Menu in a Box: Online Meal Planning

For most parents, staying healthy, saving money and always being organized with meal planning is not a feasible task.

But as in most ‘dire’ parental situations, someone, somewhere is having the same problem, and sometimes,

those people who share your problems come up with entrepreneurial solutions, like Ruthie Chant and her

wonderful Menu in a Box website.

As a mother of two, Ruthie knew she had to do something to get organized in the kitchen, especially while she

was pregnant with her second child 5 months after having her first.

On a single income, due to her maternity leave, Ruthie started by organizing the pantry, then her freezer…and in

no time, with meticulous planning, her family started to save money and get organized.

To help other parents on a single income, working mums and single parents, she decided to put all of her new

menus into a book called 200 Weeknight Dinners .

After selling a couple hundred E-books, a few of the parents who had purchased the book suggested it would be great

to be able to choose their own dinners, and so, Menuinabox Meal Planning online was born.

And it truely is the perfect place to plan meals for your family, from cooking to baking, every meal and every occasion

is taken care of as the site helps you to organize your pantry and freezer, create a master shopping list for your weekly

recipes, print out the recipes, chore schedules to get the rest of the family involved in the household duties and even

party planning help!

Once you are signed up as a member to the site, you can print of a weekly menu planner and search for recipes,

which you handwrite the titles of into your planner and save. The site then organizes your meal plan and all you

have to do is print out the recipes you have chosen and the corresponding and shopping list.

When you are looking at recipes, once you choose your genre (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, baking, dessert), you

can narrow down your choices by clicking on options like 5 ingredients or less, Dairy Free, For Baby, For Toddler,

Kids Friendly, Low Fat, No Sugar, Nut Free and so on.

You can also print off the planner to put on the fridge for your family to see so you don’t have to listen to anymore

‘muuuum what’s for dinner’ whine’s again!

The site also provides a weekly Family Chore Chart where you can insert your family members names under

‘Lay The Table’, ‘Dishes’, ‘Pack Away’, ‘Tidy’ for each week, ensuring the daily and weekly chores of the house

don’t just fall on your hand.

The site also offers resources like invitations which can be ordered on line for all your entertaining purposes,

decorating ideas, craft and gift ideas, expert books and interviews, healthy eating tips and basics, How to’s for

baking, cooking and measuring for those novas cooks among us, kids activities, birthday parties, recipes and

baking ideas as well as lunchbox planning for those that take packed lunches to school.

To top it off, the site is easy to navigate and looks a bit like an organized online food magazine with

ecstatically pleasing design and professional looking images of the food… and best of all, full of tons

of yummy meal ideas.

Take a look at the site for yourself, online at or

Banana & Berry Muffins


Bake them this weekend with the kids and heat them up to enjoy!

Thanks to Ruthie Chant from  for the great recipe idea!

Get organized in the kitchen, plan your meals and teach your kids to cook with 

her site

What You Will Need:

baking powder2 tsp

bananas – mashed3  / 3

bran1/4 cups

buttermilk1/2 cups


fresh lemon juice2 tsp

frozen raspberries1 1/2 cups

plain flour1 1/2 cups

sugar1/2 cups

vegetable oil2 Tbs

What To Do:

  1. Pre-heat to 200 C / 400 F
  2. Place muffin pans into muffin tray
  3. Combine dry ingredients into a bowl
  4. Add wet ingredients in another bowl
  5. Divide batter into muffin cases
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until baked through

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