I’ve blogged before about my struggle with advance prep and planning of meals. It’s also been a struggle to get help in the kitchen because like a lot of families, in my family Mom’s the cook. Mom also insists on having family dinner as often as possible. When I ask for help in the kitchen I hear “I don’t know what to make”. A lack of organization and preparation too often results in restaurant meals or eating meals that are less than healthy. I end up going to the grocery store without a clear plan and buy items that spoil. Who wants to waste food? My mother should be here telling me how there are starving children, how dare I waste that limp lettuce! I might as well be sending dollar bills down the garbage disposal. Not having help in the kitchen also leads to head chef burnout so I’m often the one who says, “let’s go out.” Or I turn into Gordon Ramsey and start screaming and cussing. We as a family need to work this out before a neighbor calls the cops. My teenager needs to learn to cook a variety of meals, not just ramen or eggs, though I have a feeling that will come in handy for her young adulthood. I need some help and all of us could stand to eat a few more healthy meals at home. So I’m experimenting.
My husband often says that the kitchen is an extension of my job, it’s my laboratory at home. I have binders and folders full of recipes I want to try but I rarely sit down to make out a weekly menu and shopping list. I’ll start but then SQUIRREL. I can’t stay focused long enough. It’s just time consuming. When I was presented with an opportunity to try an online service that would allow me to choose a weekly menu from several recipes that included entrees and a choice of side dishes, I was all in. It also automatically populates a shopping list once you’ve chosen your meals. Seriously? So I’m giving it a go this week. It took me just a few minutes to figure out the navigation and how to choose/swap out side dishes and I was quickly on my way to a plan. By printing out the recipes and the shopping list I was able to show my family exactly what we would be eating, the teenager was able to help me with the shopping and she’s helping me with the prep work for the meals so far.
I’m hoping this will cut down on dining out just for convenience, cut down on waste and make trips to the grocery store less frequent. Perhaps it will be one less thing on my list of s#*t that makes me want to choke my family. This is your heads up, if you are like me and want to save a little time and a lot of your sanity by planning meals, I’ll be reviewing the site, sharing photos of some of the recipes I’ve made and letting you in on a discount deal on the service in a few weeks. Stay tuned.