January 9, 2013
Dream Dinners - Make Dinner Ahead of Time
The price is a little steep. They do have a loyalty program where the more times you come back the more you will save. However, you definitely have to consider the cost (prices may vary by location): A regular session requires you to purchase 36 servings (12 3-serving meals, or 6 6-serving meals), which on average will cost you about $200. I feel like our weekly grocery bill is $100-$120/week, and we shop at a granola/organic grocery store for our family of 2.5. We usually make 4-5 meals that make 4-6 servings each, plus our bill includes veggie sides (the Dream Dinners options are mainly meat-and-starch only) and milk and breakfast items and other snacks for the week.
BUT what you are paying for is convenience. I really have no idea if/how we will be able to cook a meal between work and bedtime with TWO kiddos (starting in February!). And by taking an hour on the weekend once or twice a month to save some time during the week could be a big help (and you can go with your girlfriends, bring your own wine, and get away from anyone referring to you as 'mommy' for a bit). The Fountain Valley location even offers a New Mom deal where for three months before and after your due date they will pre-package the meals for you and waive their normal fee for this!
They also have a freezer with prepackaged meals you can choose from while you are there (many of them on sale). In addition to my 3-meal deal, I picked up a pre-made six-serving white bean chili with cornbread for $17.
A couple other minor cons:
- You use A LOT of baggies. I am a pretty green person, and in the last 12 months we have probably used 1 box each of of gallon-sized and sandwich-sized baggies... and that's it. We use a lot of tupperware and reusable containers, so it felt a little weird to use 4 baggies (three separate baggies inside a bigger baggie) for one meal.
- Beware of the cooking time on your meals. Several on the menu take up to 90 minutes... which may defeat the purpose of eating something sometime between school and bedtime or soccer practice (we only have about a two-hour window at our house). Perhaps better for the work/stay-at-home mom or weekend meal.
I really hate to even mention anything bad about my experience because when they helped me out to the car with the meals (my delicate condition, and all), I found that my car wouldn't start. So while I was stranded the lovely ladies were kind enough to feed me Butternut Squash Ravioli while I waited on AAA. YUM! I hope all my meals are this delicious!