As you know, I am a BIG fan of meal planning. It’s a top priority with my $100/week grocery budget. For those of you who are having trouble with meal planning, I have a great service to recommend: eMeals.
(and a GIVEAWAY!)
eMeals was launched in 2003 by sisters Jane DeLaney, mother of four, and Jenny Cochran, mother of three who were frustrated by the challenge of coming up with healthy, budget-conscious meals for their own families and inspired by their own mother’s frugal ways.
eMealsrelies on a team of experienced meal planners, writers and editors to create new dinner menus every week that are designed around grocery store sales, seasonal specials and diet preferences. For $5.00 per month, subscribers download a recipe plan for the week with a matching aisle-by-aisle grocery list.
Recipes are easy to follow, contain less than 7 ingredients and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. One of the biggest benefits is helping families stay within their budget, because they know exactly what they need to purchase at the store each week. Menus are created around a budget of $75 per week for families and $35 per week for couples.
eMeals graciously signed me up for the Gluten Free Walmart Plan and the Any Store Family Meal plans so that I could check them out. Here’s what I found:
GLUTEN FREE WALMART PLAN
I received seven gluten free dinner meals with recipes AND a grocery list. E-Mealz tells you the prices for each item at the selected store and tells you which staple items you will need for the week’s meals. The staple items on the week I looked at included items like Gluten Free Soy Sauce and Salad Dressing, Butter and Parmesan Cheese.
The recipes looked fairly easy to make and they even included a crock pot recipe in the week I looked at. On the downside, a few of the recipes didn’t look very kid-friendly (sauteed scallops on garlicky spinach, for example.).
The cost for the 7 gluten free dinner meals was $89.21, which is fairly budget friendly, especially for a gluten free diet. You would have to add breakfast and lunch items to your grocery bill, but I think you could easily make $150 a week budget purchasing the E-Mealz dinners and those items.
ANY STORE FAMILY PLAN
With this plan, I received 7 dinner meals with recipes and a grocery list, but because no specific store is selected there are no prices given.
Again, a few of the recipes would not have gone over very well, but I could easily adapt the recipes for my family and having a starting point for meal planning is great.
While I spend much less per week by buying primarily sale items and cooking simpler meals (you can read more here), if you are having trouble with consistent meal planning and you are spending more than $150 a week on groceries for your family, E-Mealz can definitely help.
Click here if you’d like to see all the available meal plans and try it for yourself.
To help you get started with meal planning I’m giving away a FREE 3 month E-Mealz subscription ($21 value)!
1. Leave a comment telling me what keeps you from meal planning.
2. “Like” The Peaceful Mom on Facebook and share this giveaway (use the blue “f” button below this post)
Follow @thepeacefulmom and Tweet : “I would love to have the _______meal plan from @E-Mealz.” (use the blue “t” button below the post) Leave a comment saying that you have done so. 3. Visit the E-Mealz Blog & “Like” your favorite blog post and leave a comment saying you have done so.
*You may enter once for each category for a total of three entries.
*Contest ends Wednesday, January 18th at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
*The winner will be chosen from the comments on this post and will be notified by email.
Be sure to visit them on Facebook and Twitter.
*Don’t forget about the $100 Walmart Gift Card Give Away from The Peaceful Mom!
Healthy Living & Weight Loss as a Way of Life – my favorite ez meals blog =)
I couldn’t find where to like your blog on the ez meals blog site
Shared on Facebook
I have trouble keeping things exciting, I tend to cook the same meals over and over again. This could really help.
I am completely unorganized and overwhelmed.
I feel like we eat the same thing over and over and I struggle with pulling recipes out of the cookbook. Having it all together and ready to go would make a huge difference…and save me money!
I try to meal plan, but I tend to get stuck in a rut.
The only thing that keeps me from meal planning is discipline! I know how to do it, I just get lazy and don’t; such a shame.
Suzy D. says
I “liked” the “My Favorite Emergency $10 Meal” blog post on the E-Mealz blog. Thanks for this opportunity!
Suzy D. says
What keeps me from meal planning is not having one place where all of my recipes are. I have favorite recipes in magazines, cookbooks, and various internet sites. It takes a lot of research to figure out what I want to cook that week. I know I should keep a list of what we eat each week and start something of a rotation, but I just haven’t gotten around to finding an organized way to do that 🙂
Kyla Earll says
I get overwhelmed by the thought of coming up with that many meals, can’t find enough when I do try. So procrastinate it!!!
