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eMeals is a mobile app that aims to help simplify meal planning.
It allows you to choose from a wide array of recipes to design a weekly meal plan and generates a shopping list based on your selections. You can then use the list to order groceries and save time at the grocery store.
As a regular user of eMeals, this article provides an honest review of the app, including what it is, how it works, and how it stacks up against its competitors.
eMeals is a meal planning service that provides all the tools you need to prepare and enjoy more healthy, home-cooked meals each week.
Using the app, you can create a custom meal plan by mixing and matching your favorite recipes.
Each recipe includes an entrée and a side dish and provides step-by-step instructions with detailed nutritional information.
Although the service focuses mostly on dinner dishes, you can also access recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and special occasions for an additional fee.
Using the app, you can likewise browse meals that suit a variety of dietary restrictions and food preferences.
Each week, eMeals provides a selection of suggested recipes, which you can use to build a custom meal plan.
The service has 15 menus to choose from, each of which is updated weekly.
The following table provides details about each menu:
|Clean Eating||made with minimally processed ingredients||• Tomato-Sauce-Braised Pork with Parmesan Spinach Polenta|
• Kale and Pear Chicken with Parsnip Mash
|Keto||low carb, high fat, moderate protein||• Creamy Garlic-Herb Chicken Thighs with Basil Zucchini Noodles|
• Loaded Cauliflower Casserole with Skillet Asparagus
|Quick and Healthy||simple, made with whole-food ingredients||• Garlic Shrimp with Sweet Chili Aioli and Peanut Mixed Vegetables|
• Fajita Ground Beef Skillet
|30 Minute||fast and family-friendly||• Colorful Steak Salad with Tortilla Chips|
• Tortellini Beef Soup with Bakery Cornbread
|Budget-Friendly||inexpensive and family-friendly||• BLT Pizza|
• Quick Korean Beef Bowls with Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli
|Kid-Friendly||foods liked by adults and kids||• Favorite Sausage Dogs with Barbecue Potato Chips and Sliced Melon|
• Potato Chip Chicken with Caesar Salad and Seedless Grapes
|Slow Cooker||can be made in a slow cooker||• London Broil and Mushrooms with Herbed Green Beans and Roasted Potatoes|
• Pork Posole (Mexican Stew) with Warmed Corn Tortillas
|Heart Healthy||less than 500 calories and 800 mg sodium per serving||• Sheet-Pan Roasted Fish with Broccoli and Tomatoes with Spring Mix Salad|
• Chicken Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
|Low Calorie||less than 500 calories per serving||• Jalapeño Popper Chicken with Steamed Asparagus|
• Quick Moo Goo Gai Pan with Rice Noodles
|Low Carb||less than 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per serving||• Skillet Lemon-Pepper Fish with Edamame Succotash|
• Beef and Bacon Bolognese with Easy Cauli-Rice
|Paleo||gluten-free, dairy-free, minimally processed||• Creamy Mustard Chicken Breasts with Lemony Asparagus|
• Pork-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Pear and Apple Salad
|Diabetic||less than 500 calories and 30–55 grams of carbs per serving||• Green Chile Huevos Rancheros|
• Thai Chicken-Curry Soup
|Gluten-Free||free of gluten-containing ingredients||• Chimichurri Chuck Roast with Grilled Vegetables|
• Sheet-Pan Lemon-Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus
|Mediterranean||follows Mediterranean diet principles||• Roasted Red Pepper-Chicken Pasta|
• Greek Chicken with Dill-Yogurt Sauce and Romaine Salad and Warm Pita
|Plant-Based||vegan and vegetarian||• Tofu Banh Mi Salad with Mango-Walnut Toss|
• Parmesan Mushrooms and Mashed Butter Beans with Roasted Vegetables
Although you’re required to select one of these menus when signing up, you can view and add options from other plans to your weekly menu.
Over time, you’ll notice that there’s some overlap between the menus.
For example, meals on the Keto meal plan may be featured on the Paleo meal plan a few weeks later. Regardless, there’s still a large variety of meals to choose from.
One feature I find particularly helpful is being able to save your favorite meals. It allows you to easily add these meals to your menu at any time.
However, finding meals isn’t as easy as I’d like, as the app doesn’t allow you to filter by dietary needs.
Furthermore, the app doesn’t auto-populate selections for you. This means you have to browse your weekly menu, or menus for the other meal plans, and manually add the meals you’d like to cook.
Overall, I’ve found that eMeals provides a variety of meal plans that feature unique ingredients, making it easy to add more diversity to your diet.
Making your grocery list
After making your selections, eMeals prepares a personalized grocery list based on your meal plan. You can quickly go through the list and mark off any items you already have at home.
This feature is particularly helpful, as you then have a simple shopping list.
For an additional fee, you can also order your items from a grocery delivery or pickup service, such as Instacart, Shipt, or Walmart.
This is actually one of my favorite aspects of eMeals. It seamlessly syncs with these grocery delivery apps, making it quick and easy to import your grocery list.
