This post is sponsored by HelloFresh and contains affiliate links, but all opinions are that of Daily Mom.
The rush of the holidays are over, and your family is still recovering. You are still recovering. You might still have to take down all the holiday decorations. There is still a pile of wrapping paper in that corner over there. Your suitcases still need to be unpacked from your travels to see family. Your kids are in front of their new toys, eyes glued, and voices yelling at their siblings (it usually sounds something like “Stooppppp. Mooooom, he’s touching my new Lego set!”). The last thing on your mind right now is probably meal planning for this week. Heck, you don’t even know what you’re going to do for dinner tonight. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone help with this daunting task? Well, say hello to family meal planning with HelloFresh.
Meal Planning? What’s That?
It’s the New Year so maybe you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new. Something exciting. Something that really gets the blood pumping. That something is meal planning (welcome to adulthood, folks).
Meal planning is defined by experts as:
[meal-planning] verb: The act of planning out your meals for the week. Including, but not limited to: endless searches on Pinterest for new recipes, grocery list making, grocery shopping, and complaints from your children that they “don’t like it” even though they ate the same thing three nights ago because variety isn’t your strong suit.
I kid. Meal planning can seem daunting but once you have a plan in place, it can get easier and takes quite a bit of stress off your family. Here are some ways you can get yourself set to meal plan and make this a New Year resolution you actually want to keep.
- Create a grocery list template or find an app that works for you– This grocery list template can be edited to be divided up the way your grocery store is set up for quick and easy shopping. If you are more tech-savvy you can also use one of these meal planning apps to help create your meal plans and grocery lists every week.
- Write out your meals first- Writing out your meals- whether it’s all your meals each day or just dinners- will help you to organize your grocery list. With each meal you write down, write out the ingredients you will need.
- Have a set day to go grocery shopping- Going grocery shopping on the same day each week gives you an easy cycle to plan your meals around.
- Help save time with a meal delivery service like HelloFresh– HelloFresh provides healthy, delicious meals right to your door. You still need to cook but it takes the guessing game out of at least a few meals for the week. It is a great way to ease yourself into meal planning if you are new to it, or to ease yourself back into your regular routine after the crazy holiday season.
How Family Meal Planning with HelloFresh Works
Family meal planning with HelloFresh is simple. You simply go to their website and choose the meal plan that works for you an your family. There are three options: Veggie, Classic, and Family. Each plan is priced differently on types of foods you choose (for example, veggie may be less expensive than the beef option) and the number of people in your family. You can choose the number of recipes you receive in your box (2 to 5 depending on the plan). Then you choose your preference for your meals in which you tell HelloFresh if you would like your meals to be free of any particular items such as seafood or beef. You can also select the “Fit” option which provides healthier and quick options for your meals.
How HelloFresh Works
- Choose your meal option: Veggie, Classic, or Family
- Select number of people in your family (up to five depending on plan)
- Select number of meals for the week
- Choose meal preference and exclusions
- Select delivery date
- Wait anxiously for your box to arrive because being an adult means you now get excited about food you still have to cook to being delivered to your door
Once you have your box ordered you can go ahead and do your meal planning for the rest of the week for your family. If anything, HelloFresh gives you a few days where you simply don’t have to think about meals. You don’t have to meal plan, you don’t have to worry about what to cook that night. You don’t even have to think about recipes because it’s all provided to you with your box. Your family can enjoy healthy, delicious meals and try new recipes without you searching Pinterest, writing down needed items, and doing the dreaded grocery shopping.
If you are a meal planner (or even if you’re not and you want to start), HelloFresh can help you get your family back on schedule and ease you back into the normal routine after the busy holiday rush. Here’s how you can incorporate it into your regular weekly meal planning:
- Order your HelloFresh box on Monday by 11:59am EST.
- Write down the rest of your meals for the week, skipping the few days where you plan to use your HelloFresh meals (yay!).
- Make your grocery list for the meals that you are making this week.
- Have your HelloFresh Meals arrive by Saturday (wahoo!).
- Enjoy cooking this week with less stress on your plate!
My Week Family Meal Planning with HelloFresh
This was my first time using any sort of meal subscription service. I have been meal planning for my family of five for years, but if there are days I don’t cook, it’s because we order in or because I have hit up the drive-thru (don’t judge). But in general, I make all the meals for my family because I enjoy cooking and I love providing healthy meals for my family (even if most of it ends up on the floor because toddlers).
HelloFresh seemed like a great compromise for me. I would still be able to spend time in the kitchen but I would also have meals already planned out for me, which is a huge time saver. Even though meal planning in and of itself helps me to save time, having HelloFresh meals delivered eases the weight of trying to figure out 7 different dinners each week. Now I only needed to figure out 3 or 4 meals that my children probably won’t eat.
This is what my meal plan looked like the week my box of HelloFresh meals arrived:
- Sunday- HelloFresh Meal #1
- Monday- Grilled chicken with sautéed zucchini and squash, and roasted potatoes
- Tuesday- HelloFresh Meal #2
- Wednesday- Crockpot ribs with baked sweet potatoes and normandy blend vegetables
- Thursday- Vegetable lasagna with side spinach salads
- Friday- HelloFresh Meal #3
- Saturday- Teriyaki chicken stir-fry with brown rice
The meals I made with HelloFresh were simple and easy to make. Bonus: They also were super tasty. The meals all came in one big box, and they were divided up into large bags which made it easy to separate when it was time to cook and it was easy to store in the fridge this way– I didn’t have to dig through a huge box or around my fridge to find the right ingredients. When I was ready to make a meal, I just got the bag out, read the detailed instructions, and started cooking! The meals were easy to make, fast to prepare, and tasted fresh.
Some things I loved about my meals with HelloFresh:
- The meals were easy to cook, and I still felt like we were having fresh foods.
- I was still able to cook for my family, which I love to do.
- Meals were planned out for me so I only had to worry about a handful of foods for the week.
- It gave me new ideas for meals that my family might enjoy.
- It allowed us to try meals that I might otherwise not have thought of trying.
- Everything was so organized! The meals were divided into separate bags so when I was ready to get cooking (pun intended) I could just grab the bag and get started.
- Each meal came with detailed directions along with pictures. It made it so easy to use!
- No meal took longer than 40 minutes to make.
Some things I didn’t love about my meal with HelloFresh:
- I like to be able to use ingredients for several meals if I can so they don’t go to waste. Since I wasn’t completely sure what I would get and how much, I couldn’t really do this.
- I usually make my husband leftovers for his lunch the next day. I didn’t have enough to do this with the HelloFresh meals.
- The produce didn’t keep for as long as I would have liked, especially since I wanted to spread out using the meals throughout the week.
Despite never using a meal delivery service before, I found the one from HelloFresh to be easy to use and fun to try. I love getting new recipe ideas and I loved that I was still able to cook the meals instead of feeling like I was reheating leftovers. Everything tasted fresh and I was pleasantly surprised. Meal planning can be such a daunting task during the holidays as well as after the rush is over. But HelloFresh takes some of that stress off your plate and allows you to focus on other things- like finally taking your Christmas tree down.
To get $30 off your first box of HelloFresh meals, use discount code DAILYMOM30
Photo Credits: Lauren Lomsdale