A few months ago a friend mentioned that she was going to an assemble-your-own-dinner tasting party. I jumped right in and invited myself. I had heard of this concept before…you walk in to the kitchen and all the shopping and chopping have been done for you; all you have to do is assemble your dinners and take them home to your freezer. Later, you need only thaw in the fridge for a day and follow some easy cooking instructions and voila! It’s dinner.
That first night, I assembled 3 3-serving meals. We ate them the next three nights for dinner and the kids liked all of them. I signed up for a date later in the month to make the minimum order of 36 servings. I chose to make 12 3-serving meals. You can also make 6-serving meals, but I like the flexibility to make just 3 servings or double-up and make 6 depending on how many I have home for dinner.
There are always lots of choices, which is a good thing because I don’t order anything with potatoes, which is usually around half the choices. My kids love potatoes, but I’m allergic. I also try to avoid dishes with rice because I do have a slight allergy to rice as well. Fortunately there are lots of other choices.
At the first session, my friend and I went together, but we were quite busy assembling all our meals in an hour. At the end, I signed up for the next month on my own…my friend comes every other month. I picked my meals and payed for them (although you only need to make a deposit) and chose the date and time that worked for me. When I got home, the kids wanted to know all about the meals I’d made and chose one for that very night.
I’m becoming a regular, having gone three months in a row and signed up for the next. My only real complaint is that the meals are a bit high in calories. One thing I cannot fault is the taste…all the meals are delicious. The ingredients are quite fresh and you know everything that goes into the meal; there are no preservatives or mystery ingredients.
I’ve kept on with the meals because I find value in them. I cannot do everything for my family by myself; I need help, especially with time-consuming tasks. In this case, I spend a certain amount of money on groceries and some of those purchases end up in the trash. Having meals with no wasted left-over ingredients is more efficient. Making just the right amount of food for my family with no left-overs (or discrete left-overs that work for lunch or another dinner) is also more efficient. The meals are more expensive than if I made them in my own kitchen, but off-setting that with less waste, I think I’m ahead of the game. I’ve also found that we eat out less often if I have an easy to assemble meal at hand.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and discover the joy in selective out-sourcing!