It’s 4PM. I look at the clock and know that I should start thinking about what I am going to make for dinner, but somehow I put it off for what I think is a few minutes and it’s already quarter to 5. In the madness of things we end up eating grilled cheese sandwiches…again. Don’t get me wrong, I love grilled cheese, but it gets old when you have the same old back up meals, fast food, or frozen skillet meals for dinner on those nights you just couldn’t get a decent dinner together.
I love to cook but have never planned my meals. I was only cooking for two after I got married, then after my daughter was born my husband was overseas for 15 months so there was still no pressing reason to plan my meals. Now that he is home and my daughter is eating table food, I feel as though our meals together aren’t always as wholesome as I would like. I also waste fresh produce (and even pantry items on occasion), by stocking up on things I want to eat, but have no specific plans to use. More times than not the food ends up going back or expiring and I’ve wasted another few dollars. This adds up over the months and I started to look into meal planning as an option to solve some of these issues.
Relish! found me at the perfect time. I had been searching many other websites and none of the others offered exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to have everyday of the month planned out, since I love to have some flexibility too, and wanted to be able to choose the recipes I used. Relish! gives about a dozen menu choices a week, and you can choose 5 of those recipes and a dessert to be compiled into a shopping list. How cool is that? The list can be customized for 2, 4, 6 or 8 servings and the shopping list, which is also split up into sections of the grocery store by the way, lists the quantities of items needed accordingly. They also have a section on the shopping list for things you may already have in your pantry or fridge. So skim the list, cross of what you already have and head to the grocery store!
I have used this meal planning website in a couple of ways over the past month. The first week I made all five meals and the dessert I compiled in my menu and shopped only for the ingredients for those items. I printed all my shopping lists and recipes for 4 servings so that we would have leftovers to fill the rest of the week. The following week I printed out another 5 recipes, dessert and shopping lists, but spread it out a little over closer to a 10 day period. I also started to put my printed shopping lists and recipes in a binder, although you can store favorite and previous recipes in your account online as well. Lastly, as I noticed I was still letting some ingredients and leftovers go to waste, decided it made more sense to print recipes and ingredients for 2 servings, since my daughter doesn’t eat that much.
A full year subscription isn’t for everybody, but they have 3 and 6 months subscriptions as well. The longer your subscription, the more you save and with a year subscription you are only paying 16 cents a day for someone else to make your life that much easier. I really enjoyed how the menus and shopping lists could be customized to the number of servings that they give you sufficient choices each week, but not so many that you spend hours trying to decide on a menu. I am usually able to decide on my menu in just a few minutes and a few clicks of the mouse.