Monday, November 17, 2008


This post has been way too long in coming. My apologies to my bloggy-buddy, Shannon.

Ages ago (um, like in October....which, yeah, would be a full month ago....told you this was a long time in coming), Shannon had a blog contest, giving away a gift subscription to Relish. You left a comment for one entry, and if you blogged about the contest, you got a second entry.

Enter Bad-Blogging-Friend-Fact (BBFF)-1: I entered her contest, but failed to blog about it.
Despite my one, lone entry (due to BBFF-1), I managed to win! Lovely Shannon gifted me with a complimentary 6-month subscription to Relish.

Enter BBFF-2: I didn't even blog about Shannon's generosity immediately after it happened.
I hereby appologize two dozen times to Shannon for being an ungrateful clout. Everyone should go visit her blog and tell her how sorry I am.

Now that I have appeased the blogging gods by offering up my appologies, I can get on to the fun part and answer what you're all probably asking: What the heck is Relish?

It's fabulous, that's what it is. It's a meal-planning site that does all the work for you, right down to organizing your grocery list. Every week, the site offers you 10 meals, from which you can select 5. After you select your 5 meals, you get a PDF document with all the recipes and an organized grocery list. Once a month, they post several new freezer-friendly recipes from which you can select 4. Again, you get a PDF document with the recipes and an organized grocery list. So if you use one freezer meal a week and have one night for left overs, you're golden. (As an aside, all recipes can be scaled to feed between 2 and 10 people.)

The site is incredibly user-friendly and (I know this is what you're really wondering) unbelieveably inexpensive: $21 buys you a three-month subscription (the shortest subscription you can buy). I'll admit, the last month has been crazy, so this week is the first week that I have been able to truly utitlize the service.

My first concern was about the over-all cost of groceries. Shannon had posted that it was about the same as her normal grocery shopping, but I was still concerned. Especially when I saw my bill shoot up about $40 higher than usual. BUT, I quickly realized that I had purchased several non-normal purchases: a gallon of vegetable oil, ziplock bags, Kleenex, etc.. When I deducted those, I found the cost to be essentially the same: $135. If I try hard, I can get the grocery bill to $100/wk, but that's rare. So for week one at least, the grocery cost is quite comperable.

They do seem to like pre-packaged items. For instance, tonight we're having pre-made tortellini and Pillsbury breadsticks, and tomorrow night we'll be using Pillsbury pizza crust. But for the industrious and frugal, you could easily make your own breadsticks and crust. (Heck, you could even make your own tortellini, were you so inclined.)

I'll be posting the recipe highlights in the weeks to come.

So one more time, Shannon, I'm sorry, and thank you!

(On an un-related note, I hope to post a bread recipe later tonight.)