Real Plans Reviews

Real Plans
Based on  14 Reviews
About Real Plans
Real Plans is the creation of popular food/natural health blogger Emily, of the Holistic Squid blog, and her husband.  Through her blog she has helped thousands of people reach their health goals through whole food recipes, nutrition advice, and a wealth of information on fertility and pregnancy.
 
Through years working on her blog she developed a series of weekly meal plans that her readers have found immensely helpful.  Now through Real Plans they have turned that practice into a fully functioning monthly meal planning service.

How Does Real Plans Work?

The idea behind this service is simple, they will help you plan home cooked meals more efficiently and relieve you of the burden to constantly come up with new and enjoyable recipes.
 
Through the Holistic Squid Blog they were able to generate lots of feedback from meal plan subscribers that they’ve used to make their paid offering top of the line.
 
Real Plans customers are able to customize menus, easily adjust for portion sizes, modify recipes, create iPhone shopping lists - with notes and pictures, plan for customized time frames.  Whether you’re cooking for 2 or hosting a dinner party they have you covered.
 
The recipes are easy to make and designed to save you time while feeding your family wholesome and nutritious foods.  When you subscribe you have the choice of meal plans based on your diet; you can chose from Paleo, Vegetarian, or Traditional.
 
They also offer several pricing options allowing you to pay $14 per month monthly, $11 per month quarterly, or $6 per month annually.

Customer Service:

The company offers a 30 day money back guarantee that lets you try the service and if you’re not satisfied get a full refund.  If you have any questions you can reach support at support@realplans.com.

Online Reviews/Complaints:

Since this is a relatively new service there is not much online feedback as of now, but they do feature some positive testimonials on their site. Also Emily's ebook, “the eczema cure” and other helpful guides on Holistic Squid have all received wonderful reviews.

Competitors and Alternatives:

There are many Paleo food bloggers that offer meal plans so it’s simply a matter of choosing someone whose food tastes are similar to yours.  You can also piece together your own meal plans from a variety of sources but that is more time consuming than subscribing to one centralized resource.
 
Some other popular Paleo meal plan providers include: Paleo Plan, ThePaleoDiet.com, and Paleo Leap.

Where to Buy?

You can sign up directly from their website at RealPlans.com.
 
If you have tried Real Plans please leave your reviews below.
 
14 ‘Real Plans’ Reviews
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Oct
28
2015
Lori croall
Quincy ma
delicious recipes with varying difficulty, caters to special diets

I fell in love with real plans when I was pregnant this past summer. I didn't have the energy to plan out meals and real plans made it mindless. Well, as luck would have it, my little one has a milk protein allergy so I'm now using their dairy free meal plan. I am so much more impressed! This week was tomato bacon soup, and dairy free vanilla ice cream to name a couple. I can set Wednesdays to be leftovers and 30 minute meals during the week which is nice. So many settings to make it work for me! Love the grocery list feature too. Huge fan!

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Oct
27
2015
Janet McBride
Fort Collins, CO
Has made my life sooo much easier

I've been using Real Plans since before it became an app. I originally loved it for the great flavors in the recipes, the included grocery lists, and the timeline that showed me what to prep ahead of time. At first I felt like I was spending more time and money on groceries and prep; however, after about a month of following the plan and stocking up on staples, I found I saved both time and money while getting truly delicious, nutritious meals on the table. The new online Real Plans is even better and so flexible. We received a lot of salmon fillets from my dad in Alaska, so I've been switching out a recipe each week with a salmon recipe - including importing recipes from other sites. It's become even better with the addition of breakfast and lunch planning. We truly love it.

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out of 10 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Karla
Dallas TX
Absolutely love it!

This meal planning system has everything I wanted plus more. It lets me choose my diet plan, which helps when you are transitioning from a traditional diet to a Paleo one. It has a lot of amazing recipes and you can also upload your very own so if what shows up in your menu is not your cup of tea, you can just go and change them up with your own or with any of the ones they have available . It's gives you detailed shopping lists that you can customize as well. The list of great features goes on and on. But most importantly it allows me to feed my family, great tasting and healthy meals, while still keeping my sanity.

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out of 7 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Parker Pearson
Roanoke, VA
Really pleased so far

I have been using this service for about a month. It's been great. Lots of flexibility, good food options. ( paid extra for access to Nom Nom Paleo recipes).

I can see the effort and care behind this service. They care and want to deliver a great service. That's really hard, especially with technology. So if I encounter the rare odd technical glitch, I take it as just that. Most importantly this service is helping me take better care of myself. At the end of the day, that's what matters.

