Have you ever heard of eMeals? I had heard Dave Ramsey mention it over the years, but never seriously thought about trying it. eMeals is a menu planning service that emails you a weekly menu complete with recipes, and a grocery list. I can do that for free, right?
When I menu planned on my own it seemed like without fail we would stick to the meal plan for the first couple of days, and then we would fall off the wagon and order pizza. Ingredients that I had purchased for specific meals would go bad before we used them, or they would get shoved in the back the cupboard never to be used again.
When we were able to stick to a meal plan, it did wonders for grocery budget. I was able to feed our family of 3 to 5 for around $50 a week. But some nights I would come home and just not feel like cooking, or I was missing an ingredient.
For the past month or so we have kind of been flying by the seat of our pants where our grocery budget is concerned. We haven’t been grossly overspending, but we certainly have been spending more than we need to. I decided to give meal planning a second glance.
When I come up with a meal plan myself I can easily spend a couple of hours hunting down recipes, deciding what we want to eat for the week, and organizing a grocery list. That is not only time-consuming, it’s frustrating. I remembered hearing about eMeals because of Dave Ramsey, so I decided to look it up.
EMeals has several different menu plans to choose from – I chose vegetarian. You can choose a three, six, or twelve-month plan and you can also add lunch and breakfast menus if you choose. Once you select and pay for your plan eMeals emails you a menu and grocery list for the week.
For our first week I decided that I was going to strictly stick to everything on the menu, and I was going to buy all at one store so I could get a realistic idea of how much this was going to cost us. For five lunches, and five dinners, for five people I ended up spending about $75. I didn’t think that was too shabby! What really surprised me is that three fourths of my cart was full of fresh fruits and vegetables!
We have only tried a couple of the recipes so far, but the consensus is that everyone loves them. I am blessed with children that enjoy fruits and vegetables, so something like a fresh salad is a big treat for them. Most of the recipes use simple, common, ingredients, but they add a new twist to things like a fruit salad. Every recipe I have tried has been DELICIOUS.
Next week I plan to do a little bit more tweaking with the budget. For example, instead of buying canned beans I will buy a bag of dry beans and cook them up myself. I will also check out the prices at a few different stores and see just how low I can get our grocery budget.
My opinion of eMeals so far is that the amount of time it saves me is worth the purchase price alone. It’s also nice to have some new recipes, and not have to do any thinking about dinner time. All I have to do is look at the fridge and see what I need to make. They also have an app, so you can take your menu and list on the go!
I will be updating in a future post as to whether or not we stick with our eMeals menu plan and how we are liking it.
Do you menu plan? Has your family ever tried eMeals? Leave your thoughts in the comments, I would love to hear them!