Sewing our Sanity

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Today is an appropriate day to post about planning meals. The day after Mother's Day. After spending the day not feeling guilty that my husband was doing the dishes, visiting a couple of garden centers with my parents, and eating a delicious pasta dinner he prepared, today I am back to the usual. (well, it is Tuesday but this is being written Monday night) Planning meals can be a challenge. Getting organized so I don't have to go to the grocery store more than once a week or so is a challenge, too. About a year ago, I discovered eMeals. When you join, you choose a meal plan and print a grocery list for the ingredients. That really simplified things for me. There were seven meals but because each meal made enough for leftovers, I never needed all seven each week. The meals were not always things everyone liked and I thought too many of the ingredients were processed. (Not that I am overly concerned with eating all natural but seriously, how many recipes with canned soup can one eat in a week?) It was great for sticking to a budget and I liked knowing what I was fixing for dinner for the week. When that subscription ran out, I tried 6 o'clock Scramble. I got a weekly menu of five meals but I could go into the recipe archive and switch the meals. And again, I could print out a grocery list. I got the subscription with a discount so when the time to renew came around, I just could not justify the extra expense nor did I feel like I could commit to an entire year.

And then I discovered...

I downloaded the app to both my iPad and my phone. (I have an android phone - there is an app for both the iPhone and for android.) I had my husband download it to his phone, too, with the same account. I can type up a list on my computer, iPad, or phone and have the list with me in the store and he can access it, too. It keeps my six-year-old busy when we shop - he checks the items off the list as we go through the store.

Now Zip List has a meal planner. I can add my own recipes to my recipe box on my Zip List or search the archives. I can use the Ziplist Recipe Clipper, similar to the Pinterest Pin It button, and add recipes from anywhere on the internet. All those recipes I have on Pinterest, I can now repin to my Zip List account. When I add any of those recipes to my menu planner for the week, the ingredients are added to my grocery list. There is still a lot to explore and figure out but I am really loving the idea. There is a blog, too, with a lot of helpful info. I see many healthy budget conscious meals in the future!


I also did eMeals for awhile and liked the concept behind it but found that there were too many similar meals each week and they really weren't seasonal.  Like hot soup in the middle of summer or 5 different chicken dishes in one week.  Then Monica told me about the Six O'Clock Scramble and I signed up.  I was very much enjoying it and the kids were liking all the meals.  I had no issues with it and was quite happy that I was preparing healthy meals for my family each week. 

And then Monica told me about ZipList. 

I checked it out and canceled my Scramble account.  There is an extensive archive of recipes and not just main dishes.  There are desserts, sides, and beverages, too.  You can also create your own recipes to add to your recipe box for staple meals that your family enjoys.  I find it to be a little like Pinterest for foodies.  


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