Tools4Wisdom Planner Review

I’m obsessed with planners, it’s sad but true. I am a note taker and a list maker, if we have anything to do or anything to plan… you better believe I’m writing it all down! This planner is fantastic, ugly… but fantastic! I dig the weekly planners where you can keep track of times of appointments and activities. Want to learn more about this great planner? Check out my review video below!

You can purchase one of these HERE (when available):

Meals By the Week Review & GIVEAWAY!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

It took me several years to get the hang of menu planning for our family. Still, to this day, I get so frustrated trying to plan around what we have left in our pantry/fridge and what’s on sale… so I started just sticking to 1-2 stores even though I could save more by going to several different stores. Especially now, that I’m 13 weeks pregnant (nauseous, exhausted and really not in the mood to run all over town to buy groceries) and toting two kids, ages 3 and 1 along with me. Even still, creating a menu plan is exhausting!

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I was excited to have the opportunity to review Meals By the Week, this site publishes menus for grocery stores throughout the country. And beyond that, they offer meals for those on specific diets like Paleo, Vegetarian, etc. (They will be offering a clean eating menu soon as well!) Here are two screenshots of a few of their menus:

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I was fairly disappointed to find that our top 2 grocery stores were not listed (Ingles and Aldi) because we do the majority of our shopping at those two places. For my subscription I opted for the Walmart Menu, I was pleased with the variety of menu choices it offered but I doubt we could have afforded all the ingredients and choices suggested.

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Overall, I was pleased with the easy navigation of the site, the food choices, and ease of use… but if I were to purchase a subscription for myself I would want an option for some of our favorite stores and perhaps a more budget friendly menu.

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Want a chance to try this site out yourself? You’re in luck! Meals By the Week has graciously offered to give away a 26 week subscription to their site! That’s a $30 value! Just fill out the tasks in the widget below, and please take note that the first three tasks MUST be completed in order to be eligible for the prize AND to open up the rest of the tasks for extra points! Thank you!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tools4Wisdom 2014 Mom Planner Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I’m a little OCD… but just a little. I like to have everything planned and written down, with colorful pens of course, and everything has to be organized, neat and concise. My house is never as neat and organized and perfect as I would like…. but my planner, and our binders (I have a blog binder, a homeschool binder, a finance binder and an Origami Owl binder) and my desk…. that I can keep neat and clean (most of the time!).

I was given the opportunity to review a mommy planner, which is available for purchase on Amazon. I was pretty excited about it, and I’m sure as my friend, Christa, reads this… she’s going “nerd alert!” Ah, well… as I was saying, I was pretty excited about it. I have a small planner that I tote around in my person or the diaper bag, I keep track of appointments, dates to remember, and my to do list in it. That’s all fine and dandy, but I wanted something bigger that I could keep track of EVERYTHING in. All the above that is kept in my small planner, as well as blog to do’s and deadlines, personal to do’s, things that need to be accomplished around the house, and tot school schedule! Yes, I have a binder for school and my blog, but it’s a pain in the rear having all of my schedules scattered every which way.

Here’s my slew of planners and accessories I use for my planners:

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The smaller planner I purchased at Target, as well as my colorful pens and my dollar bin stickers and labels (see below).

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You have to love the Target $1 Bins! As I said before, the smaller of my planners goes everywhere with me, I’m just now updating the May section, so it looks like we’re not busy next month, but we REALLY really are.

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Now on to our Tools4Wisdom Planner! My favorite thing about this mommy planner is how everything is split up on the weekly calendar pages. You have a section for mom, dad, kids, meal planning, family goals, personal goals, etc etc. It’s organized very nicely, it’s definitely going to make organizing our life into one book much easier!

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Here’s a better view directly from Tools4Wisdom, as you can see, they point out all of the different spaces on the weekly planner pages.

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Here is a close up of the bottom section where you can see I used my handy dandy Target $1 bin stickers!

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Tools4Wisdom doesn’t just offer Mommy Planners, they offer a wide arrange of different types of planners, including a Student Planner, Goal Planner and Daily Planner. Their prices are reasonable, though I would pay a bit more if they’d add some modern and contemporary color to their planners! With the black and white, it’s a little dull and just “blah”, but the structure and the organization of the planner is pristine.

