Do Menu Planning Services Make Sense?

Last week another mom and I were discussing routines and kids, and the subject of dining out versus cooking in came up. While she wanted to cut down on how much they were dining out, to help with their budget, she just didn’t know what to cook that everyone in her family would like. 

Up until then I really hadn’t understood why there was a need for menu services like Dine Without WhineMenu Planning Central or Menus 4 Moms. But I think I’m finally getting it. In our busy-ness and media-oriented-ness, we, as a culture, seem to have lost that tradition of cooking, and eating meals together as a family.  As a family who cooks and eats together often, I was oblivious to this, until just recently, but apparently these menu planning services aren’t.

Just for kicks and to see what it was all about I’m trying the Healthy Menu Mailer. I like the menu suggestions, but my favorite part, a part I haven’t done yet with my own menus, is the grocery lists. This is a fantastic, time-saving feature.  It lists all the foods needed, by grocery aisle category, so it can just be printed and taken to the grocery store. That is worth the $7.95 price tag in my book.

If you’re struggling with ideas of what to cook, it is worth taking a look at one of the menu services – but first look at the sample menus to see if it’s the type of foods your family likes.  For example, I first looked at Dine Without Whine, but found I wanted something that better matched our food preferences.  Many of the menu planning services offer a free or 1 cent trial period as well, which is also a good way to figure out whether the service will work for your family’s tastes.

Later this week I’ll share more about how we handle family meal time. Until then, enjoy your week!

Menu Planning Resource Pack

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