Link Love: How a Menu Planning Service Saved Dinner

Posted on Jun 20, 2012 by 4 Comments
Link Love: How a Menu Planning Service Saved Dinner

Over at Smart Mom Deals, I wrote about the eMeals a few weeks back; a meal planning service that gets rave reviews from customers and Dave Ramsey.

Basically, it works like this: each week, I get an email from eMeals. In the email is a meal plan for seven dinners, along with a grocery list (including approximate prices). Now, keep in mind that we stick to a very strict grocery budget each week. And when the cash in the envelope is gone, it’s gone. So it’s important that we use our money wisely.

This meal planning service has been an absolute savior. I know exactly what we’re going to have for dinner each night, I know approximately how much it will cost, and I know what I have to do for food prep before hand. It’s amazing. And it’s all for $5/month (if you pay for a year in advance) or $7/month (if you pay quarterly).

To say that I’m a convert is an understatement. As long as I have a family, I will never be without a meal planning service.

But eMeals is not the only gig in town.

Relish! is another service that gets rave reviews. For $7 per month, you get a week’s worth of meals, side dishes, and desserts. With this service, you get to choose from 15 different recipes each week and then the grocery list is generated for you.

You can adjust the portion sizes to fit a family of 2 to 8.  Meal options include vegetarian, kid friendly, simple gourmet, and super quick recipes.

Food on the Table bases their meal choices on grocery circulars from your chosen grocery store. Then you get to choose what you’re in the mood to eat (beef, chicken, vegetarian, etc.)

You tell Food on the Table how many meals you plan to eat in that week, and voilà. It creates a menu plan that includes the most possible sale items incorporated into recipes you’ve indicated you’d like to eat. The best part of Food on the Table? It’s free.

Overall, each of the plans have benefits. eMeals takes the least amount of effort on your part but each week is sort of a surprise because you don’t know what’s coming. Relish! takes a little more effort, but in exchange, you know what you’re getting ahead of time. And Food on the Table is free.

I’ve only used eMeals, but I’d be curious to hear of others’ experiences! Do you use a meal planning service?

photo credit: food on the table

Posted in: Food
Stacie McClintock

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