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  1. I currently use eMeals, and although my husband and I don’t like every single meal, we’ve found some pretty good ones, and it’s so nice to have a list already printed for me rather than searching through my cookbooks to find something to make. I totally understand your points, and would agree if I tried to use a meal plan exclusively. However, I use it as a supplement to my regular meal planning, and even if I don’t use their exact recipe, they give me inspiration for a similar recipe that I already have. It just takes so much of the “thinking” out of it!

    • I’m glad to hear it’s working well for you. I totally bought the “it completely replaces your meal planning” line and was disappointed when it was only a supplement in our house as well. For us, it’s just not worth the monthly fee. :(

  2. Yeah… I definitely don’t utilize my meal plan as much as I should… and by that I mean I’ve cooked 1 meal from the plan in the two months I’ve had it. (Now the one meal I got it my new favorite!! – so I am super pleased about that)

    I find I can actually find stuff cheaper on my own. Or I am looking at the sales to plan what I should do for the week…

    I hope to use it more in the future as I also prepaid for the year :) Where was your post 2 months ago lol

    • Trust me, I wish I’d read this before I signed up too. Given so many people are talking about how great they are, and that wasn’t my experience, I thought I’d better let people know that not everyone loves them. (Though I desperately wish I did! It really would make things easier.)

  3. I totally understand your frustration! I am a pretty boring person that could eat the same exact thing nearly every meal of every day, so subscribed to one for the sole purpose of forcing some variety to our dinner routine. I have extremely picky eaters for kids, and a husband that is dying for good home-cooked meals so thought it could be a good idea?? Not so much….. Since it didn’t work out, I decided to not consider it a waste of money but instead a ” year-long learn to like what is prepared for you or learn to cook for yourself” lesson for my kids and a “get some variety in your life” lesson for myself!

    • I’m glad it didn’t scare you away from variety; that’s a good thing! We have that same rule in our house, “This is what’s for dinner, and that’s that.” I indulged my daughter’s picky ways for too long when she was a toddler. Now that two more kiddos have come along (4 total) I don’t have the time, energy, or interest in making something different for everyone, and I’m happy to report she’s still eating and growing! (My old self might have been shocked by that lol).

  4. We have previously written a 5 week menu plan but our family tastes have changed now my girls are in their mid-late teens and we have drifted out of using it and back in to eating the same meals far too often!
    I like the idea of “Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour” and have tried a few meals from their free sample menu. I am thinking of buying the E-books rather than subscribing to the menu plans for all the reasons you mention!

  5. I thought I was the only one with meal planning services issues. 😉 I have a subscription to eMeals and I spend more time modifying the recipes they send each week. We do have a few faves and sometimes I use their meals as a springboard for something else. But, we have had many new recipes that were complete flops and my family is still hungry afterward because, the kids would not eat more than two bites. My husband and I usually will eat it but, just add the recipe to another “won’t make that again” list. You have motivated me to cancel our subscription and get better about having a meal rotation like I had years ago.

    • This has been our experience 100%. Some of the meals have been wonderful surprises. Unfortunately, most end up on that horrible, “Don’t make again” list, which is a total bummer. I received a great fb comment on this post yesterday, and it’s inspired me to give a meal rotation a try too. (I’m sure I’ll post about it when I finally figure it out.) :) Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone, Alicia!

  6. “which I now suspect they advertise just for the kickbacks from the affiliate programs”

    That is incredibly disappointing. I understand the desire to make money from their blogs, but their readership should ALWAYS come first.

    And good to know about the meal plans! Seems like it only caused you more trouble than if you had just stuck with your regular routine. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Some people probably do genuinely like their plans and feel that they’re recommending something great for their readers, but sadly, that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve since learned that a lot of bloggers get the meal plans for free for promoting them so maybe that’s why they aren’t as bothered by them; they aren’t losing anything. I don’t know. All I know is that even if I received them for free I wouldn’t encourage my readers to buy them because I’ve been so unimpressed. :(

  7. This is why I love I pick out the meals I want to eat from all of the internet (mainly Pinterest) and save them to it with a couple clicks, then I use their drag & drop planner to decide what to eat when, and export the shopping list into or just print the list. I love meal plan services, but kept running into those same issues – especially when one needed an ingredient I couldn’t find locally & then I had to guess what other ingredients went with that recipe or just deal with buying things I didn’t need. PTE has a key that shows which ingredients go to each recipe.

    • I’m going to have to check that out! Thanks for the suggestion. I’d love to find something that would actually make dinner time and meal planning easier.

      • Did you ever try out Plan to Eat? I’m still in love with it, but I also renewed my subscription to emeals. I learned I could edit the pdf & remove the stuff we didn’t want easily, so I edit & keep in a file for weeks when I just don’t have time to pick out recipes at all. I just print & go.

        • I haven’t tried it, but I might. It looks really neat. Thanks for letting me know about it. Editing the files is a great idea!

    • I agree! That’s what we do, and it works well. I wish I hadn’t bought into the hype of “it solves your dinner problems” because it most definitely does not. :/

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