I've already converted my quarterly membership to an annual plan.

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out of 10 People Found This Review Helpful
1 Comment
Michelle
January 12, 2017

I'm wondering...when you converted your membership from quarterly to annual, did you just pay the difference between the two? (Because the longer subscription you have, the cheaper it is per month, so the quarterly is more per month than the annual). Hope that makes sense...

Oct
27
2015
Shauntel
Colorado Springs, Co.
So necessary for those who cook real food

This app is a life saver! I can choose the way (traditional, vegetarian, paleo, etc.) I want my family to eat, modify the meal plan if I need to, have a grocery list all ready to go and add my own recipes. This inexpensive tool saves me hours of time! I won't do with out it!
Also- shot out to the owners for being so available and easy to connect with for any problems or questions! I would give this an A++!

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out of 11 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Gina
Portland, Ore
Life Saver!

I work. Full time plus. I have a two year old and a picky husband. This meal plan is the best. I shop once. I have a plan for what to cook, what prep is needed and how long it will take. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and got me to try new foods and we've found new favorites. My kiddo likes almost everything and my husband does too. This made meal time easy and way less stressful. Plus, I like how simple it is to use, I have uploaded my favorite recipes from other sites and they make their way into the weekly plans. I am quite pleased with Real Plans. I highly recommend it. I used to dread coming home and having to decide what we would make for supper. Now, I already know!

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out of 8 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Ann
Grand Rapids, MI
Life (and wallet and waistline) saver!

I heard about Real Plans through Nom Nom Paleo, a Paleo blog I follow on FB. I absolutely HATE planning meals and if I could afford it, I'd hire a personal chef to do it for me. I paid for the Nom Nom Paleo extension because a) I was referred to Real Plans through her FB site and b) I've probably saved a dozen of her recipes but never made them.

I love the recipes it's given me and I love the customization. If I see a recipe I know I won't be able to find ingredients for (duck is not exactly readily available all the time), or I'm just too lazy to make, I can substitute it with another recipe from the site or pull one from my own arsenal.

The site and app is constantly undergoing improvements, and the developers are always more than happy to hear suggestions.

A few days after I signed up, I received a voicemail from one of their people checking in to see how I was liking it so far and if I had any questions to feel free to call.

Using Real Plans also helps us stay out of the restaurants which helps us save money AND keeps us healthy!

I love this site!

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out of 9 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Kim
Lethbridge, AB
Give it a chance, you need time to work with it.

I signed up for Real Plans and then cancelled using the 30 day money back guarantee as I didn't think it would work for me. They fully refunded me, absolutely no questions asked, except for one: Could they contact me and give me a free tutorial by phone and internet and another month free? Because I felt that this was the best online meal plan I have seen to date, I agreed.
They showed me the most efficient way to use the system. (I wasn't using it correctly, and to their credit and lack of mine, I didn't watch any of the videos.)
Their support staff are great. They really want to make this the best meal planning system available online. They appreciate and consider every suggestion offered.
My action plan is to go through the entire list of recipes and 3 star the ones I think my family would enjoy. Then when I return to the list, the starred ones will appear first and I can select which recipes I want instead of relying on the automatic ones that appear. (I'll remove the suggested recipes and start with a clean slate.) Once we try them, I can bump up the star rating to 4 or 5, or remove the star and carry on. I also only plan to use only a couple recipes per week for the first while until I get more comfortable with the system.
I think this system will work well, as long as you are not expecting miracles on the first day. Just a little patience and time. :)

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Oct
27
2015
April
Chandler, AZ
It works great for us - plus, I challenge you to find anything remotely this good

I'm a fairly new subscriber (several months) and we have eaten Paleo for many years but now have egg-allergy we need to watch for plus we choose to be cow-dairy free, so this highly customizable plan is very helpful to us. Plus, I have 2 little ones so I don't have time to scan Pinterest for compliant recipes, make a shopping list, then visit the grocery store a few times a week. This way, I plan our meals on Fri, shop on Sat and prep most of the meals on Sun and Wed. This works really well for us. I find some recipes use expensive/rare ingredients and don't always list an alternative, so I just use my best judgement and pick an alternative or ask the butcher or produce guy what they recommend swapping with. I also don't have a SousVide nor do I live by a coast-line with fresh seafood, so lots of those recipes I just skip... no big deal, I have plenty of recipe options even with our "restrictions". Also, living in AZ, I DO NOT use my oven to bake things a good half of the year, so I always have to figure an alternative to the oven use that is used very often in the recipes on RP.

