Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi's Blog
The struggle of what to feed the family is real. You may be that person who has the meal plan written out for two weeks at a time with the grocery list and coupons all aligned. But if you are like most people you are flying by the seat of your pants most evenings and smelling the leftovers from last weekend to see if they will survive reheating one more time. Stressful is an understatement for the dinnertime chaos that can be prevalent in households across the country. Family schedules are full of activities, obligations and somewhere in there hopefully some family connecting time. Other than ordering delivery or going out to eat too often, what can a busy family do to ensure they have meals ready when they need them?
Meal prepping services
There are a few ways to approach the need to get meals prepared and served. Several years back there were places that you could go to prep several meals for a reasonable fee. The value of having someone else chop, grate, prewash, and prep ingredients is immensely helpful. But the challenge with this option is the time it takes to put the meals together. Not to mention, you need to provide your own containers that you may have on hand, or you will need to purchase them. These extras add time and money on to the project; time that you are already lacking.
More recently, there have been several companies offering to ship to your door meal ingredients prepped and ready to cook. The ability to customized for specific eating preferences and dietary requirements is possible with many of these meal prep services. There are several different pre-selected meal companies to choose from so you should be able to find one or two to fit your needs. Many offer introductory specials to allow you to try their products before spending too much.
Think outside the boxes
Another way to answer the dinnertime question could be to hire someone to come in and prep several freezer meals for you. Before you say, "I can't afford that," listen to the entire suggestion. One way to complete this economically is to barter for services. A college student may be willing to do five to ten make-ahead meals in trade for a couple of loads of clean laundry. Another option would be to coordinate with another family or two to "swap" make-ahead meals between all of you. This idea would take a little planning on your part but can make dinnertime a more peaceful nightly event.
Next time you make a favorite family dish, double the recipe and freeze it for the future.
Make a useful kitchen the priority as you search for your new home. Your real estate professional will know just where to find you what you need to make meal-time less stressful.