ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: November 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Planning for Life Outside of the Classroom

Putting together amazing activities,  planning detailed themes, writing curriculum, and implementing it all with students of many different ages is a joy and a pleasure.  However, it leaves us lacking in time and energy for the necessary tasks of meal planning, ingredient list making, and grocery shopping.
eMeals is an online service committed to giving teachers and moms a break by creating weekly menus and assembling the ingredient lists.  In addition, eMeals promises to keep meals affordable without the need for stock piling or couponing, while still keeping their valuable service incredibly affordable.
My family has been experimenting with eMeals for several months.  To begin, choose your perfect plan from a variety of options. Menu plan options are available for large families or couples. They consider your favorite grocery store, as well as specialty needs such as: gluten free, low carb, low fat, vegetarian, and portion control diets.

After choosing your menu plan print off one or two weeks worth of menus (the site displays two weeks - current week & previous).  I put the meal plans in plastic sleeves, one side showing the menu and the other side showing the pre-planned shopping list.

Shop, Unload, Cook, Serve, Smile!
(Let someone else in your family do the clean up so you can head back to your lesson planning, grading, and crafting)
Easy, right?
Before trying eMeals I was a bit worriedour grocery bill would increase based on unusual ingredient lists sometimes found on meal planning services.  I also wondered if the weekly menus would include main dishes our family would actually enjoy.

The plan my family is currently enjoying is the Slow Cooker Meal Plan and it is not grocery store specific plan. The recipes all have fairly short ingredient lists and all of the instructions for each meal fit in a small grid box (which means they aren't very complicated!). Having dinner cooking in the Crock Pot as we all roll in after school is a life saver.

During our first month with eMeals our grocery bill actually went down because I am shopping with more of a plan in mind.  I am excited about the fantastic line up of new recipe ideas I've collected. The plans have encouraged me to try some new flavors we typically don't include in our menu.  After a couple nights of rave reviews from our kids my husband wanted in on the new secret. I'm more motivated to make dinner and I am spending less time in the grocery store. 
The cost of the service is a very reasonable $1.25 a week and worth every penny to me!  As an added bonus, members get a FREE holiday menu when they sign up for eMeals. They can choose between our Classic, Paleo, or Clean Eating Holiday Plans. See the recipes and images you can use below to promote it. You have access to the full menus in your members’ area on our website. You can also offer your readers the discount code HOLIDAY for 15% off.

Disclosure: E-Meals is currently providing our family with a 1 year subscription while I participate in their blogger outreach network.