Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day! While I like to cook and invent my own recipes I have to admit that having a prepared meal can come in handy.
These days families are very busy
Work, school, clubs, and a host of activities we get ourselves into limits the time we can spend in the kitchen. There are times when once the meal is prepared, its late in the evening and some family members have already fallen asleep waiting for dinner. A prepared meal can be just the ticket to getting everyone to the table early in the evening. It can help the cook as well. Sometimes they’ve had a long and tiresome day and the thought of cooking something can be overwhelming and often leads to easy prep meals from a can or box which is okay in some instances but not always the best choice when it comes to nutrition and taste.
Most of these are pre-made meals you just pull out of your freezer, put it in the oven, then to the table. Not a lot of fuss or mess to deal with. In-fact while this type of meal is in the oven you can get some tasks done in the mean time. Or just sit back with the family and take a breather while your meal cooks. The time it takes to get this into the oven is about a long as it takes the oven to heat up to the proper cooking degrees. Easy clean up too. Empty the pan and toss it!
Pot Pies, Lasagna, Enchiladas, the list goes on. Even Mac and Cheese. You can usually find these prepared meals in the store shop on line and buy them individually or by the pack. If you can shop for them on line you’ll save yourself some time and money. Marie Callender’s does a great job in my opinion. A little more expensive than some but you get that home made quality. Looks it too. Smells good, and the flavor measures up to what was expected and hoped for. And no wonder, there’s been a lot of experience since Marie Callender’s was founded. In the 1930s Marie and her husband started selling pies in Orange county. Stouffers is another one with years of food experience . According to Wikipedia Stouffer’s products started in 1898 and entered into the Frozen food business in 1946 and in 1943 Banquet foods came onto the scene with their introduction of the meat pies. Banquet now offers a family size meat pie which would work great for a family on the run. I find that Banquet offers a less expensive product and in many cases today this is something that can make a difference. Though when thinking of using frozen foods, nutrition and taste is something to be considered. When it comes to just Time, I guess frozen could win out.
This is the way to go if you can. These are ready to cook meals made with fresh product, measured ingredients and instructions shipped to your home. The start to finish is a little longer than that of a frozen meal but well worth it. The ingredients are already cut or chopped in most cases and the seasons are already measured out for you. All you do is follow cooking instructions. These are meals that are quick and easy for busy people who want a home cooked meal without the hassle of making a list and going out to shop for it. Nutrition, looks, flavor, and the satisfaction of having a home made meal all in one. Meal kits I like are: everyplate.com Affordable meal plans with all you need to make a good nutritious home made meal. Hellofresh.com and Homechef.com are others to explore when considering a fast and easy home made meal. The cost of a meal kit can range from about $3.00 per serving up to $15.00 a serving. Of course this depends on the meal you want to serve. You can go classic everyday meals to Salmon or other seafood which are on the higher end of cost but a nice change once in a while too. With a little research you should be able to find something to fit your budget and tastes whether you choose frozen or a kit meal. But when it comes to fresh, home made, and nutrition, and easy, I’d tend towards meal kits.
Time, Money, and Meals
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend”, Theophrastus. The average shopping trip costs 41 minutes according to Time Use Institute. Driving to go shop is costly too. The average gas prices are about $2.60 a gallon, at least in my area. Time well spent could better be done by ordering meal kits and have them delivered to your home. But wait, there is one other way that could save you money and time in the long run and still get fresh home made meals. And if you do like to cook: Spend a day making your own “meal kits” and prepared frozen meals for those days you find your self short on time. Time being valuable; what a better way to spend it making “prep day” a family event, or save time by ordering Meal kits and use it when it’s needed.
Explore the possibilities
You’ll find that most of my posts and the “about me page’ is about cooking mostly from scratch and inventing new meals. It’s what I like to do, so spending my Valuable time to me is well spent doing just that. Though, I’m a mother of 4 grown sons with families of their own I still find myself busy. I work full time and have many pets that require my attention so there are days that pull me from the kitchen and use up my time. After work and after chores on week days you may well find me with a bowl of cereal for dinner or a prepared meal my husband and I prepped the week-end before, which has its rewards. But when there’s not even enough time for that a meal kit or prepared meal can be very nice to fall back on. Go ahead and check out some sites , do some research, and give it a try. You may be happy you did.