Pampered Chef Freezer Cooking Workshop Review

I'm always looking for ways to pick up a little extra spending or saving money, so as of this week, I've become a Pampered Chef consultant. If you want to order anything from Pampered Chef, please drop me an email through the contact form, and I'll let you know how to place your order.

Before I decided to do this, I participated in a Pampered Chef Freezer Cooking Workshop at a friend's house. I figured it would give me some meal options that I wouldn't have through Dream Dinners, as Mac and I usually order duplicates of some of the Dream Dinners meals.

The concept of the Pampered Chef Freezer Cooking Workshop is similar to Dream Dinners, but it is designed to give the consultant some sales, and give everyone who attends a chance to try out some of the Pampered Chef products. The consultant gives you a total for the Pampered Chef Pantry items you'll need to order, and then she handles placing the order. She then also sends you an email listing all of the ingredients you need to bring to the workshop for each menu item. You are responsible for going to the grocery store, buying the items, chopping, cutting, and separating the meat into Ziploc bags you've labeled with the name of the meal.

On the second page of the handout you receive, it lists the items you need when you are going to prepare the items at home. This includes soup broth, sauces, pasta, etc. If you don't buy this at the same time, you'll need to make a separate trip to the grocery store later.

You then transport all of the items on the first page of the list to the workshop in a cooler. Once there, you follow the directions provided to prep all of the veggies and assorted other items, and you add the veggies and such to Ziploc bags with the Pampered Chef Pantry items.

It is a nice way to try out various Pampered Chef products, and you do leave the workshop with several Pampered Chef Pantry items, along with seven meals. That said, it's definitely not going to cause me to stop going to Dream Dinners.

I mentioned that I go to Dream Dinners monthly, and someone said, "But it's so expensive." I spent $70 on Pampered Chef Pantry items, plus another $150 on the meats and other ingredients necessary for the meals, for what amounts to 42 servings roughly. Rounding the numbers, that's $5.25/serving. I usually spend under $5/serving at Dream Dinners. Yes, I'm sure had I not needed to buy Ziploc bags, and had I comparison shopped, I probably could have lowered my total spent on ingredients.

It involved two trips to the grocery store--one to pick up the first set of ingredients, another to pick up the ingredients I need to actually cook the meals at home. How much is my time worth? Yes, with Dream Dinners, I need to stop at the grocery store and pick up side dishes and such, but I have the option of buying them there too.

Once at the session, I had to do all of the prep work, and my biggest complaint with cooking is that I don't enjoy the prep work. It took about two hours to assemble seven meals at this workshop. At Dream Dinners, I'm usually in and out in less than 90 minutes, and there, I assemble 12 meals.

One of the other things I didn't care for with this workshop was that some of the ingredients included things like, "3/4 cup of milk," or "four slices of sandwich bread," or "three cups of tortillas." We generally don't keep sandwich bread on hand at home, so it required me to buy an entire loaf of bread. For things like that, it would be great if the consultant could assign those to one guest, with each guest bringing a different item. For example, one guest could bring milk and bread, two or three could bring tortillas, one could bring a wedge of Parmesan cheese, since we only needed half an ounce, etc. Another option would be for the consultant to figure out how much it would cost for all of those, and then At Dream Dinners, I don't need to worry about any of that--it's all there.

The session was fun, although I wouldn't regularly attend. However, if I could gather a group of friends, and we could take care of some of the planning, like dividing up the ingredients a bit, I might consider this as an every few months supplement to Dream Dinners.


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