My mouth watered each time I’d see an ad for a meal delivery service. Friends began sending me coupons and free meal promises. With each one, I’d delve into the website, read all the FAQ’s, and stop before checking out.
I’d always think, “I can feed my family for less money than that.” There was no question.
I’m by nature a practical planner. I shop the weekly sales and still use digital coupons. Even the subscription sites claimed their prices were equivalent to eating out, and we don’t eat out that often. But one week when I received a friend’s free meal referral, I caved. And, I’m going to confess: I keep going back.
Many moms won’t have the budget to consider this choice. But if you find yourself going back and forth, trying to decide if a meal subscription service is right for you, then I encourage you to complete that check out page and try one for a week (or two or three.)
For this season in my life, there’s a lot to consider. In the past 18 months, I both rejoined the full time workforce, and then quit to care for my aging mom with cancer. With all of that going on, meal delivery service has been a huge blessing for my family. So, let me share how meal delivery subscriptions help me.
1. I no longer have to decide what’s for dinner every night.
My mind can’t handle another decision, be it life-altering or mundane. And dinner is kind of both. It’s unchanging – literally like clockwork, it comes around daily. But if not life-changing, it certainly is a daily pivot in our home, often setting the trajectory of our evening. A good dinner sets me up for a better evening. An unsatisfying dinner sets the tone for a night of disappointment.
On weeks that I subscribe to a delivery, I do not have to make this decision. I find this quite freeing, additionally because on an emotional level, I tend to take responsibility for how much each family member liked dinner. We can now sit at the table together and rate the meal while no one – including me – feels they are being judged.
2. I don’t have to go grocery shopping as often.
If the what’s for dinner is mentally draining, then the shopping is physically draining. Simply put, I can’t find the time. And this post is not a how-to on time management. You know your schedule. You know if there’s another person you can ask for help – or if you want to ask. When I went back to work full-time, I did take advantage of instacart. But I still needed to make the list, enter it, choose alternate choices if products were not available, schedule a delivery time, and chat with the shopper.
On meal subscription weeks, there is none of this. I also don’t find that I’ve forgotten to buy some ingredient while I’m prepping dinner. Yes, I’ve done this – been without an essential ingredient and cursed in my kitchen. Yes, I have good neighbors who will share if I ask. But the mere amount of shopping time saved amounts to the price of at least one meal. How much is your time worth? Don’t be stingy with that estimation!
3. No more kids asking me when dinner will be ready.
Sometimes they ask. Usually, I tell them. Dinner will be at ___, or dinner will be in ___ minutes. I usually purchase the three meal a week plan with my subscription service. Each meal contains a recipe card with detailed steps outlined. It also tells you how long both prep and cooking will take. I choose which meal we will have based on what time I think I’ll be home that day because I don’t get home at the same time each day. And the time is from start to finish. There is no reading the card and realizing that I should have been marinating meat hours ago.
If you’re up for relinquishing control of your kitchen or wanting to teach a teenager to cook, then the instructions could be your tool to do that. How long ’til dinner??? Here – you tell me.
Meal delivery service has made my life so much easier. I do still like being the one to serve dinner to my family, but if there’s an easier way to do it, I’ll take it!