Saving Money and Time with Simplified Dinners {Review}


I often find myself overwhelmed with our schedule and coming up with something to cook for dinner every day. In the past, I have had a pantry full of food and had to try to figure out what to make with it. Now, I have a grocery budget that doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to, so I decided it was time to try something different: menu planning.

Enter Simplified Dinners

About this time, a friend told me about Simplified Dinners. The only problem was that we have dietary restrictions because of food allergies. We avoid milk, eggs, wheat, and shellfish, so many pre-packaged “programs” don’t work for us. Then I found out that there is a Simplified Dinners – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free. I immediately wanted to try it, especially when it claimed to be easy to use and to use common ingredients.

Cooking for food allergies can be expensive. I’ve been using the one cookbook I found that uses common ingredients (that has recipes my family will eat) for over three years. We were desperate for new recipes. Because I was concerned about eggs and shellfish too, I contacted the author, Mystie Winckler. She assured me that there were few shellfish-based and completely egg-dependent recipes in there, so I decided to give it a try. (For the recipes that only required an egg or two, I used ground flax and water to make an egg substitute.)

Using Simplified Dinners – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free 

When I looked at the PDF of Simplified Dinners – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free, I found it laid out very differently from what I had imagined. It started with an introduction and master pantry/planning list, followed by pages of recipes and variations.

Rather than being page after page of precise recipes, Mystie has given a step-by-step explanation of the process for one recipe in each category and then lists variations you can do on that to make the recipe seem “different” to your family.

What this means is that I was able to take a single recipe, adjust the ingredients to suit my family’s likes, and then prepare it. I can do this same recipe over and over using seasoning that makes it have more of a Mexican taste, or an Asian taste, etc. This is wonderful for me because my husband and I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with spices. Mystie makes it easy!

I have used Simplified Dinners for about six weeks, and the recipes have been ones that my entire family enjoys. Some of the recipes we’ve tried have been (l to r) Brunswick Stew, Peanut Butter Cookies, and Potato Hash.

Why I Love Simplified Dinners

Using Simplified Dinners has made my life easier! Each weekend, my husband and I sit down and look through the recipes to see what we would like to serve the following week. Then we make our grocery list according to the menu we planned. This has saved us money too. Rather than buying random items each week and then trying to figure out what to do with them, we buy what we need to prepare the meals we planned. Our grocery bill has gone down at least 20% since we started using Simplified Dinners!

Get Your Own Copy of Simplified Dinners

Now you want to get a copy of Simplified Dinners and try it for yourself, don’t you? I have good news for you!

Mystie has agreed to give ONE of you your choice of Simplified Dinners OR the gluten-free and dairy-free version of Simplified Dinners that my family uses.

This giveaway is open to U. S. residents age 18 or older. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social media site. Please read the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools widget when you enter the giveaway.

If you want to start saving time and money immediately, Mystie has generously set up a coupon code for you! Use coupon code jenniferajanes to save $3 off your purchase of either version of Simplified Dinners. This code is only good through October 20, 2012, so act quickly!

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Disclosure: I received a free copy of Simplified Dinners – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free from Mystie Winckler in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I only recommend products that my family uses and finds helpful, although your results with using this product may vary. This post contains affiliate links. Any commissions I receive help us buy homeschool resources and pay for medical expenses and therapy costs. Thanks in advance for your support!
Photo credit: Jennifer A. Janes

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12 Responses to Saving Money and Time with Simplified Dinners {Review}

  1. Kristi says:

    I saw your post when you were working on this review and I checked out the site. I’m definitely interested as meal planning/cooking is one of the hardest things for my family. We don’t have any dietary restrictions we just have the problem with making decisions and a lot of nights I just decide I don’t want to figure out what to make, so we get take out from some fast food restaurant. The out-food meals definitely add up! Last month we spent almost $550 on both groceries and out-food, but out-food was more than half the total. I would love to find an easy way to plan meals with quick and easy recipes that my husband and boys will eat. This sounds like this might be the way to save me time & money AND allow us to eat healthier then we do now. Thanks Jennifer! =)

  2. Lara V says:

    Cooking is not one of my favorite things to do. Interested in trying this book.

  3. Lisa says:

    I looked at the sample of the book, and that barbeque pork recipe sounds delicious!

  4. Jami says:

    Definitely something I need right about now. It’s overwhelming, the thought of going gluten free. Since we love mexican food in our house, the fajita’s, enchilada’s, quesadilla’s, etc. all sound yummy and the most interesting to me to try.

  5. The Blended Vegetable Soups sound delicious! I love the way this ebook is laid out in the PDF sample – this DOES look fun and easy to use. =)

  6. Amy Young says:

    This would be awesome to win, especially since we are now trying to eat gluten-free as much as possible!

  7. What an interesting concept – I’ll definitely check out Simplified Dinners! I’d love to try the enchiladas – we love Mexican food!

  8. Kathy Gossen says:

    Do I have to choose only one? I’ve never seen a gluten free diary free book before. This is becoming a need at our house to meet everyone’s allergy and taste bud needs. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  9. LaToya says:


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