Meal planning can be a real downer. The scheduling, recipe searching and plotting can be all-out exhausting. And not to mention the logistics, which can be half the battle with any one family’s calendar looking more like a tornado than an organized schedule.
For me personally, meal planning is incredibly fun. I’m one of those people who gets excited to go to the grocery store, clip coupons and plan out my husband I’s meals for the week. But I realize I’m not the average housewife, even though it has been one of the most challenging parts of marriage. However, I find the challenge to be half the fun.
But for the other 99 percent of people who despise planning meals, there’s hope; and it comes in the form of a new online meal planning service that helps you plot out your week’s eats in just a few simple steps.
Sound good? We thought you might say that.
The website is siansplan.com, an online meal planning tool designed to help busy families simplify their cooking, shopping and meal planning process. The woman behind the site is Sian Breslin, the owner of an Ireland-based cooking school and guest house. She hopes her site helps busy families reduce food waste, make finding recipes easier, and ease the process of planning meals. Below is a brief video description of how the site works.
Breslin has admitted she’s somewhat of an unorganized person. But after struggling with meal planning for years she finally realized there had to be a better way. So after the recession hit, she dedicated three years to fine tuning the site, which operates under a system of numbering and color-coding.
Users of the site plan out meals for four days in a week (coding them in red) by selecting recipes already listed on the site, and leaving three days open for either batch cooking – making two meals at once to save time – (blue), eating take-out or going out at a restaurant (white), or cooking from leftovers (green).
After users set out their plan, a grocery list is automatically generated, making shopping easier than ever. Plus, most of the recipes include nutritional information to make identifying healthy recipes a cinch. And users can either sign up for a free account, or opt for an upgraded cost-per-month plan for more options, resources and flexibility.
Since its inception, Siansplan has gained notoriety from several publications, including Food+Tech Connect – a website dedicated to the technology aspect of the food world. And one writer for the Irish Times has fallen head over heels for the site saying, “Her [Sian's] Plan has become my plan. I spend less, waste less, and my bad mother guilt levels have been reduced.”
So for those who struggle with any or all aspects of meal planning, Siansplan may be a good solution. Although it’s not a perfect system, it does seem fairly user friendly and affordable, and would be a great option for anyone looking to save time, money and keep cooking for their family enjoyable.
April 13th, 2012