Having groceries delivered to your door is not a new concept. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have married the concept of grocery delivery and food delivery to come up with a meal delivery service that can work for many different lifestyles.
If you live in New York City like I did, where space is limited and trying to maneuver 5 bags of groceries on a crowded train doesn’t sound like an absolute joy, then a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron is God’s gift to you.
Fast forward to ten years later, I live in Albuquerque, where space is in abundance and I have my own vehicle so grocery shopping is less of a chore. So what’s my excuse for using a meal delivery service? I hate to cook and I don’t like to go out to eat, so I’ve learned to master (if you want to call it that) about four simple dishes which I rotate.
I first heard about these meal delivery services from a woman I worked with. She paid about $60 for 3 meals that came in one box which arrived every week.
Personally, I felt that it was too expensive after all that’s $60 a week, $240 a month! I spend less than $100 a month in groceries, but then again I lack the culinary skills to pull off any meal worth talking about.
After months of should I? Is it worth it? I’m sick of eating the same food. Can’t wait for mom to visit so she can stock my fridge with mommy food (mom love to cook), I decided to take advantage of the introductory pricing $29.99 for 3 meals with Blue Apron.
I had my box delivered to my home… I was so excited. The box looked good and sturdy on the outside but the inside it was kind of a mess. One of the bottles with the liquid ingredient got unscrewed and it spilled all over the other ingredients; the radish was so soaked that I had to throw it out. A couple of the other ingredients were soggy but salvageable.
A little disappointed but still determined to forge ahead, I made the 3 dishes which were quite tasty. All the ingredients were in perfect measurement (except for the spilled liquid ingredient, which was fine because I had that ingredient in my fridge).
I felt that the portion sizes were very small and the internal packaging could have been better. The instructions were very easy to follow and I had fun cooking. Me! Who hate cooking was enjoying the process. I got to taste things that I’d never tasted before, one of the dishes was a Japanese dish, it was absolutely delicious!
Because of this, I decided to break out the Martha Stewart Cookbook and the few other cookbooks that my mother gave me and search through them for meals that I could make in 30 minutes or less.
Blue Apron’s recipes were 30 minutes, which is about the amount of time I am willing to spend in the kitchen cooking. After the trial ended I stopped the service. Even though the meals were delicious, the portion sizes were too small and the fact that the ingredients were mush by the time it got to me turned me off.
Cut to a year later… I am once again tired of the meals from the cookbooks and my taste buds have gone on strike. Hello Fresh popped into my mind. Why? Dunno, I’d seen the ads on Facebook or something.
I signed up for their introductory box price, and a few days later my box arrived. The packaging on the outside looked great. The items inside were neatly packed in individual boxes sorted by each recipe and everything looked good. The ingredients were fresh, the pork, chicken, and shrimp were still cold. Everything was labeled properly. The only thing was that a piece of ginger got away and was sailing in the water residue from the meats. All-in-all everything was fresh and usable.
Sunday morning came around and I started bright and early. The aromas that came from my kitchen would make my mom blush. The taste, the portion size, and ease to make suited me perfectly. I’d found my mate!
If I were to do this every week I still couldn’t justify the cost, HOWEVER, Hello Fresh has flexible delivery schedules. I decided I can do it once a month. So for one week every month, I get to try 3 new dishes and have fun doing it.
I am not sure if Blue Apron has flexible delivery dates, they probably do, but what tilted me to Hello Fresh was that the ingredients were fresher and the packaging was better, also the portion size was much better.
Have you tried either? Or any meal delivery service? Do you have one you’d like to recommend? Do share in the comments below. If you’d like to try Hello Fresh for yourself, feel free to use this link. It is my referral link.