We attempt to be wise with our money in a lot of our choices. One way the two of us have saved money in our home and monthly spending is with our meal planning. We started to use Emeals a few years back to help plan out our dinners for the week. At the time we felt we needed a better plan – we were both in graduate school, working full-time, and had the farm and other responsibilities. Since we had already started with the Dave Ramsey approach to our finances – Emeals was suggested and their meal planning ended up working out well for us, along with a few other methods of saving costs.
Personally we try to eat healthier when we can and we found the meal plan that fit best with our lifestyle was the Clean Eating meal plan. Emeals is not set up like a Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and other competitor companies that provide the both the ingredients and meal planning. Instead, Emeals sends a weekly email of the grocery list you are to purchase and a list of 7 complete dinners for the week – both the ingredients needed and the directions to prepare the meals. Their dinner meal plan has worked well for us – we like to plan things out and save money. Additionally they also have an app you can use on your phone or you can print the meal plan from your email account and I believe they have added other plans such a lunch and breakfast (not applicable for us).
Using this meal plan and adding on the extra groceries we need for breakfast, lunch (although we often eat leftovers), and snacks has worked out very well for us for the past few years. It really helps with curbing eating out and also with the time is takes to plan out meals each week that are healthy for us. Cost wise we felt it was worth it and we feel it has helped us save lots of money over time.
OTHER WAYS WE SAVE ON MEAL PLANNING:
We also tend to make a few additional meals not on the plan in mass amount and freeze the extras. I will share a few of our favorite recipes on this blog. We store these in an upright freezer in our basement. These extra meals are very helpful when we need a meal but time for cooking is limited. We also have used some of these frozen meals for friends and family at times of need. Birth of a new baby, a time of sickness, or cooking limitations are just a few examples of times we have shared some of our frozen stored food with others.
We also make our own coffee, tea, breakfasts, and lunches daily. Doing that daily avoids extra spending on getting coffee or buying lunch. We have found that saving on the little things daily adds up to A LOT of savings over time. We prefer to eat healthier and got a Nutribullet blending system to make smoothies for the days we work. It is an easy way to get more fruits and veggies into your diet while not having to buy the expensive pre-made smoothies. Eating healthy is the smart choice, but often the more expensive one, so we do what we can to keep the costs reasonable while also making good choices (most of the time). Cookies and sweets are my weakness and salty things are his.