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Meal kits: what's the point?

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  • SoulRadiationSoulRadiation Posts: 1,060Member Member Posts: 1,060Member Member
    There are reasonably healthy take-out options...however, it costs significantly more money than if you had your act together and prepared your own meals. You pay for the time aspect.
  • agbmom556agbmom556 Posts: 695Member Member Posts: 695Member Member
    My friend gifted me a month 2 times a week.

    Pros:
    The food was good quality.

    We tried a few new recipes that we otherwise would not have.

    Convenient to have it delivered to work.

    Cons:
    Our family has 4 members. Husband is a vegetarian.
    I still had to come up with something to add to his plate.

    Portions are reasonable. However, I have a teen son who by himself could eat the whole meal.

    Too pricy for our family. 2 meals a week is about ~$65.00 on top of that normal groceries etc.

    I actually had to cook more.
    During the weekend I batch cook for the week because our kids are in after school activities.

    I cancelled after the trial. I have a few work associates who use the food delivery programs. One is a single parent and she loves it. The other is a older gentleman who is diabetic and he is also happy. :)

  • SoulRadiationSoulRadiation Posts: 1,060Member Member Posts: 1,060Member Member
    My favorite take outs: Boston Market (chicken and steamed veggies), Chipotle (these bowls can be pretty healthy...you don't have to have rice and tortilla), City BBQ (awesome bbq chicken), Greek Fiesta/Shish Kabob/Taza Grill (like, grilled chicken kabobs and various sides), Outback (steak!).
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    Wow, the judgement is strong here. People will look for all sorts of ways to feel smarter, better, more hardworking than others!

    I've used one or the other of these services off and on. I live alone, and it's really easy to get into a rut cooking for yourself. In addition to convenience, it was FUN. I would pick out foods I've never eaten before or would otherwise have no idea how to cook, a box full of yumminess would show up at my door, and I would eat like a queen for the next week. It was cheaper than going to a restaurant, but a bit more expensive than how I would usually eat, so when the budget got tight the meal service one or two weeks a month had to go. But I'll get it back once the wiggle room is back in my budget.

    Sorry not sorry for being a lazy dummy I guess.

    Pretty much this. I met someone who talked them up and they sounded interesting, so I impulse did a trial and had mixed feelings, positive and negative. Tried a different service with slightly different pros and cons. For me shopping is super easy, but having something ready to go can be fun/simplify things, and even though I'm an experienced cook I got a few simple tips that made things a little more interesting and that I could implement on my own. I also tried sumac, which is a spice I now use regularly, for the first time (to my knowledge) using one of the boxes. They also gave free trials for me to send to people, and of the people I sent them to, my sister and a friend enjoy them and use them regularly -- my sister cooked regularly before but was in a rut, and the friend rarely cooked and got started doing such much more because of the boxes. They would have been great for me if I'd discovered them (well, if they'd existed) in my 20s, before I already knew how to do a pretty interesting meal in 20-30 minutes on my own.

    I don't do them that often and not in the summer when I'm overrun with fresh product I need to use up, but I like the concept. Sure, you can eat less expensively, but if you find it a helpful way to spend money and for you it's worth it, why not? (Getting my CSA box isn't the cheapest thing either, but I like it too.)
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Exciting to see all the assumptions that pop up. I used to live off readymeals because I was insecure of my own cooking skills, I had heard that singles don't cook, so I believed that as a single person I was doomed to eat an unbalanced and boring diet. What I "knew" about nutrition was that healthy=tasteless. I would have been a potential customer for these kinds of services, if I had more money. I don't think people who use them are lazy. I think they have been duped. I think making money from people who are insecure is wrong. I have shaken a lot of my own assumptions, and now I eat restaurant type meals three times a day, healthy and varied, and I don't have a hundred different spices and I don't spend all my time in the kitchen or dragging tons of produce home just to throw out half of it. I like meal planning and grocery shopping and cooking because it's fun, and it's fun because I get to decide for myself what I'm going to make. I don't get how letting someone else choose meals for you, but still have to cook it, can be something anyone would want to pay for.

    These are quite different than frozen ready meals. These meals are fresh and prepped and come with the seasonings you need, etc...you cook them...you don't just pop them in the microwave.

