Last October, Bethany and I made one seemingly simple change that has now saved us an average of $317 on our food bill each month.

I want to share with you exactly what we did and how you can do it, too.  In fact, at the end of this post, I’ll show you how you can actually save a bit more just for being a member of our Engaged Marriage community.

So, What Was the BIG Change?

We signed up for E-Mealz.

E-Mealz is an online meal planning service that was started by a couple of busy Moms who were looking for a better way to manage their families’ time, health and financial well-being.

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It has become a major help to thousands of busy families, and it has won the endorsement of financial guru Dave Ramsey.

In our case, we were eating carryout restaurant food too often, plus we were wasting groceries on a regular basis.

We shopped for what we thought we needed during each grocery store trip, but without a plan we inevitably found ourselves opting for the “convenience” of takeout/delivery and (at the same time) letting groceries expire before we actually used them all up.

Plus, our grocery shopping trips weren’t organized to take advantage of sales and store discounts since there’s no way to know this information without guidance from someone who tracks it.

How Does E-Mealz Work?

It’s really simple!

You just choose the best plan for your family from the 26 different options on the E-Mealz website.  These include a mix of food types (regular, low-fat, portion control, vegetarian, low carb, gluten free), family size and your favorite grocery store (or choose the Any Store plan if your grocer isn’t listed).

Then you just log in each week and print off your new meal plan and shopping list.  All of the ingredients you need for your weekly shopping trip are organized onto a single page and broken down aisle-by-aisle for your store, and the meal plan/recipes are on a second page.

You can even click here, browse the meal plans and print off a sample plan to check it out for free!

We haven’t noticed any recipes repeating since we started in October, although E-Mealz says their most popular recipes may repeat every 4-6 months.  That’s a lot of variety!

And in case you’re wondering, the meals are almost always DELICIOUS…so we have lots of new favorite dishes that we wouldn’t have discovered without this service.

How Does E-Mealz Save You Money?

In addition to simply eating out less and grocery shopping with a plan, E-Mealz menus are actually planned to give you the best value with each shopping trip!

The weekly plans are set up to coincide with the sales at your store for that week.  This alone can represent a major savings if you aren’t already tracking and planning your shopping trips and specific meals based on your store’s weekly sales.

Plus, you will most likely be eating healthier under your E-Mealz plan, which means you’ll lose weight, feel better and ultimately have lower medical bills!

What Does E-Mealz Cost?

E-Mealz costs just $5 per month, or $1.25 per week. Given what you save with sales, less eating out and no more wasted groceries, this is just an incredible value.

I am proud to share our experiences with E-Mealz with you, and I’m proud to endorse their great service.  Check it out!


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. I’d pick the Publix plan for 2 or the GF plan for any store. We’re new to a gluten free diet and this would be a great way to learn!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. I know Tony and his wife (at my other site swear by a gluten free diet. I think this would be a great way to amass a lot of GF recipes!

  2. It’s a toss up between doing the ALDI plan or the Couples-only plan. I’m leaning towards couples-only right now! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  3. I am torn between the Wal-Mart for 2 or the ALDI for 2 plans. My only concern is that I would need something bigger… My wife eats a serving, and I normally cover at least two. So I might have to upgrade to the Wal-Mart or ALDI family plan.

    1. Hey Matthew,

      I wanted to let you know that we do the “for 2” and the portions are usually generous. I eat quite a lot, too, and we usually have leftovers even if we share some with our kids.

      Also, you can switch your plan up from time-to-time in case you didn’t think the portions were big enough for you.

  4. Thank you so much for this! As a single mom, this will save a fortune in time and money. I’ll be choosing the Wal-Mart portion control for 2. This is definitely a no-brainer purchase!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I’m so glad this is helpful for you. And yes, it’s hard *not* to save $1.25 per week, which covers the cost of the plan.

  5. I would go with any store 4-6. We just took in my husband’s stepsister and her 3 kids so our table has gone from 4 people to 8 people overnight. This is very cool.

  6. Wow! I’m thinking e-mealz is one of the sweetest ideas ever! I’d want the Low Fat Wal-Mart plan for 2.

  7. Cool concept.
    With our family of 4, we’d probably just go with the Regular Family Meal Plan with Aldi.

  8. I’ve seen a few people talking about this – very good concept! I love the store match-up feature as well. I do that now on my own, but freeing up more time is always nice. 🙂 I would choose the GF plan with Kroger deals for 2…I would have to adapt it a bit for a partially grain-free diet as well, but getting the gluten out is half the battle right there.

  9. I’m going to try the low fat family plan for any store. Or possible the low fat for two, my daughters aren’t very adventureous eaters, so I could double a recipe if it looked like something they might enjoy!

  10. Choosing any store meal plan, although I’m wishing my local stores were listed, so I could take advantage of the weekly deals!

  11. I think I would go with the low carb plan with either Kroger or Walmart. Is there any way to incorporate 2 stores? Thanks for offering the contest! Id love to try it out. I need to automate my meal planning.

  12. I’d have to choose the Kroger meal plan, since we almost always shop at Smith’s or Food 4 Less (with our pile of coupons.) Of course, I would prefer the lowfat or portion control for my husband and myself, but we have 4 teen boys and 2 young girls, who eat like horses, so how would that work? I’d hate to have to pay for and buy 2 different meal plans and all the food. Oh, that’s right, I’m ALREADY buying all the food; LOL!! Thank you!

  13. I’ve been researching eMealz recently and I would probably go with either the family plan or the Low CArb plan any store.

  14. I would choose the any store meal plan. I’ve heard good things about E-mealz before and I would love to try it out. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  15. I would defininitely do the Aldi for two, even though it is just me. It sounds like the portions are big enough I could either have leftovers or freeze a portion for another meal, which I am trying to do more of anyway for busy nights.

  16. i would do the walmart plan for two…it’s just me and husb for now and he’s a student. i have dreams of grandeur involving me being a stay at home mom and a couponer. but while i work full time, neither of those things is possible. we’d love to save money! what a great idea.

  17. What a great thing! Thanks for the resource. I have been looking for this for a long time, and because my family is so picky and has restrictions, it’s tough to put us in something that could work. I took a look at the sample menus, and think we would do best with the Walmart family meal plan or reduced carb plan. We only have Walmart or Albertsons where we live, so I don’t think any of the others would work for us.

  18. Congratulations to SARA who is the lucky winner of a 3-month meal plan!

    For everyone else, please don’t forget that you can save 10% off your plan using the coupon code “efmarriage” at checkout.

    Thanks all!

  19. Pingback: TFMS 029 - Smart Meal Planning with E-Mealz Co-Founder Jenny Cochran | Fit Marriage
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