Ziplist–helps get dinner on the table.

One thing I struggle with as a wife and mother is getting dinner on the table. It sounds simple…just make dinner. But this is one huge process that I continually battle.  There is so much to think about in order to just get one meal prepared (from planning to shopping then preparing). But thanks to Ziplist, I’ve kept this New Year’s Resolution of ‘cooking more’ alive…past the first month of January anyway! Here’s how it helps…

1) Menu planning–I hardly use a cookbook unless it’s our “family cookbook” with our favorite go-tos.  Some of my dinner ideas come from a folder I’ve gathered of torn out recipes from magazines such as Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, etc.  However, the majority are found online from a quick Google search on “crockpot” or “easy chicken dinner” or “healthy kid meals”. Over time I have gathered recipes on mom blogs and by following food bloggers, and I just email myself the recipe. Well, I now have 168 emails in my cooking folder and 48 in my favorites folder. What a waste of time it is for me to dig through those emails to decide what’s for dinner.  Ziplist solves this problem, here’s how:  add a “Ziplist Recipe Clipper” bar to your toolbar (found on their website) then when you find a recipe you like (from anywhere online) it adds it to your online account. No more torn out pages for me…everyone is digital now so I find the magazine recipe on their site and add it to my Ziplist. All my recipes are organized in ONE spot!

2) Grocery list/shopping–This has been a hard transition for me because I like a pen and paper list, however, saving time is becoming more of an appeal to me. Once I have added the recipe to my account, I can open it and click “add to list” which then pops up a screen with two parts: “Items We Think You May Need” and “Items We Think You May Have”…all you have to do is uncheck or check the items and BAM! they are all on your grocery list. You can have a template shopping list of your “staple” items, ie: milk, eggs, fruit, which you can also add with one quick click.

3) Ziplist also has an app for the smart phone! Although I know it’s not a must to have a smart phone, I will say it’s been an added bonus for me as my menu and grocery list go wherever I go! When I am sitting in the van waiting for a child to wake up from a nap or picking one up from school, I can quickly search a new recipe or add some items to my grocery list.

Keeping things planned, and organized yet simple, are essential for me in order to be successful in cooking dinner for my family. Otherwise it results in unhealthy options of ordering out or the boring staples for the kids of mac & cheese or hot dog. (Don’t get me wrong…my kids LOVE those options, but if I don’t offer new and exciting things for them, they will continue to be picky eaters.)

Some of you may ask, “but isn’t this a lot like Pinterest?”. In terms of searching for recipes the answer is YES.  For me, it does avoid the option of getting on there for a quick recipe and an hour later realizing I’ve found 5 new projects that I’d love to do in my free time, 10 new sweet treats I’ve pinned for after the diet’s over and the new solution to curing my winter dry hands (lots of those on there too) and then darn it, I have to go change a diaper or break the kids up from fighting and I am still asking myself…”What’s for dinner?!”

So just try it…check out Ziplist, add the recipe clipper to your toolbar, download the app, start adding your favorite recipes, plan the 5 meals you are willing to make this week, add it to your grocery list, and take your phone and go make some healthy meals and make your life a tab bit easier!

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