As a mom, I know how busy life can be. With all that we moms have to do in a day, is it any wonder that meal times can be chaotic, hectic and otherwise disorganized. I know that before engaging in the art of meal planning (and it is an art to learn) I would often be frazzled by 4pm trying to figure out what to make for my family.
As a stay at home mom, and also running a family child care program in my home, I am often trying to find new and kid friendly recipes that are also fun. This is not always an easy thing to do. As a diabetic, I also need to make meals that will work for me, so I don't have to make a bunch of different meals (seriously, who wants to do that!). One way that I try to keep organized when it comes to cooking for my family is to do bulk, or freezer, cooking. This takes a bit more time, money and energy but is so worth it!
Recently, I was introduced to a wonderful program that makes meal planning, freezer cooking and grocery shopping so much easier. The Dinner Solution will be a welcome addition to your home, I know it was to mine.
The Dinner Solution is a freezer cooking, meal planning computer program designed by two moms, Karin Brough and Kristi Roberts (sisters as well!) who could not find a solution to their meal planning dilemas.
Karin Brough is passionate about helping moms make their homes peaceful and their lives as simple and stress free as possible. An entrepreneur who has owned several businesses in the financial and real estate industries, Karin co-created The Dinner Solution and is enjoying being a part of a company that supports motherhood. Karin holds a B.A. degree in Communications from Biola University. She lives in Southern California with her husband of 17 years and her 2 1/2-year old son, 2 1/2- year old daughter, and 11-month old son.
Kristi Roberts has always had a passion for health and wellness, especially in helping women, teens, and children achieve their optimal wellness. In addition to co-creating The Dinner Solution, Kristi founded and operates a fitness studio with her husband, and she is also a Personal Wellness and Weight Loss Coach. She holds a B.S. degree in Psychology from Biola University. Kristi lives in Southern California with her husband of 10 years, her 2-year old son and two teenage step-daughters.
The Dinner Solution is a Windows compatible computer program that allows you to set up monthly calendars for meal planning, grocery lists, comes with a ton of pre-loaded recipes (which you can use as both traditional meals or freezer meals) and printable labels for your freezer cooking (in the premium package). You can use the recipes that are included in the program or add your own to the mix. Here is a run down of the two programs available to purchase:
1. Meal planning made easy - use the included meal ideas and recipes, or add your own to plan entrees, side dishes and desserts. You even have the option to put in leftovers, take out or eat out! Perfect for traditional or freezer meal planning. You can also print a "What's for Dinner?" report to post on your fridge! And it only takes about 10 minutes to create an entire week of meals, and print out your shopping list! I loved it!
2. Recipe Management - comes with 50 recipes, allows you to add your own, cut and paste from any website, gives you nutritional information, serving sizes can be changed and you can save all your meal combinations for later use.
3. Grocery List Planning - With a quick click of a button your list is ready to print and take with you to your favorite store. You can even organize your list by store name and email it to your Smartphone!
The Basic Dinner Solution is a one time download price of $15
With the Premium package you will receive all the Basic features, plus you will receive everything you need to prep and freeze meals ahead. This includes Assemble Day, Grocery List and Instructions, as well as Freezer Labels and Inventory Checklists.
The Premium Dinner Solution is a one time download price of $25 or you can purchase an upgrade from Basic (if bought first) for only $10!
The Dinner Solution is only compatible for Windows, and you will also need 100MB of available hard drive space, as well as internet connection for downloading the initial program and future updates.
I have really enjoyed using The Dinner Solution over the last couple months. I wanted to wait to do my review until I had the opportunity to really use it for a number of meals. So a couple weeks ago I took a couple hours one Saturday morning and made a few freezer meals using The Dinner Solution. What a good experience.
I decided to use three recipes from the software, BBQ Meatballs, Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, and Beef Stroganoff. All three recipes were very easy to follow, can easily be adapted to suit dietary needs and tastes, and, most importantly, tasted awesome! The meatballs and stroganoff were so easy to prep that I had my girls help me out and they loved it! Not only do you get traditional instructions for each recipe included with The Dinner Solution, but you get make ahead instructions as well, which I love. I used the traditional instructions to put together one meal of each of the three I tried, and once I knew my family would like the recipes, I went and did them as make ahead meals! I was able to do enough meals to make five meals (two of which I gave away to friends who had a baby recently) and only spent about half an hour prepping. Now that's my idea of meal planning and prepping. I haven't utilized the monthly planning calendar to its fullest just yet but LOVE the recipes and the grocery list! Here is a screenshot of it:
If you are looking for a fun and innovative way to streamline meal planning, grocery shopping and recipe organization, I highly recommend The Dinner Solution. You and your family will love it!
BUY IT: You can purchase both the Basic and Premium Dinner Solutions at the official website.
Save 10% on either version of The Dinner Solution until August 15th using code: SUMMER2011
***I received a complimentary Premium version of The Dinner Solution, courtesy of The Dinner Solution, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions express are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***