Category Archives: food

The Hardest Part: Food

To start out – I think the hardest part is going to be not buying snack foods that I love. I enjoy snacking on the following (often weird) more expensive items:

*Smoked Oysters

*Parmesan Cheese

*Sharp White Cheddar Cheese

*Pickled Beats

*Marinated Artichokes

*Green Olives & Greek Olives

*Beef Jerky

*Roasted Garlic Hummus with pita chips


Items definitely NOT on the Emealz plan.

Some of these items might stay (such as hummus as it’s a fairly healthy snack and enjoyed by both of us).

Some of these items might make an appearance every once in a while.

Some of these items may show up in a homemade version which is much cheaper (love me some homemade Beef Jerky!).

Some of these items are probably going to disappear until the debt is gone.

What foods can you not live without?
What would be your Budget Buster?


Filed under debt, emeals, food

Anniversary Meal for Less

When we celebrated our first anniversary late last year, we took a lovely weekend trip to Hot Springs, AR.  We wanted something affordable and within Driving Distance, but somewhere new.  Since I’ve never been there, and the hubby hadn’t been there in years, Hot Springs was a perfect fit.

We stayed at a B&B, hiked, saw the Hot Springs, learned lots of history,  window shopped, played “adventure” golf, and eat really yummy food.

We made sure to eat at least one fancy, slightly expensive,  scrumptious dinner.  My menu item of choice was Salmon with some type of Lemony Butter Sauce, with Capers.  I’m sure there was additional ingredients, but these are the parts that stand out. It was phenomenal. The husband had Seabass with a similar sauce – also delectable.

Fast forward to dinner two nights ago, where an incredible fish dinner was on the menu.  Basically, fried Tilapia with some type of buttery, lemon and caper sauce.  I subbed in Salmon, because we were fresh out of Tilapia.

Um…. all I can say is … WOW.   The hubby was actually slightly distracted by the incredible aroma of the dinner.  It may not have been an exact replica of our Anniversary Meal – but it was certainly very close. And I am absolutely certain, it was  1/5 of the cost.

Oh – and did I mention it wasn’t straight-up real butter? The meal itself was off of the Emealz Low Fat plan.

So 7 months in, and we are still thrilled with Emealz. We’ve amended the plan a little, trying to make at least 3 meals a week (instead of all 5) since I started working full-time.  I get home late in the day; sometimes there isn’t enough time in the evening to make a new meal.


One other thing I should mention though regarding Emealz (full disclosure), when people use my Emealz link, and from there decide to purchase a subscription, I do make a small commission.  That being said, I would never recommend it (or anything else for that matter) if I didn’t truly love it.

Leave a comment

Filed under emeals, food, travel


So… I’m getting more spam comments. (Yeah for WordPress automatically weeding them out!)

Does this mean my readership has increased? Or perhaps with my E-mealz and “Human Preservation Project” (Mission Ice Fly) posts means I’m coming up more often in searches.

Also – in other Spam related news.  I listened to a recent “Stuff you should know” podcast about SPAM (7/28/11 broadcast). It was really interesting.  I’ve never eaten the stuff, but the podcast made me kind of want to try it.

Leave a comment

Filed under arg, blog, emeals, food

Emealz week 7

We just went to the store and purchased our groceries for this week.  As our items rang up, and we paid the total:  $33!  I realized that one thing I didn’t factor in during my week 6 post is that we’ve been purchasing bulk items.

Things like frozen chicken breasts, fish filets, and ground beef, either at the grocery store, or bulk stores (both Sams & Costco). So that would have made our bills higher this last month, for food we have not really eaten or factored in yet.  We didn’t need to purchase any meat today, so that made our bill much smaller.

All that to say, the ultimate money savings will be easier to factor out when we are able to take a couple of months and average them.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out E-Mealz for yourself.

** bonus side note, we swung by the grocery store after church and it took about 30 minutes. LOVE quick trips to the store (and knowing I won’t need to go back until next week)!

Leave a comment

Filed under emeals, food

Emealz 6 weeks in

We’ve been trying EMealz for 6 weeks now and basically, I Love it!

It saves me so much time trying to figure out what to make.  I go into the grocery store armed with my list and I’m usually back in the car in less than an hour.  For a girl who hates shopping, this is spectacular.

We are enjoying how much variety we have for meals.  We usually eat left overs for lunch, which helps us actually use up the food I buy at the store.  And because I’m not staring in the fridge without a plan, we don’t go out nearly as much.

That being said, I’m trying to keep track of what we’ve saved – and overall, it’s been hard to tell specific numbers what we’ve saved.  I think this is due to the fact that I have to buy most of the ‘basics’ that are in the meals. I expect that this will drop off.  (my first stop at the store on week one was around $98 – the last couple of weeks have been around $60)

One other change we’ve noticed (and this affects the fact that our first Emealz budget was not that far off from pre-Emealz) is that we had a few nice meals out.  So rather than several 5 & 10 dollars of fast food, we had only a couple of nicer meals.  So, outside of Emealz, we’ll be working on that.   And I’m expecting over time, there will be a noticeable difference in the monthly amount we spend on food.

Leave a comment

Filed under emeals, food

“Talked” e-mealz today

Well – chatted via twitter.  They are good people. It really is a shame they are in Alabama and not Texas or I’d be knocking on their door wanting to work for them. 🙂

Check out the story of their founders:

E-Mealz Blog

Anyway we are in week 2. I did some prep work this week after I went grocery shopping (things like boiling eggs, cubing some ham, & cooking sausage). Overall – this has saved me time when it comes to actually making dinner.

Leave a comment

Filed under emeals, food

E-Mealz – Week 1 review

Just finished up our first week with E-meals. Loved it!

Not only did I save time and energy not having to plan, but we were able to enjoy 5 meals that I would not have made on my own.  They were unique, and not the standard “Debra’s crock-pot stew” that is my go to dish.

My hubby’s tastes and my tastes are very different so it makes our final agreed upon review a little tricky, but we did both try at least something this week that was new, enjoyable, and even going in the ‘repeatable’ category.  Plus, I think we ate more complete meals than we’ve had in a long time.

Each following day, we eat the left overs for lunch, and because the proportions were smaller (meals for 2) we wasted much less food than normal.

I’ve already reviewed my shopping list for next week, making sure I don’t buy what I already have – and I’m actually looking forward to shopping tomorrow (when does that happen!?!).

We don’t know if/how much money we are saving yet – that one will tell with time.

Last, I’ll end by saying that tonight’s grilled salmon salad was amazing. I didn’t think that a meal using salmon, soy sauce, honey, avocados, and peaches all in one dish would work out well- but it was a surprisingly delicious and wonderfully light meal.

If you are interested in trying it for yourself just click on the image below.

Leave a comment

Filed under emeals, food