The first question that pops out of the Mr.’s mouth when he comes home is, “What’s for dinner?” We really try not to eat out more than once or twice a month, and the Mr. doesn’t cook, so it was always on me to figure out what to fix for dinner. So that question used to give me fits of anxiety and despair as I was always running out of ideas of what to fix, and what to have on hand. Grocery shopping was awful as I was trying to come up with meal ideas on the fly as I wandered through the store. This made for lots of extra grocery trips (I would always forget something), and sometimes wasted food. And I was going through this was BEFORE I even had a kid. It got rougher after the baby came.
I needed a concrete answer to that question “What is for dinner?” I needed a meal planning intervention. Meal planning is nothing new. Millions of moms for generations have done it. But I needed an option that didn’t involve much of my time, where I didn’t have to search through recipes and write out the list each week. So I went on the search for different meal planning ideas and meal planning services online to see what could help my dinner dilemma. After looking around at different services for a few days, we settled on a site called Relish!.
I have been using it for a year now, and the more I have used Relish!, the more love it. At first, I really liked the flexibility of being able to choose from several recipes, and the nice interface. Some other services didn’t give you an option to choose recipes, and when you have a picky eater at home (and I’m not talking about my son), it would not be helpful to be stuck with recipes they don’t like. So Relish! gives you a selection of several different recipes each week, ranging from “kid-friendly” to vegetarian, crockpots to quick meals. And I so far the recipes have all been delicious and flavorful. You can also add your own recipes into the system.
Every week you select as many as you need for the week (including freezer options, and breakfast recipes), select for how many you are serving, and then it will spit out a shopping list for everything you will need. You do not know how much this has saved me in my sanity and my bank account. I am no longer wandering aimlessly through the grocery store grabbing what sounds good. And by sticking to my printed shopping list, it helps keep the grocery bill within budget. Relish! states that 5 dinners and sides keeps the grocery bill under $90 per week and I find that really rings true.
Plus, things are not going to waste, and that is HUGE in my house. Our shopping list is scaled down to just who we need to cook for, so I’m not having a problem with leftovers going to waste, or food going bad that I never got to cooking.
The subscription costs around $7 per month, and I find it is worth every penny! It has saved this busy mom’s sanity, that’s for sure. To find out more about them, visit them on the web at www.RelishRelish.com.
Relish! might not be for everyone as there are dozens of other meal planning sites I ran across that might work better for other families. If you use some type of meal planning, or have meal planning tips and suggestions, I would love for you leave a comment here! I love to hear what other moms suggest.