The Plan to Eat Podcast

#7: A Look Back at 2021 with The Plan to Eat Podcast

January 12, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 7
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#7: A Look Back at 2021 with The Plan to Eat Podcast
Show Notes Transcript


I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner. 

Roni: Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. This is our first episode of 2022, and we are so excited to be here in a new year.

Riley: Today We're talking about. 2021, actually. We're gonna go over all the details of last year, some fun, little tidbits and facts about our customers and what they were up to. And all that we have planned for 2022.

Roni, what was your favorite thing that happened in 2021? It can be personal. It can be work-related. But what is your favorite. 

Roni: Well, something we're going to talk about later is starting this podcast. I have loved doing this podcast. Um, not only to spend more time talking with you, Riley, because we work really closely together and we're also kind of BFFs. [00:01:00] But, just learning this whole process, I do the editing and the ho and figure all the hosting and everything for the podcast.

And so it's just been a really fun project to work on and it's just, we're excited about it. And we have so much energy for the podcast. So it feels like it's just the right. It was the right move at the right time for us.

Riley: Yeah, it really was. And I just want to say that we're not just kind of BFFs, we totally are BFFs. Um, yeah, but it has been a real joy for me to do this podcast. And so Roni and I got together and we went over. Like all the things about 2021 like what went well, what didn't work well, what do we want to improve upon? And over and over and over again, the podcast just kept being a real highlight for both of us.

Um, so we've loved it and we hope you guys are enjoying it too. We have so much planned for 2022 so many great interviews, and just a lot of really exciting content. And we just hope to make it better and better all the time. 

Roni: So what was your Favorite thing about 2021.

Riley: So on a personal note, since we already talked about the [00:02:00] podcast, um, my husband and I got to take a trip to Telluride, Colorado, which is somewhere that we've always wanted to go. And we have never been able to get there and we joke that it's our unicorn city. We're never going to get there. We're never going to see it.

and this year we actually finally got to make that happen. So that was really fun. It was just really nice to spend a lot of time with friends and like quality time more locally. Um, I think that I just really valued that. 

Roni: Yeah. I feel like everybody. has, learned in the last two years that like, it's okay to slow down a little bit and it's okay to maybe like, stay a little closer to home and and that there are still just so many amazing things that you can discover kind of like locally. Yeah. 

Riley: Yeah. absolutely. 

Roni: So we wanted to recap a few of the things that we did in 2021. One of them being the learning series, which we did in July of 2021, if you're unfamiliar at the learning series, at that point in time, it was a four week course where Riley and I basically taught you how to meal plan and how to do with plan to eat.

Um, it was an [00:03:00] email series where you got two emails every week and then Riley and I hosted two. Live Q and a sessions to answer your questions in real time and just help you get started with plan to eat or learn more about Plan to Eat if you're an existing customer for us. We are actually currently running the learning series again in January, and we have added a fifth week of lessons to it.

So there's an extra week to learn more about Plan to Eat and meal planning, and it is not too late to sign up. We will have, um, a link in the show notes, but it's basically It'll take you to the landing page where you can get signed up. The learning series is really fun. We love doing the live Q and a sessions, just like we like hosting the podcast and like feeling like we're contributing as you know, creators in this space, um, doing the live Q and A's was really fun to, connect with all of our customers and new customers and answer questions, that kind of stuff.

Riley: Yeah. so we can't wait to do those again. Those are coming up. If you sign up, you'll get info on when those will [00:04:00] be. There'll be two of them just like they were, there were last year. Um, and I just want to add that if you are an existing Plan to Eat customer, and you're just having trouble making meal planning a habit, or, um, getting up to speed with meal planning, with plan to eat.

The learning series is a great tool. So if you are an existing customer or brand new, and you're hearing about us for the first time today, please know that you can, you can sign up now and join us. And, um, it's not just for new people. It's for anybody out there who wants to learn more about meal planning. And we'd love to have you.

Another thing that we got to do this last year, was just some basics. We sat back and we just thought, like, what would be really helpful for people? Um, what are the barriers to entry with meal planning? And so, we decided that cooking cooking is actually a barrier to entry with meal planning because.

