Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dream Dinners - First Impressions

I came across a coupon for Dream Dinners to have the meals prepared for me for no additional fee, so I placed an order which I picked up this afternoon.

My first thought is: wow, my world is small. My food was available for pickup between 3 and 6 and since Trajan was supposed to have swimming (Hurricane Dolly changed that) and I needed to pick up Jack, I decided to run over at 3, pick the stuff up, take it to the house and go back to work. I was back in front of my computer in under 20 minutes. This is my office to car in the garage to Dream Dinners to the house to the freezer to unpack back to the car to the office to park in the garage and then back to my office. And that 20 minutes includes one light and the fact that it was raining.

Back on topic: I was immediately greeted when I got there. The employee took my name and came back quickly with all of my meals. While my meals had already been packaged together to allow for quick pickup, she took the time to go through my order list and the food to make sure everything was there as she loaded my meals into the cooler I'd brought. I was given a couple minor tips on some of the entrees and I was on my way!

While in the store, I discovered that when you package your food yourself it's really just combining things. Everything is already chopped or diced or otherwise prepared except for the combination step. Since all the meals are basically just assorted mush combined in a sack, I worry that this limits the food they can offer since it doesn't allow for incremental cooking or sautéing components. What I got all looks good though, so we'll see.

When I got the food to the house, I started to put it into the deep freeze, but I decided that I should make things as easy on myself as possible and so I put it into the freezer in the kitchen. Since I cleaned the freezer out a few weeks ago, there was plenty of room to put everything in in an organized, easy-to-access fashion.

We're going out of town this weekend, so I placed everything but the Hawaiian Chicken into the freezer.

So far, Dream Dinners has been a simple, reliable, clean method to get food. I'll obviously have to reflect more once I've actually prepared the meals and we've eaten them, but no complaints to date.

For those of you who are cost-focused, I ordered 14 3-serving dishes and 1 6-serving dish as well as three side dishes and the total out-the-door cost was $193.35. To give a comparative baseline, the food for the sample week of The Scramble that I did was just over $100 or so.

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