    I didn't use them this way, but they actually wouldn't be a bad "learn to cook" option for some. That's how the one friend I mentioned uses/used them.
  • midlomel1971midlomel1971 Posts: 1,189Member Member Posts: 1,189Member Member
    I am a big fan of Blue Apron. I love to try new recipes but I don't have the time to pick a recipe and shop for ingredients. Especially hard-to-find spices. Blue Apron gives me a reason to try new recipes out. It's not a great service for me now because I have a picky husband and 2 kids to cook for (one picky, one not.) I think it would be perfect for a single person wanting to get some cooking experience or empty nesters. All the meals I've cooked taste a lot better than a can of tuna. You pay for it, though, but I can afford it. I love the service....I do it off and on. When I get that box it's like Christmas morning!
    edited June 2017
  • wizzybethwizzybeth Posts: 3,532Member Member Posts: 3,532Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »

    But yeah, it looks pretty much identical to a bag of salad and a can of tuna....

    :D Love this response
  • midlomel1971midlomel1971 Posts: 1,189Member Member Posts: 1,189Member Member
    vaman wrote: »
    I think it's a combination of learned helplessness and perceived convenience.

    Throw in a measure of laziness and I think you've got it. ;)

    Actually, I think laziness is just that - a combination of learned helplessness and perceived convenience. I love easy and simple and never do anything unless I have to, or really want to. The only difference is that I'm no longer as sucked in by marketing propaganda, so my meals are now more nutritious and varied, balanced and tasty, cheap and flexible.

    Dumbest *kitten* post ever. Laziness has nothing to do with it. 2 kids, a full-time job, a household to run and the desire to exercise and spend time w/ my family are the reason.

  • inertiastrengthinertiastrength Posts: 2,346Member Member Posts: 2,346Member Member
    I've seen the meal kits and tbh, for the money I'd rather go to wendy's and get everyone a chili. I usually cook at home but on lazy days I just grab chili haha (probably better macros too)
    edited June 2017
  • vnb_208vnb_208 Posts: 1,358Member Member Posts: 1,358Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    LOL OP.... I'm guessing you've never tried a service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh? Just making some assumptions? Here are a few of this weeks menu choices for Blue Apron:. Keep in mind all the ingredients, including fresh vegetables, proteins someone doesn't cook with regularly, fresh herbs and somewhat obscure or exotic things like Thai basil, fregola, tomatillos, gai lan, are delivered to your door in the right quantities with clear directions on how to prep and prepare them.

    Now it is pricey, and for the trial period I did it for I didn't find enough meals that would appeal to my small children on a regular basis, and the recipes themselves were a bit involved for what I really wanted help with which is quick weeknight meals. But, I remember thinking that it would have been great to have this option when I was newly married, getting more comfortable and then adventurous with my cooking, enjoying cooking and then eating together with my husband over a glass of wine, etc...

    But yeah, it looks pretty much identical to a bag of salad and a can of tuna....

    none of those look appealing TO ME*** lol I choose the can of tuna w/ salad
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    I take back everything I wrote about "lazy" (it wasn't even I who brought it up), but I still think it's stupid/cynical and that we can get everything those companies offer without paying for their "services".
  • mjohemmemjohemme Posts: 338Member Member Posts: 338Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    Wow lol the judgement.
    It's called choice and different priorities for people.

    Exactly. I also love when the judgement comes from people who clearly have incorrect assumptions about how something works.

    I totally agree. I truly fail to understand how a meal deilivery kit is equivalent to some sort of personal life deficiency.

    For us, they make the perfect 'date night' activity when we can't get a sitter and go out to eat. A bottle of wine and some fancy non kid friendly food and we're good to go.

    Great idea! Yeah they would have been perfect for me and hubby pre-kids. If they weren't still so involved to prepare I might try it again. They should start a more family friendly one - or maybe they already have it - with slightly more approachable meals for kids. These definitely seemed more aimed at semi adventurous foodies who wanted to cook more at home.

