CEDAR PARK, TX–I’ve been in a meal planning slump lately.
I’m not even kidding. I went to the store at least six times in a week and STILL struggled to put together dinner every single night. Sometimes, I feel like my life is an episode of Chopped, where I have to take a random assortment of ingredients from my pantry and make something delicious…in a hurry…because everyone is hangry and we’ve got places to be.
I also travel a lot, so I get behind in meal planning sometimes. Ok, if I’m honest I stick with meal prep and planning for two weeks and then it all goes back to Taco Tuesday and Greek Taco Wednesday and Spaghetti Friday and Grilled Meat + Steamed Veg every other day.
I recently attended the Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio, and there’s just something about that show that always inspires me to do better in the kitchen. Chef Seamus Mullen gave a fantastic keynote about the foods we should be eating. We all know we should…and we just need to buckle down and make ourselves do it.
And I have no excuse! I have a pretty unique position in the food chain with knowledge and access to so much information from brands sending me recipes to The Produce Moms BB #:366223 to the Produce for Better Health Foundation BB #:157162 — you name it and I’ve probably written about it, or at least read it.
So, with that in mind, I turned to a recent blog post I saw on Produce for Kids for some one-pot meals, which I think are the perfect solution to my time-crunched lifestyle.
My secret meal planning weapon? E-commerce. Nothing keeps me on task like ordering my groceries online. I love not having the distractions of foods not on my list (see my previous comment about random pantry ingredients: this is how it all starts). I also like the flexibility of being able to come back to an order in progress and add or take off things.
Walking through the store is often a hectic free-for-all, especially if I can’t get away without my kids. Having my 5-year-old at the store with me is a sure way to a $15 tray of sushi, rambutans and three kinds of popsicles.
Enter Walmart Grocery Pickup. No, they don’t pay me to endorse them. It feels a little odd for me to say I love Walmart for groceries because I puffy-heart-eye-emoji-LOVE H-E-B for everyday grocery shopping. What’s up with that?
H-E-B’s pickup is fine and all, but I’ve had nonsensical item substitutions, the wait to pick up is often half the day – or more – and … the worst: they add 3% to the price of groceries as a convenience feel. For me, this discourages stocking up. I’d rather pay a flat fee or meet a minimum threshold, like Walmart has.
And, honestly, Walmart’s system is seamless. It’s fast. The order pickers are extremely accurate. Any substitutions I’ve had were in my favor.
See for yourself: