It’s the chore that never goes away. Dinner creeps up on us every single night! We all have to eat. And then there is the pressure to have balanced, healthy meals (for good reason).
I feel like I am always reaching for the perfect balance for my family. Like most parents, I feel the eyes of “those people” that talk about how our world has crumbled since our families don’t sit together every night around the table. Of course, today’s standard is to gather around the table with a balanced, home cooked, organic meal. (I am really holding back from rolling my eyes).
That is just not our reality every night.
Sometimes I just don’t have my act together or I forgot to turn on the crockpot or I simply didn’t make plans or we have dance/soccer/tennis. This usually requires some form of take out. Or PB&J or bowls of cereal or fend-for-yourself night. My children are seven and four so that last option really requires more work on my part.
I make a solid effort to eat at home. I meal prep on Sundays. I have joined a DISH group at Hy-Vee (I highly recommend). I have mastered the Instant Pot. I just can’t do it all the time.
These are our favorite, local takeout options. Because, let’s be real, eating at a restaurant with kids on a school night is almost torture.
Grinder’s and Spaghetti House
With three Quad City locations, you can easily find one along your route home. Our family likes the family feast. For $18.49 you can get the Spaghetti Feast (they have other feast options as well). They claim it feeds four. We have found that it feeds us at least twice! The feast comes with garlic or cinnamon bread and a Gondola 16# sub.
Papa Murphy’s Take N Bake
I can call from work and by the time I get to their drive through our order is ready. I have tried numerous menu options, and they have all been great. When I was being more health conscious, I tried the Gourmet Vegetarian from their Gourmet Delite options, and it’s now my favorite. The kids aren’t as thrilled with this option, but with their great prices I can easily grab another pizza. I can always find a coupon as well on their website.
Hy-Vee Chinese or Panda Garden
Our kids love this option. It’s turned into a thing at our house. We like Hy-Vee if we need to grab some other stuff as well. Convenience is sometimes the priority, but this has turned into more of a treat than a need to feed the family. Panda Garden in Bettendorf delivers (and it’s the one close to me). For those of you that live in LeClaire, they deliver for only $3.00 more (which seems 100% worth it when you have already removed your bra for the evening).
We are creatures of habit, and these are go-to options. I would love to have some more options – especially healthy ones. Tips, tricks, and ideas are welcome because I need an answer every single night! What are your favorites?