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how my friends saved dinner - when you don't know what to do...
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tashabear
tashabear
how my friends saved dinner
So I was over at A's house yesterday, and noticed this menu list on her refrigerator for a place called Dream Dinners.  She explained to me that it's this place where you can go and prep your meals and take them home to freeze and cook later.  The menu options she has posted sounded yummy, so I took a look at the website.

Oh my god.  There's a store in North Andover.  The menu for May sounds awesome.  And for about $115 I can get six entrees, each of which serves 4-6 people.  (That doesn't include sides, but that's all right.)  So that's 24-36 meals I can get out of my $115, which works out to $3.20-4.80 a serving.  It's worth it to not have to do all the prepwork here, and do all the planning.  There's a $17 usage fee; if you buy 12 meals, that's waived.

This may have saved my sanity.  I've been really distressed about the state of our diet and the amount of money we're hemorraging into restaurants and covenience foods (more about the diet than the money, but still, eating out is expensive, even at McDonald's).  I'm going to talk to darkwolfie, make sure that he'll eat what's on the menus and then hopefully book a session.  Besides, it's a great excuse to clean out the freezer.  There's venison in there from a deer darkwolfie shot before he met me, and we've been together over five years.  Time for it to go.

i feel: hungry hungry
i hear: Led Zeppelin - The Battle of Evermore

26 trips or shoot the rapids
Comments
kestrel127 From: kestrel127 Date: May 17th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There was an article in the post about them a while ago. They sound pretty awesome. If I had the freezer room, I would.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I'm seriously thinking about getting a small chest freezer.

Also, I was thinking of you and goingdriftless while I wrote this. ;-)
kestrel127 From: kestrel127 Date: May 17th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Don't forget the crockpot! It is an invaluable tool in getting good meals without a lot of effort.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC) (base camp)
It's the off-site prep that I'm sold on. My kitchen is AWFUL.
soteltie From: soteltie Date: May 17th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There's another option you might want to investigate. It is a menu mailer online from the Saving Dinner web site:
http://www.savingdinner.com/

You can get some sample mailers online to give it a try before you pay for a subscription. I think that you can also switch menus after you've subscribed.

You can choose the type of menu you want (heart healthy, frugal, low carb, etc.). It gives you a weekly shopping list of ingredients and recipes, plus nutrition information.

I have tried some of the sample recipes and they were good. You still have to do your prepwork, but people say the recipes are great and they save money. I would definitely use it if Aquel ate the same foods as me.

Originally this mailer was part of the Flylady website:
http://www.flylady.net/

Cheers,
Johanna
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I've seen stuff like that, but it's the "prep elsewhere" part that appeals most. My kitchen is unfriendly to anyone who actually needs space to work in. (Wolfie bought the house before he met me. Had I been in on the sale, we might live in Lowell.)
spunkywulf From: spunkywulf Date: May 17th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Aww, c'mon! I'll bet old deer is just a little gamier ;9
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC) (base camp)
And freezer burn just adds a nice tang.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: May 17th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) (base camp)
..and unless the game is frozen specifically for long-term storage (over a year), it will be dreadful. I think that deer is a goner..
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah, it was a goner by the time I moved in. It was wrapped in freezer paper. One must time disposal carefully, however; they only pick up trash once a week.

(You do realize that I was being sarcastic, right? It's just that the smart men on my f-list have taken to treating me like I'm stupid lately.)
skorzy From: skorzy Date: May 17th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC) (base camp)
About the "tang" of freezer burn, yes, I was aware you were being sarcastic. I was trying to be helpful about storage of game meats. Not everyone knows you have to freeze it in a brick of ice for very long term storage. Obviously Wolfie doesn't... I wasn't treating you stupid.

tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I didn't think you were, really, but I wanted to check. It's probably me being hyper-sensitive and cranky because I've been sick and I'm not sleeping...

I think Wolfie intended to cook it before it went over, and life got in the way.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: May 17th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Dream dinners was debuted on NATIONAL news a couple weeks ago! The idea was intriguing, but I forgot who it was. Thanks for the reminder. I haven't checked yet, but something tells me it doesn't exist in SoCal.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There's over 30 locations in California, and one in West Irvine.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 17th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC) (base camp)
West Irvine.. that means its close enough on my commute home. Awesome!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC) (base camp)
This is you, right, Skorzy?
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: May 17th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Up here in the Seattle area we have what seems to be a similar concept in a place called "Dinner's Ready!" so you might check them out as well.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Dream Dinners was founded in WA, did you know? Their corporate headquarters are in Snohomish.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: May 17th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Huh. I've never actually *seen* one, but I've seen 2-3 of this other place.
ladymorgaine From: ladymorgaine Date: May 17th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC) (base camp)
There are a couple of these kinds of deals, they're springing up everywhere! One of my co-workers was even talking about investing in one as a side business. I haven't tried the one locally here, but we've been thinking about it. We thought we'd test it out by getting a bunch of meals and splitting them (before freezing) between my mom, my sister & I, and my grandparents and see if any of us like it. Especially my grandparents because we're starting to worry that they're eating well since grandma doesn't cook so much anymore. We could go do the offsite prep and stock their freezer, so grandpa just has to heat up the entree and a can of green beans or something.

Let me know if you try it, and how you like it.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I was thinking of splitting the 12-meal deal with my mom, since it's more cost effective, and she and my dad are cooking for two, like me and Wolfie. I'm actually quite excited by the prospect.
crayolaab From: crayolaab Date: May 17th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Please do update if you try this - I'm very intruiged!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I absolutely will!
tpau From: tpau Date: May 17th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC) (base camp)
wow i saw this i nthe news a few months ago, but forgot all about it. thanks for psoting. i wntto do this, i am thinkingof doing this in Framingham.

if you do it relatively soon, post a review?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Absolutely!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 17th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Also, if it helps, Her Maj loves it.
26 trips or shoot the rapids