Friday, December 27, 2013

Relish! Menu Planning Service Review by Melinda

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
There are a lot of chores I don't mind doing, but I hate planning meals. I have a terrible time trying to come up with meal ideas that are healthy, easy, and that my family will eat. I'd heard about a few menu planning services before, but had never gotten around to trying one, so when I was given a chance to review Relish!, a meal planning website, I was thrilled.

Relish

Each Thursday a new menu goes up and then you can go in and customize your weekly menu to meet your family's needs. To create your own menu, you simply drag and drop from that week's recipe list onto your menu. You can also look at recipes from past menu lists and add them to your current week's menu. You can search for kid friendly recipes, vegetarian meals, and freezer meals. Once you have chosen your recipes, you can change the side dishes, change the number of servings, and create your shopping list.

The shopping list was very useful. It automatically adds all the ingredients you will need for the menu you created. You can also delete items you already have and add others. Once you have created your shopping list, you can print it or email it to yourself. It also organizes the shopping list into categories such as dairy, produce, and meat so your shopping trip is more efficient and takes less time, a huge plus when you go shopping with a toddler like I do.

While I was excited about the concept, I found that the Relish! service just didn't work for our family. I had a hard time finding recipes in the weekly menu that my family would eat. While I love the idea of making recipes like Coconut Crusted Fish Sticks with Mango Sauce, I knew there was no way I would get my husband and son to eat that. Many of the recipes were also more expensive than our typical meals and I found myself going over our budget, even including the budget friendly meals that are $12 for 4 servings. I was also a bit disappointed in some of the recipes I tried. They weren't terrible, but they weren't great either. I found myself wishing that each recipe had ratings and reviews from other members so I could get a better idea of whether my family would like it.

While I still love the idea of a meal planning service, I wouldn't recommend Relish! for a family with picky eaters or a really tight budget. However, if you are lucky enough to have kids and a spouse who will eat anything, Relish! would probably work very well for your family.

Relish! does include nutritional information for their recipes and also adds Weight Watcher Points® information. Subscriptions start at $7/month with the best value being $58.80 for a full year.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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