As I sip coffee I am thinking about my meal plan for the week and I am disappointed in myself. I just don’t know what sounds good this week. And when I ask the family they aren’t offering up many suggestions.
Usually today is a batch cook day where I spend my afternoon making a prepare and cook meals for the whole week. Not today. I am having friends and family over to barbecue. Sometimes I throw planning days to the wind and this is one of those days. I am sitting and looking at the blank half page for my planner with a blank look.
I think it is because the last couple of weeks someone else did the planning for me: Home Chef.
Yes! I tried one of the many meal kit delivery subscriptions and let me tell you, I loved it! So did the family. And as I think about a couple of the menu items I realize I have ingredients in the house to recreate the Chicken Paillard, the favorite of all the dishes we tried.
Before continuing on with my writing here, I stepped away so I could go online and plan for a delivery next week. I liked having my box delivered on Friday and having three meals planned already including all of the ingredients.
Unboxing is much easier than going to the store and putting everything away. The ingredients are packaged together by meal and slide easily into the refrigerator.
The recipe guide is online as well as printed on a cardstock page. Your first order includes a 3-ring binder to store your recipes. The planner in me loved that.
Above are images of my handiwork and the Chicken Paillard in the skillet is what I have decided to make again this week. It was incredibly easy and delicious. The picky eaters really loved it and I was surprised at how easy and quick it was to cook.
Did I think it was expensive? When I look at my grocery bill and what I usually spend and waste it was very economical. With three meals delivered over two weeks our waste was minimal. Hindsight is usually 20/20, right? I think I may cook too much on Sundays anticipating we will eat more leftovers than we do. It is more challenging to plan with adult children and teens who have busy schedules and finicky appetites. I guess I still have a lot to learn as I head toward emptynester land. Less is likely more and starting now is a good a time as any.
From a budget perspective I realize I didn’t spend any more than when I plan and do all the shopping and prep myself. I saved oodles of time though and I actually got us out of a rut of the same old same old. I also had a personal bonus from all of this: I have more clothes that are too big and a full box of them ready for donation because I consistently ate fresh ingredients and balanced my proteins and carbs splendidly. That made it all worth it.
While writing this I finalized the meal plan for the week.
I also decided to try a different meal kit delivery, Sun Basket. It will arrive in a little over a week and help make next week planning easier. I look forward to comparing the two systems. I also noticed our local grocery store is getting skin into the game with meal kits. I may have to give them a spin too. I would love to stay local. Honestly, I am not sure anything can top Home Chef. I read reviews on ALL of them for weeks and settled with trying Home Chef first for many reasons:
- Consistently positive reviews and ratings
- Easy meals
- Simple ingredients
- Gluten free and Paleo meal options
- Meals that I thought my family would try
It will probably take something seriously outstanding to win me away from this one because out of 6 meals there was only one that didn’t wow me and the family subseqiently going to waste. That meal was a risk from the start because I knew that the finicky eaters wouldn’t dive into it. I was right and it left me with a meal that just didn’t please me as a leftover. Some dishes just don’t taste as great the second time around.
But that winner, Chicken Paillard, as you can see, is on the menu for the week and that is keeping me out of the meal planning rut. Something new to look forward to for all of us. When I made these meals I felt like a world class while I took time plating and setting the table enjoying special time with the family. We talked and laughed and enjoyed each other and the accompanying glass of wine (for the adults).
Have you tried any of these subscription services? Which ones? Please share I would like to avoid pitfalls and steer toward winners for my household too.
If you want to try Home Chef, here is my personal referral link that gives me $30 off a future week of meals. And let me know what meals you tried.