Since having kids, I think dinner time is probably the most dreaded time of day.
(No offense, kids!)
Actually physically cooking the meal when you’re exhausted at the end of a long day is only half the battle, my friends. No, the battle starts much earlier in the week… let me break it down:
Saturday — Hmmmm, what the h*ll am I going to cook this week? (a.k.a. meal planning)
Sunday — Let’s make a grocery store list! Oh, sh*t. I forgot the list on the kitchen counter. Can you please send me a photo of my list?
Monday — Ugh… She won’t eat this. He won’t eat that. Husband is not coming home until 7:30pm and we have a football practice to get to at 5:30. Chicken fingers and mac n’ cheese it is!
Tuesday — Did I forget to buy (insert ingredient here)?! How could I forget that!? I’m ordering pizza.
Wednesday — Remember that pizza? We’re eating leftovers.
Thursday — Only one more day of meals before we can go out… only one more day. You can do it! What I can do, is make quesadillas and call it a day.
Friday — I MADE IT! Our dinner reservation is at 5:30pm (early bird special)!
This end of week celebration is only short-lived because unfortunately, the cycle immediately repeats itself again…
After living this sad dinner time existence for way too long, last year I decided to give a food delivery service called PLATED a shot. You’ve all probably seen a few PLATED commercials on TV, or scrolling through your FACEBOOK feed. You might have even seen some INSTAGRAM pics with the hashtag — #platedpic and wondered what that meant.
Ultimately, what PLATED has become is not only a convenient fresh food delivery service, but also my meal planner, budget minder, gastronomic guide and overlord of my mental sanity. The weekly delivery of pre-portioned ingredients for my selected chef-designed dinners start at $12/plate with a minimum order of 4 plates per box and free shipping for orders over $50.
Now, don’t get all freaked out by the price — since starting this service I have saved hundreds of dollars on fresh produce, antibiotic + hormone free meats, sustainable seafood and lots and lots of therapy. Just kidding about the therapy… kind of. My grocery store bill is now limited to pantry staples, snacks, and ingredients for school lunches and very rarely does anything go unused, or to waste.
Best of all, all of the “heavy lifting” is done for me — I just get to do what I enjoy best: cook.
In the past year since starting the service, I’ve been sent recipes that I absolutely love, and others that were tasty, but not something I would necessarily repeat. I don’t believe there has ever been a BAD dish in the bunch. Some of the recipes are definitely meant for a more adult palate and on those nights, I simply give my kids a toned down alternative of what the adults are eating for dinner using traditional grocery store purchases. While portions are not necessarily the biggest — specifically when a protein is involved, I enjoy that fact that this service forces me to eat a more healthy and balanced diet with portion control — the thing that many of us struggle with.
Each week I use my handy PLATED iOS APP and select the meals that I want to schedule for delivery. For weeks that I am not into the menu options, I’m traveling, or have an exceptionally busy schedule that would keep us from eating at home, I simply skip that week in its entirety and resume my Plated delivery the following cycle.
By the way — I was in no way compensated by PLATED to write this post. I just really love the service and it’s become such a staple in my household that I thought I should share it with you. Take a look at their WEBSITE (if you haven’t already) and let me know your thoughts and questions! If you already use the service, I’d love to hear your feedback, too!
Here’s to a future of delicious (stress-free) mealtimes!