Cooking delicious food at home for my family has always been something I have thoroughly enjoyed. I loved getting the kids involved to help plan meals and cook, but as they have gotten older and less interested in helping the joy of cooking has become less joyful and more of a chore. I would spend hours planning meals for the week, then usually an entire day running from store to store buying ingredients for the meals. And, yes I mean store to store. I love a good deal so that would mean checking different store flyers to see who had the best prices for meat, produce, etc... Don't get me wrong, I still love cooking but all of the prep work and planning ended up consuming so much of my time. It became exhausting. So finally about a year ago I stopped ignoring the endless ads and pop ups about different meal subscriptions and started researching all the different ones on the market.
I began by comparing Hello Fresh and Dinnerly. I signed up for both plans using one of their many offer codes to save money and chose my meals. I decided for a family of four to choose the three meal plan for each subscription. Then in less then a week both arrived at my door step, which that in and of itself was exciting, because who doesn't love to receive a package in the mail. So I brought the boxes in the house and opened them up. Right of the bat I noticed everything came separated into bags, except for the cold items from Hello Fresh and they include large recipe cards. Dinnerly simply threw everything into the box all willy nilly and the recipes can only be viewed from the app. I guess that is where the big price difference comes into play. Hello Fresh is $7.99 a serving and Dinnerly is only $4.99 a serving.
So, the next step was to compare the ingredients. I noticed everything was the same. I was getting the same quality of meat from both and the same ingredients. The big difference was Dinnerly includes an entire head of garlic or full bag of carrots, where Hello Fresh simply sends you exactly what is needed for the recipe. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is less waste, but if you're like me you want to feel your getting your moneys worth. Also, having an entire bag of carrots means more food for other meals. One less thing I have to run to the grocery store for.
Once I had compared the quality of the items it was time to cook some meals. The first night we tried Hello Fresh. Everything came together quickly and easily. Everyone thought the meal was pretty good. The next night was Dinnerly. Again it was very quick and easy and the meal was liked. So over the next several weeks we continued comparing the plans, but in the end decided to cancel Hello Fresh and go with Dinnerly. It came down to the price and meals. I personally enjoyed the selection of meal options better from Hello Fresh, but my pretty picky family liked the more familiar and simple meals from Dinnerly.
Over the course of the year I began to notice most Dinnerly meals were starting to be the same thing from week to week. Should we have burgers, some sort of similar tasting Asian cuisine or tacos for the hundredth time. I also noticed our family was looking less and less forward to dinner. Something had to be done. I then stumbled up Marley Spoon which actually owns Dinnerly. The difference between the two is even though Dinnerly uses all the same high-quality suppliers as Marley Spoon, the recipes require fewer ingredients and are a little easier to prepare, but in my opinion that means less variety. Marley spoon offers more meal options each week, especially in the vegetarian and vegan category. So for someone like me who is exploring more and more of the vegetarian lifestyle this plan is a beautiful mix.
I am currently subscribed to both Dinnerly and Marley Spoon, but I have noticed each week when choosing my meals I tend to skip Dinnerly for the week and only receive Marley Spoon. Therefore it is probably time to cancel Dinnerly and just stick to Marley Spoon. They truly offer a wonderful variety of meals that even satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Marley Spoon has reignited my love of cooking and gets me excited to prepare a meal.
Shopping online has become the way of life. We buy everything from clothing to groceries to cars and furniture. If you want it the internet has it. I personally am not a big online shopper, but I have found one company that I love buying household essentials from, and it is Grove Collaborative.
Grove Collaborative is a company bringing products that are gentler for the earth. They make sure all of their products have met the standards of non-toxicity, efficacy, sustainability, and are cruelty-free. Now, I know you're probably thinking their products have got to be crazy expensive, but the cool part is, they aren't. I have found that most of their products are the same price and sometimes even less for members then all the other big box companies offering the same products. And, in addition they offer exclusive Grove Collaborative products that are made of and consist of high quality materials sustainably sourced.
Here are some of my favorite products and a breakdown of how their affordable membership works.
First, I absolutely love their exclusive Grove Collaborative cleaning concentrates. They offer a variety of cleaners for windows, floors, tub & tile, a daily shower cleaner, and an all purpose cleaner. These concentrates come in a recyclable tube that you simply twist open and pour into one of their amazing glass spray bottles with water.
Which, brings me to their next favorite product, the glass spray bottles with silicone sleeve. You can pick which color sleeve you would like and coordinate it with your cleaner concentrate. For example, the all purpose cleaner comes in a grey tube and has a matching grey silicone sleeve for the bottle.
The next favorite product in my house is the sink caddy with bamboo handled scrub brush and walnut sponge. This caddy is stylish and convenient. The stoneware tray has enough room for the scrub brush, sponge and dish soap dispenser.
In addition to Grove Collaborative offering their exclusively branded products they also carry other known brands that meet their companies standards, such as Method, Mrs. Myers, Seventh Generation, Smarty Pants, Zarbees, Bulldog men's personal care products, etc....
One of my personal favorite new products I just stated using and absolutely love is Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel. This face cleanser is gentle, smells amazing, and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and silky smooth. Now, I could continue listing other amazing products, but you just need to trust me and head on over to their store and try if for yourself.
Finally, how does it all work? It is free to shop at Grove Collaborative. You simply purchase the products, like you would from any other online retailer and pay a flat rate of $2.99 for shipping or you can sign up for their V.I.P Membership, which I highly recommend. The V.I.P membership costs only $19.99 for a year and you receive free shipping every time your order ships, customizable monthly auto-shipments, 4 free full-sized gifts throughout the year, exclusive sales, and early access to new products.
I personally love that each month I receive a reminder email that my order will be shipping soon which reminds me to login to my account and update my cart. Usually, my previously ordered products are already in my cart so I am able to make adjustments before shipping just in case I don't need to replenish certain products quite yet. It also gives me the opportunity to explore new products and take advantage of special free gifts with purchase.
Oh, and one other amazing aspect of Grove Collaborative is their costumer service. No matter what time of day you can get a hold of someone to handle any of your questions and concerns. They also act quickly to resolve any issues. So what are you waiting for, get over there and check out this amazing company (not a sponsor, but highly recommend).
You may be asking, What are Beejou wraps?
They are an amazing product created by two beautiful busy moms searching for a way to help the environment. Beejou wraps are an environmentally friendly product that reduces plastic waste. No more single use sandwich bags or plastic wrap. These amazing wraps replace all those single use products.
Each wrap is made from organic cotton, organic Jojoba oil, sustainably sourced tree resin, and organic beeswax locally sourced from Wisconsin. This combination of ingredients creates waterproof, easy to clean, naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial wraps that can be used over and over again.
The ladies behind these wraps are Lydia and Denise. They are two busy moms from Wisconsin, each with four children creating a sustainable future for their family. They love the outdoors, gardening, and eating healthy. These ladies are sharing their amazing product with the community and hoping this small change will make a big impact.
These wraps have made it on my Best of the Best list because they have helped me change my habits when it comes to single use plastic. I use my wraps everyday. I use them to cover bowls of leftovers, wrap around lunch time sandwiches, and wrap around bread, vegetables, fruit, and cheeses. They are an affordable great quality product that you are sure to love. Pick up your pack ofBeejou Wraps today! www.beejouwraps.com
Inspire to Gather
Welcome to our website and blog. We are so pleased you have decided to stop by and join us on this wonderfully crazy journey called life. Here you will find inspiration to create a warm and inviting home, along with tips and ideas for throwing a beautiful gathering, some of our favorite recipes and products, along with little bits and pieces of our own lives. So get comfy and enjoy!