You can be the most organized person. You can buy the groceries, or I guess have the meal plan, then buy the groceries and have them at your house. But if you really struggle with feeling confident in the kitchen, that you're going to stop there [00:05:00] and you're going, not going to do it again because you're going to feel like you're failing.

Um, and so we put together two different, baking and cooking basics challenges, last year, Just to help eliminate some issues that you might be having in the kitchen. There's so many resources out there. And we don't want to contribute noise to this space, but we just want to help answer some questions and we hopefully helped you in the kitchen.

Um, I loved our baking basics, month because we got to do that with our partner, Anna. She writes a blog for us every month about baking and she's just so knowledgeable. Her photos are always so beautiful and everything she cooks. Drool worthy. Um, so we hope you enjoyed that too. And got some really amazing tips from Anna. 

Roni: Yeah. My favorite posts from both of those months where each month had like a, what to do when your recipe goes wrong, kind of thing, and how to fix a recipes. If you know, it didn't quite go as planned. So we'll definitely link those in the show notes. So you guys can find those, but. That was [00:06:00] just a lot of knowledge that, you know, some of the things I had already been familiar with, but there was a lot of things in there. I was like, oh, I didn't realize you could do that to, you know, make sure your potatoes ended up crispy in the end or, you know, whatever the thing was.

Riley: Yeah. you and I also really enjoyed that one because we interviewed our own moms to get their tips, like their tried and true, what to do when this happens in their recipe and fix it. And So that was, um, really special for both of us to get to do that and, learn some new things and, just some tried and true methods that we also implement into our lives. 

Roni: So we spent three other months last year talking about, the basic benefits of meal planning, which is saving time, saving money and wasting less food. So we did YouTube videos based on this. We had a couple blog posts every single month based on these things. And we just basically compiled all of the ideas that we have around how meal planning helps us with these.

You know, conflicts the struggles that we have in our lives and you know, like how to make it easier for us. [00:07:00] So, you know, we talked about saving time and some of the ways that we think are the best to save time when you're trying to, get dinner ready faster, or to spend less time meal planning is to do some bulk cooking, add some recipes to your freezer so that you have things that you can take out really easily.

Um, use the menus feature in Plan to Eat, which just allows you to save your meal plans so that you can use them again, really quickly in the future. And just to make a meal plan, like one of the biggest time savers ever is just making a meal plan for basically all of the reasons, you know, like you, you make your meal plan and then you know what you're going to eat.

You don't have to spend time thinking and planning and figuring out the things you have in your house. Like all of the things are already done and you've shopped for all of your items, your grocery stores. Your grocery store trips are a lot shorter. 

Riley: Super helpful tips. I mean, it may seem really silly to just say that making a meal plan is one of the biggest things to help save you time, because I think it's easy to feel like I don't have time to make a meal plan. Um, but I think it's like a snowball effect of like no time to make a meal plan [00:08:00] need means more time in the grocery store means more time figuring out what you're going to cook with, what you bought.

I mean, it's kind of the snowball effect of like, you're actually gonna waste, you know, a lot more time if you don't start with a plan to get started. I just want to reiterate, I guess, that making a meal plan is super valuable in the saving time category. Um, when we talked about saving money, we talked about how, starting with a budget is something that's just really foundational, knowing what you can spend.

We, uh, have reviewed. A company called YNAB or you need a budget before? Um, it's, if you're looking for something, as we get started in 2022 to help you make a budget and stick to it, we highly recommend working with them. another tip that we have for saving money with shopping at home. So what we mean by that is.

Once you make your meal plan. And once you make your grocery list, I'm going through your cabinets and saying, I already have this And taking it off your list. I already have milk. I already have flour. I already have baking powder. Um, I already have ginger, you know, whatever those things are that you already have purchased, marking them off your list.

So then when you're at the store, there's [00:09:00] no question of what you need to be. 'cause I hate sitting in the spice aisle, after not shopping at home, I hate sitting in the spice aisle and thinking, do I have chili powder or do I not? And then buying it again because it's just easier to do that, than risk it and then ending up with two.

