I really enjoy cooking and (I love having a nice big kitchen in apt. #2!), but I really hate meal planning and often find myself in a rut. Do you ever feel like that?
I know there are a lot out there, but I recently discovered an online meal planning service that we’ve been using for about a month now and I’m loving it. It’s called TheFresh20.com and it’s $15/3 months of weekly meal plans and corresponding shopping lists. They’re designed with busy (lazy?) families in mind and they provide you the means to prep 5 dinners for $80 or less with fresh ingredients, limited sugar and little to no preservatives. (if you’re good about coupon-ing, etc. for pantry staples or have a garden I can imagine it’s often much less!).
A few pros we’ve enjoyed so far:
- the corresponding shopping lists, you literally can just print them and take them to the store
- the ease at which meals are actually created. If you follow their prep steps you can prepare the meat and veggies in advance (Sunday afternoon or whenever) and then your prep is minimal in the evenings to actually cook dinner
- the leftover mentality. Again, on the ease theme, it doesn’t happen every week, but twice now we’ve had meal plans that make a new meal with leftovers from the previous night (ex. a pasta became a soup by adding stock and beans or a chicken dish became a pasta by just adding veggies and pasta). I love this because its adds variety and saves time!
- the meals are designed for a family of 4 so we either get leftovers or I just make less and then actually spend less making my wallet happy!
Of course, if you’re a picky eater (which we kind of are) some of the meals just don’t sound good so I still make a few tried and true Vlk family favorites to augment the plan when I don’t think we’d enjoy something but so far it’s worked like a charm and has added variety and simplicity to our life.
*Not an official endorsement* But certainly worth your time to check out, I think you can even try it free for a week!