Friday, August 30, 2019

Let's Get Cooking

Every day I watch thousands of packages make their way down a conveyor belt to be loaded into delivery trucks. As an employee at UPS I get a little glimpse of what's trending and what weekly Amazon Prime deals are being offered. In the past few months I've seen more boxes advertising home delivery meals. Blue Apron, Home Chef, Plated, Moms Meals, and the ever so popular Hello Fresh are just a few examples of what I've seen. As a mom who is burnt out from trying to plan and prepare meals I finally gave in and decided to give Hello Fresh a try.

The companies I mentioned above do not offer much information on their websites until you make your first payment. So I wasn't able to see all of the meal choices but with the option to cancel anytime I took a chance. After a bit of confusion I signed up for 2 meals per week that would serve a family of 4. The cost was around $64, which didn't seem too expensive. Well apparently I either signed up for 3 meals or I accidentally chose a third meal. The total cost was actually $96, which now seemed like a lot. 
Side Note: On an average week we spend $200 on groceries which includes all meals, snacks, cereal, drinks, etc.

 A few days ago we received our first Hello Fresh box and we were pretty excited to see what was inside. I must admit I had a bit of a negative attitude towards all of it. I was dwelling on the cost and the time it would take to actually prepare the meals. I wanted something I could just heat up and eat. Plus, I knew my kids, and probably my husband, would complain about all of the ingredients they didn't like.

Beef Ragu Spaghetti
Vietnamese Chicken Bowls
Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Meal 1

Wednesday night we tried the Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin upon hubby's suggestion. Everything was pre-measured and packaged separately into a brown paper bag. The recipe was super easy to follow and I had a lot of fun playing home chef. From start to finish it took a little under one hour to prepare. The images on the recipe card resembled my own and the aroma brought everyone to the kitchen. 

Potatoes with olive oil, salt & pepper

I cooked and he plated

Pretty and tasty

We served 5 people with a 4 serving meal. Most evenings we'll only have 4 eating but when daughter #2 doesn't have to work she joins us for supper. There was plenty of broccoli for me to eat but after this meal a few were still a bit hungry. So without an extra person, and if they all actually ate their broccoli, the servings would have been more than enough.

Meal 2

Thursday night was Beef Ragu Spaghetti. To me a pasta meal seemed like a waste of money through Hello Fresh. It's literally one of the cheapest meals you could possibly make. When I divided the 3 meals we received by $96 and came up with $32 per meal I immediately thought about how I could make my family spaghetti for under $10. However I use sauce from a jar and I don't add extras like the zucchini. 

Unlike the night before this meal made more than enough for 5 people and we even had leftovers. It was another successful meal that we all enjoyed! 

Ready to serve

I can justify the cost in many different ways but for me I loved that everything was all ready to go and completely planned out for me. I had a lot more cleaning up to do after supper but I felt good about serving my family a complete nutritious meal. When my girls were all younger and I wasn't as busy as I am now I loved to cook and bake. I've just been so burnt out and the last thing I want to do is struggle over mealtime. Tonight it's just me and daughter #5 so our last Hello Fresh meal will have to wait. 

Hubby said we could spend a little more on Hello Fresh meals if it meant I'd be cooking suppers again. Have I really been slacking that much? Honestly, yes. So maybe we'll continue our subscription, maybe we'll try a different company, or maybe I'll start meal planning on my own again.  

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Let's Get Cooking