Meal planning and grocery shopping is a THING.
Pre-kids, Clay and I would go grocery shopping together. We would pour over Cooks Illustrated and pick long complicated recipes, because, you know–TIME. We would pick up fancy cheese and other treats on a whim. It was joyfully planned and sprinkled with glorious of moments of spontaneity. Okay, I might be romanticizing here, but you take my point.
Post kids, its still mostly fun. We have a great time picking up fun new items and they learn a lot. When they aren’t wrestling in the aisles. I also love to go by myself, especially early in the morning. You may think you want a massage, but in reality a solo grocery store trip at 8am is where its at.
But with working full time, naps, traffic, and crowded stores making time to go is a chore. And when I do go–I have to, you know, have A LIST. And making that list takes work–dang that pesky time thing again. I was cooking unhealthy convenience food because it was easy to buy and easy to make.
So, in an attempt to get healthy meals on the table, I take serious help when it comes to food procurement and preparation.
About a year ago I started Blue Apron and loved everything about. The food is so good, its fun to cook and its all fresh. The boxes include ingredients I couldn’t/wouldn’t buy normally and I discovered I liked foods I thought I didn’t! And it was DELIVERED. To my DOOR, people. Downside: Not enough food in the 2 person plan, too much food in the family plan. Bummer. Blue apron FTW!
Fresh20 makes my list for me and plans my menu. Five meals with 20 fresh ingredients and just the right amount of food for my family. The recipes aren’t as mind blowing-ly delicious as Blue Apron, but they are yummy, affordable, easy to prepare, and healthy. And at $60 a year its well worth it.
But I still have to buy the stuff and I needed help there, too. Time for step 2 of taking help…HARRIS TEETER EXPRESS. I use my fresh20 list to order my groceries online (split screen rocks, am I right?). Sometimes they don’t quite get it right (looking at you, half pound of ginger…) but overall they are great at reading the notes. I pay $100 a year for unlimited pick ups. I zoom through the drive through and they load it in the back. It limits impulse buys and I’m getting better at shopping deals, as well. For $160 a year, I get meal plans and grocery shop while I eat my lunch. And I still get my grocery store fix by taking special trips to Trader Joe’s by myself or with the kids. Can’t say I don’t miss Blue Apron, but this is working for us until the kids start eating more!
What do you do to help manage feeding your family?
Fresh20 link is an affiliate link, opinions are my own.