Thursday, February 6, 2014

build a menu review and giveaway!!

I have a fun February giveaway for you today! :D I always have fun sharing about real life moms who used their giftings and knowledge to build something that helps others! :)

These two sisters and moms, Karee and Lisa came up with a genius online system called Build a Menu that builds your menu based on grocery store sale prices! {Between the two of them, they have 11 kids so they know what you need to plan a menu, hehe!}

And even better than that- the recipes they have for you to choose from are simple, real-life recipes that fit your budget. I think that's one of my favorite parts because honestly, for me, in this season of life, I don't have time to cook fussy meals with 15 ingredients. :) And that's okay with me. I love simple right now!

You guys know my menu plans are pretty plain, but I was excited I actually made the four meals from my meal plan and stuck them in the freezer last night. I can't remember the last time that I made sour cream chicken enchiladas!! I think Rob will be so excited to have his favorite meal again. ;)

Now that Zane's getting a little older, I'm really excited to get a little more creative in the kitchen again. I haven't tried cooking any of build a menu's recipes yet, but looking around with the free pass they gave me to try it out, I was really impressed with the extensive choices they give you for menus.

the review
There are so many different menu styles to choose from! Most of their menu categories have two options- serving 1-2 or 4-6. I picked slow cooker to show you what it looks like. My favorite categories are probably dine on a dime and trim healthy mama! I also appreciate the manly meals one since I have some big eaters though. :)

When you've selected all of the meals you like for the week and see how much they cost, you can view your recipes all in one printable version:

And your grocery list is automatically built for you too {based on your store- Walmart, Kroger, Publix, etc., or any store}:

Since I'm just getting back into making more than beans and rice, I haven't used it to the full extent yet, but I like the idea of how it all works. I used to use other online planning systems when we ate regular-sized meals five years ago, and they were big timesavers for me. I think BAM is so much better than any other system I've used because they let you plan your meals based on store sales and actual prices, plus they give you so many different menus and you aren't tied to only one plan like some other websites.

The only thing that I don't know would work for us with this system {or any other one} is that we shop pretty much exclusively at Sam's Club for all of our groceries, which means we only go to a grocery store once every few weeks, so some of the menu items we might need wouldn't be available in bulk.

I guess if I could add one thing to their menu options to make it work really well for our family it would be a mostly whole foods Sam's Club large family option. But then again, we are probably a pretty rare case, so I'm not sure all that extra work would benefit them. :)

save money and help others
I have to say, I think this is the coolest thing about this company- they are giving part of every monthly subscription to orphan care!

from Karee and Lisa...

"We are thrilled to be able to donate a portion of every paid membership to help support Orphan Care Ministries around the world. Although we realize the need for helping people easily plan meals for their family while staying within a budget is important, for us, the true drive behind Build A Menu is our ability to be able to give back part of what we make.

Adoption is an issue that is very near and dear to our hearts. Between our two families, we have a total of 11 children and five of them are adopted. They come from Texas, Russia and China. They are precious to us in every way and if we could, we would adopt many more! There are approximately 147 million children worldwide without families and it is up to people just like you and just like us to help provide for the needs of these children."

That makes me so happy. :D 

the discount
A subscription to BAM is $8 per month {or cheaper}, but you can save even more money by using the coupon code SaveMeMoney to get ½ off your first month, making it only $4 to try it.  You can also follow them over on Facebook to get updates on the latest savings!

the giveaway
One lucky winner will receive a one-year subscription to Build a Menu {a $76 value!}! :D 

To enter, just hop on over and check out BAM, then leave a comment below telling me which meal plan you think would best fit your family's needs right now. {Please leave your email address as well, so I can contact you! :)} 

The giveaway will close Sunday night, February 9, 2014 at 11:59 CST, and the winner will be chosen randomly and emailed! :)

disclosure: I received a free pass in order to review BAM, and all opinions above are my 110% own, lol. :)

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