Solving the Daily Dinner Dilemma
It’s five o’clock and your family is asking you the same question you’ve been asking yourself: “What’s for dinner?” Fixing a meal that everyone likes, that you have the time and ingredients to prepare, and that is at least somewhat nutritious can be a real chore night after night. It’s no wonder we find ourselves eating in fast food restaurants and ordering take-out food more often than ever before.
Frazzled moms, take note: there is a solution! I’ve tested three services, whose only goal is to help us solve our daily dinner dilemmas. The services saved me time and money, as well as stress and worry. Below are descriptions of the services I tested and the main benefits of each.
Leanne Ely, a certified nutritionist, author of Saving Dinner, knows about the stress that many moms experience at dinnertime each night. “Your family is relying on you to produce something, and you’re not prepared,” Ely says. “It’s a horrible feeling.” But that’s where Saving Dinner comes in to help.
Ely’s cookbooks include recipes, serving suggestions, and categorized shopping lists. The books are organized by week with six entrée menus in each. (Ely assumes that most families eat out or have other dinner plans one night each week.)
Ely also produces Menu Mailers, a weekly menu that is emailed to subscribers. Like her cookbooks, the mailers also include six entrée recipes, serving suggestions, and a categorized shopping list. There are several varieties of Menu Mailers, including vegetarian, low-carb, frugal, Crock Cooker, Southern Hemisphere, and even a version with kosher options. Each Menu Mailer subscription is $9.95 for three months.
Both the cookbooks and Menu Mailers use in-season vegetables, saving subscribers money at the grocery store. Ely says that having a planned menu also keeps impulse shopping at bay. But more than the money-saving aspects, Ely emphasizes the time and energy her subscribers save. “You don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner,” she says. “It frees up your brain for other things.”
I tested the regular version of the Menu Mailer and was very impressed with it. I tried Ely’s most popular recipe, the Garlic Lime Chicken, and it was wonderful. I also tested the Italian Turkey Meatloaf, and my children ate every bite!
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