Meijer has a cool new site they recently launched called Meijer Mealbox, which wraps recipes, meal planning and coupons into one slick easy to use package. Mealbox is currently in beta but anyone can use it to get a better handle on meal preparation and grocery shopping. The service revolves around a widget which lets you browse recipes, complete with nutritional info, and add them to a weekly planner under breakfast, lunch dinner and other to plan the week ahead.
As soon as you add an item to the meal planner the ingredients are automatically added to the shopping list for the week. This is where Mealbox really starts to shine -- the grocery list is grouped by ingredient type so that you only need to look at one section of the list as you go through the store. No more realizing you needed shredded cheese at the last minute because you wrote it next to deodorant on your list. It gets better -- anything you add to your list that is on sale that week is marked on the list with the sale price. Finally, if there are any coupons available from Meijer or the manufacturer for the items on your list, the coupon is embedded right below the list so it prints out at the same time.
As a regular Meijer shopper, I can't wait to add this tool to my weekly routine of grocery shopping. I love the fact that I can sort the recipes by meal type, ingredients or by special diet requirements to find what I am looking for. I wish I could sort by recipes with sale items this week so that I could get the best bang for my buck. My only other complaint is that I can't change the serving size of the recipe to reflect the fact that we are cooking for two. Still, the service is in beta and I can easily adjust the quantities on the shopping list for the time being. This is an excellent tool and is a prime example of a company that "gets" its customers. Now if only they would implement a tool attached to my cart that would push all those annoying "aisle talkers" out of my way!
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