Creative Meal Planning with Imperfect Foods and Plan to Eat

I am changing things up at home in the kitchen with the help of Imperfect Foods and Plan to Eat. I am going to show you my new way of meal planning as well as share with you the upcoming menu for January 10th – 23rd.

Step One:

On the evening that my shopping window opens at Imperfect Foods (Thursdays), I scroll through all of the available products: produce, pantry, dairy, snacks, plant-based, meat & fish, and wellness. Then I select the items that I wish to purchase, I have until noon Saturday when my window closes to make these selections final. These items will then arrive at my doorstep on Tuesday, the delivery day for my area.

Here is this week’s order:

  • Imperfect Foods Boneless Skinless Seasoned Chicken Breast for Fajitas (14 oz) 1 $5.99
  • Atoria’s Family Bakery Traditional Naan Bread (2 ct) 1 $2.79
  • Organic Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (1 pack) 1 $4.99
  • Organic Cucumber (1 ct) 1 $1.99
  • Atoria’s Family Bakery Traditional Pita Bread (6 ct) 1 $3.19
  • Organic Cilantro (1 bunch) 1 $1.69
  • Organic Green Leaf Lettuce (1 head) 1 $2.99
  • Imperfect Foods All Natural Smoked Apple Gouda Chicken Sausage (5 ct) 1 $5.99
  • True Story Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage (4 ct) 1 $5.99
  • Coleman Natural Foods Boneless Pork Loin Roast (18 oz) 1 $6.99
  • Coleman Natural Foods Applewood Smoked Bacon (No Sugar Added) (12 oz) 1 $5.99
  • Imperfect Foods Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (8 oz) 1 $3.49
  • Nuovo Pasta Fresh Fettuccine (9 oz) 1 $3.99
  • Imperfect Foods Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (14 oz) 1 $5.49
  • Red Bell Peppers (2 ct) 1 $2.29

Subtotal $63.85
Discount $0.00
Delivery Charge $0.00
Tax $3.84
Credits $0.00

Grand Total $67.69

Step Two:

Based on the items I selected, I begin creating a list of meals that I will use from my upcoming purchase. This is where my creativity is coming in; as well as, my growing meals on Plan to Eat, Pinterest, and my supply of cookbooks. I will incorporate family favorites and include some new recipes as well.

Here is the list I created:

Step three:

I take a look at my planner and see what is going on for the week (after school meetings, out to dinner plans, evening activities, my husband’s work schedule, etc). Then I start plugging in the above meals in the Plan to Eat Planner. I make sure to include the notes of eating out on the planner and also rearrange meals to have leftovers on busy weeknights or when my husband is at work (he is on 24 hour shifts as an EMT).

Step Four:

This is the fun part, thanks to Plan to Eat! Once the meals are in place, I select Shop and the dates that I am creating a grocery shopping list for. Plan to Eat will take all of the meals and ingredients that I have added to the planner and create a shopping list so that I can create all of these delicious meals.

You can see in the image that it separates out the items in categories and groups like items to make shopping list creation super easy and manageable.

Step Five:

Now I go through and remove from the shopping list all items that are coming in the Imperfect Foods delivery as well as any items I already have at home. I like to physically go through my refrigerator, spice cabinet, and pantry to take inventory and not rely on my memory. This is a good time to straighten things up, wipe things down, and throw out anything that has gone bad or expired.

Step Six:

Add additional items for lunches, breakfasts, snacks, and beverages; plus the items on the magnetic list I keep on the side of the fridge for requests.

Step Seven:

On the Plan to Eat Mobile App you can choose Grocery Delivery! This will move everything from your shopping list to your online grocer of choice. Here I select Walmart, choose the preferred brands and sizes, add them to my cart, and then select pick up.

Step Eight:

Print out menus and post on fridge! Menus are also available on the phone app and are completely functionable. If I need the recipe, I just click on the meal. If there is a change of plans it is easy to reschedule. Plan to Eat also links to my calendar app so I see what I have planned when I check out my day each morning.

On average it takes me about an hour to an hour and a half to complete this eight step task. This seems like a lot; however, for the next 2 weeks I know the answer to the question what are we having and I have only one shopping trip (well my husband does.. he is picking them up on the way home from work). I would say this saves a lot of time, decision making, and hassle… not to mention money since I purchased what I needed and plan on using.

How do you plan and create your meals? Please let me know in the comments below.

Until next time..

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