So it's just another way you can save money. Shop at home.. Take off what you already have. another thing we talked about with saving money is using a grocery delivery or grocery pickup option at your grocery store. A lot of stores are doing this now, particularly if you shop at a store that, is a bit more of a chain Um, this is a feature that is super helpful in saving money, because you can send your list to a grocery store. You can use their app, inside of plan to eat, you can actually select all the items on your grocery store and then click on grocery delivery.

And once you do that, it'll send you to your grocery store. You can log into an account if you have one, and then either set it to pick up or set it to deliver to your house. This is personally something that I use quite a bit. I do the pickup version of. Um, I think the reason why it helps me save so much money is because I'm not perusing the store, like perusing the [00:10:00] aisles, and seeing things that look really interesting or exciting to me, I'm just sticking to my list.

I'm buying what I need. Another thing that I really like about this feature is that. It allows me to total up my shopping list and like how much I'm spending at the store before I submit my order. So if I need to make some changes or adjustments to meet my budget, I can do that. If I've got a little wiggle room, I could do some more bulk shopping, like buying some extra meat or something like that to throw in the freezer if it's on sale. But it's personally just something that I use that helps me save a lot of money. And so hopefully that could be something that helps you to.

Roni: One of the other things that we talked about was wasting less. And we mostly talked about wasting less food here at plan to eat. But we also did partner with Pam of Greenily and she did a whole series of Instagram stories for us all about how to waste less at home. So she talked about like reusable paper towels, and a reusable. Ziploc bags and like a whole assortment of things. So we have that saved in a highlight on our Instagram stories and you can go back and [00:11:00] watch all of her tips and tricks that she gave for wasting less at home. She is an expert. So definitely go give her a follow and watch all the little highlights that we have.

Otherwise when we're talking about wasting less in the kitchen, as far as wasting less food, One of the most important things is just going to the grocery store with an organized list that has the correct quantities that you need, because otherwise it's really easy to go to the grocery store and you just buy a bunch of stuff and it doesn't necessarily correlate with a recipe.

It also could be way too much if you're just feeding, you know, a couple people. So you're going to end up maybe not using all of that food. Some of it's going to go to waste and not only wasted food, but wasted money in that regard as well. So. Along with that is to adjust the serving sizes of your recipes before you have your shopping list finalized.

You can adjust your serving sizes of recipes, in Plan to Eat either from the recipe book or from recipes that are already on the planner. And it's just going to automatically update the quantities on your shopping list. So you're always buying the exact amount that [00:12:00] you need for your recipes that you've made.

And finally a great way to waste less to simply just shop in bulk. So you can go to the bulk section of your grocery store and get exact quantities of things. This is also going to be helpful for, you know, having maybe like less plastic waste, um, because you're, you're buying things in bigger quantities.

There's less, you know, smaller pieces of packaging, that kind of stuff. So. That's just a general overview of some of the things that we talked about. We have blog posts and YouTube videos related to all of these things, and we will do our best to link to as much as possible in our show notes. So if you're curious about anything, you can get more info.

Riley: In 2021. Roni, did you stumble across any products that are related to meal planning or your kitchen that you have just loved using crazy? Look on your face because you didn't know. I was going to ask you 

Roni: The no man cut out of left field, but the question, okay, actually this is not anything. I bought cookie sheets this year. I know [00:13:00] cookie sheets are not anything special or new to anybody, but the brand that I bought.

Riley: Just the look. 

Roni: could, I might have to go look, I wish I could remember the name of the brand it's kitchen wares or something like that. There it's a USA, brand, they're like manufactured and made in the United States. And, um, the old cookie sheets that I had were like, hand-me-downs from my mom and they were black.

Not because I think they were originally black, just, you know, from like 20 years of use, they. Deteriorated a little bit. So I bought new cookie sheets this year and I am obsessed with them. They're the best cookie sheets ever. They have like the perfect, like the lip on the sides. It's like the perfect height.

So like nothing slides off of them. They're incredibly non-stick um, they're like a little weightier, which I just, I feel like holds the heat better. Yeah. Um, so I'm obsessed with them. They're amazing. I'll find the actual brand name when we get done recording and it'll be linked in the show notes to their website.

