I don't know about you guys, but I used to be TERRIBLE about creating my Paleo meal plan. I kept meaning to plan ahead but it just seemed like this huge mountain in front of me there was no way I was going to get over.
I knew I was wasting so, so much time every night trying to decide what to cook at the last minute with what ingredients I had on hand. This resulted in less than desirable meals that were always late, not very healthy and very repetitive.
After doing my budget one day I especially knew I needed to change. We were making way too many trips to the store just grabbing whatever random ingredients we felt like, eating out way too much, throwing out way too much and spending way too much money on food.
I've known I've had this problem for years and I've known I needed to be more like my mom and plan out a week of groceries at a time and go shopping only once a week or less and spend way less time and money figuring out my meals.
It Saves Me So Much Time
But I'm a REALLY busy person and writing it all out every week on paper and sifting through paper recipes like my mom just didn't appeal to me. I knew I wanted a meal plan solution that was digital and that I could have the recipes on my iPad and share my shopping list with my husband and make changes to recipes and be able to put recipes from any website into my meal plan.
I also wanted Paleo recipes built into the meal plan so I didn't have to search on Pinterest endlessly for new recipes since my family is tired of a lot my recipes. I also wanted it to automatically suggest new recipes to me based on my preferences.
I figured such a thing couldn't and didn't exist and figured it wasn't worth my time to look. Well, I lucked out because RealPlans.com came to me and asked if I would try out their meal plan program and if I like it, promote it to my readers.
Guess what? I super love it!
What I Love the Most
While it hasn't solved every problem in the world, we have saved an average of $200 a month on our food bills. I still can't believe we save that much a month. That's crazy. I think it's just because we're going to the store less often, actually using what we buy and eating out less often.
I also love how I don't have to figure out every night what I'm going to make because I already figured it out ahead of time. BTW, it's way easier to figure out what to make ahead of time. For some reason, it's a way less emotional decision that way.
We also eat a lot more fresh foods and I do things like look at ads and plan my meals around items that are on sale. We're eating out less and trying a lot of new recipes. I make a point of trying at least one new recipe a week from Real Plans.
They have tons of great Paleo recipes built right into the app. Plus, I paid a little extra to add some of my favorite blogger's recipes. Maybe someday I'll be cool enough to be one of their partners, but until then it's so easy to import a recipe from my blog or any website just by clicking a button (my favorite way is with the Google Chrome extension).
How the Paleo Meal Plan Works
The Meal Plan tab is the main hub. Meals get added here is automatically based on your preferences or you can add them manually either directly in the Meal Plan section by searching for them or by going to the Recipe tab and searching for a recipe or filtering down to find the perfect recipes for your family.
Once you have a week or more of recipes figured out in your Meal Plan, you can go to the Timeline, which tells you what to do in what order. Like it tells you to defrost meat in the morning, prepare a slow cooker meal the night before or start a slow cooker meal in the morning.
Then there is the Grocery List tab. On here you can see all the groceries you need for any given week and check them off, see what recipe they are used in, email or print the list, add items to certain stores or lists or make a custom date range (like if you go grocery shopping every two weeks).
I love the flexibility of Real Plans and how we eat so much more healthy, save money and time and feel so much more organized and in charge of my life now.
Something for Everyone
I love how you can use their Paleo recipes or any of the other diets they have and tell it not to show you recipes that include ingredients you can't eat or don't like. It makes it so you can find a recipe everyone in your family can eat and will hopefully like.