A comment on the other reviews listed here:
The recent software for Real Plans pre-fills your weeks with meals according to the style you selected and the Qty of servings you selected- You can change all of this so I'm not sure why "nrh" couldn't just remove/add recipes in his budget or his geographical location. Also, if you & your family have never eaten paleo and all of a sudden make paleo recipes, of course they're not going to be used to it. Eating paleo, at least for me, was a transition, not something that changed from one day to the next.
As far as the software just up and deleting all your recipes, that hasn't happened to me, yet, but I'm sure I'd be equally pissed if it screwed that up for me. I guess all I can say is that the same can be said about *everything* technological.. like my Galaxy S5 did that the other day... and my Apple has done that to me... and my TV occasionally whacks out. It's software, shit happens sometimes.

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Oct
27
2015
Tina Coyle
Lawrenceville, GA
Best, most customizable plan out there -- and has saved us money!

I love this meal plan and the recent updates. Here are my favorite features:

1. Best shopping list out there. You can add all meals and even snacks for the week, so your shopping list is COMPLETE. You can also assign each item to a particular store and access just that store's list for ease when you are out shopping. Also lets you add food and household needs manually, or have it automatically added on a scheduled basis. For example we make a trip to the big box store the first week of the month and we have scheduled items like coffee and laundry detergent that pop up on that week's shopping list. Since I can access it from any device I can pull out my phone and access it anytime for shopping or to add something I find I need. If my husband or teenagers make a stop they can access the list also and check off what they have purchased so there is no duplication, just that feature alone is worth the price!

2. You can customize to fit any allergy or taste. If you have certain foods you can't have or just don't like you can note them and they don't show up in recipes in your meal plans. You can also add your own recipes and the ingredients for those are automatically incorporated in the shopping list or alter what they have. My family doesn't like cilantro for example, but love Mexican food. So when it comes up I just change it up for parsley in those recipes and save it for when it comes up in future rotations on the menu.

3. Includes all meals, snacks and stock up items such as broths. I have never found such an inclusive plan! You can also tailor the prep time certain meals require and it selects appropriate recipes for that meal. On days I'll be home late I have crock pot meals selected for example, and it always puts crock pot recipes into that day's dinner. It has a range of options you can assign for each meal according to your schedule that include cook ahead meals, crockpot meals, quickie meals, big cook day meals, and more. When you add your own recipes you can tag them as one of those meals so they are included appropriately.

4. Easy to alter the weekly plans and starts on any day of the week you like. I like to preview the weekly plan over the weekend and switch out some recipes so that they are comprised of sale items for that week. You can also select recipes based on expense for when the budget is tight.

5. Includes a timeline for the week that lets you know what to defrost, marinade, etc for the day ahead. When you add your own recipes its is easy to make sure those relevant tasks are included in the timeline.

6. You can access the plan from any device. I have a husband and teens that help in the shopping, prep, and cooking and each of us having access to the shopping lists and timelines, and recipes is so wonderful. No more forgotten shopping lists and forgotten necessities! If I get held up I can call my husband and ask him to hit a certain store on the way home and he has instant access to that store's list. Or I can ask my daughter to look at the timeline to complete any prep tasks that need to be handled that morning and she can just look it up on her phone and do it without any long explanations on my part.

There are other great features that I love, but those are the ones I like most. I work, homeschool, and cook all meals from scratch to facilitate some dietary restrictions and I love having some help in the planning department. I have tried many many meal plans, this one by far exceeds any other I have used. After using it for a month I went ahead and subscribed for the following year to get the great price discount you get for that. We are eating much more healthier and I'm easily saving the money I paid for the plan with all the help using up ingredients promptly and no more take out meals because of forgotten ingredients or forgetting to defrost things, etc.

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Oct
27
2015
Sylvie
Abu Dhabi
Life saver!

As a working mother of 3, this meal planner is a life saver. Before it all we ate was ground beef and vegetables practically every day.

Highly recommend it if you have no time, no ideas and want to make eating well a priority.

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out of 7 People Found This Review Helpful
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Oct
27
2015
Daniel
Nashville, TN
Best Meal Plan App Out There

Real Plans is by far the most customizable real food meal plan app on the market. And not only does it allow you to upload any type of recipes you want, it comes pre-loaded with hundreds of recipes already!

I can customize precisely which meals each week I want to make, how much time I want to put into making them, how many people I'm serving, excluding any types of ingredients I want to avoid, and it churns out an amazing shopping list checklist I can take with me to the store to buy the week's ingredients!

And if I already have honey, salt, and spices on my list, I can just mark them off the list and my shopping list is updated.

