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Do you have trouble with being consistent at planning your meals? Does that cost you more money, that you would rather have to spend for something else, because you end up getting take out? Do you dread every week planning out meals and going to the grocery store? If you say yes to any of these things, you’re a lot like me. And I’ve found a helpful solution for the both of us.
The one area where we tend to overspend as a family is eating out. We don’t spend a lot on clothes. We don’t drive expensive cars. We aren’t big impulse spenders. I shop frugally and price compare for household items. We don’t often go to movies. The one area that has been a weakness of ours for all the years that we’ve been married is eating out more often than we should.
We really like to go out to eat together as a family. It’s just our favorite thing. Often though, a lack of meal planning is what causes us to go out or order take out. Even though I know meal planning is really important to keep us from overspending in the food category, this is just an area of personal weakness for me. I dread deciding on meals for the week, planning the grocery list and going to the grocery store. I either get stuck feeling like we too often eat the same few things OR I pick too many different recipes from too many different books/sources and the whole process of planning and shopping feels overly complicated.
If that sounds like you, here’s what I’m loving! Eat at Home weekly meal plans and color coded grocery list already prepared for you! I’ve done one other meal plan service several years ago. I like this one better.
Here are some things I am really loving about it so far:
- Each week’s meal plan and grocery list is color coded, so it’s easy to eliminate or substitute a meal. I have commitment issues to a whole week’s worth of meals for some crazy reason. This is true even if I’m the one making the meal plan, not because all the meals in this plan aren’t good. This is probably my favorite feature because it helps me to stick with it. If I know we want spaghetti, tacos or pancakes one night I just eliminate (easily) one of the other meals. You can print in black ink, but the color coded grocery lists are a feature I love.
- Each week you have 3 choices of meal plans – Slow Cooker, Traditional, or Whole Foods. You actually get all 3 plans for each week. The easiest way to use it of course is to stick with one meal plan for the whole week, but you have all three if you want to switch it up. For me, these additional choices make it not feel too restrictive. I know that’s ridiculous. But y’all, I already told you this was an area of personal weakness. Mercy.
- You get 6 meals and one dessert per week. (For each of the 3 meal plans)
- You can get a price break if you commit longer, or you can try it for a shorter time if you want to check it out first. I purchased a 3 month subscription. Long enough for a good trial without a large financial commitment.
- We are enjoying most of the meal choices. I have used some from each of the 3 lists. There was a good variety and it wasn’t all “add a can of cream soup” recipes. Although those are good, I find those easy enough to come up with on my own. Our meals have consisted of more variety than if I had planned out the meals. My guys have been loving that.
- The meals use “normal” ingredients and provide the variety I wanted without being complicated. They are pretty simple, but good.
- Because it was all planned out and shopped for in advance, we actually stuck with the plan and cooked at home each night. It felt good to know each morning that it was taken care of. No last minute what-are-we-gonna-eat-tonight anxiety. Yay!
- There are two sizes of meal plans, you get both. Small serves 3-4. I used the large family size that serves 6-8. For our family of currently 4, most meals worked out to be the right amount for us all to eat supper and to pack lunch for my husband and son. One takes lunch 3 x per week and one takes lunch 4 x per week. That helped with keeping eating lunch out costs down for my husband. Evan has to take his lunch as he has no option to leave or buy lunch out, so he’s glad to not have to eat sandwiches every day.
- NOT ONE TIME HAVE WE GOTTEN TAKE OUT because there wasn’t food ready to cook or some quick cooking options for busy days.
- With the code SWEETHOME at checkout you can save 25% through Tuesday, March 7th at 9 pm (CST)! With 25% discount a 3 month subscription costs less than $2 week to have the meals planned and grocery list made for you. It has been so worth it for me. A one year subscription with the discount is just $1.21 per week!
If you need a break from meal planning, give Eat at Home a try. Our 3 month subscription cost us less than one meal out for our family of 4. If it saved us one time of going out, or 1.5 times of take out, it paid for itself. It has already done that and we’re only 3 weeks in 🙂 The lack of meal planning anxiety has been GREAT. I’ve been spending a lot of hours per week learning the technical side of this blogging thing. Having dinner plans in place, in advance, has relieved a lot of the stress of meals and freed me up for other things. Click here to try it for yourself. Now, if I could just find a way out of going to the grocery store….
I would love to hear your tips for success in meal planning and preparation. Seriously. And, if you try Eat at Home I’d love to hear how its going for you.