Emeals Meal Planning Service: Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now over

Creating a weekly menu plan is something I highly endorse and recommend here at Skinny Mom’s Kitchen.  It is one of the main strategies that I use consistently to keep me on the healthy eating track. I am pretty sure without a menu plan I would be roaming aimlessly throughout my kitchen wondering what to eat before I ended up settling for a bowl of cereal. By starting the week of with a menu plan I eat with intention making it more likely that I will consume healthier foods, smaller portions, and fewer calories.

The downside to menu planning is that it takes time – sometimes lots of time. You need to research and organize recipes, write a grocery list, and figure out when to eat everything. It can get overwhelming especially for menu planning newbies. Because of the effort involve, especially at first, people shy away from menu planning. I have been menu planning for about 2 years now and have developed a system that takes me about 1 – 1 ½ hours to prepare. However, there are times I wish someone would just hand me a menu plan filled with delicious recipes every week so the only thing I need to do is shop for the ingredients.

Well, a few weeks ago, that is exactly what happened. Heather from emeals.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their meal planning service. I was happy to do so. I was getting really busy with summer activities, work, and blogging so I could use a little help. Remember, even us super moms need a break once in a while. Plus, I love to review products and services that I think would make your life easier. Not to mention I have been intrigue by their service ever since hearing about it a few months back.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Emeals is impressive – very impressive. For someone who understands the benefits of menu planning but does not have time then this is for you. Or even, if you are like me, and enjoy menu planning I can still see this being a very useful resource. We all have those weeks when before we know it the weekend is here and our menu plan has not even entered our minds. Yep, that is when you turn to emeals and print out a quick menu. Did I also mention they provide a grocery list? Seriously, this meal planning service is awesome.

Emeals does not just provide one basic menu plan. They understand that families have different dietary needs and therefore do not provide just a basic one size fits all. The different menu plans you will find at emeals are Clean Eating, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Low Fat, Portion Control, Vegetarian, Natural and Organic. The just recently added the very popular Paleo menu plan as well as breakfast and lunch menu plans.

Here is a screenshot from their site.

It was difficult to choose between all the options. I decided to go with the clean eating menu plan because that mostly fits my family’s needs. I made the oregano chicken, grilled summer vegetable salad, and made the lemon risotto tonight. The recipes are simple, delicious, and very easy to make. This was a plus because not everyone is comfortable in the kitchen or has the time to prepare complicated recipes. A lot of the ingredients I already had in my pantry and was able to adapt easily when I didn’t.

Here is a screenshot of a sample clean eating menu plan. This is just a small sample. They have MANY more to choose from.

Another thing I was looking for when reviewing this service was how easy it would be to make these meals ahead of time and/or freeze. As a busy working parent I like to prep and/or freeze as much as I can on the weekend to make it easier during the week to throw meals together. This is another strategy that I use to keep on track during the week. As I reviewed the recipes I found them to be easily adaptable to a make ahead or freezer meal.

Another major perk to emeals is they link up most of their menu plans with store sales. That is huge! I know a lot of you clip coupons and follow store sales so that service would save you tons of time. Just imagine what you can do with all that extra time…hmmm

The only drawback I see to emeals.com is that, besides signing up for the specific plan, you don’t get options for the recipes. You get a weekly menu plan with all the recipes already picked for you. However, the point of the service is so you don’t have to think about the recipes and what to make. I actually found this to be refreshing especially when I was very busy. If you need more control over the recipes then this might not work for you. But I encourage you to give it a try because it is really nice to have someone else do the work for you once in awhile.

Now some of you may be wondering why I would promote a paid meal planning service when I create and post my own menu plans right here on Skinny Mom’s Kitchen. Well for starters, my menu plans outline what my family is eating each week and does not take into consideration dietary restrictions or other special diets. Emeals does. Like I said you can choose from a variety of plans to suit your needs. Also, I don’t menu plan around sales (sorry not that organized) so there is no way I could provide that service. Emeals does. They combine meal plans with many of the major chain stores, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Walmart, Aldi’s, and more.

Quite simply emeals offers more meal planning services than I would ever have the time to do. It is truly an amazing resource for busy parents. And for $5 – $7 a month that is really a steal – I spend more on coffee.

**This giveaway is closed ** Want to win a free 3 month subscription to emeals? Good! Because emeals is givng a free 3 month subscription to one very lucky SMK reader. Woohoo! You are going to love this!

Mandatory Entry:

Go to the emeal’s site and check out their meal plans. Then come back and tell me in the comment section what meal plan you would choose.

Additional Entries (please leave one comment per entry):

1. Like emeals on Facebook. (1 entry)

2. Like emeals on Pinterest (1 entry)

3. Like Skinny Mom’s Kitchen on Facebook (1 entry)

4. Like Skinny Mom’s Kitchen on Pinterest (1 entry)

*This contest is open to US residents only 18 years + and will close on September 4th 2012 at 8pm Eastern time. One winner will be selected via the website random.org. Winner must provide a valid email and respond back within 48 hours of being contacted. If no contact is made within the that time frame another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced on this blog.

** Disclosure: I was provided with a free trial membership to test out and review emeals meal planning service. All opinions are my own. Seriously, I was really impressed with this service and will be keeping it past my trial 🙂 I am also an affiliate of emeals so if you subscribe to their site I get a small commission. Thanks!

