I keep track of my life by using about ten Google calendars. "Home" is pink. "Work" is green. "The Kid" is blue. "Bills" are yellow. And so on. It's a good system, except for one thing--during really busy weeks my calendar starts to look like a rainbow and the visual effect of it stresses me out.
The good thing about being able to see those "rainbow weeks" coming, however, is that it gives me time to batten down the hatches and get the pantry prepared. Being busy is manageable, right? But being busy and having hungry children? Not so much.
One thing I use to help are meal-in-a-box services, like Home Chef.
We've talked about this before, but basically, you schedule a box about a week in advance, and everything you need to make three delicious meals--veggies, meat, seasonings, recipes--shows up on your doorstep in a nifty, refrigerated box.
A box of three meals, with two servings of each meal (you can add extra meals for really busy weeks), is about $60, and the servings are so generous that two servings easily feeds our whole family. It's the same price as ordering a pizza, but you get real food!
I think my favorite part though--besides the general convenience, I suppose--is the recipes.
First, Home Chef lets you pick from about ten different recipes each week, so there's a nice variety if you have picky eaters. (I picked steak frites, the Kid chose spaghetti puttanesca, and we got jambalaya for Sweet Husband.)
Second, the recipes are completely beginner-friendly, step-by-step, stupid-proof. I am a fairly proficient cook, but sometimes it's so nice just to not have to think at the end of a long day. Each recipe comes in its own bag, so when you're ready to cook you can just pull it out of the fridge and off you go!
I know what you're thinking, though, isn't that a lot of extra plastic?
Yes, one downside for me is that it is at least some extra packaging. But a) it's not as much as you might think--after all, even the food from the store comes in bags and jars and boxes, and b) the trade-off of getting my family healthy food during our occasional "rainbow week" is worth it to me.
Want to give it a try? Go to the Home Chef website, sign up for an account, and put in the code MYBIT30 for $30 off your first order. (It's super easy to turn the account on and off as you like, so don't stress--you're not signing your life away.)
Come back and tell me what you think, and have fun picking some yummy meals!
[I received a free box from Home Chef for this review, but my hungry family and thoughts thereon are all mine.]