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January 13, 2017

Easy Meal Planning | Tips for work life balance Annapolis Wedding Photographer Nichole Meredith

One of my goals back in 2016 was to find work and home life balance. If you are struggling you are probably yelling “Nichole but how do I do it?! HOW?!” Now I don’t have all the answers but one thing I was introduced to last year was a GAME CHANGER for my family and that was: easy meal planning.

I know what you’re thinking, “Nichole an easy meal planning option does not exist.” Stay with me here!

Before I go into the details let me preface this with say that I absolutely hated coming up with a healthy menu and then scrambling around the grocery store to try and find the items we needed. Then upon arriving at home finding out that I already had two other half opened bottles of soy sauce so we didn’t need a third. Have you been there? Are you there now? Let us not forget the part where we get home and decide to just order a pizza because we are too tired to cook! Fresh food was going to waste, I was spending way to long grocery shopping and we weren’t eating as healthy as we could have been.

We tried Blue Apron and frankly didn’t love it. It is stressful worrying about who is going to be home for the box of groceries. I know that the food is safe for a while in the box with dry ice but it still stressed me out! The meals always seemed so bland and the cost was simply not doable for a family of 3. I love having left overs because they turn into my lunch the next day!

Then No More To-Go came into my life. It is a meal planning solution that has rocked our world. I’m going to list the 5 things I LOVE about No More To-Go along with behind the scene images about how it works once you are logged in.

  1. Easy Recipes

    A weekly menu is auto generated but if there is a meal that you aren’t too excited about you can substitute another meal! NMTG has a catalog of hundreds of recipes, with new ones being added.  After a few months of using NMTG I must say the recipes are easy to follow and delicious! If you think you can’t cook this is perfect for you. After you make the recipes following their easy instructions you can mark it as a favorite, rate it and comment on the recipe post. I love seeing other users comments on what they loved or didn’t love about a particular recipe. Head over to their sample recipes to see a few of the recipes!

    Easy meal Planning

  2. Easy Grocery Shopping

    This might be my FAVORITE part. A grocery list is auto generated for you based on the preselected meals for the week but if you choose to substitute any recipes the weekly meal plan regenerates with the ingredients needed from those recipes! YES. Then before you print you can go through your kitchen and check off everything you already have. The picture below is a sample list from our menu this week! I checked off what we already had before going shopping. We left Thursday and Friday blank since we knew we would be out of town this weekend and didn’t need to cook!

    Easy Meal Planning

  3. List organization

    Did I mention how easy the grocery shopping is? Oh but there’s more! To top it all off all of the ingredients are categorized by where you can find them in the grocery store. CAN I GET AN AMEN. No more running back and forth to opposite ends of the story because you forgot something. Oh and if you forget your list don’t worry. You can email yourself (or your spouse!) the list and access it on your phone!

  4. Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Kid Friendly

    NMTG recipes include modifications for every recipe to make them Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Kid Friendly. We have started incorporation vegetarian meals into our weekly planning and they have so far all been delicious! If you are cooking for a family of 4 and only one person needs the modification the recipes make it easy peasy!

  5. Nutrition

    Nutrition facts are provided for every recipe so I know exactly how much we are eating! This is helpful especially for those on a restricted calorie diet for health reasons or who are just trying to stay fit!

    *Bonus*

    Eating out less is fantastic but even better than that we have been able to cut our grocery bill down in half since starting NMTG and we hardly ever have fresh produce that goes bad in our fridge. We opted to go with the meal planning for a family of 4 instead of 2 since the left overs end up being my lunch the next day and there are 3 of us over here! We always end up with 1-2 full meals left over.

    Now what is the cost of all of this? No More To-Go offers 4 subscription levels ranging from $7 monthly to $64 yearly. I like to this is really the cost of two good cook books! This really was one of the best investments last year for home+work balance. I hope this easy meal planning option lets you find a little more work life balance this year! Good Luck and start cooking!

     

    Easy Meal Planning | Easy Grocery Shopping | Healthy Meal Planning

1

comments

  1. Lauren Swann

    January 13th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Such a good post Nichole! This is definitely a great hack to help solve part of the frenzy of work/life balance!

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