Breaking out the cookbooks to save some money.
Last month, my grocery bill was nearly $2,000. I don’t know if that sounds like a lot to you, but for a family of four with two young kids that seemed like a fortune. Something had to change.
The problem as I saw it was I was shopping for each meal, running to the store several times a week. I knew this was neither efficient nor fiscally wise, so I decided to plan out a week’s worth of menus at once. But then I realized how much time that would take, and I lost interest. That’s when I found eMeals (emeals.com), an online menu-planning site.
The way it works is you choose a grocery store and a preferred diet (vegetarian, organic, low-carb, etc.), and each week you get a week’s worth of dinner entrees with recipes and shopping list included. So easy. It seemed like the perfect solution, especially since each week added up to about $140 in groceries. Throw in breakfast and lunch for $50 a week, and I figured I would spend $200 a week on groceries.
Trouble was the recipes weren’t very good. They were meant to be quick and easy, but they relied on lots of packaged and frozen items. I don’t cook rack of lamb and lobster for midweek meals, but I do like something more interesting than sausage and beans. And speaking of sausage, there was too much meat. Eating meat seven nights a week is too much for me.
So I switched to vegetarian plan, but eMeal’s vegetarian menus were even worse. Last week’s menu included potato and bean salad with chips, pasta salad and pancakes. That’s right-pancakes for dinner. The menus appeared to be written by someone who thought of nonmeat eaters as sensory-challenged. I cancelled my subscription.