When I sat down to write this blog I had no idea what I was going to talk about, my tummy was rumbling and my mind turned to food (as it does a lot...), then at the same moment my son called the three words that most regularly leave his mouth on any given day (often first thing in the morning!)..."What's for dinner?"...so I thought I'd talk about that :-)
For many years I used to make dinner decisions at the last minute depending on what was going on in our day, then I'd go buy the ingredients from the supermarket. Then, as the kids got older and busier after school I started to plan- sitting down every Sunday evening and allocating a meal a day, writing a shopping list for ingredients etc and I felt pretty confident that I had things sorted.
Then, things got dull. I found I was just recreating the same meals over and over, the range was getting smaller and smaller, the kids' favourites seemed to dominate and I was bored. Enter My Food Bag (please note, I'm not in any way profiting from talking about this company, I'm sure there are similar companies out there- I just haven't met them yet). I saw an advert on the TV, thought I'd try it and was hooked.
The way MFB works is that you pay a flat rate, receive five day's worth of ingredients for dinner meals for four people (or two, or child friendly ones) and a set of recipes, delivered to your door once a week/fortnight/month etc...you choose. All you have to do is cook. And I love it!
We have it once a fortnight so we still have space for our old favourites and comfort eats, but I'm happy because I can now always tell my boys with confidence what they're going to eat, and they can even make a start on cooking it as the recipes are easy to follow! I don't have to spend hours stressing over giving them a healthy balance, because in each week there is always one fish meal, one chicken, two red meat and a veggie meal, plus an abundance of seasonal salads/vegetables. Each week the food is a whole set of new recipes. There's usually enough for leftovers for hubby's lunch and we've never had the same meal twice- oh, and the cost I think is reasonable- depending on what you're used to spending on food- and ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible.
Obviously this company is in NZ, but I do know they deliver in Sydney too. As does HelloFresh who appear to run a similar service in many parts of Australia. There are similar companies in UK too.
Is it lazy? Probably. But it saves me time and stress. Is recipe delivery something you do? Would consider....? How do you usually organise meal planning? If you live in the back of beyond, how on earth do you manage your ingredients?
Louisa, I find my meal planning has grown less lately. Our kids recently left home and we consume far less food, so we often whip something up from whatever we have or sneak to the shops for a quick purchase of whatever takes our fancy. Such a change from the days when I used to do a big once a week shop and had to be sure I had enough in for all the meals.ReplyDelete
Annie, Those once a week huge shopping trips are so time consuming and expensive! I have to say I'm kind of looking forward to simpler meal times, where I can choose what I want to eat rather than what is least hated all round- although it will be a lot quieter and I sure will miss having the kids around!Delete
Oi! I'm in big once-a-week shop hell.... and the cost just seems to go up and up. Wouldn't mind if I was buying freaking caviar!ReplyDelete
I LOVE the sound of this system, Louisa. Never heard of it before and it woud definitely be something I'd consider. Anything that makes it EASY is a plus to me! Of course, I just have to find the time to sit down and organise it.... I've been meaning to convert to online gricery shopping for over a year now and still haven't sat down to organise my list....
AA- food shopping has become so expensive recently! This delivery service is brilliant. I've also been using online grocery shopping for about 10 years and I love not having to do that dreaded trolley push once a week. It takes a little while to get used to the online system, but you can save staple lists etc and then just add on each week's specifics. Give it a go!!Delete
And I really should do a better spell check before I hit publish....ReplyDelete
Also meant to say that I hate those three familiar little words too - what's for dinner....ReplyDelete
I swear that sometimes the only words I hear all dayDelete
Oh, those three words were probably the most our youngest son said to us in a day for years! He's become human again now, but he still says them every day.ReplyDelete
I'd never heard of this service but it sounds great. I have heard of the vegetable deliveries that you can subscribe to. I've been meaning to join up for that because there's something exciting about the idea of receiving a box of random vegetables and having to think up appropriate uses for them. Yes, I do get excited by small things.
Claire, I used to have an organic veggie delivery (in fact I used to write the free recipes that came with it in exchange for free veggies)...it was always fun trying to work out what some of the 'specimens' were! Jerusalem artichoke anyone?Delete
This sounds like a great idea, Louisa! Certainly a way to stretch one's horizons on the cooking (and eating) front…and especially brilliant if it lures the boys into helping with the cooking. :-) Also, it might help avoid that impulse buying one always does when ducking to the shops to to grab only 2 things…and then you come out with an armful.ReplyDelete
Michelle, you're so right about the impulse buying, I'm a sucker for a 'bargain'- which of course isn't a bargain if I wasn't going to buy it anyway!! Online delivery also stops me buying the sweet stuff- if I don't see it I don't buy it!ReplyDelete
Wow, what a brilliant service, Louisa! I'm glad it works out for you so well. It's great having a menu ahead of time - I do that and it saves time and money and stops those impulse buys that end up sitting in the pantry or freezer for-EVA! I belong to something called Simple Savings (www.simplesavings.com.au) and one of the things they advocate is to "take stock" of the pantry/cupboards/fridge/freezer every now and then and use what you have available to make a meal rather than to race out to the shops to buy new groceries.ReplyDelete
I also have a "list" of favourite recipes to put on the menu because it's so easy to slip into doing the same things over and over. And I love watching Jamie Oliver's 15 minute and 30 minute meals on TV... he's so smooth an organised in the kitchen so I have to allow considerably more time for me! No such thing as a Sharon Archer 15 Minute Meal!
Hi Sharon, simple savings sounds great- I'm going to head over there and take a look. It's a great idea to do an inventory of your pantry/freezer every now and then and use up all those odds and ends at the bottom. I also love JO- but his 30 minute recipes usually take me up to an hour or more!Delete
Sounds like a wonderful idea Louisa. It wouldn't work so well for me for the same reason that online grocery shopping is not price effective either - I currently live alone and so am only cooking for myself most of the time.ReplyDelete
While I was still a student, I developed a habit of trying to use up what was in the pantry/freezer/fridge every so often in order to reduce the grocery bill - I still do this however these days it's more to do with making sure I don't have ancient stuff in pantry and unidentifiable science experiements/freezer burnt blocks in the fridge and freezer.
I do meal plan, however I really need to learn to actually stick to the darn thing. I have a supermarket right around the corner from work, and one about 3 minutes walk from home so it's a little to easy to be disorganised or not feel like preparing something and just go to the supermarket - which unfortunately makes the grocery spending explode too.
Hi Lyn- you're right, I guess this system wouldn't work for one person households... LOL re sticking to the meal plan! I think if I worked so close to a supermarket I'd be in there every day, at least you'd know your food was very fresh and you could eat exactly what you felt like (although what I usually feel like is unhealthy!)Delete
What a fantastic idea! I'm the chief cook in our house too and it does get exhausting coming up with new ideas all the time.ReplyDelete
I do meal plan and we go to Costco once a month to bulk buy things we use all the time as that cuts down the number of trips to the supermarket each week. I also have a bundle of favourite recipes which I tend do cook when I can't think of something new. Food blogs are a good source of inspiration and I love my Jamie Oliver cook books - they always have great recipes!
You sound very organised, Stef!! Another JO fan!! I love his recipes!ReplyDelete