TOS Review: e-mealz
Now that our home school is in full swing, I need help with making dinner. Some days are just too full with coaching and mentoring two high school students as well as one junior high student. Throw in Supergirl’s educational challenges (she’s working at first grade level) and I’m not sure I have any functioning brain cells left to think about dinner. Thankfully for the last 6 weeks I haven’t had to think about dinner. As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a 3 month subscription to e-mealz.
E-mealz is a menu-planning (with grocery list included) subscription service created by Jane DeLaney. For $15, you receive a menu plan with a grocery list each week for three months. E-mealz offers several different plans and options. You’ll want to explore the options tab to see which plan would suit you. Each option is clickable so you can read about each plan and each description includes a sample menu and grocery list.
I wasn’t sure at first if e-mealz would be a good fit for my family. I’ve always made menu plans and have even blogged about creating a rotating menu plan but creating menu plans every week is mentally exhausting and using the same menus over and and over again such as a rotating meal plan gets boring. But would I like the meals? Would my family eat them? Would it really save me time and money?
We have loved e-mealz here and I plan to renew my subscription. I no longer dread the “what’s for dinner, mom?” question. Just the other day this conversation happened:
One daughter: “What’s for dinner?”
Another daughter: “Ask mom, she knows. She always knows what’s for dinner.”
Mom: “Yes, thanks to e-mealz I do always know what’s for dinner.”
I wish I could adequately describe how much my stress has been relieved with e-mealz. I don’t have to stress out about what’s for dinner. Because of the detailed grocery lists that tell me even which staples I need, I know that I will have everything to make dinner. No more last minute changes or extra trips to the grocery store because we’re out of some key ingredient.
Though there have been some weeks of meals that had more hits than others we’ve had many meals we’ve enjoyed. Of the meals that we actually tried, there was only one that didn’t quite work for us. We won’t be making that one again but we did find several meals that the girls have asked if we could do them again. Here’s a picture of Tailorbear’s favorite meal. We’ve actually made it twice now. It’s a penne pasta with smoked sausage and summer squash and a picture of a cheesy baked tilapia. We’ve made that one twice now too!
I found e-,mealz easy to adapt for my family. We prefer creamier sauces and the recipes just do not seem to make enough “sauce” or “gravy” but I had not trouble doubling ingredients to make it more appealing for my family. For example in the Penne Pasta it called for 1/4 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk. I just knew that would make it a very dry pasta. I don’t do dry. So I doubled the milk and the cream while keeping the cheese the same and it was perfect. Here’s another picture of a recipe I adapted. This is a keeper as well and I plan on making it again. Instead of putting the rice in a baking dish and toping with pork pieces and sauce, I made the sauce with chunks of pork and served it over cooked rice. This allowed me to use less meat and make the meal more economical for my family.
My Final Thoughts: We found e-mealz greatly reduced my stress and saved my sanity. It saves me time. I didn’t think I would need a subscription service to make menu plans but this is well worth the $15 every three months. It’s easy to adapt the meals for my family size and our preferences. We get to try new recipes that I would never have tried otherwise. If you struggle with “what’s for dinner” or with making a grocery list and remembering to include staples like spices, oil, flour or sugar you may want to give e-mealz a try.
Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.