For nearly a year now, J and I have been making efforts to eat in more frequently. We had developed a very bad habit of eating out WAY too much, and spending an awful lot doing that, when we really shouldn't. It is not a financial concern so much as it is a health one. No matter if you are trying to make good choices when you are out (as I generally do), you are probably still getting worse than if you were home. PLUS, we would usually order a few beers, etc, which is definitely not necessary (although, not me, pregnancy and all...)
Last October, we went to Dream Dinners for the first time at the suggestion of my friend Karen.
SourceAt the time, I was honestly not sure what to expect. It WAS more expensive than grocery shopping and cooking all of my own food, however, the idea was to keep us from eating out so frequently, and it is DEFINITELY less expensive than that.
Karen has been doing Dream Dinners for about 3 years, since she and her husband moved back to Ohio from GA (where they were stationed with the military) because they were kind of in the same situation as we were, going out far too often! They go every month, and I knew that Karen typically will pull out 2-3 dinners from her freezer early in the week to eat that week, and then plan homecooked meals and dinners out around that.
Here is how Dream Dinners work - you view the menu (first time, you do this online) and select what meals you want. They come in 3 servings or 6 servings. I usually order the 3 serving meals, since there are only 2 of us, but every now and again they only come in 6 servings, so we just have leftovers. You have to order a minimum of 36 servings. (approximately 12 different meals, if you are doing the 3 serving option.) Using September as an example, you have about 17 choices for the 12 meal that you want. After choosing your meals, you choose a date for picking up the meals, and there are typically two different options available. You can do "made for you" meals, which means you just go to your local Dream Dinners, and they are all put together and in the freezer, so you just load them up into your cooler and in the car, or you can assemble them yourself. I have done this the last two times. The first time was a last minute change as I was one-armed and still in my cast/sling. And the last time was because I wasn't sure where I was going to be baby-wise, only a week from my due date, and didn't want anything to be more difficult than it had to be.
If you do not choose to do the "made for you" meals, then you go and put them together yourself. There are recipes on each station, and you add your ingredients to zip lock freezer bags. Then you add your cooking instructions, seal them up, and take them home. You do not have the recipes with you so its not 100% easy to recreate, but you have ideas of what is in every dish, assuming you can remember. This just helps you not need to buy some spice that you will only use once ever, or something. I prefer to do my meals this way, and for August, I will again.
It has been really worth it for J and I, and has my freezer stocked with easy to cook foods for when Addie makes her appearance!
Have you tried Dream Dinners or something like it? Would you?
I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just have had a really great experience with dream dinners and wanted to share that with all of you!