Recently I had been feeling pretty uninspired when it came to meal planning for our family. I would wander the grocery aisles with little or no plan and ended up spending way too much money on food that would go uneaten (hello, two week old kale). I had good intentions but I needed a plan that would stick and I was tired of asking my husband for ideas and getting the same blank stare. So we both set out to find a solution and did A LOT of research! We were looking for a service that offered the following:
- Meal planning for the whole family
- New recipe ideas as well as a way to incorporate our existing favorite recipes into the plan
- A grocery list that we could easily add to
- We wanted to save money
- We wanted recipes that were quick to make and to utilize items already in the pantry or fridge
My husband and I both came across PlateJoy in our own research and when we compared notes it leaped to the top of our list. We signed up and started to personalize our plan. Moms, there are so many options. We’ve been using Platejoy now for a few months and it has cut our grocery bill IN HALF!!! (Happy dance.) Every Sunday we sit down for a few minutes and create a new menu for the week and PlateJoy creates a grocery list for us. I can easily access the list on my phone through the app and it takes all the guess work out.
There is SO much customization that we decided to go right to the source. We reached out to PlateJoy and they were more than happy to answer our mom-specific questions and offer a TSSM discount! Here is what they had to say:
Use code TSSM10 for $10 off at PlateJoy
Meal planning can seem like a daunting task, especially as a mom. How can PlateJoy help simplify our lives?
Most of us want to eat better, but life gets in the way – there just isn’t enough time to find healthy options that fit our family’s needs, that don’t have a million ingredients, and that won’t break the bank. PlateJoy solves all of that by choosing the perfect recipes (tailored to your tastes, health goals, and busy schedule), pairing them together smartly to reduce food waste and cost, and creating a shopping list so you can shop quickly and efficiently. Plus, you can even get optional same-day grocery delivery in over 200 cities nationwide, so you can finally eat the way you’ve always wanted, without any of the fuss, planning or cost.
We love that PlateJoy offers batch-cooking, make ahead meals and kid-friendly options. Can you expand on these a little?
Especially with a busy family, weeknight cooking can be a huge challenge! That’s why we offer batch meal options, which are designed to freeze well. These can be made on the weekends and reheated whenever you need them, whether that’s weeknight dinners or lunches throughout the week. You can also specify whether your family prefers new flavors, or more traditional family-friendly flavors, and you’ll see recommendations that meet your tastes.
What other options does PlateJoy offer that make cooking for a family easier?
Our goal is to make a meal plan that not only matches your tastes, but also fits your schedule. That means you can choose exactly how many meals you’re shopping for each time you create a meal plan, and can mix-and-match any combination of breakfast, lunch, dinner, batch meals and snacks. You can also select who is eating each kind of meal, so if you need lunch to bring to work, but your kids eat at school, you can set that up easily, and change it from week to week. You can also set the time you have for each type of meal, from 10-minute lunches to longer slow cooker meals that you can make ahead of time.
PlateJoy has helped our family save money and that is a wonderful thing. Can you talk a little more about that?
One of my favorite PlateJoy features is our waste reduction algorithm, which creates your meal plan by pairing recipes together to reduce food waste and save money. Plus, your Digital Pantry also remembers what you have on hand from previous meal plans, and automatically takes that into account when building your grocery list.
If you have other things on hand that you’d like to use up, you can also easily find recipes that use those ingredients (or a combination of ingredients!) in the Use Up Ingredients step when building your meal plan. I do this whenever I get 10 pounds of zucchini from my CSA and have no idea how to use it all!
Can we load our own family-favorite recipes into Platejoy’s system?
You can! You can enter your own recipes on PlateJoy, so they’ll be available to add to your meal plans whenever you’d like. All the ingredients will be seamlessly incorporated into your grocery list, and you’ll also get all the nutritional information calculated for you.
Can you talk about dietary needs and/or weight loss goals? Any tips for balancing individual needs with meals for the entire family?
One of the hardest things about losing weight is trying to get the family on board! I hear from so many people who are making one meal for themselves… and then not only make a whole separate meal for their family, but are so tempted by watching them eat it! Our approach is to make one meal everyone loves, by finding healthier substitutes for family favorites and encouraging collaboration in the kitchen. With our smart portion sizing, we show you how much to eat, so that no one is feeling deprived, but people who have a weight loss goal can stick to it.
PlateJoy is SO customizable. Can you touch on some of the highlights that moms can’t live without?
One of my favorite features is the ability to exclude any ingredient on PlateJoy, so if you have an allergy (or just hate something specific!) you never have to search through recipes or find substitutions. It’s all done for you. Plus, you’re able to search through our library for cuisines or dishes that you’re craving, and get options immediately to add to your list. I also love the ability to get packable lunches, which don’t require an oven or stove so you can easily send them to school or bring them to work.