Are you looking for an easier way to get healthy dinners on the table without spending hours finding recipes and meal planning every week? Here's my eMeals review on how this budget-friendly meal planning subscription can making healthy meal planning faster, easier and more fun.
Pulling a healthy dinner together often feels like a huge energy drain after a busy day at the office. Even if you've managed to juggle the hassle of meal planning and making sure your pantry is stocked with the right ingredients.
It can be so difficult to commit to eating healthy on a consistent basis. You want to prioritize your health. And you know that meal planning and preparation is 90% of the battle.
But how do you get the necessary (yet time-consuming) planning done so you have a healthy meal plan and recipes to get you through the week?
What if I told you that healthy eating could be easy?
So easy, in fact, that you wouldn't need to worry about spending precious free time on your weekly meal plan ever again.
That's where eMeals can help. Their time and energy-saving meal planning service takes all the guesswork and time-consuming planning out of healthy eating. So you (and your family) can sit down to a healthy home-cooked meal on any night of the week.
No stress. No fuss. Just easy, delicious and nutritious meals.
Even if you only have less than 10 minutes to look at recipes.
Even if you have absolutely zero time to run out to a grocery store.
Even if you're following a plan with specific dietary requirements.
Meal planning is one of the most common struggles that I see in my inbox. I'm always looking for ways to help my readers, so I decided to give eMeals a try. Here's my full eMeals review, including how eMeals works, why it will help you save time and money, as well as the biggest benefits (and minor drawbacks) of their service.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please read my disclosure for more info.
How does eMeals work?
Simply put, eMeals is a subscription meal planning service that takes all of the guesswork out of the most dreaded question: "what's for dinner tonight?"
Each week you get a tailored selection of recipes to choose from based on the way you eat---paleo, keto, low-carb, gluten-free, vegan, etc. You can even mix and match recipes from different diets.
Here's what a typical week of paleo dinners looks like:
- Grilled Chicken with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
- Fish "Tacos" with Mango Salsa
- Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry
- Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Thai Cucumber-and-Carrot "Noodle" Bowls with Shrimp
- Italian Sausage-and-Beef-Stuffed Peppers
Then it's just a couple of clicks to create your meal plan and shopping list. Here's how their service works from beginning to end:
1. Choose your meals and let eMeals work its meal planning magic
Getting started with eMeals is really easy. You'll want to get their app after you've finished signing up on their website and then log in to your account. The Android and iOS eMeals apps are completely free to use when you have an active subscription.
From the app, you'll have access to your weekly meal plan, as well as your meal plan from the previous week, and your saved favorites. You will also be able to access the recipes from the other meal plans if you want to swap out a recipe. And yes, you can also do all of the planning from your desktop browser...but the eMeals app is so convenient (watch the video here to see how it works!).
Every Wednesday you receive a notification that your new recipes are ready for meal planning. You can switch in and out of the recipe categories you receive so your meal plan is always tailored to your lifestyle.
At this point, all you need to do is go in, take a look at your new recipe options (click the photo to review the full recipe) and pick the ones that you want to serve by clicking "add to list."
And while eMeals is perfectly tailored to help you tackle dinners, you can just as easily add a lunch or breakfast plan from your member dashboard. With those add-ons, you'll really have mealtime covered!
2. Grab your groceries – either online or in-store!
For me, planning my grocery list is always the most time-consuming task in weekly meal planning. Of course, having a properly stocked paleo pantry helps, but it still takes time to review recipes, pull over all of the ingredients into a list, and then check that list against what I already have in the house.
That's why this might just be my favorite part of eMeals.
Once you've chosen your recipes for the week, eMeals shopping list feature automatically pulls together your grocery list. From there, you can quickly move through the list and cross off the items you already have on hand.
Now you're ready to hit your favorite grocery store!
Or (even quicker) you can use the pick-up integration. Send your ingredient list off for quick grocery pick-up at stores like Walmart Grocery or Kroger ClickList.
Or (the biggest time-saver of all) you can use the shipping integration. Send your list to Instacart or Amazon Fresh and have your ingredients shipped directly to your door!
With these options, you have the flexibility to choose the shopping style that suits your family and schedule. Skip the line or head out to your favorite place to shop. The choice is yours!
3. Get cooking – it's time to put your meal plan to work!
At this point, you've got your recipes ready and your groceries put away, so it's time to get busy in the kitchen! Just go into the "cook mode" section of your meal plan and the app walks you through the recipes step by step---in large type so it's easy to read while you're cooking!
The recipes are pretty quick to pull together and easy to make. For example:
- Paleo meal plan recipes like the fish tacos with mango salsa recipe above, grilled chicken breasts with spinach-tomato sauté, and spicy New Orleans barbecue shrimp
- Keto meal plan recipes like blue cheese sauce burgers, hunter-style chicken drumsticks, and smoky sausage-vegetable egg back (for my paleo readers, please note that some of the keto recipes include dairy)
- Low carb meal plan recipes like grilled chicken and summer veggies with lime-pesto, tuna cakes with lemony artichoke hearts and asparagus, and Sichuan chicken and broccoli with steamed rice
And that's really just a sample from the plans for some of my readers' favorite clean eating styles. Of course, there are also meal plans for vegan, vegetarian, 30-minute meals, budget-friendly meals, quick and healthy, slow cooker, heart-healthy, diabetic and more.
