Real Menu Planning for the Real Homeschool Mom

Do you struggle with deciding what to cook for meals? Three meals a day. Every single day.

If you’re the primary meal preparer and the one in charge of homeschooling in your family, it can feel like there’s just not enough time, ideas, and you to go around.



Several years ago I read an article about rotating your favorite meals around to create a standard menu that makes figuring out what’s for dinner a little easier. That was okay, but I wanted a little more variety in our menu.  And personally, I enjoy collecting and sharing recipes with friends and family.

Yet, I needed something simple.

Plan to Eat

So, in 2011 I began using Plan to Eat, a tool (developed by a homeschool dad - bonus!) that helps me store recipes, plan meals, generate shopping lists, and even share recipes with friends.  

The fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants meal planning is a thing of the past and I’m able to serve my family something healthy.

We’ve also saved a ton of money by not eating out so much, and I’m not stressing about what to prepare.

And there’s something magical that happens when a family sits down at the dinner table to eat--conversation. That’s worth the price of subscription.

What it Is

Plan to Eat is an online meal planner app that allows you to collect recipes and organize them on a calendar. Your calendar. The software then generates your shopping list. (I use the mobile app when I am at the grocery store. SUPER easy. No more leaving the list at home!)

You can collect your favorite recipes along the way and drag and drop them to a calendar. Paleo? Crockpot? Instant Pot? Vegan? You get to decide.

Easy peasy. I love the way it simplifies meal planning!


What it Costs

There’s a monthly subscription fee, or you can pay annually and save a little bit of money. When it comes down to it, you pay LESS THAN $5/month for this super productivity tool.

The subscription paid for itself when we streamlined our grocery shopping. If you couple it with the new grocery pick-up services popping up you’ll have no more impulse purchases at the check-out. (Sorry Hershey Company.)


How Much Time it Takes Me

I’ll be honest, it’s a little like Pinterest. If you love recipe collecting as much as I do, you might spend a little more time. If you’re a no-nonsense kind of girl, you’ll be much quicker.

That’s the part of the process that may take the most time.

After you’ve collected (and continue to collect) recipes, you really do just drag and drop them to your calendar. The software makes your list.

It’s a time saver.


Get Started

Step One: Choose Your Recipes. Don't you love the filtering tags? 

Step One: Choose Your Recipes. Don't you love the filtering tags? 

Step Two: Build Your Menu! You get to make all the choices. 

Step Two: Build Your Menu! You get to make all the choices. 

Step Three: Plan to Eat builds your list for you. Access on your phone, PC, or print out. 

Step Three: Plan to Eat builds your list for you. Access on your phone, PC, or print out. 

This is a fabulous tool for homeschool moms because you can keep all of your recipes and lists online, share these with friends, and also use their very handy app.

I have several local mom friends and we are always sharing our Plan to Eat recipes back and forth. I've become Plant to Eat friends with blog readers over the years, too. Fun! 


 Here are my 10 favorite recipes:

I wanted to share these recipes with you. Everyone in my family loves them. 

Whit's Chicken Enchiladas  (my family's favorite dinner of all time!)

Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches

Bacon & Spinach Pasta with Parmesan

Balsamic Chicken & Tortellini

Crock Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Gluten Free Spinach & Bacon Quiche with Hashbrown Crust

Ravioli Casserole (Freezer Meal)  (my go-to for when I take a meal to someone - it doubles very easily, so I have one for my family, too)

Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Grandma's Peach French Toast (our traditional Christmas morning breakfast)


Friends of Homegrown Learners can get started at no cost. Free for 30 days. No credit card required.  Use my referral link by clicking below:


If you join, do let me know. I’d love to connect and share recipes! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do.

Plan to Eat Menu Planning for the Real Homeschool Mom


Talk to me about meal planning.... do you do it? Is it your nemesis? Do you have a system you like?



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Meal Planning for Busy Homeschool Moms

Our lives have been greatly simplified over the past year.

It all started with the need I had to deepen our homeschool.  By getting rid of unused resources and only keeping the very best materials on our shelves, we've been able to open up so much space in our minds.  It's AMAZING. 

This urge to simplify has begun to trickle into all areas of our life, from how much STUFF we keep out, to the number of activities on our calendar.

Meal planning has also been greatly simplified.

I've found a tool that helps me store recipes, plan meals, generate shopping lists, and even share recipes with friends.  

Plan to Eat is my online hub for meal planning - it has simplified this once stressful area for me!.

(And by the way -- this is NOT a sponsored post -- Plan to Eat is NOT paying me to say these things. I just love it and want to tell you about it!)

This post contains affiliate links. 

Saving Recipes

I have quite a catalog of recipes online that I love, and recipes that I want to try. 

Using the Plan to Eat bookmarklet on my computer I can easily (with the click of  button) import a recipe from a website to my Plan to Eat account. 


I can add tags to my recipes like gluten free, easy to make, and kid favorite. It also allows me to group recipes by main dish, breakfast, salads, desserts, etc... 

If the recipe isn't online, I simply type the recipe into Plan to Eat and it's stored there. 

This means I have my recipes anywhere I am (because Plan to Eat is mobile friendly and I can view a recipe on my phone!).

Here's a little snapshot of just SOME of my main course recipes. You can see the tags, how many times I've planned them, and where they come from. 

Planning Recipes

When I sit down each weekend to plan meals, I go into Plan to Eat, search for recipes, and simply add them to my planner. 

It's THAT easy.  

Here's an example of what a week might look like. You see I can also say "dinner on the go" or "dinner at granddaddy's" - so everyone knows the plan for the week. (My husband loves to be able to look at Plan to Eat and know what's for dinner - helps him plan his lunches at work accordingly!)

Automatically Generated Shopping Lists

Once the meals are on the planner, the ingredients needed are automatically added onto the Shopping List.  You can also manually add any extra items you need.

(If you want to get really fancy you can catalog everything that is in your pantry and Plan to Eat won't put an item on your list if you already have it in your pantry! )

You can either print the list  or check off items via your smartphone or tablet while you shop.  There's NO MORE forgetting your list at home this way! 

Sharing Recipes With Friends

I have several friends on Plan to Eat. 

I'm also friends with several blog readers on Plan to Eat.

One night last year my Anna came home saying the tacos they had at youth group were great. Well, I know the mom that made the dinner and I know she's on Plan to Eat. I texted her and she said, "It's in my Plan to Eat - Oven Baked Tacos".  I went to her profile and saved the recipe to my recipe book.

It was that easy. Now, Oven Baked Tacos are a staple in my house!  (go ahead and grab the recipe - it's super EASY)

Try Plan to Eat for FREE

You can sample Plan to Eat FREE for 30 days.  

If you like it - it's just $5/month or $39/year. 

It's the BEST $5 I spend each month.

It keeps my life SIMPLE, and my family HAPPY. 

Meal Planning Made EASY with Plan to Eat