Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Meal Tip to End All Meal Tips!

It is NO secret that I am not a chef.  I do enjoy the occasional cookie-baking session in the kitchen with my kiddos, but that's about it.

I really do not like being in charge of dinner.  I don't like planning it, I don't like shopping for it, and I don't like spending an hour or so after an exhausting day at work making it.  To be honest, I would be happy just snacking all night (but that's not exactly healthy!).

{Insert my life-changing discovery here}

I found this meal plan blog on another blog that I follow here.  I have to admit, I was a sceptic.  BUT, I checked it out and found that I could try it for *FREE* for one week.  So, I signed up and got my first meal plan in my E-mail inbox later that day.  Then, she E-mailed me a second.  For free!!  Seriously!

Here's how it works.  You sign up and pay $15 for 3 months worth of meals {yep, $1.25 a week}.  Then, Michelle sends you your meal plans for one month at a time, which come separated by week.  Each week has a "what to do" page and a "grocery shopping" page.  You go get all your groceries (by the way, every ingredient is super easy to find and you can get them all at any grocery store), then come home, set everything out (all groceries and utensils needed are listed), take one hour to put it all together, clean up, and enjoy delicious *DELICIOUS* healthy, no-hassle meals every night of the week!!

This is what it looks like in our house:
I started the timer at this point to see if it would really take us one hour...

Melia and Camden both got into the food prep hour this week...she held the baggies, wrapped potatoes, stirred, etc. and he put the stuff away as we finished using it.  We make a great "team"!

Food labeled and ready for the fridge

Food in the fridge, ready for the week

All the utensils we used for the week, washed as a final step

The sou chefs praying over their snacks...a reward for their hard work

This was our third round of meals, so we're getting a pretty good little system down!  It took us 50 minutes and 42 seconds from the time we started to the last picture with all the dishes!!  Less than an hour to prepare 5 meals and clean up!  With a 3 1/2 year old and a 6 year old!  Awesome!!

So, here is what I love about 5 Dinners:
  1. It takes the "guess work" out of dinner.
  2. It saves me MAJOR time (planning, preparing, listing, shopping, etc.)
  3. It helps us stay within our grocery budget because we only buy the stuff we need.
  4. We get to try tons of new, normal foods...we are picky, so if it was too weird, we wouldn't eat it!
  5. I'm not rushed, so I can let my kids help without feeling like they are in the way.
  6. My kids love the meals...again, this is a miracle...they are PICKY eaters!!
  7. It is healthy; every meal has veggies and is well balanced.
  8. I feel like a gourmet chef...the dishes are easy, but feel "fancy".
Let me comment further on this last one.  My hubby loves to eat.  This is a little point of contension in our marriage because I do not like to cook.  However, I did not realize just how much mealtime effects him.  He has gone on and on {and on and on} about how awesome this meal plan is.  He loves the food, he loves that it helps us stay within budget, and he loves that it has taken my evening dinner stress away (that one is sort-of sweet and sappy, but, hey, he said it)!

Also, please allow me to say that I am not getting anything for this endorsement.  I just think it would be ridiculous to keep this amazing meal plan a secret {maybe even a sin!;)}.

So, what are you waiting for?!  Head on over and get signed up for your life-changing meal plan RIGHT NOW!! :)


  1. Is there a blog that can instruct me how to make my fridge look that clean:) j/k

    Glad you've found something that works!

  2. Ok, I signed up for the trial. Thanks for sharing. ~Angie D

  3. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks as well, and WE LOVE IT. Makes life SO much easier for our family. The last meal week that we prepped only took 15 minutes from start to finish, AMAZING!

  4. Thank you for sharing this! Meal time is always a hassle for us and we end up eating out much more than we should because of it :)

  5. My son and I just finished prepping our five meals for the week!
    Thanks so much for sharing Jen, I'm excited for the week :)

  6. ok, I keep reading about this blog, but keep avoiding doing anything about it. I have the SAME problem. I *hate* cooking supper and food shopping and any kind of food prep with a passion. HATE. IT. I didn't know that her site was about doing 5 meals in just 1 hour...I see people doing these cook-a-thons (8 hours, but get a whole month's worth of meals!) and I want to gag. but, one hour a week (including dishwashing, really?) I think I have to give this a trial run!