For years I had good intentions of regularly making healthy, home cooked meal only to find myself rushing home from the barn (always later than expected!) to an empty fridge, and then falling back on take-out, fast food or a dinner of crackers and cheese. Managing to squeeze in riding between work, kids or school is hard enough, but throw in grocery shopping, meal planning, food prep and cooking, and it’s nearly impossible. But thanks to the advice of some savvy equestrian/mom friends I’ve finally found a system that lets me ride more, shop less and still cook dinner. I only wish I had tried it sooner! Here’s what works for me:
Grocery Delivery Services
I had always assumed this would be too expensive, but many stores are now offering delivery at a very reasonable price, or even free (usually over a certain spending amount). What could be better than coming home from the barn to fresh groceries on your doorstep? Plus, it saves me the embarrassment of shopping in dirty hair-covered breeches, as I’m sure you can all relate.
I use SPUD, which delivers in Canada to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. They have a great selection of very reasonably priced local and organic foods, and awesome customer service too. They’ve been delivering our groceries for over a year and have saved me countless hours of shopping. If you want to give them a try, you can use my referral code CRCAL-JENKRD and we both get $20 of free groceries when you spend $50 or more.
Grocery Pick Up Services
If delivery’s not an option, pick up is a great alternative. Just order online, stop by the store and they’ll bring the groceries right to your car. I usually don’t wait longer than 5 minutes and it’s a great way to avoid impulse buys while browsing the aisles. Check your local store to see if this option’s available. In my area Superstore, Walmart and Save-on-Foods all have pick up available.
Meal Kit Delivery
This has been the biggest game changer for our weekday meals! If you’re not a big fan of meal planning, this is a fool proof way to have a wide variety of easy, healthy dinners with ZERO grocery shopping or planning. At first I was reluctant to try, because I thought it would put our monthly food budget through the roof, but instead it has drastically reduced our grocery bills and take out/restaurant expenses. Plus, it makes cooking a breeze with everything pre-measured and organized and there’s almost zero waste.
I use Chef’s Plate (in Canada) and get 3 meals delivered each week. Their menu choices are awesome, and there’s always kid friendly options (or some that are easily modified). Most recipes take 30 min or less and the instructions walk you through every step (pictures included). The best part is the meals are absolutely delicious, fresh and so much better than anything pre-made and frozen. If you use my referral link here, you’ll get 3 free plates and I’ll get 2 as well.
Money Saving Tip: The meals for 2 (vs. 4) are enough to feed our family of 2 adults and 2 small kids, especially if I make an extra side of rice, bread etc.
When it comes to convenience, there really is no better option than Amazon Prime, which I’ve been happily using for over a year now. When you’re a Prime Member you can get almost all your non-perishable food and household items delivered with free 2 day shipping and no minimum. There’s also added bonuses like access to movies, TV shows and kindle books. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial in the US or check out Amazon Prime in Canada.
Healthy Traditions (based in the US, formerly Tropical Traditions) is another of my long time favorites. It’s where I buy coconut oil in bulk (see Feeding Coconut Oil to Horses) plus baking supplies and skin care products. Bonus: If you order by clicking on my link and have never ordered from Healthy Traditions/Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
I hope these tips can help you spend more time with your horse and less time stressing about meals. Thank you for using my referral links! If you can’t find services like these in your area then comment below so others can help. Be sure to share this post so more can join in the discussion. Questions are always welcome too 🙂
Happy Riding (and cooking),