So you can find them. [00:14:00] They were also really pretty inexpensive. It was only $15 per cookie sheet, which I thought was pretty good for like a USA brand, you know, manufacturing the United States. So I love those. 


What about you? Did you have something that you discovered?

Riley: I did. Um, which is why I asked you that question. 

Roni: Yeah.

Riley: well, I also was thinking about it with wasting less, and like reducing plastic use in my house. You actually recommended these bags to me. Stasher bags, they're silicone storage bags. So you could put food in them. You can freeze those bags.

You can microwave them, you can heat them. You can. You know, they're, they're reusable. They're really high quality. They're a nice, like thickness of silicone. They don't feel like they're gonna, they don't feel like they're going to deteriorate, you know, they don't feel like a plastic, little baggy or anything like that.

They're pretty easy to clean. They seal really well. I've been super impressed with them. Um, I bought one of their like combo packs that had a bunch of different sizes and styles, um, and I've loved them. And I just thought I was thinking about it with the wasting less aspect of [00:15:00] things. 'cause, it's not something we talked about that during that month, but it's just a product that I have found that I'm really, I'm a big fan, 

Roni: I think Pam actually might've been the one who introduced me to those Pam from Greenily that we partnered with during that month. I think she was the one who, uh, like she talks about them on her Instagram account. So I think I found them through her actually. 

Riley: Yeah. And shout up a Stasher. They didn't pay me to say that. Did you have a recipe author that you really loved this year that you imported recipes from and wanted to cook all the things. they made? 

Roni: Yeah. I might have to look in my actual Plan to eat account, but I, I would say off the top of my head half-baked harvest, which I, I know we talked about with MacKenzie last month, um, that she's in love with her as well, but she has some really great recipes. She actually, I saw on her Instagram, she has made an Instagram Reel as about this quick.

Snack and it was just, she took dates and she cut them in half and she filled them with almond butter and then put flaky salt on top. And I've been [00:16:00] obsessed with that. I have been eating that all the time.

Riley: Well, Roni, you actually stole my, I was going to say half baked harvest and I'm a photographer. And I think that one thing that I just really value about half baked harvest is the beautiful photographs. Everything she cooks, you want to eat it because it looks so beautiful. I can't say that my food turns out quite as beautiful as hers does when I follow up when I cook her recipes, but, um, just beautiful photographs. I'm pretty sure she's actually based in Colorado, 

Roni: Oh, that's cool. 

Riley: which is where we're based in case anybody was wondering. Um, you know, I would say that I didn't have a specific recipe author that I just got obsessed with this year. But my brother has been sending me recipes. All of the time, but he'll say he'll send me a picture of what they had for dinner and then tell me how amazing it was and then send me the recipe.

So shout out to my brother, Brian. He has been sending me some amazing recipes. They've just been like out of the park. They've just been so good, every single [00:17:00] one of them. So while that wasn't very specific to an author, I've been just really impressed with what Brian and his family had been eating this year. 

Roni: Your brother has been your recipe inspiration.

Riley: has, he definitely has. Yep. 

So on that. note, we have some really fun data from our customers from 2021 that we are excited to share, and we hope you find that really interesting.

Um, so overall in 2021, 6.5 million recipes were added to plan to eat into individual customer accounts, across the board. That's the total. And that number is just incredible to me. 

Roni: Yeah, it is crazy. It also makes me feel like are there even 6.5 million recipes on the internet? I'm sure there's probably 10 times more. But dang, you guys have been busy.

Riley: Absolutely. So along these same lines, we totaled up the number of recipes that were planned inside of plan to eat. And it's actually really close to the number of imported recipes. So that means the people. Importing recipes and then cooking them, which is the whole goal, these beautiful [00:18:00] bloggers across the world.

And the internet are making these recipes for you to actually cook these recipes and using to eat. You actually can do that. You actually can take the recipe and cook it. Um, and so the total number of planned recipes inside of Plan to Eat this past year was 6.4 million. Like just Bravo. I feel like we should be clapping. 

