If your family is like mine, your food bill is one of your biggest monthly expenses.
And it’s not like you can just stop buying food. You need to eat right?
I mean, sometimes we wish there was a way to do without it, but it is a necessary part of life. Food is fuel.
So how do you keep your food budget from spiraling out of control and still put a healthy meal on the table?
There are a number of ways to save money on groceries. But one of the best ways I have found is meal planning followed by meal prep.
I talk about it all the time whether I am in competition prep or not. Meal planning has helped me achieve a level of balance so I am not always trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast when I am on the go or when I get home from work or the gym.
However, the problem for me stems from the lack of creativity in my meals. Let’s be honest, eating the same thing over and over again can get boring and make you want to just pick something up on the way home.
Meal planning made easy
When I was invited to try a spin on the way I meal plan, The Dinnerhub, I was excited. Dinnerhub is an app on your phone that allows you to choose up THREE meals per week (for 2, 4 or 6 people).
They offer different dietary options including dairy free, gluten free, low carb and diabetic friendly. Or you can choose like me and have no restrictions. You also have the option of choosing basic meals, quick meal plans or simple gourmet.
The recipes are really easy to prepare and each meal can be made in 20-40 minutes using their step by step instructions along with photos. You also have the option to watch a video of the meal being made.
After you have chosen your meals for the week, you can click on a button in the app that loads the ingredients into a shopping list. Once the list is put together, you can remove items you already have at home like olive oil, eggs, garlic powder, etc.
If you upgrade to Dinnerhub PLUS, which I have been trying, the app fills your online grocery shopping cart at your favorite store that you connect to online. Someone at the store will do the shopping for you.
You also can add other items to your shopping cart that you might want or need that aren’t part of the recipes.
All you have to do is go and pick it up.
A couple of the meals
Chicken fajita pasta
I’ve been trying the app for about two weeks. The first meal I tried was chicken fajita pasta.
I did make a substitution to one of the meals. Instead of using regular pasta, I used chickpea pasta. I chose them for two reasons, 1. I already had it in my pantry 2. Fit better with my competition prep diet and nutrition.
I would have never thought about putting this meal together like this. Yes, I eat pasta and fajitas. But the combo of the two like this would have never entered my mind.
Thai Basil Turkey
When I scrolled through and saw this meal I was intrigued. I love love love Thai food. It’s one of the things I eat the first week after a show because Thai food are so flavorful and sometimes spicy.
This meal didn’t disappoint. I would definitely add some of the seeds from the jalapeno peppers next time to give it some kick.
How to family meal plan for a week with Dinnerhub
- Start small. If you are just starting out or wanting to try something new, start small. Use Dinnerhub to help you plan out a couple meals for the week.
- Look through the app to find meals. There are a variety of types of meals. Pick things that interest and excite you. This is the most time consuming part, figuring out what will go on your menu for the week. I base my menu on what’s in season, what ingredients are on sale at the store and what food I already have on hand.
- Map out your menu. This may seem really basic, but put pen to paper and write it down. It doesn’t matter if you use a blank notebook or pad of paper or a pre-designed meal planning sheet but there are lots of options available. The act of writing down the menu will help you remember what you planned and also hold you accountable.
- Grocery list and shopping. After you have chosen your meals for the week, you can click on a button in the app that loads the ingredients into a shopping list. If you upgrade to DinnerPlus, the app fills your online grocery shopping cart at the store of your choice and they will shop for you. You’ll just need to pick it up or use Instacart to have it delivered.
- Cook your meals. You can do a weekly meal prep after you get your groceries home or cook throughout the week. Either way, you know what you are going to cook and that is half the battle.
Pro and Cons of DinnerHub for meal planning
I have found way more pros than cons so far in using the app and helping with my meal planning. I’m always skeptical but plan on using the plan for a while cause it helps me from eating the same things over and over again.
- Try new recipes
- Easy and quick recipes
- No trips to store for missing ingredients
- Different dietary optioins
- No more wondering what to cook
- Not knowing what items you don’t get from your list until you pick up your groceries.
As of right now, I plan on continuing to use The Dinnerhub app as long as I continue to find new meals to try. If you are interested in trying it out, click here to get one month free with my promo code shalama.
If you try it, let me know your thoughts. Let me know how it helps with meal planning.
How do you plan dinner for the week?