SMART Grocery Shopping

   Doug and I recently purchased our first home. As exciting as this is, it also means that if it’s broken, we have to fix it. There’s no landlord to call anymore…We. Are. IT. Now, along with this home, came a pretty pool. Who wouldn’t love to have their own pool? Ironically, that was 1 item we did NOT want with a house. However, we got other things with this house that we really did want, like a big yard….and I mean almost an acre of big yard so we decided we’d deal with the pool.  With this new purchase, new level of responsibilities and with the upcoming birth of our son, I can’t help but want to find ways to save money. So far, Doug and I have been pretty good with our budgeting, saving money, and paying off debt. But that doesn’t end now. If anything, we really need to find new ways to be smart b/c you just never know when the pool pump will go out or the ac will need replacing…oh the joys of home ownership.

   There are a lot of ways this can be done, but one way that comes to mind is our grocery bill. Of course there is couponing, which I am in the process of studying up on now, but this also means SMART meal planning! Now, you may or may not have heard of Dave Ramsey. I could go on and on about this man and just might on another day. But, he has helped develop a program called E-mealz. I had heard about it from a friend last yr and finally decided to give it a shot this Spring and it is AMAZING. The whole premise is that the program designs weekly meal plans using repeat ingredients which are typically on sale in the grocery store that week. Yes, you sign up and select the store where you most frequently shop, and each week, you login to your account where you can see the following week’s meal plan. Not only are you sent a meal plan, but there is also a grocery list included. Talk about a time saver!! The only catch is that you pay a small monthly fee of $5 for this program, but you MORE than make up for it with each grocery trip. I think my first grocery trip using the meals in this program cut my bill that week by $50-$60…you do the math.

  Anyway, I will confess that I have not followed the program for a few mos. It’s time to get back on track. Now the cool thing is that all recipe files are available via .pdf which I save to my computer each week. Has/does anyone else use E-Mealz? If so, or if you think you would be interested in using it, we could swap recipes. It’s a great way to build your recipe/ meal database They have many different plans for 2 person families or larger , low fat, etc….I think the meals are also different depending on which store you select as they base their meals on the items on sale in that store that week which means that not everyone gets the same weekly recipes. If you are interested in swapping recipes or have more questions about the program, let me know. In the meantime, go check out E-mealz.

   Do you have other methods of smart meal planning? I’d love to hear your ideas… 

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