Monday, April 8, 2013

Spotlight on Mom: Stacey Stabenow of No More To Go, an Online Menu Planning Service

No More 'to go'

I don't know about you, but one thing that I dread each week is having to decide to make for dinner, putting together the shopping list, and going food shopping.  For one, each day with toddlers is unpredictable.  Some days the girls cooperate, nap and give me time come 4PM to get into the kitchen and prep dinner, so it is ready when my husband gets home.  Other days (which seem more often each week), they are running around like crazy, making me lose track of time and forgetting to get dinner on, or not let me get into the kitchen to prep meals -- thus, making us order out when my husband gets home.  So much for the food shopping I had done for the week.  Instead, we are wasting more money just eating out.  

I continually scour the Internet to find quick and easy recipes that will help make meal planning easier each week, and make my time in the kitchen less stressful.  While searching the web, I continue to find online menu planning services that offer ways for busy parents like me a way meal planning a breeze.  One of the web-based meal planning services that recently caught my eye was No More to Go, which was created and is run by a mom entrepreneur, Stacey Stabenow.  Stacy created No More to Go to help parents cut down on the need to order out, which I love.  "No More To Go is a web based meal planning service that provides recipes and grocery lists to thousands of members each week giving them the tools to eat well and as a family.  Thousands of families across the country cook our recipes each night with rave reviews. They find our recipes both easy to prepare and more importantly they rave about the quality of the food they are serving their family."

slow cooker chicken tostadas

I downloaded Stacey's sample recipe and grocery list, and tried a few recipes she shared on her website, including her "Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas and Black Beans with Queso Fresco."  I don't know about you, but I love cooking with my crock pot, as I can put everything in the crock pot while the girls are having breakfast, and have it cook all day.  Then, when my husband gets home, it is ready, and we can sit down to eat -- no fuss, no muss.   Not only was this recipe easy to create, but the girls loved it, which is a huge plus as Savannah is our picky eater. :-)

Click here to download a sample recipe and grocery list -- and see the type of weekly recipe and grocery list you will receive each week in your email box, when you sign up for Stacy's No More to Go web-based menu planning service.  

When you are done printing out this sample recipe and grocery list, please scroll down to enjoy my Spotlight Mom interview with Stacey Stabenow of No More to Go.  Then, make a point to head back here on Friday, when I will offer one lucky reader a chance to win an annual membership with a retail value of $64 through a giveaway, as well as share a 25% discount code to use and save of any of Stacey's subscription services.  Once you try the No More to Go menu planning service, you will wonder why you stressed out before when it came to weekly meal planning, and not want to go back.  :-)

Name: Stacey Stabenow
Company Name/Product/Service: No More to Go, an Online Menu Planning Service
Company Location: Dallas, Texas
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @nomoretogo
Age of Company:  2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Favorite Book: Song of Soloman by Toni Morrison

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
My name is Stacey and I own No More To Go, an online menu planning service. I’ve been married to my husband Jason for 18 years. We have 3 children, Sloane – 13, Drew – 10, and Georgia – 5. And, I’m just like most moms. My children are very active in both school and after school activities. I work for my family’s business, am involved in PTA and my community, and value my family and friends. My passion is cooking. And this simple hobby has spun into a successful business. I feel very blessed with its success and owe much of it to my members reviews and support. 
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
No More To Go was born out of a combination of my love for cooking and a firm belief in the value of eating as a family. So, every week I make time to pore over cookbooks, magazines, and the Internet to plan my family’s meals and shopping list. It keeps us out of the drive thru lane and reduces the craziness of an already hectic time of day. After 13 years of doing this for my family, I decided to share my meal planning with others. And that’s what started No More To Go. Members needn’t spend their time flipping through cookbooks for the perfect dinner idea, or scour Pinterest and cool Foodie Blogs. It’s just too overwhelming. And the truth is, most people don’t have the time to make any of the recipes they’ve found. No More To Go does all the work. And families are making those great meals. All the organization is taken care of, easy to read recipes are ready, grocery shopping is done over the weekend, and when Monday morning rolls around everyone is prepared. 
What is a typical work day like?
My typical work day is pretty scattered. I actually have two jobs, my family business and No More To Go. So it becomes a challenge to juggle both so that neither is lacking. Most mornings, I wake about an hour before the rest of the family. That time is spent checking and replying to email and visiting Facebook to see if there are any new posts that need commenting. When that is finished my kids are up and it’s all about breakfast, clothes, teeth, hair, and getting out the door. My work day really begins at this point. And, outside of typical work tasks, I spend a fair amount of time looking for new recipes, tweaking those that I have found, and then organizing them into an easy to read format. I also look for creative ways to spread the word about No More To Go.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 
My biggest struggle is probably the same as all small businesses. It’s just like the old saying goes.. “It takes money to make money”.  And, while I want the world to know about my business and what my happy customers have to say, it takes a lot of money to make that happen. So, I guess I should focus on another old saying.”Slow and steady wins the race”. J

What did you do in your past work life?

My past and present work life run simultaneously. I operate No More To Go and at the same time work for my family’s medical claims recovery business. 
What have been some of your major successes? 
I would say my major success is the value I bring my members. And, the emails and Facebook posts that relay gratitude and excitement over No More To Go. My proudest moments come from positive member feedback.

What have been some of your major challenges?
The biggest challenge I have faced to date is designing a website that meets all my needs and wants but within a reasonable budget for a small business.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
 I truly love what I do and want above all to see it turn into a success. I am passionate about cooking and eating as a family. And, when I’m having a hard day and things are not growing quite as fast as I wish they would, I go back to the emails and comments from families who have truly benefited from No More To Go. 
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I’m still trying to find that perfect balance. And I’m not sure that there is one. But what I try very hard to do is limit my interaction with the computer and cell phone when the kids are home. Sometimes it’s not possible, but when they ask me a question or simply need my attention, the phone and computer go away and my eyes are focused on my kids.

What is next for your business?
I’d like to expand my menus to include specific menus for Gluten Free, Vegetarian, and Weight Loss. 
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
I think if you have a passion about something you should go for it. Do what you love and you’ll never grow tired trying to succeed.

1 comment :

  1. This is something that I could really use during the week thanks for sharing I think this is a great idea.