Thursday, February 06, 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. :)

87 comments:

Jordan said...

I would probably say "dine on a dime". Pretty neat website - thanks for sharing it :)

(palmsrise@gmail.com) :)

Christine said...

Wonderful site! Right now the Vegetarian serving 1-2 (cmcfaithingod at gmail dot com)

Jessica Brannan said...

Dine on a dime would be perfect for us right now! Thanks for the share! jessicabrannan@hotmail.com

TORI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beckie said...

Dine on a dime would be perfect! Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

thechattymommy said...

Wow! I really need this! I think dine on a dime or family friendly would be great! Thechattymommy(at)optonline(dot)net

Wendy Lawson said...

I would have to say dine on a dime for family of 4-6 this would be a great way to get organized for sure. Thanks for the information.

Sarah Nicole said...

I would say the slow cooker or low carb as we are all on a diet around here at the moment! :) Sarahlouphoto@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I am torn between "Dine on a Dime" for 4-6 people and "Clean eating" for 4-6 people. It is a wonderful website! Thank you so much for sharing and the contest. Samantha
keadle706@yahoo.com

Aliesha Caldwell said...

I think we would use the "clean eating" menu for 4-6 or the "dine on a dime" for 4-6! aliesha at feathers in our nest dot com

Nessa Bixler said...

I think the clean eating would be great... we try to be wheat free and very little dairy, but I think it could work well

Vanderpolclan said...

I would say I would start with trying Trim Healthy Mama and then on to clean eating.

HIS daughter said...

I am super excited about the Trim Healthy Mama and then the other options like the gluten free and clean eating :)

Veronica Sampson said...

Dine on a dime looks like it would be great for hubby and I while we are working to save up some money.Thanks for an awesome giveaway! forsakeall.luke14@gmail.com

Joanna (joanna.price(at)live(dot)com) said...

This is awesome! I like the Clean Eating plan!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous idea: so creative and useful. I think I would want "clean eating" (which I'm interpreting as no processed foods, fresh stuff) and vegetarian! Thanks so much for this giveaway! It's so great.
Rebekah (kent.rebekah at gmail dot com)

Betsy said...

This is a wonderful idea!! And I can't pick just one! I would want to see the dine on a dime, family friendly and slow cooker ones. =)

Betsy said...

oh and my email (betsy_s4 at yahoo dot com)

Jessica B, said...

I'd like the crockpot one, I think. I need easy meal prep.

Jessica B. said...

I forgot my email- jesslburke@ hotmail. com

KristaD said...

I think this site looks so helpful. I will soon be a new mom and something like this would help me organize my brain sooo much. I'd choose the gluten free option for my sensitivities. krista.dowding@gmail.com

Dawn said...

I like the trim healthy mama option. dachmith@msn.com

Alex said...

They all look yummy! My husband and I are trying to eat better so I would say the "low fat, sensible options" menu plan. Thanks!
Osurn07@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love this...it's a great website! I think I like the lowfat/sensible portions for 4-6 and the dine on a dime for 4-6 the best but I also would love the slow cooker and several other ones, too depending on the day! Thanks for sharing!!
jkahparry@charter.net

Mary Allen said...

Definitely the Dine on a dime option for my family! This is a wonderful site, I love it!
(mary.eallen10@gmail.com)

Katy H. said...

This looks great! I would love the clean eating menu plan option
katyheyes (at) gmail (dot) com

Micaela said...

I would be interested on the dine on a dime!

Micaelalees@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

As I'm sitting here writing out my menu for the next week feeling uninspired, I decided to check my email. WOW! What an answer to prayer. Awesome website!! Thanks for sharing! I would love the gluten free and vegetarian.
tadewind@southern.edu

Kirstin said...

Being a one income family, meal plans are a must for us. I love to make meal plans and stick to them but it can be a little boring, this would be a great way to change it up and try some new things!

Vanessa Barfield said...

Crock pot planning - yes please!

Vanessa Barfield said...

Skyie099@aol.com <---

quiltingma said...

