This is a post for 31 Days about making it as a mom. Check out the intro post if this is your first time here!
If I had to pick my least favorite household task, it would be meal planning. It takes me for.ev.er to come up with meals I want to cook (and eat!) and add the ingredients to our grocery list.
Back in June, my sister/super-nanny left for grad school after spending a semester taking care of our kids. The next week, PJ came home from a check-up and told me that his doctor wanted him to start eating a paleo diet. Paleo, as in no processed foods and no fast food. Paleo, as in do you not realize that we have an infant and four other kids home all day and I hate to cook and I am so tired?!
I had myself a nice little breakdown before remembering a meal planning service, PrepDish, that I heard about on a podcast. I signed up for a free trial, and my most-hated chore was suddenly cut in half.
PrepDish offers weekly gluten-free and paleo(!) meal plans that include a grocery list, instructions for prepping the ingredients, and instructions for cooking the meals. Each week's plan includes four meals, a salad, a breakfast, and a snack.
After buying the groceries, it takes me about three hours to prep all the meals, whether chopping and seasoning veggies, preparing meats, or cooking a whole meal to stick in the fridge. Full disclosure, I kind of hate the prep work that I do each Saturday. However, it is amazing to walk into the kitchen at 5:00 each evening, spend 10 minutes getting the food in the oven or on the grill, and having a healthy meal ready with minimal work at the hardest time of day (anyone else have cranky, hungry children?).
For our large family, I double each meal. This gives us enough for dinner for everyone and at least one serving of lunch left for my husband. I've enjoyed almost every meal for the three months we've been using PrepDish, and I've found it easy to leave out or substitute ingredients that we don't love.
When you sign up for the PrepDish newsletter, you can get a free meal plan to try. If you eat gluten-free, paleo, or would just love to have someone else plan half your meals, I think PrepDish could be a huge help to you!
What are your best meal-planning strategies? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook!
This post is not sponsored by PrepDish. I truly love the service and want to share how much it helps around my house!