Friday, April 17, 2015
Mealtime Made Easier
It all started with an excuse to drink wine with my girlfriends, as many great ideas do. With almost zero cooking experience under my belt, I nervously accepted her invite to attend a Wildtree Party at her home, and mostly looked for a reason to catch a little gossip and girl time. And when the list arrived of meat we had to purchase in advance? I nearly panicked. There may have been approximately 14 texts exchanged with my husband that day about what exactly does a beef tenderloin look like and a moment of near-tears when I was requested to find garlic. I mean, what does that even look like unless it comes in a labeled plastic spice jar?!
The end result: 10 meals that cost about $4-$6 each for a family of four spread over nearly three days, each claiming to be healthy and natural. Better yet, they tasted amazing, all parties approved and they could be prepared in 10-30 minutes after a long day on the job.
I fell so deeply in love with the concept that I plan to host a party in May, which is generally outside of my social scope (hosting business house parties). That and I was at a complete loss of what to actually feed my family after the freezer meals disappeared. By the way - let me know if you want to come!
Here's the gist of it all if you get invited to one of these events:
1. You get invited to your friend's home: a not-too-pushy rep invites you (you likely already heard about it from your girlfriend) and provides the date, time and shopping list.
2. You do the pre-shopping: you take the shopping list which is easy to follow and is organized by the "bundle" the hostess chose. Mostly you purchase meats and spend around $70-$150. You throw it all in a cooler and haul it to to your girlfriend's house.
3. You drink bevs and prepare the meals: you arrive at your friend's house and the rep has a station for you. You have your own full-size set of rubs and spices that go home with you that are all organic and can be used with many other recipes. A laminated sheet is available that you follow step by step. For the domestically challenge (ahem), the rep works with you to ensure you're on track and feeling good about it all. Did I mention there are snacks there? Samples! Yum...
4. You go home with 10 meals: for us, each meal easily fed our family of four, lunch for me and the mister the next day and sometimes even leftovers for at least two the next night. Cooking instructions, recipes and suggestions for sides are also sent home with you, making it as prescriptive and easy as one can imagine.
And wa-la...dinner is ready. For at least 10 days!
Everything can be modified, simplified, etc. to meet your family's needs. This month we reduced our restaurant budget by nearly $300 and I think a few pounds even fell off despite my lack of willpower when it came to those damn Birthday Oreos. For me, it also gave me the confidence to try something outside of boiling water and throwing Kraft noodles in. Or placing chicken nuggets in the microwave per the instructions. After all, I did stick my hand in the back of a raw chicken (the rep literally held my hand). It felt like I was actually contributing to our family's eating activities and being money conscious at the same time.
In other words, it was a gold stars moment that still including adult bevs with the girls. Anytime you can accomplish that, why not?
I've gone wild over Wildtree. Or maybe it's the concept of actual meal planning itself, but either way it's worth a look if money, time (and ok health) are helpful to you and yours.