How does Build A Menu work?
- It’s easy: Just join, log on each week, choose the store you want to shop at, choose as many of our delicious recipes you'd like from ANY of our meal plans, press BUILD A MENU and print your customized recipes and grocery shopping lists. Easy-Peasy!
What happens if I lose my list for the week? Can I print it again?
- No problem, just log back on, click on "My Menus", pull up your saved list of choices for the week and print it again!
Can I edit my menu once I've created it?
- Of course. Use the "Edit Menu" button to continue adding as many recipes as you'd like and even delete those you've changed your mind about until you're completely happy with your menu. Your shopping list will be updated each time, making it super easy to build the perfect menu.
Am I locked in to just one plan?
- Absolutely not! As a member of BUILD A MENU, you’re allowed to choose from ANY of our stores and ANY of our meal plans every single week. No need to contact customer service to change plans, just choose the meals you want from whatever store you want. (This includes dinner, breakfast, lunch, side dishes, Cooking with Kids, Snacks and Dessert of the Week recipes!)
My favorite store isn't featured. Can I still use benefit from using Build a Menu?
- Definitely. We've designed the Any Grocery Store to be just as powerful a resource as our featured grocery store plans are! We have a large (very large!) datebase of prices for each of the ingredients on our site and we use this information each week to show an "average" price for recipes in our Any Grocery Store plan. What does this mean for you? It means you can still take advantage of our unique budgeting widget to see approximately how much a recipe will cost to make at just about any grocery store and plan a menu that works for your budget! You'll still get an itemized shopping list and all the other useful features on our site. If your store isn't one of our regular stores, don't let that stop you from joining BUILD A MENU!
How often do we repeat recipes?
- Our policy is to not repeat any recipes for any of our store plans within four months. What does that mean? Since most people tend to shop at the same grocery store, we will not reuse any of our recipes for that store within a four month period. However, we may choose to use that recipe in our other store plans, but only once for each store within a four month period. (This does not apply to side dishes or the "Cheat and Eat" categories.)
Does that mean you’ll start over every four months and repeat the very same recipes you started with?
- No way! We have so many great recipes available that we’ll continue bringing you new, scrumptious, easy to make, cost effective recipes every single week. We will, however, occasionally bring back some of your “favorites” for you to enjoy again, but only once in a four month period per store plan.
What do you consider a “staple”?
- Staples are items that the average person already has in the refrigerator or pantry. Items such as milk, flour, butter, oils, most spices, etc. are considered staples and won’t be included in the totals on your shopping list. For your convenience, we’ll always include a section on your grocery list that shows all the staples needed for each of the meals you’ve selected, in case you need to restock any of these items.
How can a recipe cost $0.00?
- Occasionally, we'll feature a recipe that truly is made up of all staple ingredients. If you're looking for budget friendly, it doesn't get much better than that!
Can I substitute products when I'm shopping?
- Certainly. Our goal at BUILD A MENU is to take all the guess work out of grocery shopping and make it as easy as possible for you to complete your trip to the store without having to stop and figure out which product you should buy for your recipes. However, you may prefer a different brand for certain products, or your store may be out of an ingredient. Whatever the situation, you’re not likely to ruin the recipe by substituting a different brand or ingredient. If it still sounds like it will taste good to you, go for it! (And if you really love it, be sure to tell us about it so we can share your ideas with others!)
Why do some meal plans include seven choices per week, while others only include three?
- Each of our main meal plans that serve 4-6 people includes a complete weeks worth of recipes to choose from. Because we know families are busy and not every night works to fix a “normal” meal for dinner, we’ve also included a variety of additional meals plans for you to choose from.
* Is your schedule such that some evenings it’s impossible to get dinner on the table in time? No need to order out! Just pull out that Crockpot and check out the delicious recipes in our Slowcooker plan.
* Is it too hot out to use your oven? Be sure to take a look at the choices in our Grill-A-Meal plan.
* Do you have guests coming this weekend and need a few recipes that will feed more than just your family? No worries! Our Crowd Pleasers plan takes all the stress out of trying to think of what to feed everyone.
- Our meal plans that serve 1-2 people are designed with flexibility in mind and offer five recipes a week. This leaves room for using up left overs, going out to dinner or choosing a dinner or two that serve more people if you're cooking for company.
Why are the recipes that serve 1-2 people completely different than what’s offered for 4-6 people?
- While it would certainly be easier to use a recipe calculator to simply reduce it down to 1-2 servings, we’ve found those calculators often produce errors that can actually ruin the recipe. For that reason, we’ve chosen to only use recipes that were specifically written to serve 1-2 people. Of course, if you see a recipe that serves 4-6 and you’d really like to try it, you can always make it and save the leftovers for the next day!
What is the deal with the "cheat and eat" menus for breakfast and lunch?
- We realize many families are going to occasionally serve a box of cereal for breakfast or a frozen pizza for lunch. We added our cheat and eat menus as a way to keep it real and allow members the chance to put those items on their menu and therefore plan for them in their grocery budget each week. True, there is no recipe needed, but our goal is to help you plan a complete menu and if adding that to your list is more realistic, then feel free to "cheat" on some recipes and add them to your lists.
There are lots of dinner categories, but not so many for breakfast and lunch. Will you be adding any in the future?
- Yes! We are always listening to our members and as the requests come in, we consider if there is enough interest to add a new category to the menu. If you have a special request, be sure to let us know.
Can I add my own recipes?
- Yes! This has been one of our most requested features and we're so pleased to be able to offer this now! To add your own recipes, simply go to "My Menu" at the top of the page and follow the links. Here's an easy to follow youtube video that will walk you thru how to add your own recipe. You can even share your recipes with other BAM members!
Do you have a mobile app?
- We do! Both our android and ios versions are available for free. Simply search for "Build a Menu" in the app store and download it on your favorite mobile device. You can even add/delete ingredients from the shopping list on our apps! (That's a feature that's coming soon on our website.)
How do I cancel my membership?
What is your Orphan Care Ministry?
- In a nutshell, it’s the entire reason BUILD A MENU is in business. We have chosen specific non profit organizations to donate part of every paid membership to. Some of these charities were chosen because we have personal experience with them through our various adoptions. We believe in them, know them to be reputable organizations and want to continue helping by donating to them. Others were chosen because we also believe in their cause and we are proud to support their efforts to care for orphans around the world. Our goal is to provide the most competitive online menu planning service available, simply because the better it is, the more people will join and the more we’ll be able to donate to these very worthy charities. If you’re pleased with our service, please consider using telling your friends and family about BUILD A MENU! You can visit our Orphan Care Charity Program page to find out more.
Here at BAM, we’re working hard to make our menu planning service as useful, yet easy to use as we possibly can. We know there are other choices available, which is why we’re continuously looking to see how we can make our website as competitive as possible. Why? Our true passion and the drive behind the Build A Menu idea is not only helping people get back to eating family meals together, and not just because we want to help them get their grocery budgets under control. We want BUILD A MENU to grow so that we can support our Orphan Care Charity Program as much as we possible!