I’ve talked before on this blog about what a challenge it is to cook at home every day. We are on a fairly tight budget, so eating out often isn’t really an option. But that doesn’t mean that we magically have time to plan our meals out every week and prepare them nightly while also trying to feed Darah and start her nighttime routine. Even though I try to make a menu for the week, I often will leave a crucial ingredient off of the grocery list, which throws everything into a downward spiral and Tim heads out the door to pick up takeout or we just turn to our boxes of cereal. I’ve also run into the problem of planning a pretty decent menu, and getting to the store only to realize that some of my key ingredients are either unavailable or ridiculously expensive (our Kroger is seriously lacking in the produce and cheese departments, as well as the specialty meats).
I wanted to tell you about a really cool online meal planning service that helps remedy every problem but the actual food preparation (sorry, the computer can’t do the cooking for you!). emeals is a menu planning service that plans a week’s worth of dinners for your family. And get this; the meals are based off of what is on sale at your local grocery store, which will save you a nice little bundle each week! Woo hoo!
Just log into emeals, print your recipes and your shopping list. You don’t have to do any planning at all! It even tells you what the price of the items you are buying should be. I really love that feature. I know that if you can plan a menu based on what is on sale at the store that week, you are money ahead. But I have NO TIME to sit down with the flyer and come up with a list of dishes that use all the bargains! emeals does that for you. Brilliant.
I had the opportunity to try out E-Mealz for a month. I loved it, though I would like to see some of the meal options be just a bit healthier. You can check out a sample menu here to get a sense for if E-Mealz offers the types of food your family likes to eat. They actually offer some low-fat menus, so those may have been a better fit for us. I would also suggest that E-Mealz send email reminders to subscribers when the new grocery list is available. With all the chaos in my home, I forgot to check in with E-Mealz twice during the month, which bummed me out. Other than that, though, I think this is an amazing service and I would highly recommend it for folks who need to save money by eating at home, but who are also short on time.
Buy It!: E-MEALZ Easy Meals for Busy and Frugal Families costs as little as $1.25/week. Imagine how much time and money you will save…$1.25/week is a total steal. Also, if you use the code SAVEMONEY at checkout, you can save an additional 10% off your first purchase of a meal plan!
Win It!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a three month subscription to emeals. Get ready to get some of your time back! Woo hoo! The contest will run until July 7th at 7:59pm CST when a winner will be selected using Random.org. The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is selected. Open to residents of the United States.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me which emeals plan you would select if you win!
1. Subscribe to Stuff Parents Need by email, RSS or Google Friend Connect (one entry, total, even if you subscribe multiple ways)
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6. Tweet about this giveaway (only one extra entry for this)
7. If you are a blogger, add my button to your blog and leave me a url so I can find it!
Be sure to check out all my other current giveaways on the sidebar of my home page!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary subscription in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.