Not too long ago, I used to show up at the grocery store and wander aimlessly around the aisles looking for inspiration. Sometimes inspiration would come, and other times I just threw some staples in the cart (along with overpriced chocolate bars) and got out of there.
At home, my beautiful farm box produce would often wilt and go mushy before I actually got around to cooking it, and more often than I’d like to admit, I’d throw a frozen pizza in the oven for a quick dinner.
These days, I’m feeding two growing (and often picky kids) plus me and my hungry husband (who happens to be gluten free). My fridge is full of delicious real food – most of which I cook up on a Sunday so that I just have to reheat it during the week.
Trips to the grocery store are an efficient and organized event, because I show up with a precise list of what I need. I’m in and out without spending money on ingredients I’ll never use.
I’d love to say that I'm just an ace at being organized and staying on track, but the fact is, I’ve figured out a way to cheat the system…
I got my hubby to build me something really cool
For years, I made meal plans on scraps of paper or in a notepad on my phone. I tried many online meal planners, but they were never flexible or convenient enough for me – creating more work in the long run.
So after enough moaning about it, I somehow convinced my uber-geek genius husband to build me an online meal planner that worked exactly how I wanted, and Real Plans was born.
Check out this video to see what it’s all about…
You guys! I may be a bit partial, but I'm pretty sure this is the best meal planner in the universe.
Meal Plans customized for YOU
If I've learned anything from creating on online meal planner, it's that no one eats the same way.
So rather than rigid plans of what you should make and eat, with Real Plans you have the flexibility to adjust to your family's specific and changing needs – swap out ingredients that you don’t (or can’t) eat, discard dishes you don’t like, or pick recipes based on the stuff you actually have in your house.
You're left with a REALISTIC plan of what you actually can pull off cooking each week in your own real life.
Attention, control freaks: Don't want to be told what to eat? Simply clear the entire week and pick your own meals from the Recipe Box and/or import your own!
Beyond the planned out meals, you’re also getting a carefully thought-out (and totally dynamic) timeline and shopping list. The timeline changes with each recipe you add or delete, and tells you when to thaw/soak/prep ingredients and any other tips and tricks you need to know about preparing each dish.
The shopping list – rather than being a static PDF – categorizes everything based on how you typically shop at a supermarket. (For example, all the produce, spices, and bottled goods are all grouped together.) You can then check off anything you already have in your kitchen, add anything else you want to your list, and then take it to the store. You can choose to print, email, or open your shopping list on your smart phone.
What about the food?
Real Plans comes with over 1500 fool-proof real food dishes – that I have personally tested, photographed, and feed to my family. Though I prefer simple recipes, we are some serious foodies, so I can guarantee you, these recipes are simple and delicious.
Beyond my own personally tested recipes, we are thrilled to have partnered with some of my favorite and most talented blogger friends to bring you even more deliciousness. You can choose to add recipes from:
Autoimmune Wellness – 240+ amazingly scrumptious allergen-free dishes to help you succeed on your path to healing.
Carlsbad Cravings – 200+ daringly delicious meals with big, bold flavors – fun food can be the best gateway to healthy eating.
Cookie + Kate – 300+ celebrating whole foods with a set of beautifully presented, fresh vegetarian dishes.
Fed + Fit – 250+ recipes to help you enjoy the fulfilling life of food and fitness!
Health, Home, & Happiness – 250+ GAPS recipes to support healing from the inside out.
Naturally Ella – 250+ gorgeous plant-based dishes that will bring health and comfort to your kitchen. Includes eggs and dairy.
Nom Nom Paleo – 250+ fun and tasty recipes from Award-winning cookbook author and iconic paleo blogger, Michelle Tam.
Nourished Kitchen – 250+ classic recipes and culinary delights highlighting seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients.
PaleOMG – 650+ delicious and sometimes naughty paleo recipes for folks who love food (and chocolate).
Tasty Yummies – 250+ real food recipes that are gluten-free, unprocessed, clean, fresh, whole, nutrient dense & seasonal.
The Paleo Mom – 250+ recipes from renowned expert in AIP (autoimmune paleo) family-friendly paleo.
Well Fed – 200+ mostly Whole30 compliant recipes from the wildly popular cookbook author and blogger, Melissa Joulwan.
Wellness Mama – 500+ simple and delicious homestyle dishes that your whole family will love – by a real-life busy mama.
Whole30 – 500+ recipes. Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of the Whole30, teamed up with the Real Plans team to create a Whole30 meal planner.
When it comes to meal planning, it doesn’t get any easier for those with even more restrictive diets due to allergies or other health concerns. Real Plans allows you to exclude whole food groups (like shellfish or nightshades), and gives you the option to exclude specific ingredients, too. And then…MAGIC! You’re presented with a complete week-long meal plan – totally customized according to your specific dietary preferences.
Who should NOT use Real Plans
If you have no interest in cooking, never buy groceries, or can’t figure out how to turn on your computer, Real Plans is probably not for you.
If you prefer to wander around the grocery store aimlessly throwing items into your cart, only to come home and dream up something to do with them – Real Plans is not for you either.
We’ve designed this meal planner to meet the needs of everyone from the seasoned home chef to the real food newbies who are still learning their way around the kitchen.
Need inspiration for dinners? We’ve got you covered.
Prefer to cook your family’s favorites again and again throughout the month? Use Real Plans to keep your own recipes organized and your shopping list precise.
Do you cook like a maniac on the weekend and then wing it the rest of the week with leftovers and meals out? You can customize Real Plans regardless of your cooking and eating routines to make your planning and shopping so much more efficient.
Not sure if Real Plans is for you? Try it out – we offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you don’t love it, you get a refund in full.