One Thing I Did To Make Family Meal Time Easier

I am approaching that stage in life where my birds are flying the nest and dinner time continues to evolve. My oldest is a foodie and when he lived with us our meal times were fun and exciting for me. So when he left our home the contents of our dinner changed. Then there was the fussy middle one who only liked white food and the youngest who was an occasional adventurous eater. That left my husband and I who are foodies missing out of the food adventures that we had created when our oldest lived with us.

Now that we have just one at home with us, and he is rarely home at dinner time my husband and I are looking for that gourmet adventure again. Often we found it by going out to eat or ordering takeout. But I missed cooking and knowing what goes into my food. Then I discovered meal delivery services.

I have received my first box and my second box is on the way. I ordered from a second service that will arrive next week. Here are some thoughts on what I have discovered so far.

Portion sizes: For me the portion sizes are perfect. My husband also has been pleased with them. If there are three of us eating, I will simply have half of the protein and share with my husband and our son will eat the other portion. We can easily stretch the meals from two to three. One night there was four of us, so I made two sets of meals. It was a perfect solution.

Ease of ordering: There is an app that makes ordering even easier. Take meals out of your shopping cart or add things in. You have control over the day of the week for delivery. Some weeks Wednesday works for me and some weeks Thursday works for me.

Fun of trying new foods: I love the descriptions such as “Tender chicken breasts are coated in flour, briefly sautéed, and removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce with fresh garlic and mushrooms. You’ll deglaze the pan by adding wine to the caramelized, tasty meaty bits (referred to as a “fond” in chef speak), to dissolve them into a flavorful sauce.

Premeasured amounts:  I get the perfect amount of cilantro or the perfect amount of heavy cream {yes I said heavy cream.} Often I am stuck with too much of a specific item and I cant figure out how to use and I create waste.

Freshness: I was a little hesitant when I received buns for the turkey burgers, however I was pleasantly surprised with how fresh they were even days later. I had a little issue with one item, but when I personally buy the same at the store I have the same issue.

Dietary restrictions: The choices are there for those who need gluten free or vegetarian. Want to eat low carb, they have options for you as well.

Packaging: The box while recyclable, the inside parts are not. I can only use so many reusable ice packs and I can only donate so many. This really bothered me as I like to live a green life. But then I thought about how much food I waste and for me this was an even trade.

Cost: The cost can seem daunting at first. However many of these boxed meal services offer discount and coupons as well as savings when you refer someone. Be sure to check before you sign up. My husband is not convinced that we will save money. I think in the long run we will be saving money if we take into account meals that we eat out.

Location: I live in Fargo and I can only use a few of the meal services. We are limited in the upper Midwest but check out a few to see what your options are.

Learn new cooking techniques: I love to cook and know how to cook, but my kids don’t have all the nuances down. When kids take FACS {family and consumer science class} there is no way that they can cover everything. Now I can hand them a recipe card and the instructions are basic and very easy to follow. This also works for spouses. So when I am not home I can have him prep the meal with no explanation from me. I call this a marriage saver!

Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping but this does save time for those who do not enjoy grocery shopping. I still need to go for our basics and snacks and lunches so it doesn’t eliminate all grocery shopping.

Takes out the time of meal planning: Meal planning takes time. We typically cook the same things over and over again.  I love the fact that creative side dishes come with the entrée. I sometimes get lost in Pinterest and the possibility of a great meal. One night we had an edamame puree that I never would have made, but was very delicious and I would consider making again.

 

 

What I love about all of this is that it gives me options. When I know I am going to have a busy week I can order the meals and know that when meal time comes I have it covered. I also love the idea of giving it as gifts come the holiday. Know someone who had a new baby? This would be a great gift to give! Our goal is to get my husband and I back to cooking fresh meals and sitting at the table having a conversation.

 

 

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!