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FYI Magazine

Dinnertime can be family time, too

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Today's families are busier and more budget conscious than ever. With kids more engrossed in extracurricular activities and Mom and Dad fighting to make ends meet in a still struggling economy, time spent together as a family is increasingly scarce.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than around the dinner table.

 Only one in five families sit down to dinner together, with many instead grabbing meals on the go or choosing fast food. Neither option is especially healthy or cost-conscious. But there are ways even the busiest families can enjoy a healthy meal together without breaking the bank.

* Embrace technology. It's hard for many people, parents and children alike, to go an hour without being on the Internet. Families looking to spend more quality time together at the dinner table can now make the most of their time and their budget thanks to E-Mealz.com, a user-friendly online resource that provides a variety of easy weekly meal plans, complete with delicious dinner recipes and a corresponding grocery list that you just print and go!

* Emphasize the importance of dinner together. A healthy breakfast is often referred to as "the most important meal of the day." But families should recognize that eating dinner together is just as essential to building a strong family as breakfast is to building a strong body. Dinnertime provides the perfect opportunity for families to converse, connect with and relate to each other on a daily basis.

"Instead of crowding your full plate, we think that families should simplify," says Jane DeLaney, founder and President of E-Mealz.com. "Making time for a shared meal around the dinner table means more time together ... more enjoying, more embracing, more capturing moments, more memories, more eternal perspective, and more reflection. It means more of all the things that truly matter."

* Be efficient when shopping for groceries. Trips to the grocery store can quickly turn into expensive odysseys for unprepared shoppers. Since time is of the essence for most families, be sure to bring a grocery list along on your next trip to the grocery store. A well planned list can drastically reduce time and money spent at the store, which only leaves more time for the family and money in your pocket.

More information is available at www.e-mealz.com.