Advanced: Managing Columns in My Meal Plans

There may be times when you have a need to add a column or two, to a particular meal plan. We recently received a question about what they were for and how to use them. To be completely honest, it’s a feature we hadn’t considered or explored initially, so you may have even more ideas of what to use columns for after this tutorial.

Adding and Renaming Columns

The first example we thought of was to duplicate a column and double the recipes. The first column would have the original recipe and the second column could have the doubled amounts so you can quickly print the grocery list out should you want it.

From your selected Meal Plan, start by selecting the three little dots at the top right of your Column one. A little window will pop up to select one of the following options: Change Name, Move Left, Move Right, Duplicate and Delete Column. We will select Duplicate.

Once Duplicated, your cursor will automatically hop to column’s name and you can rename the column. You can change the number of servings for each recipe to your desired amount. If you choose to delete a certain recipe, you can select the three dots on the recipe card. It’s on the left side of the card, about a third of the way down. Here you can View Recipe, Duplicate Item, Change Servings or Remove Item.

Regenerating Your Shopping List

When it’s time to print your shopping list, you’ll click on your shopping cart. The last shopping cart you used will automatically populate so you will want to regenerate your shopping list. You’ll notice that your shopping cart has a circle with arrows indicating that it can now be regenerated. Click again and you’ll be asked if you’re sure you want to regenerate. Yes you do! Say “OK”.

You’ll see that your Shopping List looks similar to the very first time you generated your shopping list. You could check “Include ingredient notes”, select your preferred units and you’ll see the items under the Collection section have changed. Your original Recipes will be there along with the recipes from the new column, under whatever name you chose. To select just the recipes from the new column, ensure that only that name is selected. Again, hit that little shopping cart in the top right and you’ll get your updated shopping list! You can now adjust and print your shopping list and hit the grocery store!

Remember that the next time you use this meal plan, the shopping list for this column will auto populate because it was the last one you used.

Other Uses for Columns

We have decided that having columns for single and double servings of recipes is a pretty good reason to have two columns. Other ideas are if you wanted all your BBQ recipes in one meal plan but wanted to separate out chicken from beef (because you saw a terrific sale on chicken!), for example, that would be a good way to do it. Another Club Member asked how to print ingredients for only three of the five recipes in her Meal Plan. I suggested she can decrease her servings to zero, remove those recipes altogether, OR duplicate the column, and then remove those recipes and regenerate her shopping list for that column only.

Originally the design was intended for full on meal planning: breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cyclical environment which could be used in a cafeteria or in a medical setting, so some users may make extravagant meal plans for the next year! You have the tools at your fingertips and you’re welcome to tailor it to your own needs.

For those users who are confident using the technology, we recommend you play around with the columns and see what uses you can come up with! Let us know!

There is another section that adds Groups! We have no idea what we would use that for, but if you think of something, please tell us. We’d love to maximize the features in the Club!

Side Note: Adding Your Own Recipes Manually

Yes, you read that right! You CAN add your own recipes manually. It won’t look quite as sophisticated as the ones created by Freezer Meals 101, however you can still add them and the ingredients will be populated in your shopping list! In the video above, the tutorial for this starts at the 5-minute mark.

From My Meal Plans, select the Collection you want to add your recipe to. On the right-hand side of the each column, you’ll see two plus signs. The top one adds a group, the one below will “Add Item”. Adding an “item” will be your new recipe! So click the second plus sign and “add item”. Here you can add many things: recipes from other collections, recipes by name, notes and what you’re looking for is Custom Recipe. Click that.

Start by Naming your Recipe. One by one, add your ingredients and their amounts. In the Text section below, you can add the assembly method and the cooking method. You can colour code the recipe if you desire. Back at the top, there is another plus sign where it says “Click to Add”. Click it and your recipe will be in your column below the other recipes. When you regenerate your shopping list, it will be included! You can edit it or delete it whenever you like.

Please note: Unlike the Freezer Meal 101 recipes that say a recipe is four servings and to double it you would increase the servings to eight, when you add your recipes manually, it defaults the serving size to one serving for the entire recipe. If you want to double the recipe, increase the serving size to two. You will be unable to create half servings.

We are happy to be able to provide these features and give you the resources to make the most of them. Happy Cooking!

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