This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase through a link on my site, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Who has time to come up with a weekly dinner menu? Not me. Creating a diet plan is overwhelming. Check out my emeals review to see how this can be done for you.
Failure To Plan
Ok, let’s get real here. Who has time to plan a weekly dinner menu and count all the things you are supposed to count?
I get easily overwhelmed by things like this. Can you relate?
Although I am a great cook and don’t get overwhelmed by the act of cooking, creating a meal plan to follow a certain diet, well…
I do not have skills in organizing a sustainable diet.
I’ve signed up for diets in the past only to stop as soon as I start because it feels like too much. I have never been able to create a healthy menu for a week.
Every day I need to get up, go to work, commute for 3 hours a day, work on my blog, cook dinner, take care of my family, clean my house, etc. I don’t have time to research recipes and plan portions to ensure I only have X amount of carbs.
Nope, It’s Too Much
There is too much stuff in my brain already, I can’t add that.
So what happens? I don’t reach my health goals because I don’t follow through on planning out what to eat. I reach for what is simple and available. With my new plans to be intentional in my decisions, this can’t be an option all the time! I needed to find simple meals for the week and a pre-made weekly dinner menu to make them from!
It just occurred to me that I could make a spread in my bullet journal about this! Maybe that would help. In the meantime, I want to share with you what I have been using that has made things much easier.
In fact, I can hand this over to my husband and he can cook all the things for me 🙂 Lucky girl!
Meal Planning Made Easy
I learned about this meal plan several years ago and decided to give it a try since it was recommended by Dave Ramsey. At the time, I was trying it more to save money, but soon learned that it would save time as well. When I first started to use the plan, I did not have very good cooking skills but this weekly menu helped because it was so simple to follow.
I want to point out that it isn’t like the other subscription boxes in that you will not get food delivered to your door. Instead, you get an easy to use recipe plan for the week. I prefer this since I can pick out my own stuff and can only imagine it is more cost effective to get a regular sized package instead of a pinch of this and that…
What Do You Get?
Well, when you go on the website you sign up for a dinner plan. They have breakfast, celebration, and lunch ones as well, but I recommend you just start with the dinner one first since you will end up with a ton of recipes over time.
There are a ton of dinner options to choose from. Never fear though, you can change at any time. This means you can’t make a wrong choice.
In fact, you can change immediately after signing up and look at all the other recipes if you want. I tried this out because I can be pretty indecisive. I didn’t want to choose the wrong thing!
Here are the options you get to choose from (and can switch between all of them if you want):
- Clean Eating
- Budget Friendly
- Classic Meals (like grandma makes)
- Quick and Healthy
- Slow Cooker
- 30 minute meals
- Low Carb
- Low Calorie
- Kid Friendly
- Heart Healthy
- Portion Control
- Gluten Free
- Better Home and Gardens
- Dr. Axe
- Paula Deen
I know, I know…decision fatigue. You really can switch as many times as you want though so just pick one!
I’ll list some of the foods in the different menus for you:
- Easy Barbecue Brisket (Gluten Free)
- Slow Cooker smokey White Bean Stew (Vegan)
- Puttanesca Rigatoni (Vegetarian)
- Beer Braised Chicken Tacos (Better Homes and Gardens)
- Buffalo Chicken Salad (Eating Well)
- Skillet Orange Chicken (Classic Meals)
- Chili Lime Flank Steak (Paleo)
Sounds pretty good, hey?
How Does It Work?
Once you pick a menu, you choose whether you want to cook for a family or for 1-2 people. There are seven recipes on each weekly menu. Menus have a ton of variety so you don’t end up with a bunch of things you don’t like (like when my husband and I went to a restaurant recently and everything had asparagus in it and he hates asparagus).
Most meals include a main meal and a side dish. For example, one of the All Recipes dinners is “Quick Chicken Piccata with a Spinach Pomegranate Salad.”
You will have different experience (but same menu) if you are on the computer versus their app. I’ll explain each.
If you’re on a computer, you will receive a PDF with all of the recipes as well as all of the ingredients in a shopping list. The PDF makes things really simple by including a shopping list that is numbered by recipe. Here is a screenshot of one of the recipes so you can see how it is laid out.
Do you see how easy this is? I mean, the recipe title makes it sound complicated but then when you look at the directions it is just a paragraph. You’ll notice also that there is a split with the side dish recipe underneath the main recipe. This is nice because you might not want to make that part. The one bummer about it is that they are not differentiated on the shopping list, so you would have to find those ingredients and cross them out.
In the next picture I will show you what the shopping list looks like:
I’ve forgotten to look at the staples section in the past which was kind of annoying since I did not have some of the things. They have improved this section since then though. It used to be that those items were in small italics.
Emeals has been focusing on their app to make it the best it can be. I just learned they have the option to send your grocery list to the store to be set up for curbside pickup if your store has that! Wow, that is pretty cool.
Unfortunately my small town does not have curbside pickup. However, if I drove 30 minutes I could do it. I for real just ran to the basement to tell my husband about this since this seems to be a newer feature…we usually print the list instead of using the app. It might be worth trying out having Walmart shop for my groceries if I can just pull up and have someone bring them out!
Here are some screenshots of the same recipe so you can see it on the app. I’ll include the shopping list as well so you can see how that works:
Interestingly, they also have a “cook mode” which shows each step one at a time for you to swipe through. Here is an example of a phone screenshot:
I’m excited to see on the app that there is a favorites section as well. This allows you to favorite and save particular recipes. This is great.
When you use emeals for awhile you will see that you end up trying a lot of different recipes and if you are organizationally challenged like I am, you might not remember all the good ones.
We ended up with a bunch of recipe printouts and tried to circle the ones we liked, but it was hard to keep track of all that. I love that the app does this for you!
Let me know in the comments what you think. Did it help you to cut out an overwhelming task from your week? It certainly helped me since I want to cut some carbs and there is a premade menu for that.