Aug 31 10
by cara
at 1:22 PM
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Menu Planning Resource and a GIVEAWAY!

I’ve mentioned many times how crucial menu planning is to making my week go smoothly.  But it does take time to sit down, look through my recipes, compare with the grocery store sale ads for the week, and check to see what I’ve got in the freezer.  Especially with a super active three year old that is constantly demanding my attention!

What if someone else took care of your menu plan for you?  Enter Food on The Table.  I had the opportunity recently to try out Food on the Table‘s menu planning service.  They didn’t ask me to write a review and I don’t normally review products for my blog.  However I think this service could be of great use to many of you!

Food on the Table is a menu planning service that is just the solution for busy moms like me.  This graphic below sums it up perfectly!

Here’s how Food on the Table works:

  • You select your grocery store.  Food on the Table then finds the current sales at your local grocery store, and you have the option of incorporating those items into your menu for the week.
  • You select your food preferences and what you’re in the mood for.  Have a craving for shrimp?  Select it here, and you’ll get a shrimp dish (or two!) as part of your weekly menu.
  • Then Food on the Table provides meal suggestions based on your grocery store sales, food preferences, and what is most important to you (quick recipes, cheap meals, etc).  At this point, you can use the suggested recipes or view some similar recipes to create your meal plan for the week.
  • Time for your grocery list!  Food on the Table generates a cumulative, printable grocery list for the week based on your menu plan.  You can review the list and delete things you already have on hand and add personal items.

Things I liked about Food on the Table:

  • Nutritional info for recipes is provided along with the serving size.
  • I love that you can personalize by grocery store sales and food preferences.  I usually only buy the meat that is on sale, and we’ve got picky eaters here, so this is perfect for me.
  • Tasty recipes!  All the recipes I tried were delicious!
  • Grocery lists keep the whole week in mind, and figure out the total amounts needed.
  • Easy to use website!

Things that need work:

  • I’d like to see fewer processed foods on the ingredients lists, but I am comfortable enough making substitutions that it’s a non-issue for me in most cases.
  • A way to exclude certain ingredients for allergies or special diets.  Luckily we don’t have food allergies anymore, but when my son was allergic to eggs and milk this would have been a helpful feature.

Overall, this is a great service for anyone who needs a little help planning their menus.  Not only are you getting your dinners planned, but you can save time and money at the grocery store and try delicious new recipes at the same time!  Head on over to the Food on the Table’s website to check it out.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!! The nice folks at Food on the Table have offered one of my readers a $25 gift card to the grocery store of your choice! (How cool is that?!  You get to pick the store!)

You can earn up to THREE entries:

(1)Please leave a comment answering the following question: What’s your biggest meal planning hurdle?

(2) Leave a separate comment after you subscribe to The Picky Apple’s RSS Feed or via email.  Or let me know that you already subscribe.

(3) Leave a separate comment after you join The Picky Apple on Facebook or let me know that you’re already a FB fan.

I’ll leave comments open until 12pm EST on Friday, September, 3.  The winner will be selected randomly and announced on Friday evening.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free 30-day trial of Food on the Table’s premium service, but they did not require me to write this review.

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From menu

  1. Andrea permalink

    My biggest hurdle with meal planning is the fact that I never want to eat the meals I’ve planned. I like to eat according to cravings and whim, and hate feeling like I have to eat something I don’t want just because I’ve planned (and defrosted) for it. Food on the Table might be able to help with that by putting new recipes into my repertoire.

  2. This service sounds really cool. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  3. I follow TPA on Google Reader!

  4. I just joined TPA’s Facebook page. Thanks!

  5. Amanda W permalink

    I follow you on Facebook!!! 🙂

  6. Amanda W permalink

    My biggest meal-planning challenge is time and picky kids!!

  7. Emily Loomis permalink

    My biggest meal planning hurdle is timing.

    It’s hard to plan dinners in this house, [with 2 picky eaters: I myself like greens; my stepson always wants “chicken AND steak” or “salmon AND steak”, and he won’t touch the greens; Dad will eat ‘dirt’…he’s not picky]. But with 2 parents working all day while kiddo is at school all day all the way across town, we don’t get home to start dinner until 6pm at the earliest. We can only hope the meat is defrosted.