    Sunbasket.com has family ones that are designed to appeal to families with kids. FYI
  • AllibabaAllibaba Posts: 464Member Member Posts: 464Member Member
    I got my first Hello Fresh order for less than $30 Canadian for 3 meals for 2 people. I had leftovers each time (calorie count was high but it was assuming the count was 2 servings and it was more like 3 or 4). Then I got referral credits for friends signing up so I can get another box for around $30. For me that is a no-brainer. I wouldn't pay full price but that is because it isn't in my budget but if it was I would consider it. It is convenient, no food waste and the flavours were excellent.
  • Traci0629Traci0629 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    My husband and I have been doing Hello Fresh for over a month now... We both have an hour of commuting to get to work with 9 hour work days. We bought a house in January, and spend a lot of time on projects. We like to spend time with each other outside of the grocery. And when we go to the grocery for a week of meals, many things are not packaged for just two people... so we end up with a lot of waste or leftovers--and I HATE wasting food when there are so many who are going hungry. We still need to hit up the grocery for essentials, lunch, and breakfast items... and those are typically in and out because we know exactly what we need (we have also done curbside grocery pick up and amazon fresh before). :smile:

    Our box shows up on Tuesday, and it is just enough for what we need. Everything in the box is recyclable, so we aren't adding a ton of waste to landfills. We get to cook together and enjoy meals together without the time it takes to go to the grocery.
  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,165Member Member Posts: 10,165Member Member
    I take back everything I wrote about "lazy" (it wasn't even I who brought it up), but I still think it's stupid/cynical and that we can get everything those companies offer without paying for their "services".

    Indeed, we can, but even I have entertained the possibility of using their service to get their coaching in cooking dishes for which I have no experience.
  • mjohemmemjohemme Posts: 338Member Member Posts: 338Member Member
    I use Blue Apron and Sun Basket. I like them because they help me cook at home, instead of ordering in. I would probably never try some of these meals and/or ingredients any other way. Some things are really good and some are just so so. They are pretty pricey, but I also find that it makes me feel good to cook them. Normally when I cook it is quick and easy and processed or we just order pizza or chinese. When you have these meal kits, you have to cook for the next few evenings so your products don't go bad. I compare the price to delivery and it comes out to about the same, but with a nutritional advantage to the meal kits. Also, yes, the calorie counts are fairly high, but so are the portion sizes. I just half the portion size and then I'm good. Again on the Sun Basket, they recently rolled out paleo kits with lower calories, so there's that option, too.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Posts: 13,472Member Member Posts: 13,472Member Member
    mjohemme wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    Wow lol the judgement.
    It's called choice and different priorities for people.

    Exactly. I also love when the judgement comes from people who clearly have incorrect assumptions about how something works.

    I totally agree. I truly fail to understand how a meal deilivery kit is equivalent to some sort of personal life deficiency.

    For us, they make the perfect 'date night' activity when we can't get a sitter and go out to eat. A bottle of wine and some fancy non kid friendly food and we're good to go.

    Great idea! Yeah they would have been perfect for me and hubby pre-kids. If they weren't still so involved to prepare I might try it again. They should start a more family friendly one - or maybe they already have it - with slightly more approachable meals for kids. These definitely seemed more aimed at semi adventurous foodies who wanted to cook more at home.

    Sunbasket.com has family ones that are designed to appeal to families with kids. FYI

    Thanks! I looked, it still looks pretty adventurous for my kiddos. Don't get me wrong, I'd love if they would eat some of these things:
    https://www.sunbasket.com/menu#family_plan

    But I still think they would probably turn their noses up at miso ramen bowls with braised tofu and bok choy, or tex mex tostados with pickled carrots and avocado crema. One of my biggest frustrations is when I make a meal that I'm really excited about and they don't try it (which I was a SUPREMELY picky eater as a kid so I understand and try to be patient with them).

    I've done some of those nights where you go to a place and prep a bunch of meals for the freezer at once, and a lot of those are a little more family friendly - casseroles and pastas and things like that. The ones I've tried I found to be not worth the money because like others mentioned here - that I can do myself. So I think I need something between a version of food I would make on my own, and regularly do - and the adventurous somewhat exotic foods that hello fresh and blue apron seem to be focusing on.

    Anyway, I'm not really complaining. I see advantages of these kind of programs and I see the point of people who say they prefer to do it all themselves. I prioritize my busy life to meet the needs of my family, and many people would be appalled that I feed my kids hamburger helper once a month or so, but it works for us.
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