When Marcus and I were just starting out, I knew almost nothing about cooking. I can’t say that much has changed nearly 8 years into our married adult life. It’s not that I haven’t learned a lot; its just that I don’t really like cooking. I don’t appreciate it as an art. To me, it’s just an interruption in my day, taking up an hour for a meal that will be consumed in about 15 minutes. I’d happily go to McDonalds every day if it weren’t so hard on my budget and my waistline.
Enter eMeals. It’s nothing revolutionary, and there’s tons of other great meal planning services out there–like Saving Dinner and Once a Month Cooking. There are even tons of free meal planning blogs out there like momswhothink.com and The Aldi Queen. I’ve done all of them, and I’ve done plenty of my own meal planning, too. I just think eMeals makes it the easiest. They have a simple check off system to help you customize your grocery list to include only the meals you plan to prepare.
I used eMeals when we were first starting out, and it really helped me actually learn to cook. I used one of their Walmart plans, then we had a cross country move, I started staying home, and I decided I could go it on my own. I’ve done alright since then. But, really, eMeals really helped me get a good introduction to super easy home cooked meals.
Recently, we found ourselves in a food rut, and I thought I’d go check them out again. It’s been several years and they’ve really expanded. They have meal plans for Aldi now, which is great during tight months like December! They also have vegetarian plans, paleo plans, even gourmet plans for the trendy foodies out there. (God bless you!) They even let you switch your plan once a month. (I already changed mine from a Vegetarian Walmart plan to an Aldi Classic plan. In January, when we’re feeling a bit more health conscious, I might try the Clean Eating plan.)
I wouldn’t say they’re cheap. At least not by my standards. You have to sign up for a least three months and the fee is 5 to 7 dollars a month depending on the length of subscription you choose. I purchased mine on Cyber Monday at a discount. And I think Dave Ramsey also offers a coupon code, so I’d go that route if you’re interested in this sort of thing. It is a little expensive up front, for those of us that tend not to leave much cash at the end of each paycheck! But, on the other hand, it’s way cheaper than the McDonalds habits we were starting to adapt.
The recipes are easy “5 ingredient” style things, so I’ve rarely prepared one that’s taken me more than 30 minutes in the kitchen. We’re finding the “for two” meal plans still work with our kids the ages they are. (Plus, one of them just won’t eat anything I cook anyway.) Your mileage may vary.
You can find them HERE. We’ve really been enjoying the spending more time around the family table this month, and it’s really taken a big chunk of thinking and busy work out of my week. Every Wednesday I get an email with the week’s meal plan, and frankly, it’s been the most exciting email of my week lately! LOL