Because it’s January, I feel the need to do things to organize my life. I’m sure that, by February, this urge will have worn off completely, but right now it’s pretty powerful and so I’m indulging it.
Ken and I are trying to set a budget for ourselves so that we can save money for traveling. And, since food is one of our most easily controlled costs, I wanted to start with meal planning and groceries. Unfortunately, I suck at meal planning. It just takes so long when your one and only goal isn’t simply to eat lots of things that you like. When you want to continue eating lots of food that you like, save money on the groceries, cut down on the amount of food you are wasting, and be sure that you are eating healthy, fresh food, it gets more complicated. We waste a lot of food, and that costs money.
I was pondering the best way to get started today when a Facebook friend posted about the great meal she had last night thanks to The Fresh 20. And her reply to a comment asking what that was made me curious – “It’s a weekly meal plan they email you along with a shopping list. 20 fresh ingredients only and everything uses items from other meals so you’re not wasting anything.” (And I’m not using her name here for her privacy, but if she sees this and wants me to add it, I am more than happy to.)
What?! That sounded like exactly what I wanted, so I went and looked at The Fresh 20′s Facebook page where everyone else was raving about the Italian Polenta Mozzarella Bake from last nights menu. That sounded delicious! So I went and looked at their website and looked around where I found that the ingredients for the recipes are all fresh, real food, most of which you can find at a farmer’s market. They even have vegetarian and gluten-free options!
When I saw that they did Groupon vouchers, I went hunting for one of those and found it here. I asked my friend what she thought of the meal plans and she said they have liked everything they’ve cooked, have saved a ton of money, and grocery shopping takes no time at all because it’s just 20 ingredients each week. And that is something I can get on board with…especially since I could get a nice break on the price.
One commenter on their Facebook page that swayed me said that once she got the hang of the way the meal plan worked, she was able to easily substitute recipes and change things up when she wanted to. For $24 for a whole year’s worth of menus, recipes, and shopping lists, I am willing to give it a shot. I’ll let you know what I think once we get started.