About the Mommy Planners, directly from Tools4Wisdom:

Tools4Wisdom planners help Mommy’s make daily choices that are smart…
… And are filled with thought provoking sections to inspire – and follow the calling of your heart.

But don’t take our word, please try yourself and see…
… There is nothing to lose through Tool4Wisdom’s unconditional satisfaction guarantee.

Planner Features:
– Spiral-Bound Weekly Mom Planner
– 2014 Calendar
– Yearly and Monthly Goals Sections
– Mommy oriented Weekly Planning Sections
– Journal Pages
– 1-year unconditional money-back guarantee

Planning pages include:
– 12 goal setting pages
– 12-months weekly planner with 2-page/month goals pages
– 2-page/month calendars
– 2-pages/week planner
– journal pages

If you are interested in purchasing a mommy planner you can find them HERE or see a preview of the planner HERE.  I’ve posted a few other links below, thanks for stopping by – keep an eye out for a photo post and an update post later this week! God Bless!

Tools4Wisdom Products

Tools4Wisdom Website (webinars and videos)

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Cook’n 11 Review and Giveaway!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

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I am a Pinterest FANATIC. Seriously… ask my family, ask my friends! I’m constantly pinning new recipes, home decor ideas, crafts, homeschool projects, etc. I just love it! I love it so much that I JUMPED at the opportunity to review this software called Cook’n 11. This program is AWESOME! It’s like a pinterest for your recipes, but better!

Cook’n is the Only Recipe Software that lets you:
• Easily Enter your Personal Recipes
• Get Ideas for What to Make for Dinner
• See a Visual Menu Planner
• Auto-Generate Shopping Lists
• Capture Recipes From Favorite Websites
• Calculate Nutrition of Your Recipes
• Capture & Sync Pinterest Recipes
• Scan Printed Recipes
• Discover New Recipes w/Live Feed
• Print Themed Recipes – Demo
• Use Snip-It to Capture Blog Recipes
• Import recipes from Word – Demo
• Share Recipes with Social Media
• and much more!

There are some really neat demos and tutorials on how to use Cook’n directly on their website HERE. You can even download the App for FREE onto your iOS or Android phones or tablets!

This is what the program looks like as it’s loading (click on the pictures to see larger images):

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Once it loads, the first screen that pops up is the home page, here you will see the Live Recipe Feeds on the main screen, and then you have a menu bar to the left with links to any cookbooks you’ve added or recipes you’ve included in your box of recipes.

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Above the Live Recipe feeds you can do a search, as an example I chose to search “Chocolate Chip Cookies”…

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What I LOVE about this is that it searches the internet to find recipes AND your recipes! You can add the recipes you find from the internet directly to your Cook’n program if you find one you like.

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As I mentioned before, to the left of the screen you can see my cookbooks. I have not added any of my own recipes yet… I’ve been too busy searching and playing with all the different settings as I explore the program! HA!

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I have two cookbooks, the top one you can’t see but it’s called The Ultimate Cook’n Cookbook and the second one is called Gooseberry Patch: 5 Ingredients or Less. Under each cookbook you can see the different categories. I chose Breakfast, from The Ultimate Cook’n Cookbook, as an example.

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From there you can see all of the recipes from that category in the cookbook. From there, I clicked on Fluffiest Pancakes.

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All the ingredients are listed clearly and precisely, the directions are easy to read and understand. How cool is that?!

At the top of the screen there are lots of buttons with various pictures. I’m still exploring all the wonderful options this program has to offer, but I can share a few that I love! First option is the button that has a recipe card with a plus sign. I’m sure you can guess what that does! You can add your very own recipes! Just fill in the information and voila! You can also add recipes from the web, but I haven’t gotten that far in my exploration of all the fun quirks Cook’n has to offer.

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Another really neat option is the menu planning option. This button has a dinner plate, a spoon and a book on it. You can add as many or as few recipes as you wish, plan your menu for each day, create a grocery list, etc. Very convenient!

