Monday, August 20, 2012

MOMables Lunch Menu Planning Subscription - Giveaway! (Ended)

When I first heard about MOMables, I was intrigued but skeptical. First off, why would someone pay for lunch ideas? Surely I can be creative on my own, right? [No. Apparently not. At least not when staring into my fridge at 2AM hoping for an inspiration to jump out and hit me. The only thing jumping out is the stack of little mystery containers perched precariously on a shelf.]

And we weren't packing lunches every day, since my 4-year-old isn't in full-time school yet. Why pay for 5 lunch ideas per week, when I'm only packing 1-2? [Because I don't always feel like making every single recipe I see. And as she's getting older, we have more and more other activities before or after school, where I need something packed up to feed her in the car in between. And who says it has to be packed in a box and eaten only at school, anyway? It's not like she doesn't need to eat just because we're spending the day at home! These recipes and ideas work just as well with plates and bowls! Plus, Mamas need to eat too!]

Wait now. What is MOMables again?
MOMables is a lunch menu planning service to help busy parents (or other caregivers) pack a variety of fresh, wholesome school or daycare lunches for kids. In 10 minutes or less a day!

And at only $5 to $6 per month (depending on how many months you subscribe to at a time - 3, 6, or 12) it comes out to as low as $.22 per day, or $1.14 per week. Heck. Even if I'm only using one or two ideas a week, that's well worth it! While the subscription is designed to help you build lunches week by week, and the shopping lists are compiled so your lunch necessities for that week are already planned out for you, I like to browse through past weeks and find inspiration based on the ingredients I have lying around already.

What's in it for me?
With everything planned out for you - main menu items, suggested sides, notes on what you can prep in advance or make extra of for dinner one night, and even the weekly lunch shopping list (broken down into categories - deli, produce, dairy, etc) - you can save a lot of prep time, and no longer worry about getting a balanced variety of healthy foods in your child's diet. As well as save money by not having to resort to buying heavily processed and unhealthy pre-packaged lunches. And less wasted food, since you can just buy what you need for that week, often using extras in another recipe, instead of trying to guesstimate and ending up with extra food going bad in your fridge.
Yeah, but I have [more kids than you] and a full-time job. I don't have time to cut cheese into little flowers, or draw faces on everything. And I don't have the time or the budget to find fancy-shmancy stuff like Brie or fennel!
You don't need any special skills, tools, or hard-to-find gourmet ingredients to make these lunches. You just go online and download your weekly menus (you can still access the previous week's menu, in case you had a week off and forgot or something! Ahem.) from their members-only access tab, take your shopping list to the store, and follow their simple recipe plan. There are even pictures!
[Note: I use an outside file-storing site (DropBox) to store my weekly menu PDFs, and I have an app that lets me access them from my phone, so I can pull up the menus right there in the kitchen, and I don't have to worry about remembering to print or bring the grocery list to the store!]
You can still cut the foods into cute shapes, though. You know. If you want to...

My MOMables Experience
I hardly even count my first foray into MOMables territory, since really I just used an idea I had remembered seeing in my free week for joining the email list as a last-minute addition to my lunch. And then I let my free sample menu languish, forgotten, in my Downloads folder. Later, I won a free 3-month subscription from another blog. And then I forgot. I just wasn't cut out to plan ahead and be even remotely organized. (Yes, I know. MOMables does all the hard work of planning, and even making a list. But remembering to bring that list to the store, or even remembering to print it out was beyond me!) It wasn't until a "bread crisis" occurred that I realized what a gem I had in my MOMables menu plans! (And I got off my duff and put it all into DropBox to make it even easier for myself!)

One time, early on in the week, I discovered our brand-new loaf of bread was all moldy! And no way was I dragging both kids to the grocery store by myself just for bread. We'd have to wait for the weekend.
I ended up finding so many inspirations in the various weekly MOMables menus, and had so many of the ingredients needed (or could fake it with substitutes,) that I had a hard time deciding what to make! I decided on The Snacker for my first breadless lunch that week.
MOMables PBJ Snackers, Rainier cherries, Ranch, ketchup,
Squash "Grater Tots," Vanilla Greek Yogurt (cinnamon in bunny bottle)
Another time I was down to heels-only on my bread, but had extra noodles lying around (because why go to all the trouble of boiling water for just one serving of noodles?) Well. A quick browse through my MOMables menus, and I found the perfect recipe. I even had all the ingredients! 

It had never occurred to me to "think outside the sandwich" before. I might go wild and crazy and do pinwheel roll-ups with a tortilla once in a while, but still, basically, a sandwich. So this was my first foray into something other than a sandwich or leftover mac-n-cheese.
Snow peas, cheese, BBQ Sunflower Seeds, raspberries,
MOMables Under the Sea Pasta Salad
It was a big enough hit I even made it again! And now you can too!
Now how 'bout them apples? Or noodles, in this case!

But what if we have food allergies, or other dietary restrictions? Or just plain don't like something?
No problem! These menus and ideas are just guidelines. It's easy to use rice instead of noodles, or soy butter instead of peanut butter. Chicken instead of tuna. Tofu instead of meat. You get the idea. Whatever you would normally substitute for that food or ingredient should work just fine. Or just skip that recipe and find something you liked from a previous week!

How can I tell if MOMables is right for me and my family?
Get 3 days worth of lunch menus for free and check them out. And sign up for email updates from MOMables with free recipes and tips to access another week's worth of lunch recipes for free!

Or would you rather try it a little longer? For as little as $18 (for the 3-month subscription) you can get started!

But for one of you, MOMables is letting me give away a free 3-month subscription! Sweeeeet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway (ENDED)

*Disclaimer: I received a free 3-month subscription to MOMables for the purposes of reviewing and posting about their service. I mean, because I'm awesome.


  1. Lunch is a bleedin' blippin' nightmare. Actually just for one kid. The other will eat anything. But the boy. Oh the boy...

  2. This is such a great idea because it seems like sandwiches are the only option somedays but a resource like momables would help add some variety :)


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