Tag Archives: mother’s day 2021

Give Mom the Gift of Hassle Free Dinners

By Tracey Dowdy

If you’re wracking your brain trying to come up with a clever, unique gift for Mother’s Day, have I got a suggestion for you. At this point, no one needs to be reminded that the past year has been challenging, and perhaps no one has felt the pressure more than mom. One of the frustrations I heard most often from my mom friends was the never-ending demand for snacks and meals. It seemed the breakfast dishes had just been cleared when someone would be sniffing around the pantry looking for snacks. Those crumbs would be still on the floor when the cry of “What’s for lunch?” would sound. Don’t get them started on the “Spaghetti? Again?” battle over dinner time. 

This year, give mom the gift of one less thing to think about and shop for through a meal subscription plan. Each of these options – Home Chef,  EveryPlateFreshlyHelloFresh, and Blue Apron  – works similarly. Their chefs create delicious, balanced, and healthy recipes with all the ingredients you need shipped to your door. Each delivers to most US zip codes and uses packaging that keeps ingredients fresh for up to 24 hours after delivery (in case you’re not home) and for up to four or five days in the fridge. Each runs frequent promotions like Hello Fresh’s $90 credit and free shipping for new customers and Blue Apron’s $80 savings over your first four boxes. 

Home Chef categorizes its meals by difficulty, from easy to expert, and offers weekly recipe rotations for all skill levels and dietary preferences, including calorie or carb-conscious and vegetarian options. You can customize meals to upgrade, swap, or double up your favorite protein on select recipes, skip deliveries, or pause your account anytime. Plans start at $6.99 per meal with a minimum order of two meals/two plates, and shipping is $6.99 per order. 

EveryPlate’s meals start at $4.99 per meal, making it the least expensive option on this list. Their minimum order is three meals/two plates with $8.99 shipping per order. You can choose from 14 recipes that change every week, each with six simple steps and designed to be on the table in 30 minutes. The one downside is the lack of vegetarian meal options. 

Freshly meals are $8.99 each and require a four meal minimum per order – the most among the other plans on this list. Each fully prepared meal is delivered fresh and ready to heat and eat in three minutes or less. Plans are flexible, and you can change up your number of meals, skip a delivery, or cancel anytime. 

HelloFresh offers the largest variety of meal options of the services in this list and is America’s top meal kit, offering the widest variety of recipes to over a million customers around the country. Meals are $8.99 per plate with a two-meal minimum per order and $6.99 shipping. Choose from 25 fresh recipes every week, with options like “20-Minute Meals,” “Craft Burgers,” and “Taste Tours.” You can pause or cancel anytime, as long as you hit “Pause” five days before your next delivery schedule.

Blue Apron’s boxes offer step-by-step recipes for three meals for two, four, or six people, priced at $7.49 per serving with three meals/two plates minimum on each order, plus free shipping. You can choose from their Signature or Signature for four plans customized to dietary preferences to personalize the menus you receive. Right now, new Customers can save $80 over their first four boxes. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Mother’s Day Subscription Boxes

By Tracey Dowdy

Let’s face it, going to the mailbox to grab your mail is a lot less fun than it used to be. According to the U.S. Postal Service, we’re sending 4.3 billion fewer letters and cards than just twenty years ago. That’s a 61% drop from the days when email and text weren’t our primary lines of communication. These days, there’s a good chance there’s nothing but bills and junk mail in that mailbox. 

But there’s still something magical about going to the mailbox and finding something addressed to you that isn’t another credit card offer or flyer from your local dry cleaner. (Side note, support local small businesses). Everyone loves a surprise, and to know they’re thought of – it puts a smile on our face. 

One way to bring a smile to mom’s face this Mother’s Day is to gift her with not just any subscription box, but one filled with treats she’s sure to love. Here are some delicious options. 