Ready to get started? Try eMeals for free for 14 days.
Here's how eMeals will help you save time and money (plus make eating healthy ridiculously easy)
As you can see, eMeals meal planning service boils down to three simple steps: 1) choose your recipes, 2) shop for your ingredients, and 3) cook!
Here's a closer look at what I believe to be the biggest benefits of subscribing to eMeals:
eMeals will save you about two hours a week in meal planning time
Oh, the things you could do with an extra two hours a week. You could...
Start that untouched book that's collecting dust on your night table.
Head over to your favorite yoga studio and catch the 90-minute (ultra relaxing) Yin yoga class.
Watch that critically acclaimed indie flick you've been dying to see.
Or you could simply take a little pause and indulge in a (well-deserved) nap!
Whatever you choose, you'll never have to worry about whether or not you'll be able to stay on track with your healthy eating goals. You can get back to your life completely stress-free because you've already handled meal planning and grocery shopping.
eMeals estimates that their subscribers typically save two to three hours a week meal planning and I can back that up. My meal planning and grocery shopping were finished lightening fast. And if you use the Instacart integration you don't even have to go to the store!
Saving time without sacrificing nutrition is a huge win in my books.
Subscribers save about $2,000 annually by meal planning with eMeals
There's a reason that debt-busting financial guru Dave Ramsey endorses eMeals.
While it is a paid subscription service, eMeals is pretty inexpensive when you consider the savings. The annual 12-month subscription runs at $4.99 per month, but you also have the choice of a 3-month subscription for $9.99 per month.
On the annual plan, you would spend about $60 per year to save $2,000.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
But how does it actually save you money? Glad you asked.
Simply put, sticking to a meal plan saves money by cutting down on eating out, take out, convenience foods, and food waste. You're most of the way there when you have your shopping list in hand. If you stick to your eMeals list, you won't pick up any items that you don't need for the week. Skip the impulse purchases!
And because all of your recipes are in one place and automatically filed into a handy grocery list, it will be easier to choose recipes with overlapping ingredients. Helping you to reduce produce waste in your house and also allowing you to buy ingredients in bulk (if necessary).
Finally, this is the perfect in-between solution for households that love the convenience of full home food delivery services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron but want a more budget-friendly option.
Healthy meals become your new normal (and eMeals makes it really easy!)
Saving time and money is awesome, but streamlining the actual planning and shopping process is where eMeals really shines.
With just a couple of clicks, you can choose your recipes, have your list ready to shop and decide how you'll get your ingredients this week. Whether that's using their Instacart or Amazon integration, sending it off to WalMart for quick grocery pick-up, or simply heading out to your local shop. The choice is yours, but it will always be flexible enough to suit your schedule.
The recipes themselves are also relatively easy and straight forward. I also like that they have meal plans specifically for paleo and keto diets. And yes, eMeals even includes full macro information on the 4-week keto plan for easier tracking. (Please note that the keto meal plan recipes may include dairy.)
Finally, you really can tackle your meal planning whenever you have a few spare minutes when you have the eMeals app on hand. Like on your lunch break or even while you're waiting in line!
My final thoughts on eMeals (and how to know if it's perfect for you)
Overall, I'm really impressed with my eMeals meal planning subscription. The recipes were simple and required only a handful of ingredients. Similar to the recipes you'll find here on my website!
For me, the best part is how seamlessly they've bridged the gap between meal planning and grocery shopping. You can automatically make your shopping list and then easily choose whether you want to ship to your door, send it for quick pick-up or head into the store and pick everything up yourself.
Very few meal planning services offer that sort of flexibility and it's such a time saver!
eMeals is perfect for you if:
- You want to eat healthy without spending a lot of time looking at recipes or sourcing ingredients.
- You want to save money on your grocery bill and reduce produce waste in your household.
- You want to skip the grocery store all together – the eMeals Instacart integration is such a time-saver!
- You like variety in your meal planning. eMeals weekly recipe suggestions never repeat. But you always have the option to save your favorites if you find a new recipe that you know you'll want to make again.
- You want to enjoy healthy meals without stressing about what you'll make or if you have the right ingredients in the kitchen.
Does this sound like you? Try eMeals for free for 14 days.
eMeals isn't right for you if:
- You have specific ingredient allergies (like certain nuts), RealPlans gives you more control over your meal plan with a custom ingredient filter.
- You're following Whole30 or AIP. eMeals doesn't offer an Autoimmune Protocol or Whole30-compliant plan, so I'd recommend using RealPlans in this situation as well.
Bottom line: eMeals is the perfect meal planning solution if you're struggling to stick with your healthy eating goals. eMeals makes it quick, easy and fun to eat (and shop) healthy. All while eliminating a lot of the time and energy drain of meal planning!
Did you find this eMeals review helpful? Have you already tried eMeals? Drop me a note about it in the comments below.
(P.S. Curious about RealPlans? Check out my RealPlans review on how it works and why I think it's a great alternative to eMeals for certain dietary restrictions.)