It's no secret that families these days are in a hurry. There is a lot to get done in the short amount of time. Sometimes figuring out what to feed your family is one of the hardest decisions a mom can make in a day. Enter e-Mealz.
This neat website is the brain child of two sisters, Jane Delaney and Jenny Cochran. Both are busy moms who wanted to create meals that were healthy for their families but also preserve the family meal-times they so loved while growing. They saw this as a way of helping to connect as a family without spending hours on meal-planning. Not only did they have to create healthy meals, but ones that their children would eat as well as being cost-effective on the family budget.
They managed to do just that in just three easy steps.
It's very simple to get started with e-Mealz. You simply go to the website and begin to browse the meal plans available. There are quite a few to pick from. You can pick the type of meal plan as well as various stores to choose.
By simply clicking on each option above, you can find out what the plan includes as well as check out a sample for each one. Do your research here and spend some time browsing. Each subscription lasts for three months and within that time frame you can only switch your plan once.
Once you have your plan picked, you then log in each week to print out your menu plan. There are three pages printed. The first two are the meal plans. There are seven meals included each week. It lists the ingredients for each meal as well as the cooking instructions. The last page is where it lists the meal number, the grocery item needed to make it and anything else you need to complete it (other staples that are considered "pantry" items) as well as a spot to add in any other groceries you need. A one page shopping list.
I was given a three month membership to try out e-Mealz. Each subscription goes for three months and costs $15 for that time frame. That breaks down to $5 a month or $1.25 a week. That's pretty budget-friendly in my book.
I really wanted to love e-Mealz. While I didn't love it, I did like it quite well. I ran in to a few unforeseen issues. The first I did know would be an issue. I live in "no-where" Maine. I have one grocery store that I shop at and that is still a 30 minute drive from my house. We do have a "Wal-Mart Express" but it's not a super store and it doesn't have a ton of groceries. It was due to this that I went with the "any store" plan. I actually picked the "Any-Store Low Carb" plan as I am a Type 1 diabetic so carb control is important to me and how my blood sugars run.
However, the remaining issues cropped up here. My hubby is lactose-intolerant so I can't make anything with a cream-base or butter. I always substitute for those anyway. This eliminated a meal or two each week. My youngest is also gluten-intolerant. While e-Mealz does have gluten-free options, I don't have a lot of choices there either. I am very thankful my local grocery store does have quite a few things, but still, it's a quarter of an aisle and all processed. I did switch to the "Any-Story Gluten Free" plan to try it out. I was glad I did as it gave me a few more ideas to try out.
Overall I liked both plans. I loved the fact that the low-carb options had a crock-pot meal each week. That was very helpful to me. The meals were all definitely vastly different than I typically cook. My two older boys are super picky so that plays a roll in anything I make at home. It's extremely difficult for me to make a meal that we will all eat. And yes, I realize this is due to my issues, but I felt it should be mentioned nonetheless.
I was able to find 2-3 meals each week that we could try here given our various food intolerance, allergies, and sheer "pickiness." While for me, it probably would not make a lot of sense to subscribe, I see this as a huge time-saver and super budget-friendly for most families. I would definitely recommend taking some time to poke around the website and perhaps even try out some of the sample menus first before subscribing. One thing I really liked is that Dave Ramsey recommends e-Mealz. We're a "Dave" family so that goes a long way in my book.
Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what my other Crew mates had to say about e-Mealz.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.