Goldbelly “believes in the emotional power of food and understands that for many of us, food is our love language. They offer everything from regional favorites to full brunch platters, cakes, pies, and iconic sandwich kits. Is mom a Magnolia Bakery fan? Loves her some Primanti Brothers? How about cheesecake from the Nuns of New Skete? Goldbelly has you covered. Right now, they have special offers for Mother’s Day, offering everything from Mother’s Day Cupcake Bouquets from We Take the Cake in Fort Lauderdale to a Three-Course Shrimp & Grits Dinner for two from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. You can even send a bouquet of a dozen bagel flowers from The Bagel Nook in New Jersey. 

If mom is a cheese lover, Murray’s Cheese has you covered. This isn’t your basic block of grocery store cheddar – we’re talking Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve cheeses – wheels that have sourced green then aged into unique creations in our very own New York City cheese caves. Their private line represents the best of a particular type of gourmet cheese, whether Comté, Parmigiano ReggianoCheddarStilton, or Brie. You can prepay for three months of cheese deliveries for $175, and each shipment will include three to four expertly selected cheeses. 

Does mom run on coffee and determination? We can do something to help with at least part of that – Trade coffee offers a personalized selection of coffee from top roasters across the country. The beans are fresh – like, really fresh – with some hitting your mailbox in as little as two days after roasting. Gifting a subscription is easy and starts at $13 for 12-ounce bags and goes up from there. You can also choose from Trade’s a la carte gift options, including individual bags or bundles that start at $48.   

Fish in the mail? Hear me out! Opened in 1822, the Bronx’s Fulton Fish Market is one of the oldest fish markets in the US, and if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to stroll through the market or taste their unbelievably fresh and delicious seafood, you know mom will love it. Seafood at your local grocery store has likely been frozen and then thawed and possibly frozen and thawed again. Fulton Fish Market’s offerings are caught, flash-frozen, packed, and sent straight to you. Any fresher, and you’d need a boat of your own. You can order fish by the piece, box, or a curated bundle. For instance, a 10-pack of 8-ounce salmon filets is roughly $90, or a halibut and salmon stock-up bundle for $99. You can also spring for the seafood subscription, and Fulton will send a monthly, bimonthly, or weekly curated box of fish starting at $65 per month for four 6-ounce portions. 

If mom has a straight-up sweet tooth and runs on bougie chocolate, Bar & Cocoa has you covered. Every month, mom will receive four full-sized dark bars from the finest bean to bar chocolate makers. Each box includes tasting notes, and all chocolate bars are plain, gluten, and dairy-free dark chocolate. Plus, shipping is free! A three-month subscription starts at $129, but you can spring for a six or 12-month run, and any of them can be canceled at any time. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Mother’s Day Gifts Under $50

By Tracey Dowdy

Many of us have felt the economic impact of the pandemic, and although there’s no gift too good for mom, our budgets aren’t as limitless as our love. Don’t stress – there are plenty of fantastic gifts for mom that fit your budget, and best of all, thanks to many of us being fully vaccinated, you may even be able to give her present to her in person this year! 

BagPodz reusable grocery bags Even before the pandemic, many states started requiring reusable shopping bags. Not only are BagPodz environmentally friendly, but they also stay in their own clip-on bag so that you can take them out one at a time. They’re machine-washable, so even if there’s a nasty spill, they’ll be clean for the next grocery run.

Tile Mate tracker Tile is a small Bluetooth tracker and that pairs with the Tile app (free) to locate commonly misplaced items like your phone, keys, or wallet in seconds. This generation of trackers has a greater range and have replaceable batteries. Right now, you can Get the Mate 2-Pack for $24.99 with a one-year subscription to Tile Premium.  

Amazon Fire 7 Tablet The Amazon Fire 7 tablet is a CNET Cheapskate Hall of Fame winner. Though there’s overlap between mom’s smartphone and a tablet, the larger screen and ability to disconnect from email and text can be a welcome change. It’s usually $50 but frequently goes on sale for $40. 

MixTiles Photo Tiles Have mom AirDrop or Nearby Share her favorite photos and turn them into Mix Tiles – 8 x8-inch tiles that can stick almost anywhere and can be repositioned without damaging your walls. Photos should be at least 499 x 499 pixels to make a clear print, and the app will warn you if your images are too small. Each tile is $11, shipping is free worldwide, and they ship to most countries around the world.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.