We cook nearly every day at home- it’s MUCH healthier, since restaurant meals are loaded with extra calories and sodium, and are much larger than the normal home cooked meal. It is also much less expensive to eat at home, generally. However, we have a busy family with two adults who work full-time! How can technology help?
- One obvious way is to use a service like Blue Apron, or similar, that delivers meal components that you then assemble at home. The cost of this can be much higher than what you would make on your own.
- You can make a list and order your groceries on-line through a service like Peapod, then make your food at home. The cost of delivery can be $7 or more, which is still reasonable. However, we have been unhappy with the quality of the groceries, and sometimes have trouble anticipating when we will be home for the delivery.
- You can make a list, grocery shop, bring the groceries home and make dinner. This is the cheapest, but also the most time consuming. For us, time is a premium.
Our family has found a very streamlined way to shop and cook with minimal expense. First of all, everyone who is an adult in the household has the app Paprika ($4.99, https://paprikaapp.com). I love this app. There are several “recipe box” type apps, but I like Paprika because it can accept recipes from any website. I am always finding recipes online at different websites, but they all have their own proprietary “recipe box.” Paprika can merge these altogether.
- Each week, we make a menu plan, which is easy, because you can assign the meal to a specific day. You press the shopping cart button at the top of the recipe, and presto! The ingredients appear in your shopping cart, organized by the section of the store they would be found. By syncing, the shopping list and all other changes are pushed to every adults’ iOS device.
- Then, someone orders groceries online from the local supermarket. For us, at Harris Teeter, this is a $4.95 charge to collect all our groceries, bag them, and bring them to refrigerated cases in front of the store, which are locked. We choose a time to pick up the groceries, but this is quite flexible. We can choose meals based on what is on sale in our store. The store calls us if there are substitutions that need to be made, and I have noticed the quality seems to be better than the delivery services in our area.
- At the appointed time, one of us drives up to the front of the store, rings the bell, and someone loads the groceries into our car, while our payment is being processed.
- Whomever is home first starts the meal, which is pre-planned on Paprika now, with the recipe in the app. We use an old iPad as a dedicated “cookbook” for our kitchen.
That’s it! How do you make meals more efficient? Let me know in the comments below.