Summer is here. And so are my kids.
Literally, they’re here – at home with me – all day, every day – no longer in school, and no longer away for hours on end.
As most of us moms are now faced with the reality that we no longer have 8 hours of peace and quiet on weekdays, summertime gives us more responsibilities taking care of these crazy (yet awesome) kids of ours. It’s up to us to entertain them, teach them, play with them, serve them, clean up after them, and most of all – cook for them – on a much larger scale.
I’ll be completely honest with you – that last one, cooking for them, is the task that brings me the most stress. One of my least favorite things to do is the entire dinnertime sequence:
- Load both of my rambunctious kids in the car
- Drive with them to the grocery store
- Get the kids out of the car and into the grocery basket
- Find groceries we need for meals
- Make sure they behave enough to not scream and make a scene in the store
- Unload the grocery cart and pay for all the produce
- Re-load the grocery cart back in the basket with both kids in tow
- Unload the groceries to the back of my SUV
- Buckle both kids back up in the car
- Driving all the way back home
- Unloading the kids, and all of the groceries, by myself
- And finally, somehow find the energy to put all the groceries up and the energy to cook dinner.
Even reading that list gives me Grade-A anxiety.
Worst of all, I have a problem with always over-buying groceries that we don’t end up using. I can’t even fathom the thousands of dollars of rotten zucchini, moldy bread, and dark brown bananas that I’ve had to toss in the trash. Waste of food, waste of money, waste of time!
So, I started researching those meal kit delivery services. People rave about them – the convenience, the affordability, the options, the taste, and the fact that you don’t waste groceries. I also thought that if I tried a service like this for the summer, it would give my daughter and me something to do together: learn about ingredients, learn how to follow instructions, learn how to prepare produce and cook delicious recipes.
When researching which company to try out, these were the most important factors for me:
- Beautiful marketing, easy website, good reviews.
- Lots of options.
- Easy and organized packaging.
- High-quality ingredients.
- Easy recipe guidelines.
- Great price.
And after extensive research, lots of blog reading, and reviews scanning, I found the holy grail of meal delivery services – HOME CHEF. They were able to pass every one of the requirements I had above with flying colors – plus are offering $35 off your first order. In short, here’s my review of this amazing service:
1. Beautiful marketing, easy website, good reviews.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a sucker for companies that have great marketing and even better reviews. It makes me feel like they value what customers are looking for and will do whatever they can to present themselves as a user-friendly and reputable brand. Home Chef’s social media accounts, website, and reviews were top notch. They displayed their food so beautifully, bloggers and news outlets raved about it, and it was the easiest thing in the world to order my first box. Nothing about Home Chef seemed complicated or sketchy – and I liked that, a lot!
2. Lots of options.
I’ve done “monthly boxes” before, and some of them don’t give you a choice on what you receive each month. I wanted to pick a meal kit delivery service that let you pick what you wanted to eat. Because what if I hated the recipes they sent? That’d be a waste of money! Compared to other meal kit services, Home Chef gave me control of what I wanted to try. They had 17 weekly options for me that I could swap out, in case the ones they picked for me weren’t ones I wanted. Between weekly vegetarian options, weekly calorie-conscious options, seafood, meat, and even 5-minute lunches, it catered to my picky/choosey self to a tee! They were able to figure out my preferences, restrictions, and tastes with a quick and easy questionnaire – and they NAILED it!
3. Easy and organized packaging.
I want things to be as easy for me as I possibly can. I don’t want to have to rummage through a big box of groceries and try to figure out which ingredients go where. And honestly, this was probably my favorite part about Home Chef. The food was all labeled, sealed, and designated so clearly. I knew which things needed to go in the freezer, and which things needed to go in the refrigerator. The refrigerated ingredients were all bagged together in a single bag, with the meal label on the outside. That way, when I was ready to cook a specific meal, I could just pull out the refrigerated bag of assorted ingredients, and snatch the meat out of the freezer! No confusion, no fuss!
4. High-quality ingredients.
I don’t want to be trying to chop soft tomatoes or sift through wilted green beans when I’m ready to cook. I prefer only the finest meats, the best produce, the cleanest choices for myself and my family. And when it comes to shopping at a grocery store, I’m always so unlucky in this area – I think the produce I choose is good, but it goes bad in one day. Home Chef’s produce, meat, and ingredients were not only super fresh, they were still fresh when I was ready to cook it.
When we did get to taste the finished product, it was beyond delicious. We haven’t cooked a meal yet that we were unsatisfied with!
5. Easy recipe guidelines.
I get really frustrated with recipes. Many times I have to stare at the page for like 30 straight seconds to understand exactly what to do. Give me bullet points, one-liners, or numbered instructions, because my mom-brain can’t handle anything complicated. And with Home Chef, it was beyond simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned chef or a total kitchen newbie. Their recipes and guidelines make it totally doable for any cook on any skill level. They sent a binder in my first box, which contained three-hole-punched recipes of the food I chose. The instructions were easy to read, clear to follow (bullet points and numbers are my jam!), and dare I say – beautiful to look at! The recipe sheets are all saved in that binder, in case I ever decide to cook them again on my own. And I love that!
6. Great price.
I’m not going to go for a monthly service with a high price point when I can save money by buying my food elsewhere. And honestly, neither will my husband. The less we have to spend, the better! In comparison to all of the other meal delivery services I researched, Home Chef (visit their site) was in the “most affordable” bracket by a landslide. On top of the fact that all of my 5 previous requirements were met and surpassed. This made choosing Home Chef a no-brainer for this penny-pinching momma.
My favorite part about this experience was the time I got to spend with my daughter. Teaching her the value of a home-cooked meal, letting her be a part of the process, empowering her to learn how to chop and sear and fry and bake. It made me feel like I was doing something right as a mom. On top of that, it breaks the monotony of our “boring” summer nights, and gives us a fun activity to look forward to.`
Moral of the story – if you’re going to try one of these meal kit delivery services to make your life easier this summer, pick Home Chef first here. For all Baby Chick readers, they’re giving us $35 off our first order by using promo code BABYCHICK. And trust me, your experience with them will be like mine – delicious, fun, memorable, and worth it.