Relay Foods is not brand new to Baltimore, but I’ll be the first to admit, despite its EXTREME convenience, I just don’t utilize the service enough. If you’re not familiar with Relay, its basically a sustainable, online farmer’s market that brings locally sourced, fresh produce, products from Baltimore-based companies and more to you, for FREE. As in, you can avoid the grocery store entirely and shop online (I prefer to do so in pajamas, with a glass of wine in hand) and pick up your order at any of their many pickup locations around town. Or, you can subscribe to Doorstep, in which you’ll get unlimited groceries delivered to your door for $19/year, or a single home delivery for $12…yup, it’s just that damn easy.
One of my favorite things about Relay, besides the fact that you can now order Gundalow Juice thru their market, is their SWEET Refer-A-Friend program, in which you can send a friend a promo for $20 off their first Relay order, and get $20 credit yourself – no joke, I’ve accumulated $160 worth of free groceries in the past, and simultaneously made my friends’ lives easier. Here’s our referral link – we scratch your back, you scratch our’s 😉
Now, in an ideal world, Sunday’s are my day off, to meal plan, go to the store, prep, relax, plan out my glasses, walk the pup, you know, all those “adult” things, but let’s be honest that just doesn’t always happen. Weekend before last just happened to be one of those weekends, and we went into the work week with good intentions, and an empty fridge. Enter Relay Foods. I saw that Relay had recently begun offering a weekly meal plan program (tailored to every dietary need out there!), so Monday night Ryan made his chili (our go-to, quick dinner that yields plenty of leftovers), we choose 3 options from the “30 Minute Meal” category and Tuesday afternoon I picked up the goods from the Patterson Park Charter School pickup location.
Total disclosure: In selecting the 3 meals, I wasn’t going for *AS* healthy as possible – my fiancee & I both had a really active week planned of 10k training, yoga teacher training, teaching barre, etc. so I really just choose the 3 most convenient, tasty looking options that we’d BOTH eat – again, trying to keep it simple and DO LESS here. I’ll also be completely honest – my fiancee made all 3 of these dinners, I just took the pictures and “did the shopping”… sounds fair to me! That being said, he didn’t complain once (they were THAT easy) and we had plenty of leftovers to take for lunch throughout the week.
Tuesday Night: Paleo Buffalo Turkey Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday Night: Creamy Red Pepper and Tomato Basil Pasta
Thursday Night: We had planned to keep the home-cooked dinner streak alive, but I had a weekend-long training beginning Friday night, so we enjoyed dinner out instead.
Friday Night: Artichoke Pesto and Kale Pizza With Sundried Tomatoes
Needless to say, we ate well, saved time, and managed to avoid the daily 3PM “What should we do for dinner?” text exchange all week long. I’m amazed every time HOW much smoother the week goes when meals are planned and we don’t even have to think about it. We even treated ourselves to dinner at our favorite Fells Point spot after my training wrapped up Saturday night, satisfied that we’d been “responsible” all week long:) We did make one quick run to Harris Teeter for essentials (namely K-cups, dog poop bags, and agave nectar because I was insistent it’d be cheaper in the store), but overall Relay had everything we needed for the week!
While I really enjoyed the meal plan feature, especially the convenience of simply selecting my desired meals and having all the necessary ingredients automatically added to my cart, I did notice there were a FEW items I didn’t necessarily need, such as an entire head of celery just to use as garnish for the turkey burgers. Also, I didn’t take the time to take stock of what staples we already had before placing my order, which would be my recommendation to help keep costs down and avoid having doubling up on something you rarely use, like heavy cream.
If you haven’t tried Relay yet, we definitely recommend it – in fact, they’ll even be providing some lite snacks for our CorePower meetup this Sunday at 11AM! Try it (using our link, while you’re at it) and let us know what you think!