Meal planning is crucial for me. Well, I have a lazy-friendly strategy, but still important. Over the past few years I have had to change many of my dietary habits after realizing food was a major cause of some health issues. Cooking became a life-saver, but also an exhausting pattern of last minute grocery shopping and a growing indecisive attitude. Hello, frozen pizza. If healthy, whole food options are not readily available, it does not matter how badly I want something fresh and delicious, I’ll go with easy every time. When I am not prepared things do not work out well.
And of course if it takes too long to plan – I won’t do that either! I must be high-maintenance? I knew there had to be a way that I could enjoy the benefits of home cooked meals without exhausting myself planning.
I tried plenty of meal planning apps and settled on Pepperplate. It is the marriage of simplicity and function. But for me an app is not enough – a combination of Pinterest and Pepperplate was the solution.
If you do not already have a Pinterest food board (does anyone not have this?), create one! It is a great resource for ideas and I know that if I am busy or on a mobile device, I can always save something here quickly and know exactly where it is later.
Import to Pepperplate
– Download the Pepperplate button to your browser.
– Open your recipe in Pinterest and select to “open in Safari”(or whatever browser you use). If the website isn’t supported by the automatic add button, it will still open an easy copy/paste window.
– Click your Pepperplate browser button and you’re done! You can also add a recipe manually if you have old family recipes written on a good ol’ recipe card.
Choose + Add to Shopping List
The rest is fairly obvious – I spend a few minutes on Sunday deciding what we want that week and add to the shopping list. This syncs across all devices quickly, so either I or my husband can head to the store with just our iPhone.
The iPhone has tons of great not mentioned here, but my favorite is the ability to sort the shopping list by aisle or recipe!
I love following this pattern because using Pinterest as a tool before I add to Pepperplate gives me a chance to determine whether what I pinned in a hurry is really something I’ll make, or if it needs a few tweaks before I save it. This step is important to me because often our tendency is to save tons of stuff that we think we will make/create/read/do later, and we never see it again! With my process, nothing in Pepperplate is questionable. I know I can make everything, eat all the ingredients, and I don’t end up with an overwhelming list of unfamiliar recipes. It is a reliable resource.
A few of my favorite resources for recipes