This week begins a month of a different kind of menu planning for me. Normally, I do it myself. I sit down with my laptop and think about what we feel like eating for the next week. I dig up recipes I’ve put on hold to try and I re-visit old favorites. I base our menu for the week around what is on sale to get the most bang for my buck. The weeks of planning have now turned into years. I honestly don’t think much about it anymore…it’s just become old hat.
But I realize for those of you who are new to the idea of menu planning, my half hour routine of getting what’s in my head on paper to go grocery shopping may not come as easily in the beginning. Or maybe being organized isn’t a strong-suit. Or maybe you are simply in a phase of life where you just can’t put another thing on your plate….you’re just happy you brushed you teeth this morning!
Well, this just might solve your problems. Relish has offered me a full month of free menu planning services through their website.
For $7 a month you get to have a week’s menu that will cost you about $90 at the grocery store.
Here are the pros that I have noted so far:
- There are plenty of kid friendly, low cal, budget conscious, and even vegetarian options. They also have a special section for gluten-free individuals.
- They offer nutritional info for each recipe (even the new Weight Watchers Points Plus values)
- They offer a great section of freezer meals with corresponding recipes to stock up your freezer without any stress.
- When your weekly grocery list is printed out, they use a letter to identify what meals that ingredient is for. So if you decide you need to cut out a meal, you simply look at the ingredients that are for that recipe and cross it out without any confusion.
- All the recipes are kitchen tested and approved to take no longer than 30 minutes. I can hear all the Mama’s of the world cheering now.
- While $90 for a week’s worth of groceries may be a huge decrease for some people in what they normally spend, this is above the budget I spend for a week (I try and stay around $50-60). After gone shopping for all our food for the week, I have to say it was a tad bit harder to stay within our normal budget and still have all the necessary ingredients for the menu. I opted to tweak the side dishes to suit our budget rather than spend more money for the sake of sticking to the list Relish gave me.
- If you’re a foodie like I am, having to choose recipes from a list may feel limiting when there are so many meals you want to test out mulling in the back of your head. If you love someone telling you a new recipe to try, you may feel passionately the opposite.
Here is what we’re eating this week:
- Crock Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken Sammies & Salad
- Three Cheese Manicotti & Salad
- Turkey Burgers with Sauteed Asparagus & Dijon Vinaigrette
- Honey Glazed Broiled Salmon, Brown Rice & Salad
- Cheese Enchiladas, Brown Rice & Zucchini
Relish has also generously offered a free 1-year subscription to one of my readers ($58.80 value).
Enter to win: (Up to 2 entries per person, leave a separate comment for each entry below letting me know which entry method you’ve done. Without a comment, I can’t pick your name and you’re not entered into this giveaway.)
- Leave a comment telling me why a menu planning subscription would be helpful to you.
- Subscribe to The Brown Bag.
Your last day to enter the giveaway is on Sunday, May 1. The winner will be notified via email with directions on how to claim their prize!