posted in Cookbook Reviews

The Fresh 20 Cookbook and Meal Planning Service {Giveaway}

I first met Melissa Lanz at a conference in the spring of 2010.  She talked about a new meal planning service she had launched the previous fall:  The Fresh 20.  She explained that meal plans rely on simple, healthy and homemade dinners using just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week.  What a cool concept!  Fast forward three years later, and The Fresh 20 has over 85,000 subscribers and Lanz has written a book too!  Today, she’s offering a giveaway to RecipeGirl readers!

The Fresh 20 Giveaway

There are many things that intrigue me about The Fresh 20.  Probably the biggie is that my grocery lists are a mile long for 2-nights worth of dinners.  I’m horrible at budgeting, and I don’t even think I want to know what I spend per week on our meals.  The Fresh 20 program gives you a list of “basics” to keep in your pantry.  The 20 ingredients you buy per week are incorporated into five meals that are planned for you (choose classic, vegetarian, gluten-free and soon dairy free too).  Why five?  Most people don’t sit down and eat 7 meals together, so it’s assuming you’ll eat a couple of meals out during the week.  The Fresh 20 mission is about buying less and making more, loading your dinner table with preservative-free food, and reducing stress related to meal planning.  Another super-cool thing… the service only costs $5.00 per month or $49.00 for an entire year.

If you subscribe to The Fresh 20, here’s what you’ll receive:
1.  Weekly Dinner Menus
The Fresh 20 meal plans are posted each Friday evening, so you can shop and organize over the weekend and you don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner?!
  Weekly menus feature:
• Complete meals with sides
• Variety of cuisines to eliminate dinner boredom
• Seasonal ingredients
• Weekly prep guides to help you get organized
• Balanced nutrition
2.  Weekly Shopping Lists
Download shopping lists with current prices, allowing you to budget and price comparison shop without ever entering a store! Shopping lists feature:
• Complete shopping list of fresh ingredients, nothing processed, no preservatives
• Organized by category to get you in and out of the grocery store quick
• Cost estimates to keep you on budget

Fresh 20 2

Let’s take a peek at The Fresh 20 book, which you can pick up anywhere books are sold.  It’s divided into seasons, and it shares 4 weeks of menus for each season.  Here’s a sample of what a week in the winter might look like.  You can see that the shopping list is all planned out for you (and you can check your pantry to make sure you have the basics on hand too).

Fresh 20 1

And here’s a recipe from the book.  Every single recipe in the book has a mouthwatering photograph (Melissa’s husband Trent Lanz happens to be her amazing photographer too).  What I love about a service like this is that it forces you to try things that you might not consider trying on your own (and the kids too!)  Everything is designed to be family-friendly.  Other recipe examples include: Asian Noodle Soup, Guacamole Tostadas, Honey-Lime Drumsticks, Chicken Fricassee, Aunt Judy’s Brisket, Muffin Tin Meatloaf, Vegetable Minestrone and Citrus Chicken.

Fresh 20
So that’s the scoop on The Fresh 20!  What do you think?  Would it help you have a less-stressful week to have all of the meal planning worked out for you?  You might have more questions.  I got into your head and asked founder Melissa Lanz of The Fresh 20 what I thought you might want to ask too.  Here were her answers:

*How in the world did you get the idea for 20 ingredients for a weekly meal-planning menu?
I was really tired of over-buying ingredients and the amount of waste I was causing.  There is no way my family of four needs an 80 ingredient shopping list. And I wanted to buy better quality products and not break the bank. The 20 just came from putting together a meal puzzle every week and having the weekly discipline to stay the course with just 20 ingredients.
*organic foods are so expensive… so is it okay to use non-organic, or do you have any tips on making it more affordable? 
I believe in fresh first, organic second and local third. I follow the dirty dozen list for organic musts and then make decisions at the store based on quality difference and cost for everything else. I think every family should make the decision about what is important for their family food culture but I encourage everyone to really know the difference between the two. I often taste test organic vs. non-organic so I can make informed decisions. Buying only 20 ingredients helps keep costs reasonable.
*How has following this program changed your life?

It not only changed my life, it saved my life.  I was really in a work rut with little time to feed myself or my family. The Fresh 20 has allowed me to slow down and connect with my family in a way that gets lost when there is not a meal together. It doesn’t matter what moment of the day everyone sits down together. For some families it can only be breakfast or snack. For others it can only be two or three times a week, but to have a plan and make it a priority, gives me the connection with my husband and kids I need to thrive.Fresh 20 Giveaway

For a chance to win a one year subscription to The Fresh 20 Meal Planning Service + a copy of The Fresh 20 Cookbook, use the widget (which should appear momentarily below) to enter.  This giveaway is open to anyone WORLDWIDE. Giveaway ends and a winner will be chosen via on Thursday, July 18th.  Winner will be contacted via email and will be posted here as soon as contact is made and verified.  If the winner does not respond to the email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.  Good luck to everyone!

