What’s this all about?
Everyone is busy, and dinner is usually the LAST thing that we think about. However, the way we fuel our bodies and how that affects our health is HUGE. We help you solve the dinnertime dilemma by making healthy, fresh meals accessible. With our delivered, prepped meals, you get dinners that are ready to cook OR throw in the freezer. At dinnertime, all you need to do is cook. EASY! With a variety of menu options and sizes, you are sure to find meals that fit your family AND your wallet! Say goodbye to dinnertime stress!
How will it save me time?
Think about the average time you spend…
At the grocery store: 30 minutes
Planning meals: 20 minutes
Prepping 1 dinner: 20 minutes x 3 meals = 60 minutes
Total time spent on getting 3 dinners ready to cook = 110 minutes!
With Dinner Dispatch, you’ll spend less than 5 minutes taking your bag from the fridge to the cooking vessel. Since everything is sliced, seasoned, and measured, all you need to do is just cook according to the easy-to-follow cooking directions.
What will this cost?
You can expect to pay about $6 per serving (for our full-sized meals) for food that is fresh, wholesome, and delicious. And this is for a complete plate- protein, veggies, and grain are generally included with every meal.
We offer full-size meals (4-6 adult servings … how hungry the eaters are in your house will determine how many!) and half size meals (2-3 adult servings). We also offer single-serving meals that are a generous portion for one. These are $10 each or 15% off when you purchase 3 or more.
Want to save every time you make dinner? Order our Dinner Deals to save up to 10% AND get free shipping on qualifying orders!
Are we for you?
Depending on your situation, these prices might sound totally worth it to you, or you might not be so sure. If you’re the type who loves cooking and menu planning, and you excel at optimizing a food budget, then it is definitely more than you’re already spending. Could you eat for cheaper? Sure! Depending on how you do it, DIY meal prep, regular daily cooking, or buying boxed / convenience foods at the grocery store are most definitely cheaper. You can totally buy a box of spaghetti noodles for $1.50, a jar of sauce for $3, and a pound of ground beef for $4 and feed a family of 4 … but can you eat cheaper at this level of convenience and have actual healthy, restaurant-quality meals made with whole foods? If, however, you’re more like the person who is exhausted after a long day of work and still has to run the kids back and forth to swimming practice while magically fitting in a healthy meal, your reality right now is that you either stress over what to cook in the 20 free minutes you have, or you suffer from mom guilt over the fast food you felt stuck ordering. If this describes you, then we probably are exactly the right fit for you!
What do I need to do to get started?
All you need to do to get started is simply pick which meals you want! New menus arrive every Thursday morning. Pick from 5 new main meal options each week, along with breakfast and snack items. We even offer 1 vegan meal each week, and some of our main meals can be adjusted to be vegetarian. Just ask!
Wanna just be set for dinner week after week? Opt for a Dinner Deal. With three options, you can make sure you are never without a meal plan.
Not sure you can cook them all? Most of our meals are freezer friendly, so you can cook some right away and freeze the rest so you know you have healthy meal options at your fingertips.
How many people does each meal feed?
Our portions are generous to say the least. We’ve researched other meal services and found that the meals for 4 often do not really feed 4 people. We tried them, and we always ended up having to make MORE food. Not a great use of time. At. All.
Most of our full-sized meals feature 1.5 pounds of protein, and almost all have several vegetables as well! Generally, we say that our full size feeds 4-6 adults and our half size has 2-3 adult servings. Our single-serving meals follow the same course: plenty of food to make sure you don’t leave the table hungry!
What if I don't have a family to feed?
Great question! While our meals were first designed to feed a family, each of them has a half size option, too, that makes a dinner for 2 and also a lunch portion. If you are just cooking for you, you can use 1 or 2 meals for the week and then use the leftovers to make up another dinner and a lunch. When you change up the sides, it will keep things exciting. You can also re-imagine the leftovers: pulled pork sandwiches one night turn into pork over rice another and a pork taco the next!
Our new single-serving meals were designed not only for the singleton but also for those who might have different tastes/schedules to deal with. Instead of stressing over making multiple meals, give the kids what they want and make a wholesome dinner without the fuss for you!
Who’s prepping the meals?
We are! Jen and LeAnn (co-owners of Dinner Dispatch), along with our AMAZING team, prep each meal with love and care so that you don’t have to! We prep in our own licensed commercial kitchen so that we are able to bring the best quality products to you. Cutting out the middleman, we can be assured that everything meets our standards and that we can offer a variety of products and services that would otherwise not be available.
How do I get my meals?
There are two ways you can get your Dinner Dispatch meals. If you’ve pre-ordered through our website, you can choose pick-up or delivery. Deliveries happen weekly on Mondays, beginning around 3pm. If you choose to pickup, stop by our kitchen in Windsor Heights after 3pm on Monday.
Did you miss the pre-order deadline? No worries! See what we have in our Grab & Go cooler. We are open 6 days a week. We will make sure you get an easy dinner!
What do I need to do once my groceries get there?
It’s so easy! Just put the meals in your refrigerator like any other groceries. Because things taste best when fresh, we recommend that you use the meals in your fridge within 5 days, and we always send a menu planner so you know which meals are best eaten right away and which ones can go in the freezer for later!
Will I need anything else to make my meals?
