Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Food on the Table

Over the years, people have asked me how I manage to feed my family good food without spending too much on groceries. Truthfully, there's a lot of great strategies that work-coupon clipping, shopping store specials, growing a garden, buying in bulk, making food from scratch. Saving money works differently for different people-since issues like time, convenience, stress, and brand loyalty play into the equation.
Recently I came across a website that I think would help everyone save money on their grocery bill. It's called Food on the Table. I'm really excited because it not only helps you pinch pennies, but it also saves time and energy, and helps you to come up with fantastic, customized meals to feed your family. In about five minutes per week, you can log on, access your favorite store's weekly specials (assuming your grocery store is participating), and browse through delicious recipes that incorporate the ingredients that are on sale at your store. (You can even compare your store's specials to other stores in your area!) The recipes can be customized according to your personal constraints-time saving, healthy, money saving, etc. They offer free accounts with three meal plans a week, or deluxe services for as little as about five bucks a month. You would definitely get your money back in savings-no question about it.
Doesn't it sound too good to be true? It's a genius idea, a real gift of the modern age. I'm hooked! I'm going to show you how it works for me, and how it worked for my sister who just signed up this week.
MY FOOD ON THE TABLE:
This morning I got home from a 10 day vacation. I was met with an empty fridge, a Mother Hubbard cupboard, and a post-vacation lack of motivation. I logged onto my Food on the Table dashboard and let them do all the work for me. (I know my pictures on the greatest-but I had to show you how easy this whole process is.) Once you log in, you can view your current meal plan or grocery list, or start a brand new meal plan-which is what I did. I answered a few questions about what we were in the mood to eat, and then I sat back and let the computer figure out my menu-and how much money I'd be saving by using the in store specials in the recipes. We'll be having chicken fettucini alfredo, mozzarella cubed steak, and balsamic and blue cheese tilapia fillets. All of the recipes are easy to print, email, or save in your personal files. Plus-you see exactly how much money you can save with each recipe.

Next, you review your grocery list and adjust it as needed-removing any items that you might have on hand. You can then print your grocery list, your recipes, your meal plans-or you can email them to yourself to use when you are ready. There it is, waiting in my inbox. I'll probably add a few items to my list before I make it to the grocery store. That's it! Once a week, you can spend five minutes and access store specials and customized recipes to help you plan your menu. I may not follow the recipes to the letter, but I love having some ideas generated that are linked to sale items. I'm sold!

HEIDI'S FOOD ON THE TABLE PLAN

I told my little sister Heidi about Food on the Table and she was gung-ho, especially since she had a weekly menu in her hands in five minutes. Honestly, the whole process took five minutes-and I had to slow her down so I could take pictures. See for yourself!

First Heidi registered an account-first name, email, password-that's it! Next, she picked a participating grocery store in her area. She clicked on a few categories of food that her family regularly eats. She selected items from her list that were also on sale at her grocery store.She customized her plan by choosing time saving recipes for this week. (Good idea since she's got four kids under the age of 7.)Within seconds, the computer had generated recipes. She's making pasta with Italian sausage and ground beef. (The kids will love it!) Look what she saved on just this one meal. She reviewed her grocery list ...and hit print. That was it! Next week it'll be even faster for her, since she won't have to spend thirty seconds registering.

Give it a try and tell me how you like it! (Click here to go straight there.) I know you'll love it. It'll save you time and money, so you can go spend you time and money on the things you truly love.

Next Up:

Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

21 comments:

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

Sounds pretty cool, have to check this out!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Now that is a great tool!

Prudy said...

Jessica-
I'm telling you, I can't believe no one thought of this before. I wish it was my idea-but I'm not tech-hip enough. I absolutely love it!

Prudy said...

Japanese Redneck:
It is a great tool-I think anyone could easily use it and love it!

Michal said...

I'm going to try it now! Do they included stores like Trader Joe's and Costco, or only the stores that have weekly ads? I guess I'll find out. Thanks for the pennypinching tip!

Prudy said...

Michal,
I'm not sure about Trader Joe's and Costco, but let me know when you find out!

Patty said...

AHHH... it doesn't have any stores in my area yet! I can't wait until they do so that i can use it! Great find!

kayleejenn said...

haha that looks to cool! I see you have skype! Skype words really great

Adrienne said...

Man, I try to do this alone and it's a disaster. I'm so excited! Now I just need a printer....

Prudy said...

Patty,
Where are you? Maybe we can send them an email and they can get started on it.

Christine M said...

Hm. The only grocery store they have in our area is the most expensive one (which I never set foot in). But it looks like a good idea!

Prudy said...

Christine:
Oh, darn! But maybe they'll still have some good deals. I shop at a store that is considered expensive by most, but it has incredible weekly specials. I can always count on lots of meat, produce, ice cream, and cereal on sale. Good luck-I hope they add more stores to your area.

Coby said...

That's something not just practical but fun too:) Nothing like that here in Aus too, but as with so many of the best things, they end up the world over....eventually;) Makes sense for the supermarkets too, generates custom if they can back it up with good prices:) Where do the recipes come from Prudy?

Tanji said...

LOVE IT!!! What a brilliant idea! I can't wait to get all settled in in AZ and check out the stores. I love checking out new grocery stores. I'm such a foodie geek. :) Thanks Prudy!

p.s. Can't wait till we meet up again!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. I am so excited to try this out and make my life so much easier. Who is the genius who finally put this together?

I can't wait to see the meals you make from this.

Rebecca said...

If they don't have a store in your area, e-mealz.com does the same sort of thing. (They also include gluten-free, low fat, weight watcher recipes, etc). I'm excited to check this website out as well!

joven said...

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http://forlots.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

No stores in my area, either, and I live in a large city!

Tracy said...

I'm so glad you posted about this website. I just signed up and am so excited to try it out for this weeks meal planning!

Prudy said...

Anonymous:
Darn! I wish they had some stores for you. Maybe in the future...

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