If you’re anything like me, you wait until the last minute to decide what’s for dinner. The problem with this is that some traditional meals need advanced preparation. Also, if you’re not a master chef, you may be stuck in a recipe rut and have no idea what to do with the random green onions, broccoli, or even sardines in your kitchen.
Enter Real Plans, the affordable meal planning service designed to deliver wholesome food for the advance planner or even the cooking inexperienced. I have been using Real Plans to plan meals by the week for my family. It has saved me a lot of guess work and stress, especially now that I have a new baby.
After researching meal plans to save time and money in our home, however, I found that most meal plan services use recipes with ingredients I do not approve of nor use. I did not want to do the extra step of adjusting basic recipes with real food. I wanted a plan that already had ingredients at my disposal, that I don’t question. Real Plans was the solution I found that not only uses real food with wholesome ingredients and meets all of my planning requirements.
Through the service, I determined the following items that I love and make it unique:
1. Serving Size Can Be Adjusted
The meals are customized for you based on your family size. For example, if a recipe serves 6, the software will customize the recipe to your family size. I currently have a family of 3, with 2 adults, so I set the serving sizes for 2 adults. The software gives you an exact amount of items to purchase in shopping list form. Without this meal planning service, most of the time I end up buying too much food and some of it goes to waste.
You are able to view this from the Real Plans app, send an email of the list or print it. You can check off the items you already have, which is really convenient.
2. Customized Diets
The meals are customized based on your own diet and restrictions. If you are allergic to tomatoes, you can specify that you cannot have recipes with tomatoes. You can choose many different diets for your meal plan, including paleo, dairy free, gluten free and traditional.
3. Unlimited Recipes
You are able to import any recipe to use in your meal plan. The recipes do not have to be from the Real Plans database. You are able to manually type in your favorite recipes, including family recipes. One time, I had a huge beef heart that I wanted to use in my freezer. There weren’t any recipes for beef heart in the Real Plans database, so I imported a beef heart curry recipe from another website. It worked out great and no food got wasted!
4. Notes Function
You can write in notes in each day of the week. For example, there may be leftovers from dinner that you want to eat the next day. You can specify that in your notes. Another great example is if you are cooking traditionally and you have a recipe for whole grains or beans, they would need to be soaked in advance. You can put a note in the previous day to soak your beans or your grains to have them ready to be cooked the next day.
It doesn’t overload you with recipes, unless you want it to. The creators of Real Plans don’t want to overwhelm you with cooking for every meal, so it gets you started with selected meals throughout the week to cook from their chosen recipes. However, if you want to create something new for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, it gives you the option to choose more recipes to cook.
If there is one thing you take away from this article it is that I really love using Real Plans for my family. As a health coach and blogger, I am continually creating new meals that I not only serve but share with you all and for this I would definitely recommend using this on a regular basis because of the benefits I shared above.