Disclosure: I received a complimentary membership to The Dinner Daily and a gift card to Roche Brothers. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am grateful to partner with brands that are such a perfect fit for my family + lifestyle.
Is there a person on the planet who wouldn’t like an extra hour or two each week? If so, call me. I want your secrets. Lately, I’ve been giving myself that extra hour by not going to the grocery store and not relying on my own brain power (and a poorly organized recipe collection) to come up with an answer to “What’s for dinner?”
I like to make food that looks almost as good as it tastes.
Meal prep and planning can be both lifesavers and total time drains. I start off with the best of intentions (namely, making a few days worth of healthy + delicious meals for my family)… and the next thing I know, I am alphabetizing my cookbooks. And researching how to fish a wooden spoon from the depths of the garbage disposal. And making a mid-prep run to the store because we’ve run out of olive oil. And then promptly roasting 7 million chickpeas (when I likely only really need 3 million) when I return.
This week, however, my meal prep and planning have been 100% on point, thanks to both Roche Brothers home delivery + an amazing menu planning service called The Dinner Daily. I feel like I’ve gained at least two additional hours (which I will promptly waste Googling “things I can blame on the solar eclipse” and “why can’t I fold a fitted bed sheet?” and “at what age will my children become embarrassed by me?”…) because of these two services.
You’ve heard me preach the gospel of grocery delivery before… but here’s a refresher, just in case.
5 REASONS TO ORDER YOUR GROCERIES ONLINE + HAVE THEM DELIVERED
- When you order your groceries online (and either have them delivered, or schedule a time to pick them up), you save yourself the time it would take to get to the store and do the actual shopping. This is obvious.
- You also save your spirit whatever toll wrangling two toddlers in/out of the store might take.
- And you don’t risk exceeding your budget on so-called impulse purchases… because you’re not there to be tempted. I find that this cost savings usually offsets any convenience or delivery charge.
- And you won’t come home only to find you already had cumin, but not coriander… because you can consult your spice drawer while you’re ordering.
- You can order things that won’t fit in your car/wheeled shopping cart thing/arms/re-useable tote bags and/or that you’re embarrassed to be seen carrying in your front door… but that are useful and cost-effective to have (see: economy packs of TP).
ROCHE BROTHERS HOME DELIVERY
The holy trinity of my routine diet.
Having used a number of different services, I kind of love how Roche Brothers takes online grocery shopping and delivery to the next level with their specialized sorting and refrigerated trucks. Once you’ve placed your order online (their website is super easy to shop and allows you to filter for items that are on sale, gluten free, organic, etc.), an in-store employee shops for your items and sorts them into categorized bins: refrigerated, frozen, ambient/shelf stable. All items come directly from the store (rather than a warehouse, which is not true for all grocery delivery services…) and are kept at the appropriate temperature before being delivered. All orders can be delivered literally to your kitchen. Yes… even up several flights of stairs. Frozen items arrive frozen, refrigerated items arrive cold, and everything is carefully packed.
I had a chance to watch Kelly at the Roche Brothers in Millis shop an order to be delivered, and learn a bit about the process. I know I can be particular (is that a nice way of saying challenging?) about my produce and loved that Roche Brothers encourages their customers to include notes about the items they’ve ordered. Do you want your bananas more green than yellow? Cool. Do you want an extra ripe avocado? Cool. Do you want to go into detail about how medium you’d like your medium yellow onion to be? Cool (I think.). There are plenty of local options, too — including heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm (so obsessed).
As Kelly scanned each item on the customer’s list, her tablet directed her to place it in the appropriate bin on the cart. Their technology seemed far and above what I’ve seen elsewhere. Semi-related: I can’t help but think of this scene from Silicon Valley.
When you pretend to be a chill person… but then you track down a delivery truck and take a photo of it.
I placed my first order for a day I knew we’d be in the city (unfortunately delivery is not available at the Cape… Extreme First World Problems: Elizabeth Edition), using my shopping list from The Dinner Daily (more on that in a second). In addition to the ingredients for several meals from The Dinner Daily, I ordered some of our weekly staples (kale, Teddy’s unsalted peanut butter, cucumbers, berries). I got a call earlier in the day because one of the items I ordered wasn’t available, and was able to make an easy switch. Everything was in perfect shape when it arrived — I really couldn’t have been happier with the process.
Roche Brothers also provides a pick-up option, and these orders are often ready in store within 1-2 hours of being placed. If you’re familiar with RB, you know they sort of go above and beyond [True story: Grace was 18-ish months old, I was at least 11 months pregnant with Nick, it was 3,000 degrees out and everyone was being rude… so I drove the 30 minutes in traffic to the nearest Roche Brothers because I knew people would be nice to us there. And they were.]… so you won’t be surprised to know they encouraged us to call ahead if we have children in the car and need help with pick-up orders.
THE DINNER DAILY
Along with my tour of the Roche Brothers store, I had a chance to learn about their partnership with The Dinner Daily and meet its founder and CEO, Laurin Mills. Laurin talked about how the company was borne out of her desire, as a working mother of three, to simply dinnertime, while making mealtime both healthy and enjoyable. Basically, I was fully on board from the start.
If you know of a way to make chickpeas and/or farro look cute… let me know.
Each Friday, families receive their tailored menu for the following week. Menus reflect your dietary preferences and designated store (they work with stores across the country and menus feature items that are on sale at your designated store) and family size. Weekly menus include 5 dinner options and side dishes, all of which take fewer than 40 minutes to prepare and serve. Many require only one pot and/or can be made ahead. You can swap out meals that don’t appeal to you, leaving you with 5 really delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare options.
I’ve been using my Dinner Daily plan for three weeks now and cannot get over how great these recipes and menus are (especially on the vegetarian plan). In addition to weekly menus, The Dinner Daily provides organized shopping lists (which make online grocery shopping that much easier– there is even an integrated option for this), a database of online coupons (if that’s your thing) and helpful blog posts featuring party menus and new recipes.
I love that The Dinner Daily takes the guesswork out of what to make for dinner each night, which gives me more mental space to focus on important things like… how to get the spoon out of the garbage disposal.
Such an unintentional hipster.
Here’s what I made this week.
THIS WEEK’S MEAL PLAN (+ a few snacks)
- Sweet Potato + Black Bean Bowls with arugula + orange salad from The Dinner Daily
- Farro salad with tomatoes + herbs
- Gnocchi with tomatoes + spinach from The Dinner Daily
- Spicy, Crunchy, Cream Polenta with a chopped salad from The Dinner Daily
- Quinoa + Corn Cakes with Tomato + Cucumber Salad
- Roasted chickpeas (I swear by this recipe from The Kitchn)
- Quinoa Caprese salad
- Feta + lemon dip with garlic and dill (recipe will be coming in hot later this week…) with fresh vegetables + pita
You can try The Dinner Daily for free (a two week trial) by visiting their website.
Still here? Go enjoy that free hour.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Daydreaming: 9 truly covetable pantries from The Kitchn
- A very windy evening walk on the beach
- Looking forward to some really fun houseguests this weekend!
What would you do with an extra hour this week?