Make meal planning easier with an online tool that offers recipes based on your preferences, an online shopping list, and more!
*PlateJoy provided me with a one month subscription, and I’m an affiliate of PlateJoy. When you click a link and make a purchase through PlateJoy, I earn a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting Sweet Success!
When I first started planning my meals ahead of time, it would take forever! Flipping through all my cookbooks, browsing Pinterest for recipe ideas, and going through my kitchen to see what ingredients I already had was so time consuming.
Over the years, it got easier and quicker for me, but meal planning is still one of the top struggles my health coaching clients have.
I love meal planning because it makes life easier! How many times a week do you come home from work and open up your refrigerator and ask yourself, “What should I make for dinner?” Then maybe you end up going out to eat because making dinner seems like too much work.
When you plan ahead, you save a ton of time, energy, and money, you reduce food waste, and you eat more nourishing foods.
Even though meal planning has become easier for me, I still get stuck in recipe ruts. We tend to make the same things over and over again, and we eventually get bored with our meals. Keeping variety in your diet makes eating nourishing and healthy food much more exciting and fun.
I recently tried PlateJoy, a custom meal planning service, to get some new recipe ideas and change up my meal planning technique.
When you sign up, you fill out an extensive quiz so PlateJoy can customize your meals to your preferences and lifestyle.
You answer questions about the people in your household, their wellness goals, how often you prefer to eat meat, whether there are ingredients you prefer to avoid, whether you prefer to eat seasonally, how you feel about batch cooking, how complicated you prefer recipes to be, what kitchen appliances you have, how much time you have for cooking each meal, whether you like leftovers, and more.
I loved this because I avoid dairy most of the time and I don’t eat beef or pork, so it was great to get a list of recipes that don’t include those ingredients.
After you’ve filled out your quiz, you’re given your custom meal plan with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You can go through and remove any recipes that don’t sound appealing to you and add recipes to your queue that you’d like to make.
You can also search for recipes that include ingredients you already have on hand.
After you’ve chosen the recipes that you like, PlateJoy will create your customized meal plan for the upcoming week that reduces food waste by using some of the same ingredients multiple times.
Lastly, you create your Digital Pantry, which lets PlateJoy know which ingredients from your customized recipes that you need or already have. Then you get your shopping list, which you can print out to take with you to the grocery store.
For our first and second weeks using PlateJoy, we received two breakfast recipes, a batch meal, 1-2 dinner recipes, and one snack.
Breakfast: Peach Almond Shake
Breakfast: Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bowls
Dinner: Slow Cooker Curried Chickpea Stew over Couscous
Dinner: Avocado, Black Bean & Rice Burritos
Snack: Lightly Salted Edamame
Breakfast: Blueberry Banana Flax Smoothie
Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos with Peppers and Onions
Dinner: Aloo Rajma (Red Bean and Tomato Curry)
Dinner: Chicken in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Kale
Dinner: Ginger Citrus Tofu Bowl with Rice, Bok Choy and Cashews
Snack: Dates with Almond Butter
I didn’t think the meal plans we received were enough meals for a whole week (especially since I ate the leftovers for lunch), but you can add more meals and snacks to your menu if you want.
The fiancé and I planned on the dinners provided for 2-3 nights, and I planned to eat the leftovers for my lunches (he eats lunch at work every day) for a couple of days and then eat salads on other days. On the other nights, we planned our own simple meals using up ingredients we already had in our kitchen.
We create our meal plan each week based on what our schedules look like. I always teach yoga or Pilates reformer a few nights a week, so on those nights we plan meals that don’t take as much time to make. Those were the nights we kept things simple with our own meal plan.
Overall, I really liked using PlateJoy. It was easy to use and we were able to try some new recipes and even cook with some ingredients we don’t use often (like bok choy). All of the recipes we tried were delicious, and meals that we’ll make again.
I loved having the option of getting recipes that use ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. Meal planning already helps to reduce food waste, and that feature makes reducing food waste even more effective.
I also loved the grocery list. It just felt so easy to have all the ingredients from the recipes automatically generated into a list. Rather than what I usually do…going through each recipe I plan to use throughout the week and write down every ingredient I’ll need.
PlateJoy just released a new app that you can download when you have a subscription with PlateJoy. The app allows you to have your grocery list with you on your phone rather than printing it out. The coolest feature of the app is that when you have a recipe up, your phone won’t lock.
When you join PlateJoy, you can choose the length of your subscription, and you can pause your subscription at any time.
Use code SWEETSUCCESS to get $10 off your subscription to PlateJoy.