Do you find yourself frequently searching for dinner ideas somewhere between 4PM and 6PM? Typically it goes something like this: First: check the fridge (or even the freezer) for something you can build a meal around (hmmm, maybe I can use those pork chops in the freezer that have hardened into a pork chop glacier – I wonder if they will thaw fast enough?) Second: Hop on your computer and start searching (Google – find “pork chop dinner ideas”) Third: Start walking through the results (Shoot this won’t work, I don’t have scallions, neither will this one my kids won’t eat anything marinated in coffee“) Fourth: After fifteen or twenty minutes of looking, allowing some time for getting distracted (I wonder who’s posted to FaceBook in the last five minutes?) and not coming up with a dinner idea you have all the ingredients for, you resort to the standard, KC Masterpiece smothered pork chops for the umpteenth time. (are they thawed yet?) Sound familiar? Well, here’s some good news – you aren’t alone and you don’t need to do this any more. And you can even save money along the way. Here are three reasons why your dinner idea search can (and should) end today. 1) Recipes can come to you! There are a myriad of services out there (The Dinner Daily is one of them!) that will do the thinking for you! Imagine coming home at the end of your workday knowing there is a plan for dinner, and its going to be easy to cook and delicious. Not every recipe site will send you recipes, and not every meal planning service is focused on easy to cook recipes, but there are some that do. (like the Dinner Daily!) 2) You never have to be missing an ingredient! Many recipe/meal planning sites and services also provide shopping lists, and there are some automated ways to actually create a shopping list automatically from an online recipe. If you can get your recipe(s) for multiple dinners ahead of time and have a shopping list with those ingredients when you head to the store, you can get everything you need for the week in one visit! 3) You can actually save money. A few recipe/meal planning services actually know you don’t have $10 a person to buy dinner each night, and have incorporated ways to save money. Some have links to coupons, and some can tell you where a specific ingredient is on sale. At the Dinner Daily, we build weekly five-dinner plans each week around what’s on sale at major grocery stores. So if you shop regularly at one of the 16 (and growing) grocery chains we follow, you can actually save up to 20% of your food budget. A plan that comes to you, a shopping list so you can be sure you have all of the ingredients you need (and do all of your shopping in one trip) and ways to save up to 20% of your food budget. Three great reasons to end your “search for dinner ideas” today! Of course, when choosing a menu planning service, there are other considerations as well, such as:
- Are the menus easy to make, use common ingredients and foods everyone will like?
- Does the service offer multiple healthy menu options and let you change your menu preference at any time?
- Does the service allow you to easily customize your weekly menu with a few clicks?
- Does the shopping list automatically change when you customize your menu?
- Are the menus and shopping lists available on any device (so you can see your Shopping list on your phone)