Not much! All meals will have everything you need right in the bag — toppings, finishing ingredients, and side dishes! Our goal is to make sure you don’t have to go to the store. The most notable omission is water — and we’re confident you have that around the house!
So what do I do when it is time for dinner?
Easy! Just follow the recipe card, cook, and serve! We try to make the ‘hands-on’ time as easy and effortless as possible. Generally, most meals plop into a cooking vessel and then you just monitor the cooking. Easy!
Now that that’s done, pat yourself on the back for making healthy meals at home a priority!
How long will these stay fresh in the freezer?
Any meals that you don’t eat within 5 days of getting your delivery should go in the freezer if we’ve labeled them as freezer friendly. You’ll notice a snowflake icon on the recipe card for meals that are freezer friendly. We know life doesn't always go according to plan, so these stay amazing weeks and even months after you put them in the freezer. We do suggest using within 3 months for the best taste.This is such an advantage over other meal prep services where if you aren’t able to make the meal that week, it goes bad. Reducing food waste is one of our main goals!
What if I have special dietary needs or allergies?
We know that many people are dealing with food allergies or are following certain dietary lifestyles (paleo, low carb, Weight Watchers, Whole30, etc.) In the item descriptions, we specify which meals are completely GF, DF, or vegetarian. We also make suggestions as to how you could modify a meal to meet your needs. Often, there are variants to allow for easy GF, DF, or vegetarian swaps. Additionally, all of our ingredients are posted for each meal. Have a specific question or need? Simply drop us a line and we will see how we can help you! We are able to make certain modifications.
I’m on a diet. Will this work for me?
You bet! No matter what eating lifestyle you are following, we can make it work. Our philosophy is that when you eat clean, fresh food, you will be fueling your body in the way nature intended. We usually don’t use processed foods in our meals — just proteins and veggies! If we do include something processed like a bun or corn bread, it’s on the side and up to you if you want to eat it! Nutritional information is included. Because our portions are generous, you could certainly get more servings per meal, which would reduce calorie count per serving.
Can I make changes to my order?
We want your meals to meet your family’s needs. In the product descriptions, we offer easy ways to make your meals GF/DF. Often it’s as easy as picking a variant!
We are also happy to omit ingredients you don’t prefer, and reduce salt or spicy ingredients if you’re sensitive.
When you order, you will be prompted to insert any allergies or substitutions that need to be made. If you have questions, PLEASE connect with us and we will see what we can do for you! If you’ve requested modifications that aren’t possible, we promise to reach out to you and let you know, and we’ll work something out!
What if I need to add to my order?
We know that sometimes you forget to add meals to your order (hello freezer meals!), so if you ever place extra orders for the same delivery date, please know that we'll automatically refund the duplicate delivery fees after orders have been fully processed.
How much does delivery cost?
Our base delivery fee is $4 from our kitchen, and then is based on distance, with a maximum fee of $10. You are also eligible for a flat $6 delivery fee with any order of $150 or more.
Where do you deliver?
We regularly deliver anywhere within 20 miles of our kitchen but have a large enough customer base in Ames that we also deliver to that community. If you place an order and are outside of our normal 20-mile delivery range, we will contact you to make alternate arrangements.
Can I pick up my meals?
Dinner Dispatch offers free pickup at our kitchen. Grab your order on Mondays after 3pm. We are open til 7pm for your convenience.
Who will be delivering my meals?
We will! We take great pride in making sure your meals arrive to you safe and sound. Our delivery team is hired by Dinner Dispatch, and they are a dedicated crew! With our delivery software, you can text your driver with any additional information, if necessary, and track your delivery.
When do you deliver?
Dinner Dispatch delivers prepped dinners every Monday (with a few weeks off here and there for holidays). As much as possible, we try to get deliveries done in our 2-7pm window, but traffic and weather conditions may cause us to be off. You'll always receive text notifications when we are on our way and when we've dropped off your meals! We will knock or ring the bell at delivery. If you’re not home, no worries! Just make sure you move the meals to the fridge in a timely fashion.
How will my groceries be delivered?
Groceries will be in a zipped, insulated cooler bag. While groceries can stay cold for several hours, we recommend you take groceries in and put them in the refrigerator and/or freezer until you are ready to cook!
I work during the day and won’t be home for my delivery. Is that okay?
Of course! While we’d love to see you when we drop off meals, we get it that your life is busy. And that’s why this is a perfect option for you. How amazing will it feel to pull up after a long day at work and have dinners waiting for you! It can even be dinner for THAT NIGHT! Meals will be delivered in a zipped, insulated cooler bag. While meals can stay cold for several hours, we recommend you take groceries in and put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
Can I change the address of my delivery?
As long as the address is in the Des Moines metro, we should be able to accommodate as long as we know before Monday (delivery day!).
Can you deliver to a P.O Box?
Sorry, we cannot deliver to PO Boxes. Because your meals are perishable, we want to make sure we deliver to a secure and attended location. Ask a neighbor if they can accept the delivery (they will be SO jealous!) or consider using a work location as a drop off, instead!
Can I change my delivery date?
This gets a little complicated because of our production schedule. If you need to change your delivery date, just reach out to us and we’ll work something out! It usually depends on when you ordered and how many of the meals you chose were freezer friendly.