How I Plan My Menus with Build a Menu
We all know we should be planning our menus ahead, but actually doing it is quite another thing.
I recently found out about Build a Menu, and it is awesome! It accommodates any diet type, like gluten free, Trim Healthy Mama, or even just “normal people”. 🙂
(Interested in trying it? You can try it free for 2 weeks by going through this link!)
I thought I'd show you exactly how it works so you can make an informed decision.
1. Choose your store.
I love that it includes Aldi and Walmart!
I personally just choose “any grocery store” since I buy my food from a variety of places, including the farmer's market.
2. Choose your recipes. You don't have to plan out 3 meals a day if you don't want to, but it's nice that everything is included if that's what you want to do.
There are so many dietary options from which to choose, and you are not limited to just one type. You can mix and match as much as you want.
I love the choices, though! (Dine on a Dime, Trim Healthy Mama, Gluten free, etc.)
You can open up the recipes and look at them to see if it is something your family would like. You can also see approximately how much each recipe will cost to make, so you can skip the ones that don't fit your budget. And if you're doing Trim Healthy Mama, it will tell you what type of meal it is (S, E, etc.) Then you mark the checkbox next to the ones you want to use and they are automatically added to your menu and the ingredients are added to your shopping list.
Another cool thing is that if you want to have something more than once, you can select how many times you want to have it, and the ingredients will be adjusted on your shopping list accordingly. (For example, it will tell you exactly how many ounces of beans you need to purchase.)
I also love the fact that the recipes are changed out every week so that there are not an overwhelming number of choices. I am very easily overwhelmed, and when there's too much to look at I usually end up saying “forget it”. You can, however, see all the menus you've created in the past, and if you want to add a favorite recipe to your menu for the week, you can do so even if it's not on the current week's list of recipes.
*New! Now you can upload your own recipes too!*
3. After you select your recipes, you click “Build My Menu” and you'll be able to add your recipes to a calendar on the days you'd like to have them. You can plan up to a month at a time; though you don't have to do that much.
You can also skip planning it out on the calendar and just go straight to printing your list of recipes and your shopping list.
(That's how I prefer to do it because I like to have the freedom to choose whichever meal I'm most in the mood for or whichever would work best with our schedule for the day.)
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you – as you're checking off the recipes you want to use, the program is tallying up your grocery total for the week! That's perfect for those of us trying to stay on a strict budget.
Here is what your shopping list will look like:
I love how it's divided up into sections of the store, and how it even lists staples so I can make sure I have enough of those things.
Now, I must say as a “real foodie”, there are certain ingredients that I skip, like canned soups, broths, etc. But I've become pretty adept at substituting the “real food” versions of those things without any trouble.
So instead of buying broth at the store, I would just make sure I had enough homemade broth in the freezer or that I have enough yogurt to substitute for cream of ____ soup. (Side note: yogurt works great for that in most cases – just add a little seasoning to it, and you've got a creamy/tasty substance with no need to go through the complicated steps of making homemade cream of ____ soup.)
That's pretty much it!
You can sign up for your subscription using the button below.
(But if you happen to not love it, there's a money-back guarantee, so it's totally risk free to give it a go.)
Note: I have included affiliate links within this post. I will receive a portion of each purchase made through these links. You pay nothing extra, but the commission helps keep Imperfect Homemaker up and running. (And it might put a couple groceries on our family table too – thanks!)