eMeals vs. The Fresh 20 vs. Food on the Table: Weekly Meal Plans Reviewed
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eMeals vs. The Fresh 20 vs. Food on the Table: Weekly Meal Plans Reviewed

eMeals offers a varied selection of meal plans and the flexibility to switch between plans at any time. A 12 month subscription will run you $5 a month for 5 weekly meal plans (entrees and side dishes), an organized grocery list and detailed recipes. Lunch plans are also available. The Fresh 20 helps you prepare fresh, healthy meals using a budget-friendly list of 20 ingredients. A 12 month subscription costs $4.08 a month and comes with a choice of three meal plans (entrees and side dishes), a categorized grocery list and recipe instructions. Food on the Table does not provide meal plans - they allow you to choose recipes based on your food preferences and then they craft a grocery list tied to sales at your preferred grocery store. A premium membership is $15 for the first 3 months, $9.95 after. Or you can register and plan 3 meals a week for free.
Covered in this report
eMeals — Best Features
Variety of meal plans that cater to all food preferences.
Flexible subscription model lets you easily switch meal plans
Best for: Busy people who prefer flexible meal plan options, organized grocery lists and stress-free living.
The Fresh 20 — Best Features
Fresh, preservative-free, non-processed meal plans that use just 20 ingredients.
Grocery lists organized by category and include cost estimates.
Best for: Healthy eaters who favor easy to prepare meal plans that use fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Food on the Table — Best Features
Free mobile app for iPhone or Android.
Large selection of recipes and cuisines.
Best for: People who are budget conscious, shop sale items regularly and prefer to choose their own recipes and meal plans.

Meal Planning

It is 6:00 pm and in households across the nation the #1 question is: “What’s for dinner?” If you often have trouble coming up with an answer, get help from eMeals, The Fresh 20 or Food on the Table. These three meal planning services offer a variety of budget friendly, easy to prepare meals and recipes for your family delivered straight to your inbox or your smart phone on a weekly basis. They do all the work for you so you can save money, eat well and live life stress-free.

The Breakdown

eMeals offers a comprehensive set of meal plans with ten selections which run the gamut from Classic, Low Carb and Low Fat to Gluten Free and Paleo. Each weekly meal plan comes with an entree and side dish as well as a list of ingredients and detailed recipe instructions. eMeals also offers a weekday lunch plan that can be combined with any of the main plan selections. Here's how it works: 

The Fresh 20 provides weekly meal plans that use 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients. The meals are simple, healthy and preservative free with recipes that cater to the whole family. The grocery list is short so you save money and all 20 ingredients are put to good use, leaving nothing to waste.

There are three meal plans - Classic, Gluten-Free and Vegetarian/Vegan - and each include an entree and side dish. A lunch menu is also available. Once you make a selection you can retrieve a detailed meal plan along with a prep guide and a shopping list organized by category every Friday by logging in to the Members area on the website.

Food on the Table does not provide specific meal plans. Instead they focus on what you like to eat and combine your specific food preferences with items on sale at your local grocery store. They have an extensive recipe list that you can use to create budget-friendly, healthy meals for your family.  This is how it works:

  1. Select grocery store
  2. Set food preferences - e.g., meat/seafood, pasta/salad, low sodium/low fat, etc.
  3. Compare store sales
  4. Select recipes - thousands of recipes available with nutritional information and user reviews
  5. Print grocery list

Food on the Table is also available as a free mobile app for iPhone or Android. The app allows you to view or change your food preferences, check items off your grocery list and find grocery stores near you with your phone’s GPS.

How Much?

You must subscribe to receive the weekly meal plans. Here's what it will cost you:

eMeals Subscription:

- 3 months: $21 ($7 per month)

- 6 months: $35 ($6 per month)

- 12 months: $58 ($5 per month)

- Weekday lunch plans cost $4 per month with any dinner plan.

The Fresh 20 Subscription:

- Annual: $49

- 3 months: $15 (automatically renews unless cancelled)

- Six week Lunch plan: $12

Food on the Table Membership:

- Premium Version 3 months: $15 (after 3 months, the fee increases to $9.95 every 30 days unless cancelled)

- Limited Version: Free (you are allowed 3 free meals per week)

The Fine Print

Some items worth considering before you make your final selection:

 - eMeals allows switching between plans.

- The Fresh 20 does not allow switching between plans but existing members may add on a second annual subscription at 50% of the retail price.

- All 3 providers are on Facebook & Twitter - follow them to receive discounts off subscription fees.

- Food on the Table has a free mobile app for iPhone and Android.

- The Fresh 20 gives 10% of every subscription to partner charities.

- Click on eMeals website to see sample meal plans; The Fresh 20 sends a sample plan to your email; Food on the Table provides recipes for free.

- Food on the Table recipes do not include side dishes but you can find suggestions for sides on their website.

Who's The Chef?

- The founders of eMeals, Jane DeLaney and Jenny Cochran, are active wives and busy moms who found a way to remove the stress from weeknight meal planning. Their tried and true method of planning easy, healthy meals every week worked well for them and they realized it would work for others too.

Sample eMeals recipe: Yogurt Rubbed Roasted Chicken with Simple Rice Pilaf and Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes 

- Melissa Lanz, founder of The Fresh 20, is a former internet marketing executive who quit her day job to bring back fresh food to the table and reduce the consumption of processed foods. She looked on the internet for a way to serve delicious, preservative free food to her growing family and when she couldn't find anything she liked, she launched The Fresh 20 and is now committed to promoting healthy cooking and nutrition education.

Sample The Fresh 20 recipe: Turkey Meatballs, Sauteed Zucchini & Simple Salad

- Manuel Rosso, a father and husband and the founder of Food on the Table, got tired of hearing "Spaghetti again??" at the family dinner table while his grocery bill increased at the same time. Inspired to find a way to eat better and save money, he used his knowledge of technology and his business experience to start Food on the Table.

Sample Food on the Table recipe: Cube Steak Stir Fry


Meal planning services are an easy way to help you plan weekly meals for your family. Select the meal plan that is right for you, choose a subscription that fits your budget and prepare delicious, healthy meals that make everyone happy and keep you sane.

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Comments (1)

good lines, thx

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