A few months ago, I got the pleasure of meeting Heather at BlissDom. She works at emeals.com. I had always been skeptical about these types of meal planning services. You know, why should I pay to have someone make a meal plan for me???
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve been using it for about a month now and couldn’t be happier. It takes ALL the stress off of me as a soon-to-be mom. I ended up signing up for the Publix meal plan for two. It gives you a list of 7 meals with their corresponding ingredients and instructions. It then provides a detailed grocery list. It even prioritizes the meals for that week by what will save you the most money, utilizing the deals and sales for that week! Each week, the grocery bill should range from $50-$60. Not too shabby!!! And you pay as low as $5 per month!
Here’s an example of what a meal plan sheet looks like:
They also provide a lot of other different types of meal plans, from Gluten-Free for 6 to Safeway Eating for 2 (this just means heathy eating on a budget). Click here to see more of the menu plans. And as an added bonus, they are allowing Chocolate & Carrots readers to get a subscription for 15% off! Just use the keyword: BLISSDOM.
So, I gave it a try. I only ended up making 4 of the 7 meals that week, and being a kitchen guru, I made the recipes my own. All of the following recipes were adapted from this emeal meal plan.
Total for the 4 emeal meals: $30.02
I spent another $14.41 on the remainder of the meals for the week, making it a total of $44.43. Not to bad, especially considering I bought organic meats and milk products when I could!
So, here’s what I made:
Chili Tomato Chicken over steamed brown rice with brussel sprouts $6.07
This meal had a lot of kick to it, but it was completely delicious and couldn’t have been easier to prepare!
Crock Pot Chili Chicken
- 6 organic chicken tenders (total of .75 pounds) $5.18
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chillies $0.89
- 10 ounce can 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup – already had
- 1 cup brown rice – already had
- 1 bag frozen ‘steam in a bag’ brussel sprouts – already had
- In a crock pot, combine the chicken tenders, can of diced tomatoes (liquid and tomatoes), and cream of chicken soup. Stir until combined.
- Set on low for 4 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice and brussel sprouts as instructed.
- Serve and enjoy!
Cheesy Baked Pasta $8.47
This meal lasted us 3 nights! We totally could have frozen some of it and saved it for a rainy day too.
Baked Cheesy Macaroni
- 16 ounce box of whole wheat macaroni – already had
- 15 ounce container part skim ricotta cheese $2.49
- 3 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, divided $4.39
- 1 egg – already had
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper – already had
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning – already had
- 24 ounce jar of garden vegetable marinara sauce $1.59
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the macaroni according to the packaged instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, egg, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Spray a 2 or 3 quart casserole dish with canola spray.
- Once the noodles are cooked, drain and stir in the ricotta mixture.
- Pour half the cheesy noodles into the casserole dish.
- Spread half of the marinara sauce over it.
- Pour the remaining noodles over.
- Spread the remaining marinara sauce over it.
- Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy for two nights!
Grilled Sirloin with sweet potatoes and salad $6.88
Steak & Sweet Potatoes
- 1 pound organic top sirloin $5.38
- salt and pepper, to taste – already had
- 2 sweet potatoes $1.50
- salad – already had
- Grill the sirloin topped with salt and pepper until medium well.
- Meanwhile, wash the sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for 7 minutes, until tender. Serve with your favorite toppings (mine are peanut butter and brown sugar).
- Prepare a side salad with your favorite dressing.
- Serve and enjoy!
Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff $8.60
This meal was a little too salty for my taste, but I’m pretty sure it was because of the onion soup mix. But, it may be completely fine for the average palate. I just rarely add salt to anything. That’s all.
Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff
- 6 organic chicken tenders (about .68 pounds) $4.67
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube – already had
- 1 cup water – already had
- 1 packet onion soup mix $1.15
- 4 ounce can mushroom stems and pieces $0.89
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour – already had
- 1 package whole wheat egg noodles $1.89
- frozen peas – already had
- Place the chicken in a crock pot.
- Blend the bouillon cube, water, onion soup mix, mushroom can (undrained), and flour until puréed. Pour over the chicken.
- Cook on low for 4 hours, until chicken is done.
- Shred the chicken and stir around in the crock pot.
- Prepare the noodles as directed.
- Serve the chicken and gravy over the noodles.
- Prepare a the peas to accompany the dish.
- Serve and enjoy!
So, now comes the fun part! A giveaway!
Winner: Lydia G. who said:
“I have been looking at E-meals recently and have been thinking about taking the plunge with them. I am looking the low carb plan for 2 and I would probably go with the one for any store because I am blessed enough to live 3 minutes from an Aldi! thanks for reviewing them it helps me get a better idea of how this works!”
Prize: An eMeals plan of your choice!
(Mandatory): Go to eMeals and leave a comment here telling me which meal plan you would want!
Deadline: May 4, 2012 at 11:59am Eastern Time
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