True story: it’s been over a year since I’ve shopped at a grocery store for dinner ingredients. Now before you go thinking my family is starving, let me introduce you to DISH–Dinner Is Solved at HyVee. My sister told me about the freezer meal program last spring and it has seriously been life-changing for me.
The folks at HyVee shop for all the ingredients, provide the space and utensils, and then they handle all of the clean-up when it’s over. Did I mention it’s life-changing?
Here’s a closer look at how it works. Each month our group chooses 8-10 recipes from the DISH database–some are new, some are our tried and true favorites. Then on the 4th Thursday of the month we meet at HyVee, where each person picks a recipe station and puts the meals together in freezer bags. Then everyone grabs their bags or coolers and collect one of each meal. When it’s all said and done we leave with 8 freezer meals (which serve 4-6 each) for somewhere between $90-$120, depending on ingredients. Again…AMAZING!
This is the meeting room last month before we got started. We try to choose a wide variety of foods–anything from Mexican to Mediterranean, crockpot meals to grilling recipes. And I can honestly say in a year and a half, we’ve had very few meals that we didn’t like. Most are delicious.
I’ve always struggled with meal prep…the planning, the shopping…it’s just not my thing and it tends to stress me out. So to be able to walk into the meeting room to this is just plain amazing.
Some recipes are more difficult than others, but the coordinators do a wonderful job of making it as easy as possible for us. They chop onions, brown hamburger, shred chicken…anything they can do ahead of time to make things go smoothly.
It usually takes us between 30 minutes and an hour to prepare all of the recipes (and I’m typically the last person working because I talk to much…whoops!)
So in less than an hour and for no more than $120, I leave with 8 yummy meals like this one. I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and money I would spend to make that many meals on my own!
After everyone has their meals, we pay and grab recipe packets. Sometimes a few of us will go to the Market Grill for drinks and apps…because you can’t let a kid-free night end too soon!
While this post is sponsored by HyVee #1 , I’ve been telling everyone I know about this program since I started. Seriously–screaming it from the rooftops! It has been one of the best things ever for my family for many reasons. For one, I don’t love to cook…but I am very good at preparing a meal when everything is put in front of me 😉 Secondly, life is busy and time is precious. I would so much rather spend time playing with my kids than slaving away in the kitchen. And lastly, we are eating well. I used to have about 7 or 8 meals that I was good at cooking…and I’m pretty sure Chris and I were both tired of them after about a year of marriage. The DISH program keeps us trying new recipes that we otherwise might not. Plus it just helps me feel good about what I’m putting in front of my family every night.
You can find out more information about Open DISH (where meals are pre-selected and anyone can sign up) through HyVee’s website and facebook page. If you’re interested in starting a group like ours (where you select your own recipes and meet on a recurring basis) you can email the program coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. (email@example.com for the dietician led, healthier version)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go thaw my freezer meal for the night 😉