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Back in early 2013, our family signed up for a brand new concept – the boxed meal subscription service. We absolutely loved it!  At the time, we were a family of four with a baby on the way.  Our kids were 7 & 5, so the two person meal plan was enough to feed all four of us. Each week we enjoyed a variety of meals that we would never normally make. We were also able to sample ingredients that weren’t readily available at our grocery store.  Kohlrabi being something new to us, but one we now love!

However, soon our youngest was born and our older kids’ appetites grew. The price of a family plan for 3 dinners, was more than our entire weekly food budget. As much as we loved our weekly delivery, we just couldn’t afford to continue. 

After we canceled our subscription, our meals quickly fell into a mundane routine. We grew tired of making the same go to meals over and over and began relying on take out more and more. That’s when I stumbled upon a Buzzfeed article about a meal planning app. The timing of the article coincided with our New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, so I decided to give it a try.  The app I’m referring to is Mealime.  

Image credit: Mealime.com

Before I continue, I want to make it abundantly clear that we are not being compensated in any way for this review. We genuinely love this app and it has saved us so much money!  We wanted to pass on our experience so others can save money as well!

Mealime was originally created by three friends in their twenties who made a pact to start eating healthier. Their pact eventually evolved into an app to guide users to make healthy meals without requiring “superhuman willpower or effort”.  Most recipes we’ve made can be prepared in 15 steps or less, and under 30 minutes. They typically involve 3 or 4 main ingredients along with normal staples that are found in your pantry (salt, pepper, oil, etc.). The recipes are so easy to use that frequently our 12 & 14 year olds will make dinner from start to finish. 

The app is super easy to use and set up. Under the settings tab, you’re able to select a diet type like low carb, keto, paleo, or vegan, to name a few. This changes what meals you’ll be able to choose from when you make your selections for the week. You’re also able to set ingredients that you dislike or are allergic to so that none show up in your choices. Finally, you can set the number of servings which automatically adjusts your ingredient list.

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Our favorite feature of the app is the meal planning section. Here you’re able to choose from a wide variety of different recipes ranging from breakfasts to lunches to dinners and using all different types of proteins (or none at all if you so choose!). Once you add a meal to your weekly plan, the app automatically creates a master shopping list of everything you’ll need for that plan. If you already have an ingredient, say olive oil, you can easily update your shopping list by tapping that item, which removes it. 

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Photo credit: Mealime.com

Our actual food waste savings

The weekly meal planning also allows you to group recipes using the same ingredients. This helps save you money if a certain ingredient is on sale that week so that you can buy in bulk. Another nice feature of the app is it tells you how much food waste you’ve saved. From when we started in January 2019, we’ve saved over 153 pounds of food! That’s a substantial savings for our family.

When we first signed up in January of 2019, I was skeptical but willing to give Mealime a chance. I’m so glad I did!  We’ve saved thousands on our grocery bill, reduced our food waste, eaten a lot healthier and have had the opportunity to try hundreds of different meals. Over the last year, our weekly grocery bill dropped by nearly $100. That’s a yearly savings of over $5,000! If you are interested, Mealime is free to use with a seamingling endless supply of recipes.  You can also upgrade to the “Pro” version ($5.99usd/month) for additional features like access to nutritional information and exclusive recipes.

Like I said before, we are not receiving any compensation for this review of Mealime. This app has genuinely changed our lives for the better. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to build next week’s menu.

We hope you and your family enjoyed learning how we saved thousands with a meal planning app! You may also like our 3 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread Cookies and make sure you follow us on Facebook!

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