Cue the trumpets! The day is finally here. I’m excited to share that I finally have a meal planning solution for you. Over the years, I’ve heard from more and more of you who use Cookie and Kate recipes almost exclusively at home (hooray!), and would love help planning your meals.
I’ve really wanted to help, but the logistics made my head spin. Like, what if my weekly meal plan included my latest favorite pasta dish, but your husband’s gluten free, your daughter hates olives, or you’re just not in the mood for pasta this week? RIP, meal plan.
I didn’t want to offer meal plans if I couldn’t do them right, but now I have a solution that really works. I partnered with Real Plans, a website with amazing meal-planning technology, and we added over 300 Cookie and Kate recipes to their database (which already includes over 600 vegetarian recipes).
Basically, you tell Real Plans how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners you need to plan each week, and for how many people, and it will create a menu and grocery list for you. You can customize it as much or as little as you’d like. I love to cook but hate planning; with Real Plans, I can fast-forward to the fun stuff.
How it works:
State your preferences once, and you’re done
Real Plans will only display recipes that work for you from now on. For example, I selected the “vegetarian” option, and it immediately excluded beef, poultry, etc. from my recipe options. If you hate olives, you can exclude all olive recipes. If you’re gluten intolerant on top of that, you can set it up for vegetarian, olive-free, gluten-free recipes in just a few clicks. Boom! No more sifting through recipes to find what will work.
Easy recipe adjustments
You can let Real Plans pick out your recipes for you, or you can pick them all out yourself, or anywhere in between. It’s super flexible. They will adjust all of the ingredients so the recipe yields the number of servings that you need. They even have a Tinder-style iPhone app that you can flip through to browse recipes—swipe right if you like it; swipe left if you don’t. If only dating were so easy!
Unlimited recipe options
You can add any recipe that you find on the internet to your recipe box using their bookmarklet. It’s as easy as pinning a recipe. You can also choose from my recipes, from Real Plans’ own recipes, and/or pay an extra dollar per month to access another bloggers’ recipes (like my friend, Naturally Ella).
Organized grocery lists
Once you’ve picked out your recipes for the week, you can print your grocery list or pull it up on your phone using their iPhone app. You can check off the ingredients you already have at home, and the ingredients you still need to buy are organized by section of the grocery store. If you change a recipe on your meal plan, the grocery list automatically updates. Love it!
Real Plans compiles a list of any prep work required for meals so you can review it at a glance. Granted, I try to keep prep work for my recipes to an absolute minimum so you won’t find much prep work for my recipes, but this is a great feature.
I don’t offer nutrition facts for Cookie and Kate yet (that’s actually a huge project), but Real Plans has calculated them all for you. How nice is that?!
Fantastic resources and support team
With any awesome technical solution, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Real Plans has made it so easy to learn how to use their tools, from short videos to 24/7 customer support people that will gladly answer your questions.
I really believe that Real Plans will more than pay for itself by saving you money at the grocery store (no more wasted ingredients) and by saving you time (priceless). The membership costs as little as $7 per month and you can cancel any time. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you cancel within the first 30 days (it just takes a few clicks), you can request a refund through their support team.
In summary, if you’re generally short on time, searching for last-minute dinner ideas, and/or ordering takeout more often than you’d like to be, Real Plans could be your saving grace. This is a service that I could never offer on my own, so I’m pleased to find such an awesome partner in Real Plans. Check out Real Plans here!