7 Meal Planning and Menu Mailer Services Compared

Meal Planning, Menu Mailer, eating healthy, Websites Compared

Picture: Meal Planning by Pennyshima

What do you do for Meal Planning?  How do you decide what to cook?  Do you first come up with a Meal Plan for the week and then create a Grocery List?  Or do you first shop for groceries by buying the ingredients that your family likes, and then cook based on what you have in your pantry and refrigerator?

If you’re like our family, my guess is you’re somewhere in between the two approaches.  Although you might plan in advance for cooking a few meals for the week and buy the ingredients required for those meals, when you are at the grocery store, you still end up buying other ingredients.

Outsource Meal Planning?

Figuring out what to cook on a weekly basis can be daunting.  One way to solve this problem is to subscribe to one of the meal planning and menu mailer services.  These services send you weekly Meal Plans and Grocery Shopping Lists.  They cost between $5 – $10 per month.  Given that on an average about 1/3rd of all groceries we buy go to waste, spending $5 – $10 per month on a meal planning service could end up being a smart financial decision.

Meal Planning and Menu Mailer Services Compared

Below is a comparison of Mean Planning and Menu Mailer services.  You can find more information on how each of these work and how they are different from one another at Life As A Sailor’s Wife.  Also, the NY Times article You Plan, I’ll Cook: Leaving the Menu to Others, is an interesting read on how the use of these services is picking up.

ServicesPrice Per MonthPrice Per YearFree Period; Minimum SubscriptionMeal Customization And Other Options
eMeals: 7 dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Adjusted for eating style, family and preferred grocery store$7 for Dinner; $14 for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner$58 for Dinner; $142 for Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerNo Free Period; 3 month minimumCustomize by eating style, family size and grocery store
Fresh 20: 5 <30-min dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Using 20 ingredients that are fresh, non- processed, preservative free$5$49No Free Period; 3 month minimumGluten free and Vegetarian alternatives
Six O'Clock Scramble: 5 <30-min dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Using seasonal fruits and vegetables and preferred grocery store$7$362 weeks free; 3 month minimumCustomize for Picky, Vegetarian, Kosher, Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Nut-free
Saving Dinner: Weekly recipes and shopping lists; Premium subscription includes customization$5 Regular; $10 Premium$47 Regular; $90 Premium1 week free; 3 month minimumPremium membership included Low Carb, Heart Healthy and Paleo
Relish!: 5 dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Adjusted for family size$7$59No Free Period; 3 month minimumChoose from 15 recipes weekly; Scale to family size; Free freezer meals; Ability to enter your recipes
Once A Week: 6 dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Cook once per week and freeze$10$90No Free Period, but 50% off for 1st month; Then Monthly (cancel anytime)
5 Dinners 1 Hour: 5 dinner and side dish recipes and grocery list per week; Cook once per week "in 1 hour" and freeze$5$60No Free Period; 3 month minimum

Have you used any of these services? How was your experience? Do you know of another option that isn’t listed?

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