Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week 1 of E-Mealz

Dave Ramsey's radio program frequently advertises After 4 years of listening (being brain-washed) to these commercials I decided to try it for our family. In the past I have added up how much our family of 3 spends on food during a month and the amount is often more than our mortgage. We Jackson's like to eat!

We purchased the Walmart Family of 4 Plan because I thought it would have the best savings. There are several plans to choose from but you can only change your plan once every 3 months. Currently they do not have a plan for HEB which is my grocery store of choice. They do offer an "Any Store" option but it does not include a $ estimate for you to track your savings.

E-mealz promotes their program as $5/month but you must purchase it 3 months at a time. I thought this was a little sneaky on their part but not having to think about what to make for dinner for 3 months won me over. Hopefully, now that I've already paid for the plans I will stick with the program and our bank account will thank us.

Damon and I decided to split the work so he buys our weeks worth of groceries and I cook the meals. I think I got the better end of this deal and he thinks he got the better end. It's a win/win!

I didn't think we would like some of the recipes and I was already planning to call in Pizza Hut as backup. However, everything was surprisingly tasty and we were able to stretch all of our meals to cover lunch the following day. When they say the meal will feed 4 I think they mean 4 grown men that have just finished a hard days work in the fields.

One meal involved cooking a lot of pork chops in the crock pot. I like the ease of crock pot cooking and this meal was probably the best tasting of the bunch but the clean up is a pain. Yes, I know I need to buy some crock pot liners but when I only use it once every 6 months it hasn't been something I think about.

To purchase all the ingredients for the Walmart shopping list we spent about $75. This amount did not include staples. Lemon juice, mayo and capers are some of the listed staples. Capers?! I would like to meet someone in West Texas that has a ready supply of capers hanging out in their pantry.

Damon went shopping on a Saturday and said he will never go back to Walmart on a weekend again. Hehe! So I switched us to the Any Store Plan after our 3rd day. Hello again HEB! The Walmart dinners were also heavy on starches and cheese which is probably why they tasted so good. The Any Store Plan had more veggies and fresher ingredients. We'll start it tomorrow night.

After our first week of E-mealz we probably saved $150 but our food budget was admittedly out of control. This program has de-stressed dinner for me since I can now just go on auto-pilot after putting in my hard day in the fields. A person that is organized and disciplined could probably do this all on their own but that person isn't me. So far E-mealz has been great for us.
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