The Fresh 20 Giveaway!

Disclosure:  There are affiliate links included within this post.  All opinions shared about The Fresh 20 meal planning service are completely my own- I love the concept of this service, and I’m happy to share it with RecipeGirl readers. Giveaway prizes are being provided by The Fresh 20.

31 Responses to “The Fresh 20 Cookbook and Meal Planning Service {Giveaway}”

  1. postedJul 11, 2013 3:06 AM

    Congrats to Melissa on how much she has accomplished! And she is an amazing person and always has a big smile on her face every time I bump into her at various events 🙂

  2. postedJul 11, 2013 5:14 AM

    That sounds like an amazing service…I really need something to organize my life like this and feed my family good food!

  3. postedJul 11, 2013 5:21 AM
    La Torontoise

    Lori, I teach online business models to master students and I use this service as an example of an innovative business model; Love the book; a great value for the money!
    Happy to see this giveaway here.
    Thank you! I entered the draw.

    Have a great day!

  4. postedJul 11, 2013 5:25 AM

    The Fresh 20 sounds terrific!

  5. postedJul 11, 2013 5:32 AM

    The Fresh 20 sounds great. I am going to check it out.

  6. postedJul 11, 2013 5:38 AM

    Sounds like a great idea!

  7. postedJul 11, 2013 6:13 AM
    Susan H

    Love the idea for the book and would make my busy life so much easier! The recipes look easy and delicious!

  8. postedJul 11, 2013 6:27 AM

    Awesome service! I know I could definitely benefit from something like this!

  9. postedJul 11, 2013 6:41 AM

    What a cool service!! Congrats to Melissa!

  10. postedJul 11, 2013 6:48 AM
    Barbara Snyder

    Great menus

  11. postedJul 11, 2013 6:50 AM
    Nancy J.

    I find this so interesting and doable.

  12. postedJul 11, 2013 7:21 AM

    I love this idea! What a great way to eat fresh and cut out all the fuss!

  13. postedJul 11, 2013 7:27 AM

    I would love to try this! It’s just me and my hubby and occasionally one of my kids.

  14. postedJul 11, 2013 7:32 AM

    This sounds amazing! I would love to try this out!

  15. postedJul 11, 2013 7:46 AM

    Sounds wonderful and like something I really need! Enter my name in the drawing, please!

    • July 11th, 2013 @ 8:20 AM

      Use the widget to enter, please!

  16. postedJul 11, 2013 8:04 AM

    I’m a working mon and go to the produce market every week, so cool to have a copy it will help me a lot with my weekly cooking. Awesome!!

  17. postedJul 11, 2013 8:23 AM

    Great idea

  18. postedJul 11, 2013 9:31 AM
    Melissa B

    Great looking book!

  19. postedJul 11, 2013 9:52 AM

    Great idea!

  20. postedJul 11, 2013 10:21 AM

    What a neat service and such a cool idea!!!

  21. postedJul 11, 2013 11:41 AM

    Very interesting! Hope I win!

  22. postedJul 11, 2013 2:51 PM

    Sounds like a great idea and very doable. 😉

  23. postedJul 11, 2013 4:17 PM

    OMG this is exactly what I want to do with my life. Meal Planning is the solution to affordable, healthy meals! Her approach to only having 20 items has blown my mind. What an inspiration!!

  24. postedJul 11, 2013 8:36 PM

    Great idea just what I need

  25. postedJul 12, 2013 5:20 AM
    Donna Sumners

    I am very excited to enter the drawing. I have fibromyalgia and rsd so buying 20 ingredients weekly and meal planning will be very helpful. Thanks

  26. postedJul 12, 2013 1:02 PM

    I love anything that helps to keep me organized! This sounds like a great service! Thanks for sharing, Lori. Have a lovely weekend!

  27. postedJul 12, 2013 1:57 PM
    Karen Dolan

    can I please win this – this sounds amazing for a disorganized person such as myself.

  28. postedJul 13, 2013 5:24 PM
    Miss Ann

    This sounds great!

  29. postedJul 13, 2013 9:58 PM

    This looks fantastic!

  30. postedJul 14, 2013 12:54 PM

    Awesome giveaway!

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