Friday, February 26, 2010

"Thanks a Million" Banquet

My first admission - I DON'T like frozen dinners. There's not a company in the world that can change that. It's just a personal preference. If I'm going to sit down and enjoy a meal, it's got to either be home cooked, restaurant cooked, or if I'm going to CHEAT a little and use frozen, I'll  mix it with the real deal. It's the way that I was brought up. I NEVER HAD A FROZEN DINNER until I was married with a child. Then, it was only to lose weight quickly (I've used them for portion control one time).

So I was NOT at ALL familiar with Banquet Dinners (other than walking by them in the frozen food aisle). When I agreed to try them for MomCentral and tell you all about them I was more than a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to give a FAIR review (I came into this very biased).

What I've learned is that Banquet has been in the home-style frozen dinner business for over 50 years and that they've really been there for LOTS of families who's parents may come home TOO LATE to cook a full dinner and are stuck with that "Oh no, what do we do now?" feeling. I'm sure that you've had them (I know I have). One quick look in the freezer and you know that that frozen chicken is NOT an option when dinner has to be on the table QUICKLY.

I also figure that these are a staple for college kids who are armed with little more than a microwave and a plastic fork. It's the PERFECT solution for a HOT meal at a LOW price. Since Banquet makes both single-serve dinners as well as larger family portions (which for a couple of hungry college students, it'll be eaten in ONE sitting).

I was actually SHOCKED at how low the prices are. I chose to try Banquet's Family Size Creamy Sauce with Broccoli & Chicken over Rice. The serving size is for 3.5 people, but it was really more like a side dish for 2 or 3. At just around $2.00, you can't beat the price.

I looked through the various Banquet products and noticed that they had lots of items that would appeal to kids - like Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Fingers, but they also had adult friendly dinners such as Creamy Pasta Carbonara.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you how much I LOVED this dinner, because as you know from my introduction, I just don't like these things. But, I found that if I added a little EXTRA rice and some OTHER steamed vegetables to it, it was okay.. For those of you who are regular frozen dinner eaters, I'm guessing that you'll enjoy them more than I did.

I DO however LOVE contests, sweeps and giveaways. After all these years, Banquet wants to say  "Thanks a Million" to their loyal customers by giving away more than $1 million worth of redeemable cash prizes this February through April.

Beginning February 8, look for Banquet frozen dinner meals with the "Thanks a Million" logo on the box. These specially-marked boxes each has a special game piece, either one of over 16,000 redeemable cash prizes worth anywhere from $10 to $100,000, or a Banquet coupon. Tell me, HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO WIN 100 GRAND?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Banquet and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.


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Wanda said...

Can't tell you how refreshing it is to read HONEST reviews. You are a blogger who knows and writes to her constituency: her readers. Presumably you, like other bloggers, are not being compensated with big bucks by advertisers to write copy for them, complete with great fringes and maybe an agency car, and you correctly feel no compulsion to suppress your honest opinions to make nice for said advertisers. You are diplomatic but not gushy. So many bloggers are being taken advantage of by "sponsor" companies who use the bloggers' talents and web pages to PROMOTE, not REVIEW, products. Thank you for not falling into that trap and thereby dragging your readers into unfortunate spending decisions. I applaud you, Z, and hope your style catches on. The sooner the better.
wandapanda at live dot com

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