Roni: we're kind of like creating a meal planning club at this point, I think. Right? Like we got our club of people and they're here planning 6.4 million recipes.

Riley: Yeah. I mean, this might sound really silly. But you know, Plan to Eat is definitely part of my life over here. But I just feel like I'm a part of that number. I planned recipes for my family. If you are listening and you planned recipes inside of Plan to Eat, you are a part of that number. And so it just feels like we're helping people be more organized.

It's like, what that means for people in their day-to-day lives is that they knew what was for dinner and that's our whole goal. And so that just brings me a lot of joy. 

Roni: So along the lines of, recipes that [00:19:00] we had this year and that we loved this year, uh, the number one imported recipe into plan to eat was the world's best lasagna, which also happened to be the number one imported recipe last year. So apparently everybody loves lasagna two years in a row.

Riley: Two years in a row. That's exactly what I was gonna say. I probably should add lasagna to my meal plan. I, I forget about lasagna and I don't know if it's because of the amount of work that I think it takes. But I need to add it to my meal plan. 

Roni: Yeah, I think last year after we talked about the world's best lasagna on our YouTube video, I think I made lasagna like last year in January. And I think that might've been the only month of the year that I did make it. So I probably should add some lasagna to my meal plan too.

Riley: This must be good for us. And hopefully for you guys listening, because it actually, will help us spike up our meal plan. 

Roni: Yeah.

Riley: So the next recipe on the list, number two is fried rice from give me some oven. Um, and if [00:20:00] you follow the link in our show notes to go look at this recipe, you're going to want to cook it too.

It is so beautiful. It just looks like a meal you want to eat and I'm giving up, I'm showing my cards here, but like, if something looks good in a photograph, I want to eat it and, or make it. Um, and this fried rice is just so colorful. It just looks really yummy and filling and probably a nice winter recipe cause it's, you know, warm and kind of comfort food. 

Roni: And then the third recipe on our list is the best classic Chile from. The wholesome dish and you know, this is one of those kinds of blogs that I love when you go to her blog, there is not, you know, a year's worth of a story before you go to the recipe. There is just the recipe and there's pictures for all the steps.

It's beautiful. So I know people all the time talk about how much they love the recipe clipper, because it allows them to skip the story that, you know, maybe they don't actually want to read and they just want, they just want to get to the rest. This website, it doesn't have any of that. This is just a recipe.

I love it. 

Riley is over here given [00:21:00] me some eyes that I just said that, but I I'm, I have not sorry that I said it. I'm really not. I'm a writer. I am somebody who writes for a living, but when I go to a recipe site, sometimes I just want to see the recipe. I don't necessarily want to hear about your dog going to the vet. I'm sorry.

Riley: Here's what I will say is that I, I actually do like the stories, but sometimes particularly on my phone. It's very difficult to find what I'm looking for. So I'll give you that. Uh, so the next recipe on our list is good, old fashioned pancakes. And that's another recipe from all

I think what Roni and I are both finding in this list is that they're very American comfort food recipes, which is great. It's totally great. It's just a fun list and see what people are eating, and what they were planning a lot this year.

Roni: And fifth recipe on our list is the DoubleTree's cookie recipe. Um, at some [00:22:00] point in the last few years, the DoubleTree released their famous cookie recipe of the cookies that you can get when you go to one of their hotel chains. And this is actually the second year in the row that has made it into the top five. So I need to apparently add this recipe to my account because I'm guessing it's really good.

Riley: Yeah. I remember talking about this recipe last year and both of us thought, oh, maybe we need to make it. Clearly we didn't. We got to do it this year. We got to give review of this, of this cookie recipe. I personally will have to make it gluten-free, but I'm guessing there's something up a copycat recipe out there, or maybe I'll just do it myself and, share those details with you guys, but okay. We promise we're going to try this recipe this year and let you guys know what we think. 

Roni: That's import this to our accounts right now.

Riley: Another thing that we were really impressed by with this top 12 list, is the skinny taste. Six of her recipes made the top 12. I think it really speaks to the quality of her recipes.