If you eat Paleo, gluten-free, or have unique dietary restrictions, Real Plans is worth trying. It's simplifying my life in ways I've been dreaming of for years.

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Oct
12
2015
Wendi
AV. Calif
Good and terrible at the same time

The concept, spot on! Great planning and shopping from automated meal plan and reviewer above apparently didn't realize you can customize ingrdients you do and don't want and a general cost of meals. So one could choose no seafood, no vegetarian meals, and a $$ or $ level of cost of ingrdients. The customization is where it went bad for me though.., once I got my customized plan for 3 weeks, moved around recipes I wanted, added some recipes of my own, made notes, and shopped my for my 3 customized weeks .....one wednesday I could not access the recipe to make dinner then poof the next day it overwrote the whole thing with its own random stuff. Livid I was! Customer service basically said I changed settings that I didn't. It wasted my time and now I have to poke around and try and reconstruct what I purchased for. The recipe box search is lacking as well, couldnt find things by name! There is no backup of your customized plan!!! No way to save a plan if you really like say a 3-4 week rotation for a few months or if you want that week or month plan to repeat each season. No way to save the notes either, but you can alter the programmed recipes. Also, most importantly, There is zero warning if it's going to overwrite anything you customized, it will just happen! So user beware! Use it as an idea maybe but don't rely on it.. Oh and the Nom Nom Palio recipes are way better so buy that add on or just go get her cookbook!

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out of 11 People Found This Review Helpful
View all 3 Comments
Antony Bartlett
October 27, 2015

Hi Wendy

Thank you for you feedback.

Per the response I sent directly to you when you notified us of your plans changing, "we have had no other subscriber report any loss of data at any point in our existence unless they had actually changed the plans themselves. Only your account was corrupted as a result of an enormous (and rare) upgrade that we performed just as you were using the system". This is the first upgrade like this in 18 months. So I think your comments here are not representative of the experience of any other customer. Thousands of households rely on us week in, week out. So I am confused why should want to create this level of fear around our product?

Per your other comments, you can totally search for any recipe in the recipe box by name, you can even list ingredients and it will find all recipes that match your list. You can save notes everywhere, for specific days or on a weekly rotation. Plus we have copious warnings for users if they change their diet that it will re-create the meal plans.

I am sorry your experience was not a good one. Thankfully we were able to refund your money on the same day you asked for it and offered to keep the plan open for you so that you could see what a great service this is for so many other households.

I wish you luck finding the right service for you.

Antony Bartlett
Real Plans Owner

p.s. Based on your singular experience we also have backups for all plans now - just in case this were to happen to someone else. Onward and upward!!

hello
November 27, 2015

it kind of sounds like you're attacking her

Amanda
February 10, 2017

Did the overwriting happen multiple times, or just the one time?

If it was just once I'd chalk it up to an anomaly and move on, but if you had a lot of issues I'd like to know if it was while using the app or on the computer.

Oct
25
2014
nrh
ok, but not for us

I'm on my second month of Real Plans. I really was excited about the concept of having my meals laid out for me. They have a nice variety of foods and I really like how you can adjust the shopping list. I tried the paleo plan and I'm afraid some of the meals were not what my family would eat. That's just not what they are used to. While we did try some of them anyway, I'm not sure I could talk them into it again. So there are a lot of recipes I can't even use. I guess once you have paid for a lot of months that wouldn't be as such a big deal since you can substitute a different one. But for the first month the pickings are slim since they only give you one month of recipes. I do understand why they do that. We live far from a big grocery store so I like to shop for several weeks; 2 weeks of meal plans of a lot of ingredients we don't normally use was too overwhelming for me. There are several seafood and more expensive recipes in there that just don't fit in our budget. I don't think hummus is an entire meal, but that was one of the days, with veggies, of course. I thinks this is a great idea, it just didn't work for us.

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1 Comment
Traci
October 28, 2015

I've been a real plans user for over a year, and I think some of the problems in this review are from being a new user. Paleo is a challenging diet, but at any time, Real Plans allows you to change the meal for that day to a more family-friendly recipe (they have one of the most extensive and well-organized recipe boxes that I have ever seen--they even have a kid-friendly category). You can also swap out a recipe if an item is too expensive that week. With the mobile app, you can do this right in the store. If you want to add a recipe to supplement what is on the plan, you can also do this. You can also switch from Paleo to Primitive to Gluten-free to Traditional at anytime. The customer service is super-responsive and incredibly nice, so I would recommend that you contact them. I usually don't write reviews, but this is such a great product, that I thought I would share. Also, I honestly have not come across a bad recipe, but I change the menu at times to fit with my family's preferences.

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