For example, I have mine connected to Walmart. Once my weekly menu is finalized, the eMeals app searches for each item in my list in the Walmart app and lets me quickly add ingredients to my shopping cart.
Since you do the shopping yourself, you can choose inexpensive brand names or more expensive, higher end options. You can also substitute ingredients or cut them out altogether, depending on your preferences.
Currently, there’s no option to filter or exclude certain ingredients from meals based on your preferences or dietary restrictions.
However, you can manually remove ingredients from your shopping list as needed.
eMeals is very user-friendly and makes it easy to create a custom menu.
With optional grocery delivery and simple shopping lists, it can also help save you time on meal prep during the week.
While meals range quite a bit in terms of the amount of time and preparation needed, eMeals has several meal categories that feature quick and easy recipes, including no-cook meals, instant pot dinners, and last-minute meals.
eMeals is a subscription-based service and offers plans starting at just $4.99 per month when you commit to a 12-month subscription. A 3-month membership is also available for $9.99 per month.
Keep in mind that this only includes a weekly dinner meal plan.
For an extra $3.33 per month, you can upgrade to a plan that also includes breakfast, lunch, and dessert recipes.
It’s also important to note that you’ll still need to pay for the ingredients and grocery delivery fees separately.
To help you decide whether the app is a good fit for your household, eMeals also offers a 2-week free trial for both plans.
If you experience any issues using the app or website, eMeals makes it easy to contact customer service for assistance.
Customer service is available by phone, email, or through their online help center.
The company also has a collection of frequently asked questions on the website. It provides answers to many of the most common issues that users experience.
I’m a paying eMeals customer, and I really couldn’t be happier with it.
I joined eMeals initially because, compared with meal delivery services, it’s less expensive and offers more flexibility in terms of the types of ingredients used and how many meals I can choose each week.
Although meal kits are convenient, I found that I didn’t want to pay for more than 2–3 meal kit meals per week because they were so expensive. Additionally, they didn’t allow me to use up things that were already in my pantry.
With eMeals, I can choose meals for the week based both on what sounds appetizing and what I already have on hand.
This not only minimizes how much time and money I spend grocery shopping each week but also helps cut back on food waste and allows me to make simple substitutions to meals.
For example, if I want to make a chicken and salad recipe from the app but already have Brussels sprouts in the fridge, I can simply purchase ingredients just for the chicken and serve the Brussels sprouts in place of the salad.
Another aspect I appreciate is the clear and easy-to-follow recipe instructions.
You can also put the app in “Chef Mode” while cooking, which shows the recipe instructions in large text and allows you to easily swipe through the recipe steps.
The best part is that 1 year of eMeals access costs about as much as a 1-week meal kit delivery subscription, while still providing what I feel is 90% of the convenience — especially if you choose grocery delivery rather than pickup or in-person grocery shopping.
The only drawback for me is that you can only view your meal plan in the app. Given that I use my computer to type up my meal plan each week, I’d prefer to do my planning and shopping on my laptop rather than my smartphone.
With hundreds of meals to choose from, eMeals makes it easy to add more variety to your diet and experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
It can also help streamline your shopping trips, which may make it a good choice for those who are busy and seeking a time-saving solution.
I’m a Walmart+ member, so I love that eMeals syncs with the Walmart app, allowing me to quickly and easily add ingredients straight to my virtual shopping cart.
That said, there are a few potential downsides to consider.
While it offers options for many common dietary patterns, eMeals doesn’t allow you to filter or exclude specific ingredients from your menu.
As such, those with specific food allergies or intolerances may find it a bit more challenging to use.
Additionally, purchasing a subscription with a shorter duration can be relatively expensive, and most plans don’t include optional add-ons like breakfast and lunch.
For this reason, some budget-conscious consumers may prefer searching for free recipes online to save money instead.
However, from my personal experience, eMeals is worth the cost.
A year of access is cheaper than 1 week of meals from a meal delivery service, and eMeals offers more flexibility in terms of ingredient selection, as well as a larger variety of meals to choose from each week.
While eMeals is my meal planning service of choice, it’s far from being the only option.
For example, PlateJoy is a service that creates a customized weekly menu based on your food preferences, weight loss goals, time restraints, and dietary restrictions.
Like eMeals, PlateJoy builds a custom shopping list based on your weekly menu and allows you to order grocery delivery for an additional fee.
It may be a better option if you have specific dietary concerns or want to filter out specific ingredients.
That said, PlateJoy is also more expensive. Depending on the plan you select, PlatJoy costs $8–$12 per month.
Mealime is another meal planning app that provides a meal plan and shopping list based on your dietary needs and preferences.
With Mealime, you can input any food allergies, ingredients that you dislike, or nutritional requirements to find fresh and healthy meals that you can make at home.
Unlike eMeals, Mealime is available for free and can be downloaded directly on your smartphone.
eMeals is a meal planning app that provides a wide range of recipes to create your own custom menu.
With a variety of plans to choose from and several options available to help you simplify your shopping trips, it can be a convenient way to save time on meal prep.
However, it can be somewhat expensive compared with its competitors, and it may not be ideal for those with specific dietary preferences or food allergies.