I would say healthy mama, since I am trying to get back into shape. (quiltingma@yahoo.com

Shana Fuller said...

Either low carb or trim healthy mama for 4-6 (sdfuller25@gmail.com

Danielle Meyer said...

Trim healthy mama and dine on a dime :) so EXCITED to see this and to have found you and this menu planning site :) feeding 4-6 here. email is Danielle.a.meyer@hotmail.com :) :) :)

Karie Everett said...

Wow, I really need this in my life right now. Dinner and meal planning is a daily struggle for me right now. This is exactly what I need. Family Friendly serves 4-6 or Slow Cooker serves 4-6, either one would be great! God Bless :)

Karie Everett said...

oops, forgot my e-mail address. everett.ks@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

clean eating serving 1-2! Trying to be good in this new year to eat healthier and cleaner so this would be very helpful! abergman1@marykay.com

MissesHouse said...

Dine on a Dime! I Pinned it and Liked it and Shared it so all my friends can sign up. Such a great idea!

Angie said...

Dine on a Dime (1-2) Now that it is just my husband and myself it is really hard to think of something to cook every night. I also have a job outside our home and time is in short supply. I think this would really help me, by have all my meals and shopping list plan out. Thanks for post about this. Angie

Lauren Grounds said...

dine on a dime would b great ! groundscrew4@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

What a cool service! I love the idea of Trim Healthy Mom, but Slow Cooker & Dine on a Dime sound great, too. Mostly I would love to plan breakfast, lunch, & dinner. bsupshaw at hotmail dot com
Thank you!

Kodi Buglewicz said...

I would love the Clean Eating or Dine on a Dime or Slow Cooker- ahh I can't pick! :) What a cool idea!! kodilaine@gmail.com

Justin & Haley said...

Dine on a dime! We have a 20 month old and a 4 week old!!! Thanks for the fun giveaway! Haley.weiner@gmail.com

Kendra said...

I like the breakfast menu because I'm REALLY tired of making chocolate chip pancakes every. single. morning.
For suppers I would choose either the slow cooker or family friendly. =)
My email is khark1224@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would do Trim Healthy Momma 4-6, slow cooker and some dine on a dime. Love the concept and would like to give the site a try. Thank you for sharing! Bonnie

Amie said...

I think the clean eating or family friendly would be great for our family right now. Thanks for the opportunity.
bhb@amie.logan.cc

Anonymous said...

trim healthy momma...yes! mmoon4k@hotmail.com

Brandy Hennessy said...

I think I would use a combination of the family friendy and slow cooker for 4-6:)
This looks awsome!!!!

Brittney said...

Dine on a Dime for 2!
themeltonfamily@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would use the slow cooker for 4-6. Are family of 7 are busy most nights with sports and the crock pot comes in handy.
tjchisholm7@aol.com

Caroline said...

I would choose the Trim Healthy Mama plan. I have a hard time coming up with something all of us would eat! skyswife1997@aol.com

Teresa R said...

I would choose the Low Fat/Sensible Portions for 1-2 as it is only my husband and I am home
soarndove@yahoo.com

LeeAnn Taylor said...

I would choose the clean eating plan and my email is contact @ leeanngtaylor . com.

Rebecca W. said...

How fun! I would like the Trim Healthy Mama, or Dine on a Dime plans- we def. shop the sales and try to eat cheaply, but also healthy. These look like great plans! rebmoorewilliams@hotmail.com

Lorie said...

This looks great! I would probably choose Family friendly, Dine on a Dime, or maybe Trim Healthy Mama. So many choices!!!!

Andrea C said...

I would probably use dine on a dime 4-6 (and double it for our large family of 8) wonder how close the numbers come to Aldi prices?? We do 90% of our shipping there

Susannah Steele said...

I would try dine on a dime or trim healthy mama menus. Great concept! Steele.Susannah@gmail.com

Heather Ash said...

I think family friendly or crock pot meals would fit us. I'm due with number three very soon and my cooking has dropped down a notch. The ease of meal planning might just help as well. But I love the clean eating, allergen free and thm options. I do wish they offered Aldis as a store option we shop there a lot. Jasonnheather.harvey (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I would love the clean eating plan for my family! stola020@gmail.com

April said...

