Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meal Planning for Those Who Hate It

Emealz - Easy Meals for Busy People!

Upon returning from our honeymoon, the thing I've cried over more than any other chore by far is meal planning. If I thought it was bad then...it got all the more stressful [and expensive] after having 1...2...3 kids. 

We love food, but going out all the time is no longer affordable or dare I say enjoyable with three high chairs! The alternative though, is one stressed out mommy who feels insecure and overwhelmed with only one meal she knows how to make [well]---spaghetti. 

We tried grilling a lot, with some rice & veggies, and that's great, but not for every day and certainly not as easy on rainy and cold days. I can't fathom women who actually enjoy it as a hobby or "love to cook". I know lots of y'all. Bless you.

I am not that woman.

I decided at the beginning of this year I had some family goals:

1. eat out at restaurants less
2. stop eating fast food so much
3. save money
4. me loose weight

Then I found Emealz. I'd tried other online meal planning, tried copying other peoples, and even making my own [oh that was the worst], but this for us has worked out the best so far. 

It's easy, inexpensive, gives me a plan, and helps me make dinners that stay within my Weight Watcher goals. 

My kids are eating so many more fruits & veggies now and the meals actually taste good! They are simple, quick and are easy to modify. For example, if I want to buy organic chicken vs. regular, or if I want to buy regular ranch dressing instead of fat free. I usually make 6 of the 7 dinners. They aren't all as good as others, but it's better than cereal, spaghetti [again] or *gasp* McDonald's.

I highly recommend this for those of you out there that are overwhelmed, without a plan, and spending way to much money eating out. They budget to help you make 7 dinners for around $80 a week for a family 4-6. I was easily spending triple this to just buy snacks and things to let spoil and throw away. Plus, you can always join for a few months, save your menus and repeat them until you want to sign up again.

They have 26 different plans:

I chose the Weight Watchers Plus Program for Publix. 
Here is a partial sample of what the menu & shopping list look like:

Every week they will include sale items in the meal planning:

I hope you'll give it a try.
And end up with less cry.

Click below to get started:
[it gives me credit for telling you]


Do you meal plan? How? Tips?


  1. My fiance and I have been using E-Mealz for at least 6-months now and couldn't be happier!! Food isn't the same ole thing each week and we are pretty pleased with each meal that we cook. I also subscribe to the WW for Publix meal plan :) It has also saved us a lot of money on groceries each week which makes us both happy!

  2. I hate to cook! My husband does all the cooking, the only thing, I seem to over eat sometimes, and it doesn't help me at all with my diet. I totally understand where your coming from. I will check this out, thanks

  3. I take it you have no picky eaters in your house. I'm speaking less of my children (though they are an issue) and more of my husband. Do they have a "picky-eater" category? LOL

  4. My children are mildly picky, but we just make one thing and if they want to be hungry that's always an option. My husband has very fancy taste, but he likes when I cook so he usually tries to eat it to be encouraging. I know some things aren't his favorite, but atleast I fed the other 4 of us or cheap ;)

  5. I'm not so worried about my kids. They eat what I provide or they don't eat. Period. That doesn't seem to work so well with my husband. No onions, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, squash (of any kind), carrots, pasta/potato salad with mayo, sweet potatoes or fish/seafood. Fruits: forgetaboutit. I pull my hair out EVERY DAY trying to figure out what to feed my people. Drives me BATTY!

  6. i'll have to look into that-- and just wait till you have a handful of teenage boys to feed- then you will really understand EXPENSIVE grocery bill...LOL

    I don't mine the planning- it is the finding time to go to the store and cook and then hoping at least 2 of the 4 men eat it....

    (I'm back from my weekend in L.A.: http://kabersblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/orrcon.html)

  7. Elizabeth...

    I LOVE this so far...still on my first week. To those worried about picky eaters, I am the WORST! I hate pretty much all super strong flavors and a variety of random things (including cheese) that are very common. However, the menus provide enough variety that I can either skip a meal OR adjust it to fit what I like :) I also keep things like potatoes, rice and rolls on hand since my family likes those things and they aren't always included in the menu.

    I have gotten more compliments this week on meals than I have in a long time. To me it is fun to prepare since they don't take long and are most likely going to be tasty.

    GREAT site, thanks for introducing me to it!

  8. This looks really interesting Candra! I'm considering trying it. I am curious how much you find yourself spending on breakfast, lunch, and snacks in addition to the dinner menu? Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Jess---because our family of 5 is made up of 3 little people, the portions for the 4-6 people leave us with leftovers. I use these for lunch for us, and or sometimes for lunch for kids and I.

    Also, there is ususally at least one or two night we will eat out of grab a sub on the go if we are busy etc so I just move that dinner meal over to a lunch.

    I'm not really spending much money on lunch. Maybe some bread and turkey.

    For breakfast I try to just buy one box of cereal, one box of oatmeal and yogurt & fruit. Not much spent there.

    Snacks are mainly fruit and veggies. I buy like 2-3 cracker type snacks, but we don't but "kid snacks" or junkie food.

    Mind you my husband does eat a good bit of breakfast and lunch out---he he part of "the job" lol

    My grocery bill was about $250 a week, it was about a hundred less these last few weeks. Plus I'm buying food for 7 real meals and not like sorta 2 plus a billion snacks.



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