Sign up for a prepared-meal service, like Let's Dish or Dinner Done, two companies that friends across the country swear by. Here's how most of the companies work:
You can assemble the meals yourself at an in-store session (spending about 2 hours customizing the meals yourself - which I've been told is pretty fun when you take along a friend), or have the meals pre-assembled for you. You can also place an order online, pop in at the last-minute to select a ready-made meal or two at most storefront locations, or book a private party with a few friends.
Details (from, for example, the Let's Dish website):
At a Let's Dish! In-store Session, you'll make 4, 8 or 12 fabulous family-sized dishes (4-6 servings each). Here's how it works:
- Place your order online
- Clear some space in your freezer
- Come in to our store and prepare your meals just the way you like them.
- Back at home, you've got fresh and delicious, home-cooked meals whenever your family needs 'em.
Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. When you're short on time, choose Dish-n-Dash, and for a small additional fee we'll do the dishing for you. Here's how it works:
- Place your order on line, including any special instructions
- Stop by our store to pick up your professionally-assembled meals
- Once at home: Ta-daa. Dinner! Your meals are ready when you are
Enjoy the ultimate in convenience: 4 or 8 dishes, professionally assembled and delivered directly to your (or someone else's) home. Here's how it works:
- Place your order online... we're happy to customize
- Put up your feet... Your dishes will be packaged and shipped via next day delivery
- Dinner's ready! No one needs to know that we did all the work
A friend of ours in California actually participates in a two-meals a day program. He's single, doesn't like to cook, but doesn't want to sacrifice the healthy aspects of eating "at home" by eating out all of the time. So he's opted into a service that provides and delivers to his door fully prepared, well-balanced, yummy meals (2 per day) at the beginning of each week, and then he's set. You can imagine that the service costs a pretty penny, but when we saw him last, he was a model of good health - lean, mean, and well-fed. I say if it works, do it! (Check out Home Bistro for an example of this kind of higher-end meal service.)
Options for other more affordable, yet deliciously prepared-meal services around the country:
Let's Dish has locations in the states highlighted in orange on the map at the left.
Dinner Done can be found in Tampa, FL, Brandon, FL, as well as Centreville, VA.
Main Dish Kitchen locations can be found in Ann Arbor, MI, Dayton, OH, Grand Rapids, MI, and Madison, WI.
Dinner My Way has locations throughout the great state of California.
Dinner by Design covers a good part of the Midwest, as seen on this map at the right.
here's one more for you. Dinners Done Right, which services the states of Oregon, Washington and Montana. (Thanks, Maria!)
And if you're mouth isn't watering after checking out some of the wonderful dishes these companies can provide (complete with nutritional value and ingredient content), it should be!