I’m big on saving recipes. I don’t always use the ones I save. But you never know. Right? The problem with all my past recipe-saving endeavors was the card boxes, the folded food-stained hunks of paper and the dog-eared cookbooks shoved into a cupboard. I needed a recipe organizing strategy. This post is a review of an app that solved all my problems as well as suggestions to make it work for you.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for the recipe cards I still have in my mom’s handwriting. Especially the ones I remember her making when I was a child. But, if it crosses my mind to look for “Chili Corn Chip Supper” from the 70’s I would be up a CREEK trying to find it! (I know it’s in there somewhere, but WHERE?!)
Then, six years ago, I discovered Plan to Eat, a recipe saving, recipe organizing, menu planning, grocery list creating ‘dream come true’! I joined after trying the app for the 30-day free trial. I renew every year and don’t ever plan on stopping! I’ve saved about 850 recipes and have had tons shared with me from my PTE friends. 🙂
Let me rave about this app for a little while. You know when you finally land on that perfect kitchen tool or read that ‘can’t put it down’ book? You want to tell everyone you know about it. That’s what I’m doing here!
Plan to Eat is an extremely comprehensive, well-thought-out application for its purpose. And, they keep finding new ways to improve it, adding new features all the time. There’s also a Facebook page, a Plan to Eat Podcast, and a Plan to Eat FB Group.
#1 Saving Recipes is Easy with the Ability to Grab them off the Internet
The ability to grab recipes off any website and pop them into the app with the use of the PTE extension is probably my favorite PTE tool. Instructions are shared at the website on how to download and start using that extension.
Per a recent email from PTE, grabbing and saving recipes from Pinterest is really smart. If you’re a pinner you probably have at least one recipe board. I know I currently have about 5! While it’s fun to save those colorful pins, other than getting them into an appropriate board, they aren’t very easy to retrieve and actually cook. However, if you’ve got a minute to shop through your recipe boards you can import them into PTE and then organize them in an easily retrievable fashion. Or, as you’re saving a new recipe onto a board, just click the Plan to Eat clipper.
Once the recipe is in process of being downloaded you can edit to add the course, cuisine, and main ingredients. You can also add tags that are important to you. I have a list that includes Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, and some of my favorite food bloggers whose recipes I save. I love The Recipe Rebel, A Southern Soul, and One Dish Kitchen.
#2 Plan to Eat App: Recipe Organizing Tools
So you’ve grabbed a recipe and saved it into the appropriate categories and tags in the Cook section. Since you now have created a database of recipes you can sort by any of the categories and tags, You can also sort by cool things like Recently Added, Times Planned, Rating (yours), and Website.
If you’ve got chicken thighs out and you need an Asian one-pot dinner for two, search that on your Plan to Eat dashboard. Depending how long you’ve been collecting and how many friends you have on PTE, you might several recipes or none at all. If I find I need one I don’t have, I simply search my favorite websites (The Food Network, A Southern Soul, or The Recipe Rebel) and land on one that looks good. And, then…I grab it and save it!
#3 Easy Meal Planning with the Plan to Eat App
You can easily create a calendar full of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) or just dinner if you prefer for a week or a month in the Plan section. You’re able to do a search in the Plan section of the app (as well as the Cook section). Recipes (with their photos) show up in the side panel. Next, you slide the recipes you want to include right into the day and meal of your choice. Talk about easy peasy!
Once in the Plan calendar, you can edit the day and time by simply sliding the recipe around until you’re happy with its placement. There’s a place for notes for the day and once you click on the recipe name, a window opens up with a variety of options including the recipe card, the cooking view, and add to the freezer (for meal prep).
You can have the app show the number of servings for each recipe, you can share it and print it. And, you can also modify your settings to make it just as informative as you want it to be.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the 30 day free trial so you can mess around with ALL the tools and perks of the app. It’s difficult to explain how everything works without getting your own hands on things.
Pin on Your Favorite Board
#4 Easy Shopping List Creating Tools
After adding the recipes you want to cook to the calendar, you can move on to the grocery list preparation step. The Shop section can be personalized to add your favorite store, and you can add or delete ingredients to make it just right.
I have mine set for H.E.B. and with categories that work for me. Once the shopping list populates from the Plan Calendar, I can uncheck ingredients I already have or are duplicates from within the chosen recipes. I print out my list or access it from my phone and have a successful, non-wasteful shopping trip (or online order).
If you’re lucky enough to have a personal chef who plans out your meals, that would probably be better than Plan to Eat app. But if you’re the personal chef for your family, PTE could make your time saving recipes and organizing recipes so much easier and lots more fun.
PTE is also very social! You can add friends to the app. Then, you and those friends can share recipes (I’d love to be your friend and share! My username is kathyowensrowland). There are Facebook groups, Pinterest boards, and lots of Insta photos.
Next Step: Sign up for the Free Trial
Click here and sign up to try Plan to Eat for free for 30 days – the best recipe organizer app (in my opinion!). Around Black Friday they have a yearly sale on the yearlong membership fee, but full price is very reasonable ($3.25 per month!)
I can’t recommend Plan to Eat enough. If you choose to sign up, please let me know. It would be fun to share and compare notes!
As a little thank you, I’ve put together a collection of favorite recipes I’ve saved and used through the Plan to Eat app. Fill out the form to receive Quiet Hollow’s Mini-Cookbook!
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.