A Great Way to Outsource Your Dinner for Cheap

Are you ready to let someone do your meal planning for you?

You know that one of the things I try to do at Finding My Fitness is keep really amazing food ideas coming that fit exactly with the plan found in The 4-Hour Body. I’ve already got several recipes to help (and I find every excuse to link to them), I’m working on a restaurant guide, and I’ve got a couple other things up my sleeve.

The method I am going to talk about today might be my new favorite.

Solving the 3 biggest issues

In my experience, I’ve come across three main problems people have when starting on 4HB. I’m not talking about people who are going to poo-poo your decision to follow the plan because it focuses so much on meat or doesn’t allow fruit except once a week.

I’m talking about people who are on the fence and are looking for a reason to ignore the facts. I’m talking about people who have been on it a week or two, following religiously, and don’t think they can sustain because Tim says it’s smart to stick to the same thing over and over again.

The complaints I hear are:

  • The plan is boring
  • I eat the same things over and over
  • It’s expensive to buy real food

One of FMF’s goals is to give those people (you, maybe…) enough resources to put those concerns to rest. This new tool I found does just that in a fantastic way.

Outsource your dinner

You’ve made a great start. You’ve outsourced your PAGG stack. You’re doing three or four awesome exercises that are getting you towards your goals. But you just don’t seem to have enough creativity with the foods, and sometimes you just don’t feel like going to the store when you finally do think of what you want.

Try eMeals to lose weight and save money!Enter Mealtime Makeover.

They have this program called eMeals. eMeals is basically a weekly meal creator. When you sign up, you tell it the kinds of meals you’re interested in creating. It goes through its database of over 6 months worth of meals and each week puts together 5 meals for you with recipes AND a shopping list. Incredibly easy!

Now, they don’t have a slow-carb plan, but they do have a low-carb plan. That’s the one I picked. It’s got a tiny bit of white carb that I just ignore, along with the fruit and dairy. This works particularly well for my wife and I, though, because she is not on 4HB, so she can eat the rest of that stuff. I just add some beans or lentils and we are good-to-go!

New! They now have a Paleo plan! Paleo and slow-carb are basically the same, the main difference being fruit/legumes.

With their new Paleo plan, the only way you can’t lose weight by using them is if you don’t follow the plan they’ll give you. I completely recommend that one. Here’s a week’s sample.

I mentioned it gives you 5 recipes per week. You might be thinking, “but there are 7 days in a week, and three meals a day…” That’s OK! The portions are big enough that you can have leftovers, so that takes care of 10 meals. The other two you might have some leftovers still, or you can try out some of the great recipes you’ll find on FMF. 😉 And don’t forget you still have your cheat day! I’ve found that if I had 7 meals a week, I’d feel like I was wasting because we don’t follow it every day. 5 meals allows for wiggle room.

You can actually save money

One of the best things I’ve noticed is that I spend less money at the store. That’s because I’m not going twice or three times a week. Kathy and I go once a week with our list (the new menu comes out on Wednesdays) and pick up what we need. Last week I didn’t go to the store more than the one time. First time in…well, ever.

They have an estimated cost of what your plans will run you per week if you follow them . I would say for a 2 person meal plan, expect to spend about $50 a week at the store. I spent a little more my first time because I needed some oil and spices and such, but once you have those pantry staples you’re only buying the food you’ll eat that week.

You may be wondering how much this might cost. I think it’s totally worth the price:
Just $5 per month.

You’ll pay 3 months at a time, but for just $5 you’re having someone else create your meals for you, make your shopping list, tell you how to make the food – basically do everything but your shopping and cooking. Absolutely well worth it!

Special note: through Cyber Monday 2012, eMeals is offering a 30% discount on their plans. That’s like a free month!

Some sample meals

Maybe you’re wondering what kinds of meals I’m talking about. Here are a few that have been on our menu over the last couple weeks:

  • Dijon peppercorn tenderloin with steamed broccoli
  • Fish “tacos” (use lettuce instead of the low-carb wraps)
  • Southwest chicken over black beans w/ celery and dip (I usually use hummus for dip)
  • Cobb salad wraps (use lettuce instead of wrap)

Almost all of the meals have some type of dairy, but it’s absolutely easy to just not use it. Only a few a week use some type of bread. Mostly it’s protein, veggies, and legumes – sound familiar?

Go ahead and try it out for yourself

My recommendation can only go so far. The only way you’ll know for sure is if you check out eMeals yourself. Whether your primary goal is to lose weight or to do it frugally, I think eMeals is definitely worth consideration.

Do you already use eMeals? I’m curious to know your thoughts. If you start using it, come on back and tell me how you like it!

-j

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