, my family doesn’t care. But I would love some help with meal planning!

  2. I do meal plan and my biggest struggle is finding time to do it so it’s not last minute. And then, going through each individual recipe and putting all of the ingredients on my grocery list.

  3. I love meal planning each week, but picking out meals, writing out a list and doing all the grocery shopping takes up a lot of time.

  4. I try to meal plan, but I go through seasons where I’m not consistent. Our diet definitely suffers when I don’t plan!

  5. This program facinates me. I’m going into grad school in September and the need to meal plan for my family has become a huge thing for me, espcially since my husband can’t cook (at least not if we want to enjoy what we eat :D). I love the idea of the technology involved and the availability of the shopping list on my phone!

  6. Oops! Forgot to mention… We plan our meals 75% of the time. It is helpful to have everything planned out, but it takes some time and effort!

  7. I’ve become much better at meal planning, but still procrastinate each day in getting supper started so that we can eat at decent time.

  8. I signed up for the free trial via the homemaking bundle, figuring I would try Plan to Eat but not expecting much. Wow, was I wrong! I really am a pen & paper girl at heart, but this site makes it so very much easier. . .now to find room in the budget to subscribe. 🙂

  9. Yes I do plan may meals weekly. I’d like to do it more often but I usually only buy what’s on sale so I wait for the grocery store ad, see what’s left in the fridge and freezer, then put together my plan.

  10. I was on the verge of ordering a meal service plan but that seems crazy since I have so many great recipes printed out already. I just need a way to organize them!

  11. I do meal plan. I am lost without my plan. I do have a really hard time keeping track of all my online recipes and have wished for an easier way to organize them.

  12. I’ve often thought long term meal planning was something I should look into. Your program looks great.

  13. I am bad about meal planning. But as my four kiddos grow and eat more food, it’s going to be necessary for me to start planning so that I can stay in our budget. I do find most of my recipes online and I am constantly relooking up recipes, so I can see that this would be handy to have all my favorite recipes in one spot!

  14. I am just starting meal planning, and I think my biggest challenge is coordinating my shopping list with the store circulars and coupons I have. I think this tool will free up some time for bargain hunting!

  15. Constantly searching the web for the next “freebie” meal plan I can download… It’s a good idea to start planning myself (with the help of a pleasantly and thought-through software!).

  16. I do menu plan. My biggest struggle is finding foods that the whole family will eat. Yes I do try to pease everyone. Also, my daughter needs to eat gluten free now and that has been a struggle.

  17. I try to meal plan!! I can do it here and there. My struggle is keeping it up and sticking to it. I know it helps but after a few weeks I end up having no variety for my family.

  18. I do meal plan, but it’s suffering again as I battle first trimester with baby #4. Fortunately, I’m pretty good about stocking the freezer as I cook (doubling things, etc.), so when I just can’t face the kitchen at 4:30pm, I hop on down to the basement freezer!

  19. We’re doing a trial of Plan To Eat right now and it is great. I’d love to win a subscription!

  20. My attempts to meal plan have been sporadic. I would like to be more consistent about it. Plan to Eat would be a great help!

  21. We kind of meal plan. I give hubby our list of main dishes for dinner and a dry erase marker and he marks what sounds good for dinner the next week. I then make my shopping list from that. No plan for lunch or breakfasts at all.

  22. Menu planning is always a struggle for me and more often than not I find myself doing the 5 o’clock shuffle to get dinner on the table. I’d love to win a plan to eat membership, and see if it takes away some of the frustration for me.

  23. Just started the free trial a week ago, and so far it is going great! I have always meal-planned, but it’s nice to have the grocery list made out for me so that I don’t forget anything and have to make an extra trip to the store.

  24. Yes I meal plan but my trouble is with creativity. I don’t like to serve the same thing over and over.

  25. I just started menu planning regularly a couple of months ago, and it has really helped me be better about cooking meals at home and being better prepared to feed my family healthy meals, but my biggest challenge is the time investment. I hope Plan to Eat might help with that.

  26. I’ve just recently started to meal plan and am excited to start my free trial! My biggest problem with meal planning is lack of organization and planning on your part!

  27. My biggest struggle is the tediousness of the time it takes to plug in the recipes into the days but then mostly in generating a grocery list based on those ingredients (I plan a whole month at a time). Plan To Eat would be sooo helpful!