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Comments

  1. Would love to try this…….

  2. Family portion control meal plan from any other store.

  3. FB emeals entry

  4. Pinterest emeals entry

  5. FB Skinny kitchen entry

  6. Pinterest Skinny Kitchen entry

  7. I would choose the regular menu for Any Other Store or Wal-Mart. I like the extras- like how much money the groceries cost, and the grocery list for those recipes. I wish they had pictures of their meals though. Maybe SMK could help them out 🙂 Some of these were new and very different recipes for me.

  8. I would choose the clean eating (specialty family menu).

  9. I would choose the regular menu from any other store. I was just looking at trying this and debating about doing this…Maybe this is my lucky day?

  10. I used eMeals years ago when it was brand new and there were only one or two plans to choose from. 🙂 I gave it up when our budget got tight…really, really tight. I’d love to be able to use it again! This time around, I’d choose the Natural/Organic plan.

  11. I like SMK on FB.

  12. I like eMeals on FB.

  13. I follow SMK on Pinterest.

  14. I follow eMeals on Pinterest.

  15. I would choose the clean eating plan.

  16. jeana sparks says:

    I would choose the Eat Clean menu plan for family 3-6. It would be so nice to have this service!

  17. I would choose the portion control option for two.

  18. barbara n says:

    Since it is just my husband and I , I would choose the low fat SPECIALTY MENUS FOR 2

  19. I would choose the clean eating menu but would probably adapt it to my picky guys taste.
    Hubby and son will not eat tomatoes, so that puts a damper on some things…

  20. Oh my gosh this would be such an amazing prize!!! Sounds too good to be true actually! I would pick the Eating Clean Plan for 3-6

  21. Following Emeals on Pinterest!

  22. Liked Emeals on FB!

  23. I Like Skinny Mom’s Kitchen on FB!

  24. I am following Skinny Mom’s Kitchen on Pinterest now 🙂

  25. I would choose the natural plan.

  26. I liked emeals on pinterest

  27. I follow you on pinterest

  28. Wish they had more stores near me….

  29. I liked you on FB

  30. Liked emeals on FB

  31. Followed you on pinterest

  32. Followed emeals on pinterest

  33. CaseyCannolis says:

    I would most like the Regular Family Menu for Any other store. P.S. I followed Skinny Mom’s Kitchen, on Pinterest, too. 🙂

  34. Definitely the clean eating plan. Looks great!

  35. Liked on pinterest

  36. Liked on Facebook.

  37. I went and checked their site out. I liked the Walmart regular family plan.
    Thanks

  38. I hope I am lucky enough to receive this. I would chose the low fat meal plan

  39. Regular Family Meals for 3-4

  40. I would get the natural and organic plan.

  41. Emeals looks fantastic and would help our busy family. Clean plan please!

  42. fb like entry

  43. pintest follow entry

  44. fb like for emeals entry

  45. pinterest like emeals entry

  46. Love, love, love my Emeals! I got them for a year thru a Groupon several months ago! I love that you can switch plans after every 4 weeks; so far I tried Publix, low-carb, Whole Foods, and Clean Eating…not sure which one I like best!

  47. I’d like to try regular family meals.

  48. Like you on FB.

  49. Liked you on facebook.

  50. Liked emeals on facebook.

  51. Liked emeals on pinterest.

  52. Low fat meal plan is my menu of choice.

  53. Like you on FB.

  54. Following you
    on pinterest.

  55. Like emeals on Facebook.

  56. Following emeals on Pinterest.

  57. Eating clean plan. Thanks

  58. Following skinnymom on pinterest.

  59. My daughter just left for college so I would choose the clean eating for 2…

  60. I would choice the Family Portion Control

  61. Would like either the portion control or the low carb menus. Just two of us now, and it has been difficult to adjust planning. It would be a nice break to have someone else do it!

  62. Liked emeals on FB.

  63. Liked you on FB

  64. Liked emeals on FB.

  65. Followed emeals on Pinterest. Not sure what you mean by “like” on Pinterest – I’m a newbie there!

  66. Following emeals on Pinterest

  67. Already liked Skinny Mom’s Kitchen on FB.

  68. Following SMK on Pinterest

  69. Liked emeals on FB!

  70. Liked emeals on Pinterest!

  71. Lynne Farrar says:

    Like sks and emeals on both FB and Pinterest.

  72. Lynne Farrar says:

    Think I would choose: Regular Menus for 2 – Kroger

  73. Would love to try the clean eating family menu plans.

  74. Regular meal plan for 2- Walmart

  75. Melissa Boxer says:

    clean eating any store

  76. Melissa Boxer says:

    Family Vegetarian Walmart

  77. Melissa Boxer says:

    Family Clean Eating Any Store

  78. Melissa Boxer says:

    Regular Family Walmart

  79. I follow Skinny Mom on pinterest

  80. I follow Skinny Mom on Facebook

  81. I’d love to follow the Aldi family meal plan.

  82. I did emeals for a long time. I would print the recipes out weekly and put them in a binder to keep. Its also neat because every meal is numbered. So if you decide you don’t want to make meal 7 easily go to grocery list and find all the number 7’s and mark them off so that you don’t buy what you don’t need. LOVE THEM!

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  1. […] planning and just want someone to do it for you then check out Emeals. You can read my full review here but in a snapshot this service provides you with a menu plan and grocery list each week. I […]

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