31
Oct
10

E-mealz: losing weight, saving time and money

Okay. I’m not usually a walking advertisement for products/services on my blogs. I do product/service reviews for my Examiner column (yes, I’m back writing there). I do share information on my facebook page about products/services. I do retweet and tweet about products, services and/or groups.  But usually my personal blog doesn’t do all that much of that (except that contest I entered and won a desk for).

 

This post will also be an exception because I HAVE to tell you all about this: E-mealz. AWESOME!

 

I have autism and grocery shopping (well, shopping of any kind) has always been a hassle for me. Also, I have trouble with decision-making skills. Also, too, I hate spending money on food. LOL But I also have trouble if the grocery store is crowded and let’s face it, they NEVER have enough lanes open when you go to check-out. Being all bumper to bumper with people.. **shudders**

I signed my house up for e-mealz about a month ago after a therapist suggested it to us. You see, I’d spend hundreds a month on groceries and STILL have no idea what to make for supper. I’d buy extra junk just because I couldn’t decide what I’d need to have on hand. I have over 400 cookbooks in my house that I love to collect and go through to get ideas for dinner–but I can never decide which ones to do! I’m afraid to try new foods.

For a long time we did operate on a meal plan. I spent hours every Sunday choosing meals (with the input of my two boys and my husband) and making lists (by meal) and so on. THEN I’d take the coupon section and go hunting to see which stores had which items I needed on sale or have a coupon for. While I actually enjoyed the activity (autism-issue), it did waste a lot of time and money because, quite frankly, I wasn’t that good at it.

Since I hated shopping, I’d resist going to multiple stores to get the best deal. I like going to ONE store. Well, that meant adjusting the meal plan to what that one store had on sale and vs. what my family would eat/try to eat. With children who have autism, they have picky-eater syndrome so it can be rough-going!

Well, once I started using the meal plans at e-mealz, I saved a HUGE amount of time as it was all done for me. I had a meal plan based on the grocery store I go to the most often. There were meals that were new to all of us–so the kids were more willing to try something new if mom and dad were trying something new too. And because three out of four of us have weight issues, I chose the low-fat meal plan. My husband has lost 20 lbs! In.a.month! My oldest son has lost 10 lbs. I have lost five. Isn’t that always the way for women?

And the money saved! I’d buy things at the store just to buy SOMETHING to get out of there. Well those things were wasting away on my shelves because I never knew what to do with them or the kids weren’t willing to eat them. No more wasted food! And because all the meals are based on sale-priced items, I’m saving over $100/wk on groceries. The economy is tight for a lot of folks, so saving money is always a good thing!

 

There is a catch to all this. Isn’t there always? You see, it does cost money to join their service. It’s $5 a month. Paid in 3 month installments (so $15 at a time, every 3 months; that’s 4 times a year, for a total of $60 a year). But considering I easily save $1200/year… I think it’s still a win for those who use it!

 

I do wish they had an option for inputting allergies (for instance Thomas can’t eat pears and I can’t eat seafood of any kind or too much tomatoes). But I’m hoping they’ll have that option soon…

 

They do have different meal plan types, including gluten-free, low-carb, low fat, etc. They can personalize it for couples or roommates, etc. Whatever makes up your “family”, they seem to have a plan for! It is also only for one meal a day– you can easily have left-overs for lunch the next day and add a box of cereal for breakfast (or a dozen eggs and loaf of bread, etc.).  The traditional serving size of the meals that go with our plan is four-six servings per meal. We have four people in our family unit. Sometimes there’s more than six servings and then we invite people to join us for supper, share the left-overs with our friends, or whatever. None of it goes to waste. But usually there are six servings.. we use four at supper time, and then when the boys are in school, Jerry and I have the left-overs the next day as our lunch. If we don’t, we take a night off and have Left-Overs night. I do have a cookbook that teaches you how to take left overs from one meal and turn it into a fresh meal the next day. Which is handy to have when one doesn’t “like” left-overs like my husband sometimes doesn’t.

 

Thomas and Brandon both have enjoyed the variety of foods we’ve had. Although Thomas has missed cooking his meals since we got this super-duper helper lady who prepares the meals ahead of time so we can just pop them in the oven later, he loves the new food. Tonight was Saucy Pork Chops and served with steamed white rice, broccoli florets, apple sauce and cornbread. C’mon.. talk about delicious! The sauce was made from ketchup, brown sugar, onion slices and lemon juice. O.M.Goodness!  And I don’t like ketchup.

 

Another new food we tried last week (may have been the week before) was Creole Pork and Pasta. I mistakenly forgot to buy the tomato sauce that was supposed to go over the pasta so just sub’d olive oil (obviously used less oil than I would have used sauce) and it was to-die-for good! Who knew I liked Creole seasoning?!?! Who knew Thomas did?!?!?  Even Bboy– who didn’t start eating table foods until about 3 or 4 years ago– ate ALL of it!

 

All of these meals are made with whole wheat items and low-fat items. And I cannot tell the difference in taste (except whole wheat pasta.. just doesn’t taste the same but it is okay).

 

Okay, I’m starting to ramble now but I just can’t stop saying enough good things about this plan. The best thing though? Eating all together as a family. Can’t put a price tag on that!

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