Plan to Eat Hacks – The Shopping List

Plan to Eat has dozens of features to help you create meal plans that work for your family’s schedule and dietary needs. Everyone has a different approach to meal planning and the beauty of Plan to Eat is you can make your plan as simple or complex as you’d like. This month we’re showing you how to use Plan to Eat’s many features to get the most out of your account!

Hopefully learning about these features will help you meal plan more efficiently – no matter your planning style! Let’s highlight some features and ways of using the Shopping List you might not know about.

woman getting food out of freezer with cell phone in her hand

Kitchen Inventory

If you want to keep track of your kitchen inventory with Plan to Eat, we recommend using the Staples List. You can fill your Staples List with all the items you like to keep in stock and then quickly add those items in bulk to your Shopping List when you run low.

This option for kitchen inventory is not automated, but we’ve found that to be the best system! If your kitchen inventory isn’t perfectly synced with your Plan to Eat account, you’ll end up with unwanted items and incorrect quantities on your shopping list. 

We always recommend “shopping at home” to check off items you already have and to double-check what you need to buy. This is the best way to ensure every grocery run is successful!

Watch this quick video on how to use the Staples List as an inventory management system and read further on why we don’t have an automated pantry feature in Plan to Eat.

Standardize Your Shopping List

Shopping List items will automatically merge if the unit and titles match, but there’s often some manual merging or deleting needed to create a consolidated list. Inconsistencies in how recipe authors write their ingredients can cause multiple listings of similar ingredients and create the need for manual consolidation. 

However, you can create more consistency with your ingredient listings through the website version of the shopping list! Watch this video for a tutorial on how to standardize your recipe ingredients, or read our help article with step-by-step instructions

Remove Common Ingredients

Your shopping list will populate every item in your planned recipes (see above: no pantry feature). We encourage you to “shop” in your kitchen and tap off items you already have because this is the best way to ensure you actually need all the items on your list.

However, we do have a workaround to help clear your shopping list of some common items like, water, salt, black pepper, etc. We recommend creating a new store on your list for these “on hand” items (you can call the store “On Hand” or “In Stock”) and then move those common ingredients to that store, so they don’t clutter the other stores on your list. For a full explanation of this process, watch this quick video

Stay tuned for more Plan to Eat hacks to help you get the most out of your subscription!

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