Meal planning for a family of five can be a time-consuming process, and, unlike most, my kids are actually great eaters. I’m always on the hunt for new, quick, and easy recipes. I often end up down a rabbit hole of recipes across the web. Once I pinpoint what I want to make for the week, I need to look across all those sites to build my grocery list and hope the things I need are available and, ideally, on sale. It can be exhausting before I even preheat the oven!
I was really excited to try The Dinner Daily, which was started by a busy mom determined to organize and simplify her family meal planning routine. More time, more money, and healthy meals? Yes, please!
Available on desktop and via an app, you set up a profile in The Dinner Daily with your family’s needs, including likes and dislikes, dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, etc.), preferred grocery store, and other preferences. Then the service goes to work creating your weekly custom plan based on your input and what’s on sale at your local store.
My first week, I received five tasty recipes along with a personalized grocery shopping list to guide my next trip to the local Whole Foods. Some of the meals featured sides that I wasn’t sure about, and I swapped them out for other sides that appealed to my family and me.
My shopping list was thoughtfully designed and editable so I could add or delete items as needed. The list separated staples I likely have at home, like garlic, dried herbs, or mustard, from fresh items that would need to be purchased, like vegetables and meat.
All of the recipes took about 30 minutes or less to make. They even included some tips on preparations I could do in advance, such as dicing vegetables or making rice or quinoa ahead of time. I really appreciated this because I often return home late in the afternoon from after-school activities, and it’s a scramble getting dinner on the table.
Our menu included one salmon dish, two chicken dishes, and a shrimp dish. Each featured a lean protein and vegetables, aligned to my preferences, and, in some cases, a healthy grain. The meals were typically under 500 calories, depending on the sides and portions. The preparations were different than my standard fare, so I was excited to see how my family felt about the flavors.
The first meal I made was salmon with avocado salsa served with sautéed squash. This ended up being my husband and my favorite of the week. I usually make salmon weekly, but this preparation really kicked it up a notch.
Next up, I prepared baked chicken with curry mayo over peas. I often serve peas to my kids but never include them in my own dinner. It was a great reminder of an underappreciated vegetable, and my kids loved the chicken.
On the third night, an easy and crisp green bean chicken persillade over quinoa was whipped up in minutes. The portions were so generous that it fed us for two nights.
Finally, our shrimp and asparagus stir fry over brown rice was delicious. It didn’t rely on high-calorie or sugar-laden bottled sauces.
Many of the recipes will likely remain in my family’s repertoire. Another nice feature allows you to save your favorite recipes to include on your weekly menu at any time.
Dinner Daily subscriptions offer five weekly recipes and a personalized shopping list for just $1-$1.50 per week. A more budget-friendly option than meal subscription boxes, the service also includes links to relevant coupons for additional savings.