Do you know what your Meal Planning IQ is? If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile then you probably know that meal planning is a good thing and it’s something you need to do to save money and time and to prepare foods that are better for you. But maybe you’re just not quite there and you’re still trying to figure out where to begin. Choosing recipes, making grocery lists, shopping the sales flyers, clipping coupons and more all sound good but it takes TIME.
Take The Quiz!
If you’re not sure where to start, find out what your meal planning style is by taking this fun quiz from Food On the Table. It should hopefully help you figure out where to get started and the areas you might want to learn more about.
This week, I’m kicking off my series meal planning services reviews that are available online. Meal planning services make the task simpler and the web has many of them all with slight different features. Some are totally free while others are available for a monthly or quarterly fee.
Over the next several weeks I will be highlighting various services and I’m starting with Food On the Table. I first discovered this site via OrgJunkie and I wanted to learn more. I’m not a big coupon clipper. I’ve tried it and do use coupons occasionally, but find that I buy more store brands than items I can use coupons with. Plus, my home is not that big and I’m within ten minutes of at least four grocery stores so I don’t need to stockpile. But I do like to save money. Who doesn’t?
What makes Food On the Table’s meal planning service especially unique is that it takes the sale items from your favorite stores and provides recipes based on those sale items so you’re saving money with minimal effort—a real bonus! Check out a video highlight here. I’ve listed some of the key features to help you learn more.
Cost: Free (for three meals per week) or
Premium Service (up to seven meals per week) is $26.95/quarter, $47.95/six months or $69.95/year (as low as $5.83/month).
Compare the two services here.
Interactive or Email Service: Interactive, pick and choose the ingredients you like to build your weekly menu.
Customizable? Yes, you can choose the recipes that area appealing to you.
Rated Recipes? Yes
Frequency: Choose up to three meals per week for free service or seven meals for the Premium service.
Grocery List Print/Email Option? Yes
Availability? Currently in all 50 United States.
Nutrition Facts for Recipes? Yes
Ingredient Filter? (leave out ingredients based on your preferences) Yes
Time Estimate for Preparation/Cook Time: Yes
Forum/Feedback Opportunity? Yes, there is a forum to ask questions, share other recipes, ideas, etc.
Blog? Yes, there is a blog where you can learn about other meal planning ideas or opportunities.
On Facebook? Yes
Now here’s the really fun part! Food on the Table is giving one lucky reader one month’s Premium Service for free!
Here’s How To Enter:
1. Leave a comment with your primary meal planning challenge.
2. Become a follower of my blog (link is on the left of this page)
3. Like Meal Planning Magic on Facebook
4. Email subscribe to my blog.
5. Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to your post.
6. Update your Facebook status with a link to this post.
7. “Tweet” about this post.
8. Vote for my blog at Babble.com’s Best Mom Food Bloggers (I’m currently on page 2, #64 but hopefully your votes will move me up!)
Remember, leave a comment for each entry. Only one entry per person per method listed above. If you are already a follower or subscribe to my blog, you can still have an extra entry–just mention that in the comment. Good luck!
Giveaway ends 2/11/2010 at 11:59 (CST). Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If prize is not claimed a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be posted on blog and if an email is given, they will be contacted via email. Open to US residents only (because the service is only available here–sorry to my other international readers!)
Disclosure: I discovered Food On the Table on my own a few months ago and planned to include it in my meal planning service review. In the meantime, I was contacted by the company to test the service and did receive one month’s worth of premium service and was offered a giveaway opportunity for a reader of my blog. Check out Giveaway Scout’s listing of blogs with giveaways for more chances to win great prizes (seen link to the left).