Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dreaming of Dinner

I have made a new discovery thanks to a good friend of mine.  I don't know if any of you remember my insane nesting endeavor to do Once-A-Month Cooking when I was 9 months pregnant with M.  I was a nesting freak of nature in all my swollen pregnant glory as I dragged A.R. to do a month's worth of grocery shopping in one day and then cook all of said purchased food the next day.  Needless to say the cooking didn't all get done in one day because my swollen belly and feet doth protested, but I cooked every night for a few nights after working all day to get it all done.  A.R. was intimidated and scared of entering the kitchen.  He helped when he could, but mostly he tried to stay out of my way.  I vowed NOT to do that again this pregnancy as we were both scarred despite saving money in the process.  I was getting the urge to prepare meals in advance again when my good friend reminded me of her new discovery: Dream Dinners.  Que the little ray of sunshine from heaven shining on my nice clean kitchen.

Dream Dinners does the dirty work for you.  They buy all the groceries, set up all the ingredients in stations, and do all the pre-cooking and prep work for you so all you have to do is go and package the meals in freezer bags or containers (that they provide) by following their simple directions at each station.  You even get index sized cards to put in the packages that tell you what's inside and how to prepare and cook the dish.  It is even extremely husband friendly (A.R. has volunteered to go to our next meal packing appointment in May should I not feel up to it physically).  I did a trial run first back in March that let you pick 6 meals from a section of their monthly menu.  We've made all but one meal so far and they have all been delicious and both husband and toddler approved.  Each month the Dream Dinners menu changes, so you never get bored with the selections and you are always welcome to order more than one of each meal if you think it will be a family hit.  There are also favorite meals that are rotated into the monthly menu regularly, so if you have a favorite, there's a good chance you'll see it again.

Last Saturday, I went back again for my first session doing a larger order of 15 meals.  It only took an hour and 15 minutes to assemble everything and I only had to wait for one food assembly station at the very end at which point I took a break, ate some samples, and looked at next month's menu to pick out our meals.  The employees at the location I go to are very helpful and nice and offered to even help me as I waddled around the assembly area.  During each session they offer samples of dishes from the next month's menu.  I joined the Dream Dinners rewards program (completely free), so I get 10% off my order each month and it allows me to just put down a down payment and then pay the balance a week before my next session.  The more months I make orders, the more perks I will get over time.  That 10% will go up I think after a certain number of visits.  A huge bonus to me is that if I ever can't make a session, I can either send A.R. in my place or I can pay a little extra and the Dream Dinners staff will assemble my meals for me.  I can pretty much guarantee we'll end up taking advantage of that perk come June when we have a newborn!

A huge thank you to my friend from saving me from some extreme nesting exhaustion this time around.  And an even bigger thank you to Dream Dinners!


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