I don’t know probably shopping. I like to go shopping without kids and without being rushed; do’t always have this luxury.
My biggest challenge is creating different meals each week – not relying on the same old staples.
Jennifer Lewis says
I shared on FB also.
Jennifer Lewis says
My biggest challenge is being consistent as well. I do great planning for a week or two then get busy & stop. We raise our own beef & pork so I do alot of this meats. I have to remember get it out of the freezer to thaw as well which prevents some last minute stuff.
Lisa S says
Have wanted to try this but can’t afford it. I’d love to win.
Jennifer Rooney says
Life keeps me from always meal planning!! I am new to homeschooling my 3 children and my middle one (10yr old boy) was diagnosed with Aspergers a year ago which makes every day an adventure. I start off the week with good intenetions but it doesn’t always end that way.
I also shared this on facebook.
i liked and shared on facebook…
i am a full time RN student and have to teen age daughters that are picky!! they never want to eat what i plan, so we usually each fix our own thing for dinner…
I have been trying to meal plan for 6 months now and I’m doing something wrong because my grocery spending us still too high and I can’t seem to figure out what to plan around sales. Frustrating. Maybe a plan that does some for me would help me see how to do it more effectively.
I have a HUGE lack of discipline, and the thought of meal planning overwhelms me. The Lord is teaching me and encouraging me in this area. The emealz plans look AMAZING, and super simple! Cant wait!
Liked my favorite blog on E-Mealz Blog.
I liked and shared The Peaceful Mom on facebook.
Heather Hunt says
The biggest thing that keeps my from meal planning is time and actually money. I have a list in my head of things I “need” and then there’s no room for meal ingredients. My husband and I both have jobs as well as own our own cleaning business, so life is crazy! As my husband will be heading to seminary in the fall, (we’re moving from WI to MS) we need to save every penny!
I just started working a full time job and menu planning is no longer as easy to keep up with. I also don’t get much help from the other members of my household. Too much information to look at on the internet to prep before shopping.
stephanie moody says
i feel overwhelmed some days already and just can’t add meal planning to my list just yet.
Tonya Ellison says
I try meal planning but time escapes me and I don’t usually stick to it. My husband and I both work full time and have 3 kids, who keep us busy. Being a working mom my days are full and time is not a friend of mine.
Sometimes I ran out of Ideas and is more easy to do something from the fridge, I have a master doing that hahaha… so I think It will keep me relax and give me more ideas, so Im just starting and have trouble being consistent with the meals that I already planned.
Jennifer Madigan says
I try to coupon and so I’m always worried that I will plan things that make me go shopping for items I don’t have. I tend to cook a lot of the same things (which is boring).
I start off doing a good job meal palnning. I have trouble being consistent and making meals that I have already planned for. Trying to work on that consistent part!!!
Linda Wood says
I like the emealz blog about healthy eating vs the gimmicks. Eat right to lose weight! Simple concept, but we eat too much processed foods. :/
Linda Wood says
I like Peaceful Mom and shared is post on Facebook.
Linda Wood says
I can’t seem to find a starting point to begin meal planning.
Dawn Paulson says
I liked her blog on eating healthy – I strive to be healthy – and the weight loss is an added benefit!
Dawn Paulson says
shared on facebook
Dawn Paulson says
I struggle with consistency and working meals around our evening schedules. I will do it great for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon.
Melissa Jones says
I know it sounds silly because I also know how useful meal planning would be and how convenient it would be, but the thought of planning in advance overwhelms me…even just a week in advance! Having it planned for me would be a blessing, especially this month!
It doesn’t sound silly at all. There are other areas of life that overwhelm me at times, so I totally understand. 🙂
i have always wanted to meal plan, and now that my eldest daughter is old enought to watch her sister after school, i want to have thier meals planned out (and prepared) for when they get home .. however it takes so much time to get it in place that i just have not come around to doing it.
Jennifer Ott says
I get tired of making the same things over and over again; I run out of ideas for menu planning! The only things we regularly do are pizza night and breakfast-for-dinner! Thanks!