I personally find that when I make those they're always good. I don't have to usually do a lot of tweaking or additions. Um, they're just always [00:23:00] tasty and her site. So diverse, there's so many options. So it's a great site to find new recipes to spice up your meal plan.

Roni: I agree. I go to her website a lot to look for recipes too.

Riley: Yeah. I also should appreciate that. They're a bit lighter. So some of the recipes on our list are bagels fried chicken, chicken Parmesan, yummy sounding Parmesan salmon, and All of those, like her whole goal is to make things a bit lighter from what I am gathering from her. And so. Great options.

If you're trying to lighten up your meal plan by also having really yummy recipes.

Roni: All right. So I think we could talk about. About what is coming up in 2022.

Riley: Man, we have a lot on the agenda for 2022. While we can't tell. All the details. We are just excited about, always improving the site. We are always working behind the scenes to make things work faster, smoother, um, make updates and accomplish feature requests that you guys have sent us. We're always trying to make the program simpler and easier to use so [00:24:00] that your meal planning process is a breeze. 

Roni: So, as I already mentioned, the learning series is back again this year, it is running currently. We are going to be offering it again in 2022. So, you know, keep your eyes on our emails and our social media channels. And we will be.

You know, updating you when it's available. Again, we also, um, have one new, we have a new blogger coming on to the blog for some regular posts this year, her name's Linda. She runs a separate blog called sip and sanity, and she has been aPlan to eat customer since like 2013, I think. So we're really excited to have her.

She has some super fun ideas for blog posts this year. And then Anna is also going to be returning this year and writing different baking recipes for us, just like she did in this past year for us, we're going to have like a smattering of random people here and there who are going to contribute to the blog as well.

Um, but those are going to be the two ladies that you'll be able to read frequently.

Riley: Yeah, we also have some other things coming up. We're going to talk about [00:25:00] food sensitivities for an entire month. I think one of the things I'm excited about from that month is just trying to help people, who are newly transitioning to. A food sensitivity of some kind or a change in their diet. 

We will be interviewing somebody talking about how to make that transition more smooth for you and for your family. So we're really excited about that. We're also going to be doing another kids in the kitchen month. We think it's so valuable to instill, cooking into your kids' lives , and so we have a couple of really wonderful people to talk to about that.

Um, and we're really excited. I'm just giving you some ideas and tips and tricks to help get your kids into the kitchen. Maybe they are older and they're not interested. And or maybe they're younger and you're just trying to, get them interested in that thing. But really excited. And I personally am really excited about this month because I have, little over one and a half year old. And so I'm always looking for ways to, you know, try to start introducing that, man. It makes a mess, you know, like that's the thing that I always think about. It's like, man, it's going to be a [00:26:00] mess.

Um, but I never regret it once she's been in the kitchen with me and we made cookies or something like that, it really is fun. You know, the is whatever it gets cleaned up. but it really is fun. And I think it's encouraging her to want to cook and appreciate what she puts into her body. Um, cause that's what food is.

It's a, it's a pretty big deal to all of us. 


Roni: Finally, we are just excited about another, a full year of the podcast. You know, we didn't get to have a full year of the podcast in 2021 because we spent a lot of the year trying to figure it out.

Um, but we are excited for a full year of podcast episodes, Riley and I are going to be doing seasonal episodes once a quarter to help you learn more about. Seasonal eating in general. So, our next podcast episode is actually going to be our winter seasonal episode. So you can look forward to learning about what, foods are going to be in season for the winter.

Some recipes that you can use those ingredients in, and just why we should be thinking about seasonal eating in the [00:27:00] first place. So. And then later in the month, we are later in the year, we are going to interview some experts on seasonal eating. And we are just, we're very excited about that addition to the podcast and just exploring some new topics that we get to learn more about as well.

Riley: Roni and I have learned so much, by interviewing people for the podcast and we're really excited about all the interviews we have lined up for 2022. And, we just, we just can't wait to launch more shows and, share more info with you guys 

Roni: we appreciate you guys joining us on this episode today. And every other week, when we release our podcast episodes, if you loved this episode or another episode, we would really appreciate it. If you shared it with someone to spread the word of the Plan to Eat podcast, and as always, you can contact us at