My #1 Mom Hack for Making Back-to-School Weeknight Meals Easier

This post was in partnership with Blue Apron but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

In an ordinary year, the back-to-school season is full of rocky transitions. From adjusting bedtimes to packing lunches to coordinating drop-off and pick-up times, everything feels like an unwelcome wakeup call. But this fall, after a year of remote learning and barely a playdate, the very thought of easing my kids into the classroom again keeps me up at night—which is to say nothing of the pressures my husband and I feel when it comes to school night dinners.

Come late August and September, my family becomes a whirlwind of activity, with this one darting off to preschool at 8 a.m. and that one in line for drop-off at 8:30. Someone always has an evening ballet class, a playdate, or a soccer game—and someone else is resisting tearing her hair out over common core math (OK, that one is me). In short, there’s barely enough time for my husband and I to brush our teeth, much less meal plan, grocery shop, and cook dinners our children will actually eat.

 

There’s barely enough time for my husband and I to brush our teeth, much less meal plan, grocery shop, and cook dinners our children will actually eat … That’s why I’m so relieved to have discovered the meal kit subscription boxes from Blue Apron.

 

That’s why I’m so relieved to have discovered the meal kit subscription boxes from Blue Apron. Especially as another strange school year begins, my family will undoubtedly scramble for quick, easy meals to throw on the table. In the past, we relied on spaghetti and cheese quesadillas, both super quick dishes that require very little thought or energy, which is just the amount I have of both at the end of a long day.

The problem? Neither of these meals is particularly nutritious nor very exciting. For a while, my husband and I learned to reframe dinnertime from something to enjoy together to simple fuel that would get us through the next day. Talk about depressing.

Blue Apron

Subscription Meal Kit

Get up to 16 free meals when you sign up for Blue Apron now through 8/23!

 

Then I Met Blue Apron

I was introduced to Blue Apron—a company offering meal kit deliveries—just when I needed it most: in the midst of the pandemic, when my family was practically bored to tears of every dish hitting the dinner table.

As I scrolled through the recipe selections for families of four, I was determined to choose meals I could never cook on my own. For this 20-year vegetarian, that meant pan-fried chicken for my meat-eating family. As someone who has cooked meat only a handful of times, following the step-by-step instructions on the recipe card was, to my relief, a breeze. The chicken was a surprise hit, and while I’ll likely stick to plant-based options going forward, trying something out of my comfort zone was pretty fun. I even got my toddler involved to mash the potatoes. 

Here’s how Blue Apron’s meal kit service works:

  • Each month, the company releases 35+ recipes to choose from, many of which appeal to a wide range of dietary preferences like vegetarians and those looking for low-calorie options.
  • Select from two, three, or four meal kits each week and choose to feed just two people or a family of four.
  • Need flexibility? Blue Apron has you covered. You can swap, pause, or change your delivery options anytime you wish.
  • When your meal kit arrives at your door, it includes a recipe card and all the ingredients needed to cook an easy, quick, and restaurant-worthy dish.
  • Each recipe card walks you through the exact steps you need to get dinner on the table—often in under 35 minutes.
Blue Apron

Subscription Meal Kit

Get up to 16 free meals when you sign up for Blue Apron now through 8/23!

 

Why Blue Apron Works for Me

There’s a lot to love about Blue Apron, but during this busy season of life, I most appreciate its simplicity. At the end of the day, my husband and I don’t want to spend time in front of the refrigerator stressing over what to cook. Instead, the meal kits from Blue Apron provide all the wonderful aspects of cooking—fresh ingredients, intoxicating scents, and a hot meal to name a few—without any of the associated hassle. With Blue Apron, we receive the ingredients we need in the exact measurements a recipe calls for, so there are never leftover items left wilting in our fridge.

 

Instead, the meal kits from Blue Apron provide all the wonderful aspects of cooking—fresh ingredients, intoxicating scents, and a hot meal to name a few—without any of the associated hassle.

 

To help speed things along, each meal kit also includes the specialty sauces you need to bring your dish to next-level deliciousness. The best part? They arrive ready to go, without any additional mixing or prep work.

For our family, Blue Apron’s meal kits have been a time saver, which is especially useful as the hectic pace of a new school year begins. Each recipe gives us a moment of relief in the kitchen because we know we can follow step-by-step instructions for a dinner our whole family can enjoy.

 

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This post was in partnership with Blue Apron but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.