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Every Sunday night, I sit down with my computer and a pad of paper and make the upcoming week’s meal plan. Since I’ve committed to feeding our family mostly home-cooked meals and avoiding the drive-thru, menu planning and list-making has become a regular part of my week that I’ve come to enjoy in all its comforting routine-ness.
But I’ll admit that for a while, the process was pretty time-consuming. I’d check sales flyers for several different stores to see if any sales stood out, then try to create a meal plan around the best sales while also trying to come up with a rough estimate of how much I’d be spending on that week’s groceries. Often, while making the list, I’d forget whether it was chuck roast or ground chuck that was on sale, and I’d have to go back and check. (Since I’m really forgetful, I would do that at least two or three times per planning session!)
Enter eMeals. I’d heard of the program before, but assumed it was just like all the other menu planning apps I’d tried before and forgotten about within a week. Nope. After trying it out for a few months I’ve realized it’s a keeper and has the potential to both streamline your menu-planning process and save you money at the grocery store.
What makes eMeals different is simple in a “why didn’t anyone think of this before?” way. Instead of just giving you a list of suggested recipes and ingredients, eMeals allows you to choose your favorite store and then checks local sales flyers to give you an organized shopping list with an accurate grocery budget for the week.
eMeals also offers several different kinds of eating styles, like Paleo, Slow Cooker, Clean Eating, Gluten Free and Vegetarian in its weekly plans, and you can switch back and forth depending on your preferences and the way you’ll be eating this week.
For example, if you’re on a super tight budget and are looking for simple, family-friendly recipes you can make without a lot of thought, you might pick the Aldi Classic menu. Or, you can create a Natural & Organic menu specific to Whole Foods. Many of the menu plans can be used at any grocery store, and you can switch back and forth a few times each month to try out different meal plans and stores, too.
Because eMeals offers you seven meals in every weekly meal plan, you can pick and choose the dishes that sound best to you if you don’t cook that often. You can also add on lunch and breakfast menus. Subscriptions start at just $5/month – totally worth it based on the time and money it saves – and you can get a 15% discount by entering the code DINNER15 when you order.