Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Budget Busting Meal Plans

A few years back my Husband Eric and I were looking at our lives through the eyes of newlyweds. One of the realities you have to face when you get married is; what's his is mine and what's mine is his. This includes your debt.

We were blessed that our debt was smaller than most newly weds as I had no college loans to speak of at the time of our marriage, and our wedding was cash-flowed. A few months in we took part in a 12 week Financial course produced and hosted by Dave Ramsey called Financial Peace University. Our focused turned quickly to loan payments and soon we'd brought our debt down to one last loan. (One day I want to blog about our journey to "debt free.")

Part two of being a newlywed, mostly as a wife, is the realization that you can no longer stock the cupboard with Ramen Noodles and canned Tuna. I was fortunate to get several "newlywed" cookbooks that taught me basic skills and easy meals.

Two and a half years later, Meal Planning is a part of my weekly routine. Every Thursday I get all the flyers for local grocers and make my list of meals for the week. This often ends in us eating the same meals on a two week rotation and buying more than we need or use. I often feel I walk out of the store spending way too much on things that will just end up in the trash because I forgot to use them.

As a rule, our family measures our financial decisions against the wisdom of Dave Ramsey. Yes, we realize and accept that he is not prefect nor the end-all to every financial question. That is why I say we "measure" our decisions against his wisdom but we have found many of his tools and recommendations very helpful to our family.

So what does Food and Dave Ramsey have to do with each other?

Dave Ramsey Recommends eMeals

"Food is the biggest budget buster of all. I’ve wanted someone to create a practical solution to the 'beans and rice, rice and beans' dilemma. Finally... eMeals has done it! Now thousands of my listeners subscribe to eMeals. You will save a ton of time and money." - Dave Ramsey

eMeals is an online service that allows you to pick a meal plan based on your dietary preferences, your cooking style, the number of people in your family, and the grocery stores you frequent. In addition to giving you a weekly meal plan, it also provides a detailed grocery list, all for $5 a month!

Oh but you know me - I need a deal! So check out this great Groupon for 50% off your membership!
So we Signed up! With our Groupon the cost of eMeals is $2.42 per month. Several of our friends are taking part as well and rave about the plans. Here are the options you can currently choose from on eMeals:
Dinner Plans               Lunch Plans          Breakfast Plans             Dessert Plans
Gluten Free                 Low Carb              Low Fat                         Low Calorie
Portion Control           Vegetarian             Natural and Organic     Clean Eating
Paleo                           Mediterranean        Simple Gourmet           Vegetarian
As a part of each plan, you receive a grocery list, new recipes each week, and you can change your meal plan Once a month if you don't like the plan you're doing. eMeals states you will spend between $75-$85 a week on groceries for a family of 3-6 ($50-$75 for a family of 2-3).

So, coming this week, our Journey in eMeals begins. Follow my eMeals Tag for updates, or you can find the link at the top in my Blog Menu for posts specific to this journey. I will be tracking our spending, meals we enjoy, as well as the benefits of having the hard work done for me.

You can find more information about eMeals by clicking Here or you can see my eMeals link on the side of my blog. Click the link to Follow by email of subscribe to my blog for all my updates!

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