  28. I have begun to meal plan but struggled with the organization all of it. I love plan to eat! It has saved the day for me.

  29. I meal plan occasionally. My problem with many pre-made meal plans is that I tend to be picky and am also GF, so it can be hard to make things fit for me!

  30. I get stuck in a rut with meal planning. We eat the same thing over and over again. I cant seem to plan beyond what I already know and I have a hard time coming up with yummy ideas for meals.

  31. Yes, I meal plan… The hardest part is coming up with new things… We tend to get into a rut…

  32. As the parent of two autistic children, anything that will help me to plan meals for my family would be very much appreciated, especially with regard to meals that avoid gluten, dairy, and soy. Thanks! 🙂

  33. I try to meal plan because I hate running to the grocery store everyday. But I have a hard time meal planning because I can never decide what to cook. It takes me forever to plan out just a week. I am trying the subscription now, and Plan to Eat has already made a difference. I love seeing the calender and the pictures of the food right next to each other and seeing how big my grocery list gets so I can make changes if needed. I was originally unsure if it would be worth it, but I could see myself purchasing a subscription.

  34. My biggest struggle is coming up with a menu that is frugal and healthy – and that my kids will like!

  35. I do meal plan, but I struggle with not being in a rut with the same meals over and over. I like to keep it simple, but interesting.

  36. I TRY to meal plan, but I’m in a very busy season right now… getting ready to have our first baby in just a few days! I know this will only get more hectic, especially with my family coming down for over a week and trying to get adjusted to having a new person in the house! It’s usually last-minute left-overs or something out of a box for us!

  37. I’ve never had success at planning meals, so I’ve not convinced myself to spend money for this purpose. Winning a 1 year subscription would be fabulous; I might have a chance to be successful this time around!

  38. Have heard so many good things about this site! With my husband and I being is school and working, this would be so nice for our meal planning!

  39. Biggest meal challenge – feeling like cooking in the heat! I need more meals for summer that don’t need cooking/baking!

  40. I signed up for the 30 day trial and really loved it. I would love to win the year subscription. I have a hard time staying on track meal planning. I know this would help. Thanks for the opportunity.

  41. I’ve just started meal planning (as in: I started THIS WEEK), and I can already see how much time and money it would save me if I were to make it a habit. I’ve been wanting to plan things out better for a while, but I never seem to find a good time to sit down and do the planning. That’s my biggest challenge.

  42. I do meal plan, my biggest struggle is finding my meal options to suit our ever changing calendar and dietary needs!

  43. I really really want to meal plan. I know it would simplify my life but my biggest obstacle is just taking the time to do it.

  44. I have tried to plan our meals but it is so hard with me working full-time and all the activities we have. This sounds great!

  45. I do meal plan but I have a hard time gathering all my recipes (cookbooks, pinterest, random pieces of paper).

  46. I enjoy meal planning, however the downside is how much time is takes! I love to try new recipes and hardly fix the same thing twice so I am constantly looking for something new a fix weekly. Also, we are about to have a baby! (Next month) So I know my time for meal planning is quickly disappearing and I am apprehensive about how it will work with a baby.

  47. The biggest challenge for me is coordinating the ingredients, menu, etc. I do an okay job of figuring out what we’re going to eat for the next week or two, but if I try to make a shopping list off the top of my head, I inevitably forget something. If I spend the time looking up all the recipes, it takes forever! Plan to Eat looks like the answer 🙂

  48. I’m just starting to use Plan to Eat on a trial period and am still learning about the best way it will work for us. The hardest part is making the plan fit our life or our day. For example my young boys might be too fussy for me to cook for that evening and will have to switch to a simpler meal.

  49. I menu plan to save money, time and stress. With 5 growing boys and a hungry husband it makes my life much easier to have at least a rough plan of what’s going to be on the table.

  50. I used to meal plan, but after a while it becomes very hard. You run out of ideas to please all with a family of 6. I’m hoping this website is my saving grace! 🙂

  51. My biggest challenges are motivatioion and organization, so this would be a great tool to help with that!

  52. Love this idea!! I waste SOOO much money on food I think I need, and so much of it goes bad.

  53. I do meal plan but it’s hard to keep up with. It takes a long time and if I get behind, it’s hard to get back on track.