    Kiddo does homework while Dad and I cook…and if we ran out of milk (which happens too often) it is because neither Dad nor I had the time to stop and pick up milk or just simply forgot to. So, one of us makes a run to Albertson’s while the other “manages to slow the cooking” and help kiddo get through homework so we can enjoy dinner as a family. Then bedtime is at 8:30pm -after homework, dinner, bath time, bedtime books, and prayers. Phew! Then we do it all over again tomorrow.

  8. Emily Loomis permalink


  9. Emily Loomis permalink

    and been a FB fan.

  10. We’re so happy you like Food on the Table! Thanks for posting a great review and we look forward to giving away the gift card!

  11. Amy B. permalink

    I can relate to Andrea’s comments above. I often find myself going “off plan” and then I feel like I’ve thrown everything off or am not keeping up with the ingredients I purchased before they go bad. But I think I tend to overcomplicate the process. The simpler I keep it, the less pressure I seem to put on myself and the better things go. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  12. Amy B. permalink

    I’m an RSS subscriber.

  13. Ricki permalink

    I think my biggest meal planning hurdle is making the most of what little time I have to cook. I always try to be mindful of ways to stretch one cooking session into multiple meals. For example, boiling one big pot of chicken and then dividing it up and using it in different ways throughout the week. So I really need more quick and creative ways to use basics like shredded chicken, ground beef, beans, spaghetti sauce, etc.

  14. Kaylean permalink

    My biggest hurdle is that we live in the boonies and have to drive for an hour to get to a “name” grocery store. That kind of puts a damper on creativity in meal planning.

  15. Ricki permalink

    I am a follower through Google Reader.

  16. Ricki permalink

    And a Facebook fan. 🙂

  17. My biggest hurdle has been learning to cook with allergies (mine and my sons.) In the past, I could eat anything I wanted, so the last few months have been interesting! Coming up with new meals idea is tricky too.

    Thanks for the chance to enter!

  18. I’m already a subscriber to your RSS. Thanks!

  19. Just found your wonderful blog! I know follow you on Google Reader

  20. Follow you on facebook now too

  21. I love to menu plan- but I hate taking the time to correspond it with the sale items- although I’d like too! What a great service!

  22. Our biggest meal planning hurdle is accommodating food allergies (milk, wheat, egg, nuts, sesame, oat), so I definitely agree with your suggestion. Although, it would probably be impossible for a service to accommodate for all of ours, so like you say, I’d be OK with substituting myself. Definitely going to look into this service more – thanks. 🙂

  23. Also, I subscribe through Google Reader.

  24. jennifer horn permalink

    My biggest hurdle is sticking to the plan. Someone always wants something different than what’s on the menu or we’re presed for time.

  25. jennifer horn permalink

    Subscribe in Google Reader.

  26. jennifer horn permalink

    Like on Facebook.

  27. Andrea Leland permalink

    My biggest challenge is sticking to the plan I created. Most times if something comes up we will end up getting takeout, or making somethign different.

  28. Andrea Leland permalink

    I subscribe!

  29. Deanan permalink

    My biggest hurdle is making something the kids will eat. I have given up hotdogs, frozen pizza and store bought bread for them – which leaves not alot they will eat. We are trying to wean them off processed foods onto healthier foods but it is a tiring battle.

  30. Katie Seymour permalink

    My biggest hurdle is actually doing it. Taking the time to plan it out!

  31. Jamie Clemens permalink

    The thing I find challenging about planning meals is making the meals fit for everyone.
    I am not so practiced in making substitutions and we all know you have to bs a little flexible. So planning meals for the week that aren’t familiar recipes feels harder to me. Still I always try and planning us important. I think this planning service could help!

  32. michelle permalink

    just became a fan on FB!

  33. michelle permalink

    Recently subscribed to the RSS feed

  34. michelle permalink

    My biggest meal planning hurdle is making the time to pour over recipes and and find new ones to cook. I seem to fall back on the same ol familiar but love to try new recipes.

  35. Tiffany permalink

    My biggest meal planning hurdle is time. By the time I get home I am sometimes not ready to cook a large dinner. I am always missing some key ingredient and have to stop by the store too.

  36. Tiffany permalink

    I subscribe to your RSS feed too.

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