What’s this all about?
Everyone is busy, and dinner is usually the LAST thing that we think about. However, how 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 groceries, you get meals that are ready to cook OR if you prefer, ready to 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!
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 using groceries that have already been shopped and prepped for you.
What will this cost?
You can expect to pay about $5 per serving (for our full-sized meals) for food that is fresh, wholesome, and delicious. 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). You’ll get 10% off if you order a Dinner Deal.
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 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! Looking for a week's worth of meals? Wanna just be set for the month? Opt for a Dinner Deal, 3 or more meals a week for 4 weeks. Not sure you can cook them all?. You can leave a few out for the first week and then 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 are really meals for 1 husband and 1, maybe 2, kids. So we always ended up having to make MORE food. Not a great use of time. At. All. Our proteins range from 1.5-3 lbs depending on the meal. 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.
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!
Who’s prepping the groceries?
We are! Jen and LeAnn (co-owners of Dinner Dispatch) prep each meal with love and care so that you don’t have to! We prep in a 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.
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.
Will I need anything else to make my meals?
Not much! Some meals will have everything you need right in the bag. We try to make this the case as much as possible. However, since all of our meals come freezer-ready, there are some items that we cannot include. Primarily 3 groups of items are not included: dairy (cheese, milk, sour cream), grains (buns, tortillas, rice), and fresh produce (generally ones with high water content). We call these items ‘meal-time ingredients.’ For many folks, they have these items already in their pantry. Otherwise, you can add them to your weekly shopping list.
So what do I do when it is time for dinner?
Easy! Just follow the recipe card, cook, and serve! Then 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. 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 in that week, it goes bad.
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, whole 30, etc.) This is why our seasonings are AMAZING! Not only are they certified GF and made in a peanut-free facility, but they are naturally lower in sodium, sugar, and carbs than grocery store brands. In designing the kits, we kept in mind current food trends and lifestyles. You will find meals that completely meet GF, DF, or vegetarian standards and these options will be labeled as such in the description of the meal.
Are the groceries organic?
Currently, we are not using organic groceries for our meals.. We, however, are health and environment conscious and we shop and purchase only items that we would feel good feeding to our own families. We aim to bring you only high quality meats and veggies, but if you are interested in an organic option, we can certainly try to honor that request. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 don’t use any processed foods in our meals-just proteins and veggies!
Can I make changes to my grocery order?
We want your groceries to meet your family’s needs. We can customize in the following ways:
Make groceries gluten free and dairy free.
Exchange dark meat for white meat (chicken) + $5/meal.
Exchange seafood for white meat chicken.
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!
What if I need to order more?
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.
How much does delivery cost?
Our base delivery fee is $4 from our kitchen, and then $0.50 per mile, 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 limited pickup options upon request. If you pay our delivery fee at checkout and prefer to pick up, please contact us (email@example.com) and we can refund your delivery fee.
Who will be delivering my meals?
We will! We take great pride in making sure your meals arrive to you safe and sound. We love seeing you at delivery and are available to answer any questions you may have.
When do you deliver?
Dinner Dispatch delivers prepped dinners every Monday (with a few weeks off here and there). As much as possible, we try to get deliveries done in our 3-7pm window but traffic and weather conditions may cause us to be off and you'll receive text notifications when we are on our way and when we've dropped off your meals! We will knock at delivery- we love seeing you! - and see if you have any questions. If you’re not home, no worries! We’ll follow up with emails to make sure you know what you need to do.
How will my groceries be delivered?
Your groceries will be dropped off according to the delivery window on the BOOK ONLINE section. 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 until you are ready to finish the prepping process.
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! Groceries will be delivered 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 until you are ready to finish the prepping process.
Can I change the address of my delivery?
As long as the address is in the Des Moines metro, we should be able to accomodate.
Can you deliver to a P.O Box?
No. Because your meals are perishable, we want to make sure we deliver to a secure location. We don’t want anyone messing with your meals. 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?
We begin the planning/shopping process about 3 days prior to delivery date. If you are able to change your date at least 72 hrs before your delivery date, we can switch your delivery to another week. If it is a case of you not being able to get to the delivered goods in a timely manner, we can work out arrangements to make that work. Just connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org