  54. I do meal plan – I have to, since I work outside the home and get home too late to cook a whole meal from scratch or have a lengthy preparation. My biggest challenge is just to figure out what I’m cooking for the next week. Once I get the ideas, it’s easy to plan and shop.

  55. I used plantoeat a couple years ago but stopped planning our meals for a while. I’m back to planning our meals again so I would like to see the improved version of plantoeat.

  56. Would love this. I actually have the free trial from the recent bundle. I would love to have friends who have some of the recipes from Keeper of the home or whole food recipes.

    1. I meal plan as well. My biggest struggle is coming up with enough variety and adding fresh produce to meals.

  57. I do meal plan and my biggest struggle is remembering the meals that are hits, having a variety, and my shopping list- always forgetting what meals I have planned when I’m in the store to double check that I have all the ingredients or if I can sub something that is on sale.

  58. I’d love to win a year subscription. I currently don’t meal plan but am interested in starting.

  59. My biggest struggle with meal planning is remembering to get all needed ingredients on to my shopping list and also searching through all my recipes that are in multiple places! This would be a great tool to win!

  60. This would great to win! I’m currently using the free trail and have enjoyed it so far. Thanks for the opportunity.

  61. I want to be better at meal planning to save me money at the grocery store. I also get tired of the same thing over and over again. Can’t wait to try it!

  62. I do meal plan each week. My biggest challenge is trying to incorporate new recipes while trying not to forget the old favorites. It’s hard to organize and make a list without spending too much time on it.

  63. We just started Trim Healthy Mama, so my biggest challenge is fitting in the needs of the plan along with the needs of the 3 little ones.

  64. I definitely try – the hardest part is finding the time to think of new items to try and work them in. We get in a rut of eating the same meals but I love to try new recipes. With a little one and house to take care of it’s hard to find the time to look and plan.

  65. I menu plan, the hardest part is sticking to it for a whole month. I do well for a few weeks, then I lose my list or something gets planned in an evening and everything gets pushed back and we don’t finish the month out.

  66. I love Plan to Eat. I just have to get everything set up. Menu planning can really make a difference in the budget.

  67. I do try to menu plan. I currently use eMeals but find the repetition of the same type of meals a little too much. I would like to try Plan to Eat!

  68. My biggest struggle is follow through. I’ll write stuff down and then do the recipes often because I don’t have all the ingredients.

  69. With three little ones I have a hard time finding time to cook real meals. Coaxing them to try new things also wears me out. It is easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same things every week!

  70. I meal plan each week and I just get so tired of trying to keep track of all the recipes used and how often I use them. Seeing them on a calendar will be so nice!

  71. I meal plan but the most difficult thing is our schedule. Sometimes our schedule gets so hectic it complete disrupts our plans and then it’s hard to stay on track.

  72. My biggest struggle is keeping track of the recipes I’ve used in the past (and making sure I haven’t made the same thing too many times in a short time period.)

  73. I’ve been looking for something to get me into menu planning as I am very disorganized adn have much lack of focus. Haven’t found something like this yet, going to check it out 🙂

  74. I don’t meal-plan right now, largely because cooking is always a spur-of-the-moment creative outlet for me. I just get struck by “moods” of what I want to make on a given day. But since we are planning to do an elimination diet for food sensitivities (and want to stick to real/traditional food while we’re at it), I realize meal-planning might be a necessity.

  75. Yes, I do currently meal plan…but I struggle w/ ordering the right amounts of each food item (as we order from azurestandard). I don’t want to be wasteful, but I also don’t want to run out of necessary groceries before the end of the month! :0)

  76. Ahhh….I really could use this subscription for organization and inspiration in my meal planning…plus my husband and 2 daughters would be oh so grateful! 🙂

  77. I absolutely meal plan. Usually though I see what I have available and could put together, then I take that list and put it on the fridge and as we eat each meal I cross it off.

  78. Really hoping that using plan to eat will help me get menu planning under control before my new baby comes!

  79. You didn’t mention that you can share recipes with other PTE members. I have been using PTE on and off since the creation of the website. It is awesome! But, I would love to have more whole foodie friends to get recipes from!

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