You have probably heard me talk endlessly about the benefits of following a menu plan and grocery list. I’ve shared how I create my own weekly meal plan and post the real deal every Monday. I believe it is the single best thing you can do to create and stick to a budget. For most families – mine included – food is a significant chunk of the monthly spending. If you can get that under control, the rest will become easier to manage too. One of the other big benefits is healthier eating, or it can be. Of course you can plan unhealthy junk food seven days per week. But by sitting down and writing out what you plan to eat, you will see exactly how much fresh produce, whole grains, and even variety are going into your mouth. I mentioned in my how to post that the more time you spend, the less money it will cost. But if time isn’t a luxury that you can spend, a menu planning service might be the way to go.
About The Fresh 20 Subscription
From the brand:
Subscribing to The Fresh 20 makes it easy to organize your weeknight meals. Every week you shop for 20 fresh seasonal ingredients with The Fresh 20 shopping list. Then, using the step-by-step prep guide, it takes one hour to prep the entire week’s meals—saving you valuable time during busy weeknights. On dinner night, each complete meal takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and features simple recipes the whole family can create together. Choose from their three meal plans: Classic, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free. At 16 cents a day, what do you have to lose?
Starting today, September 3rd, they’re creating an add-on service for meals for one, kosher and dairy free. This is a one-time fee of $18 in addition to the $6 per month subscription service. (Note: Rates are accurate on the day of posting but are, of course, subject to change in the future.) Each of these is an adaptation of the classic plan.
How it works: Every Friday, you get the menu plan for the following week. This gives you a chance to look over it and make a list before heading to your local farmers market over the weekend. The plan includes a menu for five suppers, a shopping list (complete with estimated prices) with 20 items, a prep guide of things to do in advance and recipes for each meal. There is also a static pantry list of things you should always have on hand. Everything is real food – no junk and lots of seasonal produce. The plan assumes that you’re probably eating away from home a few nights per week. You’ll also have to plan breakfast and lunch.
Menu planning service review
I’ve been receiving the weekly email for about four weeks now, but haven’t really followed it for planning yet. I love the concept and the format, but the specific recipes just haven’t appealed to me and Hubby. I think we might just be weird. I received the classic meal plan for a few weeks, then switched to the vegetarian one. We eat a flexitarian diet, meaning we eat mostly-meatless meals with a little meat added on. I appreciate the simplicity of the shopping list and the fact that you’re using leftovers later in the week. I’m also a big fan of using seasonal produce from your local farmers market.
I would recommend this for anyone who struggles with meal planning and would really love for someone else to do it. It isn’t very expensive and will definitely save you time over my regular method of browsing circulars, cookbooks and Pinterest for a few hours every week. It would also be good for anyone who is overwhelmed by the idea of switching from mainly processed/prepackaged foods to whole foods.
The #getfresh Campaign
Get creative and eat healthier with the #getfresh campaign. Now through September 15th, you can submit a photo or video through any social media that answers the questions, “How do you get fresh?” Be sure to include the hastag in your post. There are daily prizes, plus a grand prize winner. A second contest runs through September 20th. Kids can submit their own recipe and answer the question, ” Why are you the freshest kid in America?” A panel of chefs will choose three winners.
Details on both contests are available on The Fresh 20 website.
Sign up for The Fresh 20 menu planning service
Before you pay for a subscription, sign up for a free trial. The Fresh 20 is available by quarterly subscription at $18 for three months or $54 for a whole year. You can sign up and choose your plan, then pay as you go. Menu planning doesn’t have to be a chore. Print off my free meal planning worksheets and get ready to eat healthy.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Fresh 20. My opinions are my own.