Carrie’s Kitchen Story: Saving Time, Money and Stress

Meet Carrie – She cooks for herself (a vegetarian) and her husband (an omnivore). They are two busy, working professionals who try to cook at home as much as possible. This is her kitchen story…

She tried meal planning before
“It started off great–I went through tons of recipes and planned out two weeks worth of menus that used mostly the same ingredients; I took an inventory of our pantry and made a list of what staples we already had; I used my complete and double-checked list to order our groceries online and have them delivered that evening; and I made two weeks of delightful dinners for a price so low that it shocked us. That happened exactly once.

How she used to cook
“In the past year or so, we’ve reverted to eating the same 5-10 things that I can remember the ingredients for when I jot down a list on my way to the store. I always forget something and one of us ends up making a last-minute run. Food goes bad because I buy it for one dish and then can’t figure out what to do with the rest of it. We have at least three jars of cumin and no coriander because I always confuse which one we have plenty of and which one we have none of. Same goes for flour and sugar.”

How she used to waste time and money
“Before Gatheredtable: Usually, I would come to the sudden realization that we had no food for dinner that night and I’d make a list in a rush at work about 15 minutes before heading to the store. Sometimes I wrote down a list of dishes I planned to make and let that guide me. Other times I went looking for inspiration online or in the store and ended up with a bag of bulk dried chickpeas or something that I was going to do something fabulous with. (Don’t worry–the chickpeas have chia seeds and sour cassava flour to keep them company until my genius is ready to be realized.) This technique also resulted in basics like shredded cheese being forgotten, even when I knew I planned to make enchiladas, so 3+ stops at the grocery store every week were common.”

Enter Gatheredtable…
“After Gatheredtable: I spend about 30 minutes tweaking my weekly menu and shopping list. Then, I either print my list and run to the store or order my groceries for delivery. I spend the time saved experimenting with cocktail recipes.”

Why she loves using Gatheredtable:

  • Saved time, stress and inconvenience: “I could never decide what was worse: the drudgery of carefully planning out menus or the stress of trying to pull something together at the last second. Now I think about our nightly dinners exactly once a week when I review the GT menu and shopping list.”
  • The recipes: “The selection of vegetarian meals is pretty impressive and it’s definitely added some variety to our meals since previously I tended to fall back on a few tried-and-trues to keep weeknight meals fast and easy.”
  • Plus, she can add her own recipes: “I like being able to add my own recipes and modify the ones suggested by Gatheredtable. As a picky eater, I make lots of changes and substitutions and it’s awesome to have that automatically reflected in my grocery list once I’ve edited the recipe.”
  • Less food waste: “Best of all, food waste in my house is down to nearly zero thanks to the menu plans that group together meals using similar ingredients! “

And something she’d like to see added:
“I’d love to have the ability to plan a week’s menus around a specific ingredient. I garden, and right now I have boatloads of tomatoes and zucchini, so it would be nice to specify that I want a week of dinners to help me use them up.”


Some of Carrie’s favorite recipes:

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This is part of a series called “Kitchen Stories” where we share stories from our team and our customers about how they use Gatheredtable (and tips for the kitchen in general). Have a story to share? Send us a note at humans@gatheredtable.com.

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