Friday, January 21, 2011


Today, I embark on a new adventure as a wife and a cook. I signed up for E-Mealz last night, and I'm super excited at the prospect of changing mine and Jeremy's eating habits, as well as trimming up our grocery budget. E-Mealz is a meal-planning program that offers menus and meal plans for families and couples. For a small, monthly fee, E-Mealz allows subscribers access to specially designed menus that offer a different recipe for every week night. Some of the menus even coincide with a specific grocery store, allowing users to take advantage of special deals at that specific store. I chose the Low Fat for Two plan, and because my regular grocery store, Ingles, wasn't an option, I opted for an "Any Store" plan.


Jeremy and I have been needing to eat healthier and, getting home at seven thirty every night, is just not conducive to dieting. I had heard about E-Mealz from a friend and thought that it might be a good way to "semi-diet" and also help plan meals (since my schedule doesn't really allow for that). I'm hoping it will also help us to save money and shop smarter.

I had some reservations about subscribing to E-Mealz. My number one hesitation revolved around my love for cooking. I worried (and still worry) that E-Mealz might stifle my creative genius in the kitchen...ha! No really, I don't particularly like the idea of having to prepare a certain meal every night. I'm an "on-the-fly" type of cook. I make my decisions based on my mood. If the fancy strikes me, I may prepare crab cakes one night and grilled cheeses the next. I don't really have a particular repertoire, and I don't follow plans very well. I gave up New Year's resolutions long ago. I found that I was too much of a rebel to even set a resolution for myself...resolution? I'll show you my resolution! If there are lines, I'm going to color outside them. That's just who I am.

Thus, the lines of E-Mealz made me a little nervous. What if I didn't like a certain recipe? What if I wanted to change it up a little? I'm constantly changing and tweaking recipes, and I don't want that freedom to go away.

After viewing my first week's menu, this fear quickly subsided. My first recipe is a simple White Bean Chili, which not only sounds yummy but also sounds flexible. And surprisingly, the rest of the recipes for Week 1 sound similar. They're not too fancy or too complicated, and they sound like they'll actually taste good. And what's best? Each week's menu comes with a sorted shopping list with every item you need for the week's meals. This is probably the biggest perk of E-Mealz (at least from what I've discovered so far). It's a complete dream, in fact. Every item on the list is categorized by department/type and will make grocery shopping so much less of a headache. There are few things on this earth I hate as much as grocery much so that I avoid going until absolutely necessary. When we're having ketchup sandwiches and drinking tap water, I finally decide it might be time to go shopping, but typically not until that very crucial moment. So, this organized shopping list is like a magic wand for me. I feel like Harry-freakin'-Potter! Already it's even made me look forward to grocery shopping.

For the most part, the jury's still out on E-Mealz. I'm not really going to know how much I like it until I've had a few weeks to put it into practice. Hopefully, my rebellious, outside-the-lines ways won't sabotage it before I even start...I'll keep you posted.

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