eMeals vs. Real Plans

When it comes to meal planning, I’ll take all the help I can get. I’ve posted before about eMeals, the very first meal planning service I used.

Last year, I decided to give Real Plans a try. Elias has a mild gluten and dairy allergy, so I wanted to see if another meal planning service may be better for my family.

After using Real Plans for a few months, I opted to return to using eMeals. Here’s why:

Real Plans offers really nice features that allow you to fully customize your meal plans. You can even exclude very specific ingredients. Once you make your selections, your plan will be delivered to you each week. It’s great. It was just too many options for me.

eMeals delivers a weekly meal plan with minimal customization. I prefer that approach. I want someone to hand me a meal plan. That’s what eMeals does – I don’t have to do anything except for choose which category I want. I subscribe to the Paleo plan and make minor substitutions when I cook if needed to accommodate the gluten and dairy allergy.

Real Plans offers breakfast, lunch and supper planning options for the price of your subscription. That’s also great. However, I found that I didn’t use the breakfast or lunch planning options. eMeals has separate subscriptions for each meal. When they offered half price subscriptions in the fall, I purchased both a lunch and supper plan.

Each plan has recipes that my family does and doesn’t like. Each plan offers a good variety. Each plan is worth the subscription fee. I’d recommend either one; you really have to test drive them to find the best fit for you and your family.

For me, eMeals is the simpler of the two, and it works for my family.



Eat We Must: Facing the Supper Challenge with Two Kiddos at Home

Now that BP and I have two kids, we’re once again faced with the challenge of figuring out how to get healthy meals on the table quickly. Though I’m not staunchly opposed to take-out, I feel better about things when we’re eating a healthy, home-cooked meal.

Just when I was getting a routine figured out with Kid #1, I need to change it all over again.

I’ve written before about eMeals, a meal planning service that I subscribe to. It’s been very helpful, but while we’re still in the New Baby Stage, even those meals can be too time-consuming.

Enter: freezer meals.

Quite some time ago, I started following Once A Month Mom. The author offers entire menus that can be prepared in advance and frozen. I’m not willing to devote an entire day to preparing meals, but I recently began pulling a few ideas from her site.

Last night, for example, I put together four slow cooker meals in 30-45 minutes right after the baby went to sleep for (half) the night. I prepared two baked bean chicken bags and two rosemary pot roast bags. Those puppies are sitting in my freezer as we speak (or read, whatever)!

My plan is to put together one or two freezer meals with each grocery trip, which ends up being about weekly for us. For now, I’m choosing the meals that require no cooking before putting them into the freezer.

Of course, last week when I decided to pursue this plan, I found a crack in the crock of my slow cooker. My small appliances hate me. Last year, the salad spinner, blender and microwave all bit the dust. This year, we’re starting out with the slow cooker. *sigh*

But, I carry on, with a new slow cooker freshly delivered from Amazon.