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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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To continue with the theme of my last post... Clark Aldrich talked about the similarities of video games and training simulations in one of his blogs for ASTD's Learning Circuits: Computer gamesVideo games and simulations

Survey: Unethical Corporate Behavior Stems From Unrealistic Objectives and Deadlines First of all, the fact that this even warranted study is a heck of a condemnation of the corporate world. That,Corporate ethics

Hmm.... how do I do this without giving away spoilers? This was simultaneously the coolest and weakest of the three X-men movies. It earns coolest because it had some excellent battleReview: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

I knew a few phrases from maybe 3 or 4 Johnny Cash songs before I saw this movie. I knew he had gone to prison (though I wasn't sure why),Review: Walk the Line

There is a lot going on in the world these days. The pace of life is increasing at an amazing rate. The progress we are making is incredible, and thereStop everything

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Grand Rapids news, weather, sports and video - Man in wheelchair takes ride on semi's grill A man in a wheelchair was struck by a semi,Buckle up!!!

I am receiving something via FedEx today. I just found this in the tracking log. 551 miles in 5 minutes! I don't know of any other method of transportation that isFedEx - Fastest trucks on the planet!

Nothing new going on here. I created the map for a project at work, and I wanted to test out the embedding plugin bubbl.us has for WordPress. So, for what it'sMind Map of Learning Technologies

Internet Time Blog » Blog Archive » Jaron Lanier When Jaron was speaking at the dedication of the Gates Computer Center at Stanford, he said "Naming a computer science building afterInternet Time Blog » Blog Archive » Jaron Lanier

CBS to “Jericho” Fans — Watch It In Real-time When It Returns - Slice of Scifi In return for bringing "Jericho" back to TV screens for an abbreviated season to wrapIn a wasted breath, CBS asks for eyes

Joe Mack owns HostPC, the company that hosts this site. He just started a new venture, called Yareo, that will become the parent company for HostPC and other internet serviceCongratulations, Joe

I've got a swirl of thoughts going on in my head at the moment. This one's gonna ramble. Hopefully it comes out making some kind of sense. I want to endI want to end my life, but I'm too lazy

Here's the cure to boredom! Over 200 Christmas specials on Fanpop! Yes, this includes all the old favorites you've come to know and love: A Charlie Brown Christmas... Frosty the Snowman... The YearStuck in the office (or your in-laws' house) during Christmas week?

Tonight the girls and I were playing games like Simon Says, Follow the Leader, and Climb All Over Dad Until His Arms Fall Off. We had almost moved into HideWeeping Angels game

This weekend I saw Spider-Man 3. Before I got to the theater, I'd been hearing all week from critics and friends that it was "okay" or it "wasn't as goodReview: The Spider-Man Trilogy

Is a meal preparation service a good deal?

Easy Meal Prep Association and Meal Assembly Directory

I’m looking for ways to live cheaper. I got a tip in the comments of another blog to check out a Meal Preparatory business. The link above is a directory of these kinds of businesses.

In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, the way it works is that you sign up for a session, choose the meals you want to make from that month’s menu, then go an prepare the meals in their store. They provide all the food, preparation utensils, storage containers, instructions, and a workspace. That saves you from having to go to the grocery store (as often) and spend a lot of time figuring out how much to buy of what, and getting the proportions right.

The idea is that you are taking advantage of the bulk savings the service is getting, as well as saving yourself some time. It looks like you can get through a session in about 2 hours, and come out with at least 40 servings (which in my house would be about 12-15 dinners, depending on how hungry I am). Try to create the same 15 dinners on your own and once you figure in shopping and preparation time you’re easily hitting 6 hours of time, conservatively.

I found a couple of these services in my area and looked at their websites. They both came out at about $200 for 42 servings, give or take, which is a little under $5 per serving. On Dream Dinners, though, you save some serious bucks the more servings you buy. For 96 servings, for example, my choices came to $340 (or $3.54/serving) – which is about a $120 savings.

Now, 96 servings will pretty much set me up with dinners for an entire month, as well as a number of leftover lunches, I would think. On the surface, this strikes me as a good deal. After all, I’m spending somewhere around $400-500 a month for groceries lately, so $340 is appealing. I did a pretty good sales job for this idea on my wife as well. I think I’ve got her willing to do it.

But something continued to nag at me about it. I think I finally figured out what it is.

Where the heck am I going to store 30 days worth of meals!?! Seriously… I’d have to buy a freezer just for that purpose! Aside from the initial cost of the freezer, that’s gotta add to the electric bill, too. That’s crazy. Even 15 days of meals is probably more than my current freezer could handle (after all, I still gotta have room for the ice cream, right?). Plus, what you get here is the entrees, not the drinks, salads, desserts, etc., so you still have to pick them up at the grocery store, and that’s gonna eat into what you’re saving (pun not intended). Besides, a good chunk of my grocery cost these days is tied up in baby food and formula, and this service doesn’t make a dent there.

Even so, I still think there is a place for these services, and I’d be willing to bet that with some flexibility on order quantity I could most likely come out ahead and not have to purchase another major appliance. But it’s probably not something we could use at this point. Maybe in a few years.

[tags]meal preparation, Dream Dinners, cooking, frugal, personal finance, living cheaply, eating in, groceries[/tags]

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