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E-Mealz

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Sometimes we get to review some really cool things that we might not have known about or otherwise used without being a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew.

And sometimes we like those things sooooo much that we try our best to spread the word around so that others can have the same great experience we had!

E-Mealz has been one of those delightful experiences that I am eager to share with my friends and readers.

To start with, this is just a brilliant idea and plan.

I am busy. I am tired. I really do NOT look forward to the part of the day where I *alone* am responsible for coming up with something to feed my family.  One reason I dread this and dislike meal planning so much is that I just do not have the time to do it properly,  even though I know what *needs* to be done, and I have lots of ideas I would like to put into action, and I would LOVE to have the time to shop properly, organize and plan meals. But I don’t. I just don’t have the time or energy for that part of life. Now don’t get me wrong, I do feed my family (most of the time), and I am conscientious of the nutritional content. My kids DO read the labels in the grocery and store, and know not to ask if we can try or buy products that contain high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated fats, or products loaded in food coloring or such.

But I do have to buy convenience foods sometimes, and I don’t have the time to plan our meals very effectively.

Or let me say I didn’t have the time before I was introduced to E-Mealz.

E-Mealz is as easy as:

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Not only does it provide a week’s worth of menus for one healthy, well balanced meal a day, but you can print out the shopping list of ingredients you need to prepare the meals, and even take it to the store of your choice. This way, not only are you saving time, but also money by having on hand exactly what you need so you don’t have to make those extra trips to the store that break the budget due to impulse buys (especially when you are running in after work when you are tired and hungry!).

There are 28 E-Mealz dinner plans to choose from:

Click on over to the website to  see a SAMPLE and read more about any of the 28 E-Mealz dinner menu plans!!!!!

Regular Family Meal Plans

(Serves 7 meals for 4-6 people)

Plan Posted
Kroger Sun
Publix Wed
Wal-Mart Thurs
Any Store Wed
ALDI Tues
Ralphs (CA) Thurs

Regular Meal Plans for Two

(Serves 5 meals for 1-2 people)

Plan Posted
Wal-Mart for 2 Fri
Any Store for 2 Fri
ALDI for 2 Tues
Publix for 2 Wed

Specialty Family Meal Plans

(Serves 7 meals for 4-6 people)

Plan Posted
Gluten Free (Wal-Mart) Thurs
Gluten Free (Any Store) Thurs
Low Carb (Wal-Mart) Wed
Low Carb (Any Store) Wed
Low Fat (Wal-Mart) Thurs
Low Fat (Any Store) Thurs
Low Fat (Publix) Wed
Portion Control (Wal-Mart) Fri
Portion Control (Any Store) Fri
Portion Control (Publix) Thurs
Vegetarian (Any Store) Tues
Vegetarian (Wal-Mart) Tues

Specialty Meal Plans for Two

(Serves 5 meals for 1-2 people)

Plan Posted
Low Fat (Wal-Mart) for 2 Tues
Low Fat (Any Store) for 2 Tues
Portion Control (Wal-Mart) for 2 Wed
Portion Control (Any Store) for 2 Wed
Low Carb (Wal-Mart) for 2 Wed
Low Carb (Any Store) for 2 Wed

For just $1.25 per week you get:
•A family-friendly, concise 7-day dinner meal plan for 4 to 6 people, or a 5-day dinner plan for 2 people – with concise and easy to follow recipes and directions.
•A complete, corresponding grocery list – just print and go!
•The member’s only option to participate in E-Mealz Referral Program

Click here to go to the website to set up your automatic renewal for $15.00 per 3 month subscription period! (You can cancel your auto renewal by going to your account at any time.

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How E-Mealz worked at Gunn Ranch

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After looking through the plans and the specific stores, I decided to go with the “any store” plan. The only specific store listed that we have access to is Wal Mart, and while I do buy some of my groceries at Wal Mart, I thought it might be better not to limit myself in the beginning. I do wish they had an “HEB” plan, though!

The plan gives you access to this week’s menu as well as last week’s menu. I printed off two weeks worth of menus and the shopping lists that went with them.

My first thoughts were, “WOW! This is FUN!”

So I looked through the meals, to evaluate nutritional content, and see whether the meals would fit into my own family’s taste palates and personal preference. My family is not big on casseroles, and my husband doesn’t care much for chicken after raising and eating so much chicken growing up. (Yes, this is a HUGE obstacle in my meal planning, because my best dishes are made with chicken!)  Personally, I can’t handle the smell of fish, and I’m not a great cook of fish anyway. I do make tuna sandwiches, but my family won’t go for much else in the fish category except shrimp/crab boils my husband makes

And, they are very picky when it comes to veggies as well. I noticed right away that asparagus was on the menu several times, which my family will not eat- too stringy and the texture is all wrong.

Many of the recipes were casserole-like meals with several ingredients together.

After a few weeks of menus in the “any store” category, I wasn’t able to ever take a complete grocery list to the store and make the menu at hand. There were many substitutions that had to be made, which put me back to square one- I didn’t have time for. I was not able to print the menu and grocery list, take the thing to the store and fill my cart, and have easy meals to prepare for a week.

So I decided to see if a different meal plan had different menus. I found out that a subscriber may switch their plan once within a three-month subscription period, so I switched to the Wal Mart Plan.

The meals seemed a bit different, and what I liked about this plan was the listing of specific brand and the cost so I could get a rough estimate of what the week’s grocery bill would be!!

But again, many of the meals were combinations of ingredients my family isn’t crazy about. This really wouldn’t be a big deal for someone to substitute ingredients, more healthy options, etc. But this defeats the purpose for my family a little bit.  It did give me some great new ideas for fast meals, and some new ideas for meals when I have the time to make them, though.

The grocery list does list the ingredients in categories like dairy, meat, veggies, for ease of shopping, and each ingredient has an amount needed and which meal it came from so if you choose not to use a meal you know which ingredient or food to cross off of your list.

E-Mealz would be awesome for a family who likes variety and isnt’ picky about their ingredients, and one with a mom or dad who knows how to cook a variety of different things. It would also be great for a family with limited tastes who has time to pick and choose from a few different week’s plans and put together their own week from a book of a few months plans that were saved along with grocery lists. For me, this is just too time consuming, While I LOVE the idea, the theory, and some of the great new ideas for quick meals, the implementing of the meals and the ease of the grocery list didn’t work for me due to limited preferences in our tastes, a few food allergies and intolerances, and time to tweak the weekly meal plan. I would love if they added a “healthy” plan that included a bit more natural and “healthy” ingredients.  For instance- we don’t eat lunch meat or sausage or hot dogs due to the nitrates and nitrite preservatives. So several of the recipes were out due to that.

I will definitely print out all three months worth of menus during my three month subscription period and put them in a binder along with their grocery list, and have a wonderful handy reference for those times when I do have time to plan, when family is coming for a week, holiday times, etc.  Even though the whole program didn’t work as well for my family as it might have for others, I still love the idea and enjoy adding some new flavor to my boring spaghetti and taco menu. 🙂

Thank you E-Mealz for allowing me to spice up my menu!

Take a look at what my Crew Mates and their families are saying about E-Mealz on the TOS Crew Blog!

Chris

**I was given a three month subscription to E-Mealz as a Crew Mate on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.

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