Wow what a great site! So many options! I would either choice clean eating or family friendly for 4-6.
abuck927@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Diner on a Dime...I am always looking for ways to save on the grocery bill. Our teenage son has an endless pit...lol
mfarmer@kcgov.com - Missy

Mandi said...

Oh I'd say Family Friendly at this point. I'm prego with baby #3 and tired often, my picky girl eaters need some nutrition and I don't have the brain to always figure that out :) Sweet_bacon@yahoo.com

Nelleke from P.E.I. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nelleke from P.E.I. said...

I love the clean eating for 4-6, but would probably try dining on a dime to start with. Do they allow you to change subscriptions at any time if your needs change?
nellekeplouffe2 at yahoo dot ca

Jessica said...

Clean eating! jessicamumford@hotmail.com

Katie Jones said...

I think clean eating. Really trying to implement this in our house. But it's hard. 4 kiddos and my husband and I. Thank you for the chance!! jnkjones@hotmail.com

Build A Menu said...

Hi Heather. We do offer Aldis! We actually just starting offering that store on the 1st. :)

Build A Menu said...

Hi Nelleke! You can change your menu as many times as you want. You can mix and match from any of the meal categories and make as many menus as you want each week. :)

Jennifer said...

What a great concept! While I would totally use a mostly-whole-food-Sam's-Club plan, the vegetarian one looked really good (and better than any other plans vegetarian options that I have seen)!

Lisa Renee said...

What a great resource!!! Look at my last three posts... I was trying to help out some friends who had asked on facebook how I do it. I could DEFINATELY use this!! I would do the 4-6 with the family friendly, slow cooker, clean eating, and grill meals prob in the summer

Anonymous said...

looks like a great time saver...low carb 4-6 for our family! Thanks! Kristen (rockymtnkristen@msn.com)

Blessed Mama said...

With number #4 on the way the family friendly would be perfect for us. I'm so excited to have found this resource! Thanks for sharing!!

Cynthia Bolt said...

A perfect fit would be 4-6 Gluten Free Plan what a blessing Thank You !! (cboltnv@gmail.com)

Jill Funkhouser said...

clean eating!

melissa said...

I would use dine on a dime or the family friendly. I was super excited to see this post on your blog. I recently started to review those types of meal planning services. we are about to put our family on tight budget in hopes that i can leave my full time job and transition to a part time job to be home more with our son- and getting on a budget is number one priority! my email is : emaleigh22@hotmail.com
thank you!

Jada said...

Love this giveaway!!!! Trim healthy mama would be perfect for my family! jadambuck@yahoo.com

Sandi said...

I downloaded a sample menu and it looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

We moved across country for my husband to go full time as a seminary student. I'm a stay at home mom with 2 little ones and I'm finding it really hard to get our VERY TIGHT budget to work for our family. This would help tremendously. Dine on a dime 4-6 would be a blessing to all of us. Thank you. Katty.Leasure@Gmail.com

Anonymous said...

We are BIG Sam's shoppers as well. With four kids it helps. I love this and hope to win it. Thank you. Satroyer1029@gmail.com

Stacy Turk said...

Great giveaway!! I like the low carb, dine on a dime or clean eating options. Thank you

Shar said...

I like dine on a dime and family friendly.

Kathleen Dunbar said...

This looks amazing! We eat Paleo so I would choose that plan. Love that the meals could feed our family of 6. worlundk@gmail.com

susie king said...

I would love to try Family Friendly. Thanks for the opportunity.
susieking3@gmail.com

Jamie Kulik said...

dine on a dime or the crockpot one

ournewbeginningsin2014@gmail.com

Shelby said...

I would do Trim Healthy Mamma! dine on a dime would be great for those penny pinching weeks..
dunningfm@gmail.com

Jill Hartley said...

I would love to win dine on a dime!! missjill0521@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Has anybody won this yet? Just curious, Thanks!

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