Carefree Cooking

If you are a gourmet cook who loves preparing meals and grocery shopping, you might find this difficult to read!

 But if not , continue!

 Not long ago I came across this cookbook with the most delicious sounding Southern Style recipes. I was inspired to expand our dinner choices and eagerly begin making the grocery list. It was when I began the third column of items that I closed the book, crumbled my grocery list and sadly gave up.

 Never loving the experience of driving a cart up and down isles in search of mango chutney, truffle oil or simply a package of instant rice, I knew this wasn’t for me. My frustration was facing another week of a menu of spaghetti, pizza and perhaps a baked potato and meatloaf.

 With this in mind, I threw caution to the wind and said yes to the frequent Facebook temptations of selecting weekly ready to cook meal kits. Now each week a box appears on my doorstep with all of the ingredients and recipes from my online selections.

 It has been a year and I couldn’t be happier. Here is a list of the significant changes. 

  1. SAVE TIME

 Planning and shopping for 2/3 of the week’s menus is now 10 minutes on the computer Monday mornings. I order 4 meals for the week and the other 3 are easily filled with one night out, a frozen pizza and of course there is always one night where a bowl of cereal works just fine.

     2. REDUCE WASTE

 I am no longer throwing away ½ a carton of mushrooms and limp vegetables. Nor am I building a collection of herbs and spices that will seldom be used.

 

  1. LEARNING NEW THINGS

 I am a better cook. Learning new things with each recipe has developed my skills as well as I have increased my collection of kitchen utensils and gadgets.

 

  1. EATING HEALTHIER

 We are eating foods otherwise hadn’t and nothing out of a can. The ingredients are fresh and healthy. My husband is actually eating kale!

 

  1. PEACE OF MIND

 The peace of mind that I have everything I need dinner each day is wonderful. A number of years ago I attended a conference on Women’s Health and learned that on a list of stress factors for women “ figuring out what to cook for dinner” was number 4 on the list of what causes stress in women.

 

There are a number of different companies offering this service. I have tried 3 and here are my thoughts. Blue Apron had all the ingredients for the different recipes in the box and not packaged individually. This doesn’t work for me as part of what I like is just taking one bag out of the fridge with each recipe’s ingredients. Blue Apron also had too much prep work. Each one is just a bit different and these small differences will help you find the perfect fit.

 

Hello Fresh packages individually and has limited prep time. They send more of an ingredient that is called for and I find this a bit of a waste. Also, I have to do the measuring. As you can see, I am looking for the easier route to a good meal. I also am not crazy about the small bottles of liquids as they are really hard to open and the containers not easily reused.

 

My favorite is Home Chef. Meals are packaged individually and if the recipe calls for 1-1/2 Tbsp. that is exactly what is in the small bottle. I like their small jars and bottles as I can reuse them for my art projects and as small containers for leftovers.

 

All 3 of these companies offer options available such as type of diets, (gluten fee, vegetarian) and number of weekly meals. Skipping a week of delivery is easy and so is cancelling it you discover this isn’t for you. There are several other companies, but these three were within my budget.

 

Could I prepare these meals cheaper without the service? Yes, but all the benefits described above and more, make it money well spent.

 

 

 

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