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My favorite option though, is the grocery list. This button is a checklist with a purple pencil on it.

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The above picture shows what it looks like prior to adding your recipes. Below I’ve shown you one way to create a list. Another way is to click the +add item button at the top of the page, and you can add whatever items you want. Another is way is by following the steps I’ve illustrated below. You first click on the Category (as I showed you above), I chose Breakfast here again. I then chose the Apple Raisin Strata (which opens in a new tab), then I clicked on the Grocery List button. Once I finished that it automatically added all the ingredients I needed into the list, separated by categories!

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I was blown away by Cook’n 11, it goes above and beyond what I thought this program would be capable of. I’m sure I’ve got a lot more things to discover as I learn to use it. Now YOU have a chance to try it as well! I’m giving away a free copy of the Cook’n 11 Software AND a digital copy of a cookbook of YOUR choice the Cook’n Library online! It’s super easy to enter, just follow the instructions on the Giveaway Tools Widget below! Good luck!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Meal Planning Tips

I don’t know about you… but I HATE meal planning. I dread it, I dread figuring out the meals, I dread making my grocery list… and I DREAD going grocery shopping. It’s not my favorite. Nope. BUT, it has to be done! Oh, the joys of being a mother! Trial and error has proven that NOT planning causes more money spent, more headaches, and chaos to ensue. So, on that note… meal planning tips!

Pinterest is my best friend. I can find recipes, menu templates, grocery list templates, and all kinds of amazing tips and tricks for your monthly meal plans. I’ve just recently started using THIS template from Passion for Savings. It looks like this:

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I don’t use the snack section, we just don’t plan that… I buy what’s on sale that I know Boogie and Bubby will eat and then they choose from those each day. Usually Boogie chooses Bunny Crackers and/or blueberries! I love this template because it has enough space for each meal on each day to write where to find the recipe, what sides I want to include, etc.

As for our grocery list, I use notebook paper or a notepad to jot down what we have in our freezer, fridge and pantry. From there I try to plan our menu around those items first, trying to use up as much as I can before adding meals that we need to buy groceries for. For example, I have several bags of frozen diced bell peppers that need to be used up in the next few weeks in my chest freezer. So I’ve jotted down Breakfast Bowls (I hope to post this recipe at some point for you, but basically it’s home fries, scrambled or fried eggs, a breakfast meat, and peppers and onions all mixed into a bowl…. super unhealthy but very yummy!), Chili and a few other recipes that call for it and other ingredients I have on hand. Once I’ve gone through and used up what I can on that list, I print out THIS template to make my grocery list from Evelyn Kate Designs. (She has a lot of really cool stuff, and this particular template is one of her freebies!) It looks like this:

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Of course, you could always just use notebook paper… but what fun is that? The prettier your list is, the better 😉 At least it makes it a little bit more fun, right? So yea, I use that or if I don’t feel like printing it out I just jot down what groceries we need…. and I’m a little bit particular about grouping like foods together. Produce first, then meats, then frozen, then dairy, etc etc.

We do try to coupon, but I just haven’t found many good deals on the foods we like to eat. Most of the coupons you get for food are for processed, packaged foods… we really do try to get fresh, organic, whole foods. Occasionally I’ll find coupons for salad mixes, fruits, etc. I will say you can get some great deals on toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoos, soaps, etc… most of the time I get them for .25/each or less, but usually FREE! I’m really not a fan of couponing though… it’s so time consuming!

Anyways, I also like to have a list on the door of my cupboard to jot down pantry items that we consistently use, like baking goods (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, etc), condiments (though I’m contemplating making our own from scratch…), seasonings, etc. I printed THIS template from Pinch a Little Save-A-Lot and laminated it. I use a dry erase marker on it so we can just wipe it clean after our shopping trip! I just peek in that cupboard when I make my grocery list, jot those items down we need or are low on, then wipe it clean to start anew! That freebie looks like this:

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What tips and tricks do you have to make your meal planning quick and painless? It takes me a couple of hours to really get everything together and organized… but like I said, I’m just particular about how I have everything! I’m still not done with this month’s plan!