DUSTIN: I was initially wondering about E-mealz mostly for saving money. I was like, man our grocery budget is out of control and worse than that our restaurant spending is just insane. We need to be at home more. So I was the one pushing it, my wife said, well OK, but you know there are going to be some foods on here and you’re a picky one. So my goal was to try everything. I’d say 90% of the things I’ve tried I’ve enjoyed. It’s meant a lot to me to open up and try fruits and vegetables that I would normally shun aside. Because I committed to it, I’m actually trying it. She’s pretty excited because it’s opened up a world of possibilities as far as meal preparation so it’s pretty cool. So, yeah, let’s talk. You mentioned a little bit about budget. We can see that you’re endorsed by Dave Ramsey. What kind of stories, I guess, what kind of impact have you heard about money.
JENNY: The comments that we get from people have flooded in from day one. Truthfully, it is humbling when you get these gushy letters from people. They’re so great. The amount of money that they’re saving is really amazing. If you went to the grocery store everyday to get your dinner—and that’s just getting those items for dinner—you’re still going to put out 25-30 bucks every time. I don’t know what that is. It’s usually spontaneous purchasing or impulse buying. You grab a little of this and you grab this over here and the next thing you know—even if it was $20 a day. That’s a $140-$160 a week you would spend if you just went everyday. A lot of people do that. They run to the store and grab a few things, you know. They end up buying a whole bag of potatoes and they only needed five.
DUSTIN: You end up throwing away so much food.
JENNY: It’s just extra spending. Even though the magic of making a plan and planning that out. It’s amazing how much money you save. In the very beginning of E-Mealz, our initial model was to plan the meals based on what’s on sale at the grocery store. We still do that. We still have 6 plans that are based on sales. But when we launched E-Mealz within the first year we were flooded with request. These ladies and gentlemen and families were saying, “we like the idea of buying the foods that are on sale, but just give us a plan!” … because, truly, if you plan you will save, even if you can’t take advantage of the sale items.
DUSTIN: That’s like the icing on top. We don’t have a store specific meal plan that works for us, we have the Any Store Plan, which then you don’t get to take advantage of the sales. But I wrote a post on engagemarriage, my marriage website just a couple of weeks ago. I think the number was $317. I went back and found how much we saved and I think it was $317 dollars a month when I counted before E-mealz and after E-mealz.
JENNY: Well, I was also so encouraged to go to your website and read the heart behind your service to people and help to people because our culture is so fast-pace and just continues to accelerate. You feel as a young dad, a young mom that Suzy’s got to be involved in these five things and Johnny’s got to be involved in these five other things. The next thing you know you’re like, “What are we? A taxi service?” You know, you have to eat. We have to eat. That is an absolute thing you are going to do everyday. Why not buy that absolute and give it to your family around the table. Most families can’t do it every night. To hit 4 or 5 nights a week where you’re at home, to me that’s a fantastic goal. What we try to encourage people to realize is that it’s in the everyday mundane things that the constancy in your life that show your kids that they matter and that you love them. It’s so easy for parent to lose the vision of ‘every time I help my kid put on their shoes or change a dirty diaper or pour a glass of milk or tuck them in bed.” You know walk up the stars and put them in bed. It’s those little things that build a lifetime of memory and constancy that tells your kid you matter to me. It doesn’t have to be a new toy or a new event. It’s those everyday, mundane things that really give them, as my sister Jane puts it, it’s the weaving of the fabric of their lives. It gives them that strength and security. So for dinnertime it’s great to have a plan for moms to know that I have enough food in my fridge for five to seven meals. It’s there, it’s decided and all I have to do is cook it. The likelihood of dinner actually happening grows exponentially. The difference is amazing!