Meal Subscription Service
Possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread, meal preparation kits provide healthy recipes and pre-measured ingredients so you can prepare gourmet meals at home, without ever having to go to the grocery store. Most of the services are available at $9.99-12 per serving, and require somewhat of a time commitment (i.e., you can’t just order one meal, one time).
Here’s a line-up of my five favorite subscription services:
Online Grocery Shopping
Several of the big chain stores offer online shopping options that allow you to place your order online and either select grocery delivery (typically at an additional fee), or pickup your order in the store. While Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods offer this service in my area, I’ve only tried Walmart’s in-store pickup.
Financially, it was a great way to save some money, as some of the deals are online exclusives; but time-wise, it didn’t really save me much time. I don’t think the employees at my local Walmart (it’s kind of rural) had fulfilled an online order before, so it took them a good half an hour to sort through the “I already paid for this” pickup process. I plan on trying Kroger and Whole Foods next.
Once a Month Cooking
Okay, this one’s my least favorite, mainly because it requires an entire day out of my weekend once a month, plus the purchase of a deep freezer (and the space to put it). While the whole “once a month cooking” concept certainly isn’t new, it’s easier now than ever, thanks to convenient meal planning apps like AllRecipes. Their app lets you select your favorite recipes and then generate a shopping list.
Another favorite monthly meal planning resource is Once a Month Meals website. They’ve got a great database of recipes suitable for shopping and cooking just once a month.
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