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Struggling with Dinnertime Prep?

by Lori Madden 07/21/2019

The struggle of what to feed the family is real. You may be that person who has the meal plan written out for two weeks at a time with the grocery list and coupons all aligned. But if you are like most people you are flying by the seat of your pants most evenings and smelling the leftovers from last weekend to see if they will survive reheating one more time. Stressful is an understatement for the dinnertime chaos that can be prevalent in households across the country. Family schedules are full of activities, obligations and somewhere in there hopefully some family connecting time. Other than ordering delivery or going out to eat too often, what can a busy family do to ensure they have meals ready when they need them?

Meal prepping services

There are a few ways to approach the need to get meals prepared and served. Several years back there were places that you could go to prep several meals for a reasonable fee. The value of having someone else chop, grate, prewash, and prep ingredients is immensely helpful. But the challenge with this option is the time it takes to put the meals together. Not to mention, you need to provide your own containers that you may have on hand, or you will need to purchase them. These extras add time and money on to the project; time that you are already lacking. 

More recently, there have been several companies offering to ship to your door meal ingredients prepped and ready to cook. The ability to customized for specific eating preferences and dietary requirements is possible with many of these meal prep services. There are several different pre-selected meal companies to choose from so you should be able to find one or two to fit your needs. Many offer introductory specials to allow you to try their products before spending too much. 

Think outside the boxes

Another way to answer the dinnertime question could be to hire someone to come in and prep several freezer meals for you. Before you say, "I can't afford that," listen to the entire suggestion. One way to complete this economically is to barter for services. A college student may be willing to do five to ten make-ahead meals in trade for a couple of loads of clean laundry. Another option would be to coordinate with another family or two to "swap" make-ahead meals between all of you. This idea would take a little planning on your part but can make dinnertime a more peaceful nightly event.

Next time you make a favorite family dish, double the recipe and freeze it for the future.

Make a useful kitchen the priority as you search for your new home. Your real estate professional will know just where to find you what you need to make meal-time less stressful.

About the Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!