When we think of makeover, our mind usually goes to things pertaining to clothes, hair, makeup and so on. Or maybe we think of Ty and those crazy folks at Extreme Home Makeover 🙂
I’d like to suggest a different kind of makeover for mom. I was in dire need of this kind of makeover after having Baby J in January. After all those lovely meals prepared by friends and family were done, and I was left to plan the meals again, I drew a total blank! All I could think of were the same (boring) meals I’d been rotating over and over while I was pregnant, many of which I had also doubled up on to freeze, so we were in need of some change!
I had read about e-Mealz on a blog or two, and was intrigued, but it was when my friend Kim started using it and liked it that I finally decided to give it a try. If it worked for a mom of eight, then surely it would work for this mom of seven 🙂
Turns out that it was just what I needed to get over the hump!
In a nutshell, e-Mealz:
- Provides a menu with 7 dinners each week.
- Is budget friendly because it utilizes sale items that week at the store of your choice (Kroger, Publix, Walmart, etc.)
- Provides a shopping list laid out according to that store.
- Has the cooking instructions right on the menu. Just hang it on the fridge and it’s all there – no cookbooks or computer necessary – just one sheet of paper. (I put mine in a page protector)
- Has menus tailored to low-carb, low-fat, weight watchers, vegetarian and other diets to choose from.
Of course, as with most things, I modified it to fit our family. If there are meals that the majority won’t like, I replace it with a family favorite. The shopping list is numbered by meal, so it’s easy to cross off the items you don’t need. Most weeks we use about 5 of the e-Mealz. Some weeks we have used all 7, which is saying a lot for a family with many differing palettes! Each night I ask everyone if it’s a “keeper” and the much of the time, it’s a yes!
Here are some of our favorite “keepers”:
- Crock-pot Chicken Stroganoff
- Ravioli Lasagna Florentine
- Nacho Bake
- Easy Gumbo
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Taco Calzones
I am sad to say I have not taken one picture of our meals…I’ll have to work on that! For now, here’s our menu for this week:
It has encouraged me to try new things and get out of the rut. I had never made gumbo before and was surprised when the whole family enjoyed it. We’ve also had fish a few times, which made the seafood lovers happy. For the land lubbers I just made extra of the sides. With 9 mouths to please, sometimes that’s just the way it works out!
It gives me a jump start each week so I don’t have to start from scratch and that makes this momma very happy! I’ll admit I get a little surge of excitement each week when the new menu is available. I know, I know – how exciting can a menu be? But it is and it’s my job and I want to do it well while still having time for my family. E-mealz has made it easier to do that and for $5 a month, it’s a bargain. Check out the sample menus on their site. It may be just what you need to get through a busy patch or maybe you’ll decide you never want to have to plan a menu again! Either way, treat yourself to a makeover!
Kerri always longed for a life of adventure with the man of her dreams. What she never dreamed was that it would be with seven kids in tow. Most days, the adventure consists of finishing all the laundry before it’s time to start over again, figuring out what that mysterious odor is, finding a meal that all nine mouths enjoy, and filling minds and hearts with the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Let’s see Bear Grylls survive that! In between welcoming a new one into the world and preparing one to go out in it, she occasionally manages to string together a few complete sentences here.
Are you in need of a mealtime makeover? What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to planning and shopping for meals?