I love the idea of meal planning. And I love how much easier it makes my weeknights — if I take the time to do it on Sunday. 

IF.

With weather warming up and the social calendar getting busier, it’s harder for me to find time to leaf through my dinner pinterest board, the stack of cookbooks on my kitchen shelf, or the latest Real Simple to find dinner ideas. Then there’s the process of scanning my fridge and freezer to see what we already have (usually none of the main ingredients), putting together my list and heading to the store. Busier schedules mean store ‘fly-bys’ inspired by the 4:00 PM “what-are-we-having-for-dinner” conundrum. I inevitably end up home with more or less than what I need and no real rhyme or reason to the items in my cart. Instead of an easy meal prep, it then becomes more of my own personal episode of Chopped. {Onion, frozen shrimp, dark chocolate, chicken stock, kale and cream cheese — go!} But the judges in my house are far more picky than any celebrity chef; and the race isn’t against a clock — it’s against the 6:00 PM ‘hangry’ that arrives if little stomachs aren’t satiated.

Enter Relay Foods Meal Planner, which lets you shop by meal instead of aisle. It’s designed to look a bit like pinterest with gorgeous food photography. Fair warning –you may just get sucked into foodie photo browsing vortex when sifting through the different recipes, searchable by dish, ingredient or one of Relay’s weekly menu ideas (budget dinners, easy spring meals, paleo meals, one-pot meals… you get the idea!). You’ll be inspired to break out of your dinner rut and try new recipes — like theLemon Pesto Edamame Pasta pictured above that was a HUGE hit with my kids.

The tool calculates how much of each ingredient you need based on serving size and adds it to your cart. Need a gallon of milk and some juice boxes in addition to your dinner ingredients? No problem. Just add your regular weekly groceries to your cart before checking out.

… then sit back, relax and wait for your groceries to show up at your door! {Or choose one of Relay’s convenient area pick-up spots}

What I love about Relay is that they work with local farms and artisan foodmakers — and the national players.  You can get a pound of Zeke’s Coffee, organic milk from Trickling Spring’s, Coconut Honey Macaroons from Kinderhook Snacks, seasonal fruits/veggies from local farms AND your favorite KIND bars or a package of diapers. Virtual farmer’s market visit without having to make the ‘real grocery store’ run afterward! 

The downside? Unlike Amazon Prime, you can’t get your groceries in an hour or even next day. Check Relay’s Pick Up and Delivery options to  see when they will be in your area and make sure you get your order in by midnight the night before. 

win a relay foods gift card

Relay Foods is giving one lucky (cool) progeny reader a $75 gift certificate to try out their meal planning tool! Enter here.

Relay Foods Giveaway

 

 

Editor’s Note: My family was provided a gift card to try out the new meal planning tool. All opinions expressed in this article are my own.

Photo credit: Relay Foods