Menu and Recipes to your Inbox – Emeals.com

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH EMEALS MEAL PLANS

Yum!

Anyone who knows our family knows that both Natalie and I work full-time, fairly time-consuming jobs.  As her time commitment ramps up, I have found my self in the kitchen more and more.  While I am not completely useless in the kitchen (I took Home Economics 1 and 2 in high school), I am rather limited in my knowledge of food science.  I can make one hell of a classic breakfast mix and a few things on the grill, but the majority of my limited repertoire is not appropriate for the kids.

Our biggest problem is not the ability to cook, or shopping for the food, it is taking time to come up with a menu that is healthy for us, non-repetitive, and easily put together.  I’ve spent time in the past picking through the vast recipe collection over at AllRecipes.com  which is great for when you know exactly what you want, and that worked for a while, until we started repeating.

Earlier this year we found EMeals.com (referral link).  EMeals has a simple sign-up process where you indicate how big your family is, what type of menu you want, and if applicable, your favorite supermarket.  Once they have all that, and you give them a few bucks (search for a coupon, they tend to have some out often), you are all done.

Many different menu options, which you can change at any time.

Many different menu options, which you can change at any time.

What do you get for your $5 a month?  Every Wednesday I get a PDF mailed to me that has seven Clean Eating recipes.   Each recipe has a main meal and a side item.   On the last page of the PDF you have a simple 1 page shopping list, organized for your supermarket by section.  Normally Nat and I will go through the list of recipes and remove items we don’t like and comprise a list of 4-5 meals for the week.  I will warn that the clean eating plan will have you buying a lot of fresh veggies, meats and other items that will drive up the cost of your grocery trip, but so far has all been worth it.

Store options are presented depending on the type of Menu you choose

Store options are presented depending on the type of Menu you choose

We selected the family plan, which they indicate will feed 3-6 adults.  Since both of our kids are young, they don’t eat a full portion and I often have a full meal to take for lunch the next day.   Left overs are actually what prompted this post today, as I had left over slow cooker ribs, which were possibly better today than they were last night.

If you are a family on the go, or someone who struggles with the monotony of the same menu over and over, I highly recommend checking out EMeals.   **Disclaimer – All the links to Emails.com in this post are referrals to Emeals, so hopefully some of you buy so I can get a discount on next year.

 

Blogtrottr – RSS to Email

Anyone who is a fan of RSS Feeds will likely know that the discontinuing of service by Google Reader caused many of its users to go looking for another option.  One of the winners for the pure RSS reader was Feedly.com, a slick, intuitive reader with native apps on both iOS and Android.  Their numbers shot through the roof after dozens of positive reviews with very little negative to say about the service, and I agreed.   I exported all my RSS feeds, which I wasn’t really reading all that often, and tried Feedly.com.

RSS, I can’t be bothered

While I only have positive things to say about Feedly, it was my habits which precluded me from enjoying it as an app, and ultimately the content of the feeds to the fullest extent.  It was another app in which I would need to stay constantly connected to, there had to be another way.   Enter Blogtrottr

In their own words, Blogtrottr is:

As the name suggests, we deliver fresh and nutritious news to your inbox. What makes us different? We send you the things you need, at your convenience. Rather than having to constantly scour blogs and websites, (and forget half the ones you follow) we mail you updates from your own personal selection, on schedules that you choose.

Basically, it’s an online feed reader that emails you with your content.  In my case, I take an Inbox-Zero approach to email so getting an additional flood of content isn’t that big of a problem for me as I proactively manage that space.

How do I use it?

Going to their home page, you can see a very simple form requesting:

  • FEED URL
  • Your Email
  • Frequency

And that’s it.  You don’t even have to sign-up in order to receive a feed.   Once you enter all this information you will get confirmation email and voilà!!

 

BlogTrottr Home Page

Now lets say you have a few blogs you follow, or what ever other source of RSS Feed information you want to stay current on, you simple provide a few more details, and click the button.  By a few, I mean your email and password twice.

 

 

BlogTrottr Subscriptions

 Normally, I don’t do too much in here other than use the ‘Subscribe to New Feed’ link right at the top, it is good to see when the last time a feed was updated.  In my case, there are several I could prune off as they haven’t been updated in quite some time, or ever according to my screenshot.  In this case I can simply select the inactive feed and delete it.

BlogTrottr Feed Editor

By selecting the feed you are presented with a feed editor. While you can’t edit any of the properties of the feed itself, you can edit how you’ll receive it.  There are three editable fields available to you:

 

  • Email Subject – a Variable driven Subject Line Editor
  • Subscription Enabled – temporarily disable this feed
  • Filter Enabled – More on this below.

The filter feature above is quite cool.  If the feed you are subscribed to doesn’t allow for categorical feeds (WordPress does) you can filter it before Blogtrottr sends it to you.  Once you click the ‘Filter Enabled’ check box you get a whole slew of new options that allow for building a rule set of what to include or exclude from being sent to your inbox.

BlogTrotter Filters

Plans and Pricing

All of the features I’ve demonstrated so far are part of their Free Plan.  The free plan is ad-supported, which translates to one page-wide advertisement at the top of each email.  I find this very unobtrusive and am happy with the free plan I’m currently on.

They have three levels of plans, with the second level (Lite) and the highest level (Full) having  the same added features with the number of available feeds being the limiting factor.   For additional features, you get No Advertisements and nearly everything else is customizable to include: Email Templates, Sender Names, Feed Titles.  You also get the option to have PDF or Text Attachments sent, or you can go minimalist with Title Only notifications, which seems attractive.

While there are a few other options with ‘Coming Soon’ next to them, I have not noticed any of those leaving that status in the last six months since I’ve been signed up to this service. Frankly, I don’t really need more, I’m content with the free for the time being.

Wrap it up already

In the end this service plays right into my daily flow, keeps me included in the happenings of the community and is useful.  I highly recommend the service and if the plan fits your needs, I recommend supporting the developer with the purchase of a paid plan (I will soon, I promise)

 

PS

Almost forgot, I currently have BlogTrottr setup to my work email, since I am a contract DBA that email will change at some point.  Unlike other services where your email address is set and unchangeable, with BlogTrottr you simple update your profile and it redirects all your feeds to your new inbox, very snazzy.