Tonight I pulled already-prepped calzones out of my refrigerator for dinner. I put them on a baking pan, set a timer, and let the savory smells of cheese, pepperoni, olives, and ricotta fill our house. No stress. No fuss. No hassle.
Thanks to Dream Dinners, a meal-prep place that "provides everything you need to assemble delicious dinners for your family to store in the freezer and serve in the weeks ahead."
I went in to the store on a lazy Saturday afternoon in early March (one week before I had my baby), spent one hour prepping meals, and left with 6 dinners in a cooler. And these were healthy dinners with plenty of fresh ingredients: Sonoma Grill Steaks, Yancey Pork Roast, Chicken Marsala, Build Your Own Calzones, Garlic Balsamic Marinated Steaks, and Tuscan Turkey Medallions with Garlic Vegetables.
The experience at the store itself was exceptionally pleasant. The owners were kind, the countertops were immaculate, the ingredients were fresh, and the whole process was organized and easy. I simply moved from station to station in a Dream Dinners apron and followed simple "recipe cards" - adding the already-chopped onions, the red wine, the grated cheese, etc. During the sessions, the owners brought out one meal from the current month's menu and one meal from next month's menu for us to sample, along with the store's famous homemade lemonade.
Best of all, I went home with 6 meals that I didn't have to think about or grocery shop for. I just pulled my meal of choice out of the freezer, followed the simple directions on the attached label, and put a scrumptious meal on the table!
The menu changes every month and accommodates all different kinds of palates - whether your family loves pasta, poultry, steak, casseroles, or comfort foods. I'm already eyeing the Firehouse Three Cheese Pasta with Meatballs from the April menu and the Balsamic Blackberry Chicken from the May menu.
You can choose to make 3-serving or 6-serving meals...and I didn't think the prices were half-bad. The cost comes down to between $3-6/serving - which is much cheaper than your typical restaurant fare and comparable to meals that you cook for yourself at home. If you factor in the time that you save (you don't have to make a grocery list, drive to the grocery store, chop the garlic, etc.), it actually might just be a smokin' deal.
It's important to note that a "serving" doesn't necessarily mean a "person." Each meal is different, but if you have a family of big-eaters, teens, or adults, the 6-serving dishes probably won't be enough on their own (you'll need plenty of side dishes).
IN SUM: Will I return to Dream Dinners? YES! Despite the fact that the store is 35 minutes away from my house. It was totally worth it!
Want to join me? Well, you can't technically join me unless you drive to Arizona. But you can find a store near you and experience the dream-come-true-experience of having dinners ready at 5 o'clock. There are 163 locations in 32 states so hopefully you'll find one in your neighborhood.
DISCOUNT CODE: When you go online and make your appointment, you can get 10% off by entering this code: 66METROMDD (10% off first time orders of 36 servings or more; limited to one per family and new customers only. May not be combined with any other discount offer. Guests go to dreamdinners.com (Menus and Sessions page) to start the process. The coupon code is entered on the payment page to receive the discount). The code expires May 31st so set up your session today!
Still not convinced?
WIN IT! One winner will receive a $75 gift voucher to a Dream Dinners (be sure to check to make sure that there is one near you before you enter). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Wednesday, April 15 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
*UPDATE* The winner is #79 Jen@BigBinder. Congratulations!