Friday, April 30, 2010

E-Mealz – to do or not to do

I haven’t written a blog post since SUNDAY!  I think that’s the longest I’ve gone since having the twins…It’s not because I haven’t wanted to – I’ve just been too tired to do it.  I was more tired yesterday than I have been in a long time.  Not really for any reason I can pinpoint…but it’s not what you are thinking.  I’m not pregnant.  I’m NOT! 

 

Anyway…so another reason I haven’t written is because I’ve been busy.  More busy than  I have been in as long as I can remember.  The twins are eating 3 meals a day now…and feeding everyone (and cleaning up from all those meals) is really taking up a ton of time!  Not to mention planning for them…which is where E-Mealz comes in.  I mentioned it in my last blog post and said that I wanted to give it a fair chance before I told you all about it.  I read all of these reviews saying that it was the most wonderful thing in the world.  I wasn’t sold right away.  Here’s my honest review…good and bad.

 

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANS

First of all – I was introduced to E-Mealz by my cousin-in-law, Amy, when I was complaining about having to make a grocery list.  I can’t grocery shop without a list.  My mother very rarely followed a detailed grocery list – but she seemed like she was (and still is) stopping at the grocery store every other day.  I can’t do that.  I have trouble getting to the grocery store once a week!  

I love to cook.  I love cookbooks.  I love when my husband smiles at me and tells me something tastes better than his mom’s version.  (It’s happened twice – in the last 6 years!)  I don’t , however, love grocery shopping or menu planning or grocery list making.  So, Amy suggested I check out E-Mealz. 

My favorite part of E-Mealz is that the planning is done for you.  I still pick which of the meals I want to make on which day based on our schedules.  For example, I’m home all day today so I’m making Slow Roasted BBQ Chicken.  Every Wednesday, not only does E-Mealz give you the menu, it gives you the grocery list AND the recipe!  Plus, it all fits on 2 (or 1 front to back) sheets of paper!  The instructions are easy to follow and the grocery list is super easy to make sense of if you want to cook some meals but not others.

Now, the part I’m not so crazy about is the QUALITY of some of the meals.  Some of them have been really great – like the Breakfast Pizza and Bacon Cheese Strata.  However, some of them have been AWFUL or almost a joke when I think about having to feed 6 people someday.  Pepperoni Loaf for dinner?  Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups, seriously?  The nights Jerry and I tried these they were SIDES to another meal…then again, we don’t eat lightly very often.

E-Mealz charged me $15.00 for the first 3 months of their service.  Dave Ramsey approves it as a way to help you save money…and I will say that (if you can stick to the list) it probably does help to cut down your grocery bill.  I use coupons in combination with E-Mealz and have been saving about 20% of my grocery bill every week.  They also have other plans that you can use.  We are trying the Any Store plan, because we shop at Giant Eagle and get fuelperks and get gas for our cars at GetGo to get foodperks.  However, they also have Wal-Mart (and other grocery stores, too) plans that matches the meals with their weekly specials to help you save even more money.  There are also plans if you are dieting or prefer vegetarian meals.  I can’t comment on the quality of these meals, because I’ve only used the Any Store plan.

So – here’s the bottom line…I like E-Mealz and will continue to use it until my 3 month subscription runs out…I’ll make a decision then if I want to continue or not.  If I had to decide right now, I would probably pay the $5.00 a month and keep trying it out.  It’s a lot more convenient, but with all of the Food, Inc. and Food Revolution talk I’m hearing (neither of which I have watched) I get nervous about what I am cooking with and feeding my children (so, just imagine if I HAD watched them!).

BTW – E-Mealz also has a referral plan…I’m not exactly sure how it works, but if you are thinking about giving it a try please click on that little banner up there on the left or one of the links in this post when you sign up.  It should give me credit for it then.  :)  (oh – and no one asked me to write this review or gave me any kind of compensation for it…I just did it all by myself!  Aren’t I special? hehehe)