Meal Planning Is My New Favorite Thing – An eMeals Review

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See this extraordinarily delicious, prepared-from-scratch food, served with great, carefully selected wine and served so beautifully?  Yeah... that's my sister's house.

See this extraordinarily delicious, prepared-from-scratch food, served with great, carefully selected wine and presented so beautifully? Yeah… that’s my sister’s house.

I have the highest of intentions for feeding my family.

I have visions of wonderful, hearty, flavorful, home-cooked, meals, eaten from pristine white plates around our pretty wooden dinner table.

The reality is often pizza in front of the TV, drive through, or peanut butter sandwiches (organic peanut butter on whole-grain bread, if that counts for anything) served on scratched up plastic plates that I’ve had since our high-schoolers were in diapers.

There are a few reasons for this discrepancy, I think.

First, we get busy.  When I come home from work everyone is half starved and I go for the fastest thing I can find.

Second, we get bored.  I adore tacos, enchiladas, pizza and tater-tot casserole.  But after I’ve gone through that rotation 6 or 8 times in a row we are all looking for something… anything… different.  I know how to make other things but, often, when I’m trying to think up  a menu they just elude me.

Third, money is an issue.  As much as I like certain dishes very much they are expensive to make and so we end up with yet another night of mac and cheese.

emealsimageWhen I had the opportunity to try eMeals for free in exchange for an honest review I was all over that chance!  It was an answer to every one of the issues, above!

eMeals works like this:

You take about 43 seconds (give or take) to sign up with your email address and your family’s size and food preferences.  There are choices for allergy sensitive, clean eating, low-carb, paleo, traditional, and just about any other type of diet you can imagine.  For our family, I choose the vegetarian option.  Though we are not strict vegetarians by any means, I do like to limit the amount of meat we consume and I didn’t want daily meal plans that revolved around meat dishes.  Also, my stash of “go-to” vegetarian entrees is pretty limited so I was hoping for some new ideas.

They will also ask you where you shop so that they can line your meals up with the products available and the weekly store sales at your favorite market.  How great is that?!  On the downside, I had to chose “Whole Foods” as my go-to store when, really, we do most of our shopping at Meijer and only pick up a few things from Whole foods that we can’t get in other stores. Meijer wasn’t on the list.  Still… it worked out fine.

Once you are signed up, eMeals sends you your plan, one week at a time.  You can download it, print it, send it to your phone or tablet or write it on the back of your hand. The plan includes seven dinners per week and a complete shopping list arranged by department (again, I ask, “How great is that?!)

For just a few dollars more, you can subscribe to the dessert plan as well and, in addition to dinners, you get recipes and a shopping list for three fabulous desserts.

emealsimage-option-1

Each day’s meal has a little note like, “vegan, kid-friendly, crock-pot or crowd pleaser.”  It tells you the approximate prep and cooking time and the instructions are very clear and simple and easy to follow.

Some of the meals I took one look at and thought, “no one in my house is going to eat that.”  That said, most of them were wonderful! There were some great familiar ideas, like hash browns and eggs, and some totally new-to-me recipes like Tomato and White Bean Gratin (we’ll be having that one again, for sure!).

If I didn’t like one or two meals out of the week it was really no problem as that gave us the perfect chance to slip in some of those comfortable favorites.  Also, our family of 4 (3 big eaters and 1 that picks like a bird) had left overs from nearly every recipe.  We used those for quick lunches or substitute dinners.

I found that I saved a ton of time.  No thinking about what we were going to have, digging through recipes, writing out long lists… all of that was done for me.

I had far less stress.  See, “no thinking,” above.

We ate much healthier, since I wasn’t tempted to grab frozen chicken strips or other processed junk.

We saved money. See, “no processed junk,” above.  In fact, our grocery budget came in about 20% lower when we started using eMeals, even though we were buying a few seemingly pricey items we wouldn’t normally chose.  A subscription to eMeals would pay for itself pretty quickly.

We were happy. We all love to eat great-tasting food and every recipe was excellent and easy enough that this fairly inexperienced cook could handle them.

Without hesitation, I would recommend this service to anyone.  It is so tailored to your individual needs and done with such excellence of quality that you simply can’t lose.

The Great Deal (You know there had to be one!): 

If you sign up for eMeals using the code USFG you will save 15%.  What are you waiting for?!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates?

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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4 responses »

  1. I once considered joining emeals but I wasn’t sure it was for me…I get excited about things like this but then I quickly get non-committal. Lately I have thought about revisiting the idea of some kind of meal planning service thanks for the great review.

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