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Meal kits: what's the point?

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  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Member Posts: 13,472 Member Member Posts: 13,472 Member
    And now ALL my pop up ads are for meal delivery services. LOL.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 37,934 Member Member Posts: 37,934 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    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.

    It was one of the things that appealed to my friends who use one of these services. Prior to this, if it wasn't something out of a box that you just had to boil water or a can of this or that or a sandwich or something, they were pretty much deer in the headlights in the kitchen.

    They also really like the convenience factor of not having to spend what little free time they have shopping or meal planning or prepping the food. They are enjoying their new culinary experience.
    edited June 2017
  • DamieBirdDamieBird Member Posts: 651 Member Member Posts: 651 Member
    I tried Blue Apron for a few months, when I wanted to get out of the rut of take-out/ eating out. I loved most of the food and while it was expensive, it was less expensive than what I was spending at a restaurant. It wasn't in the budget anymore after a few months, but I kept the recipe cards and still make some of the dishes with ingredients that are easier to find. I've been cooking for years and I still learned a few new techniques that I like. It helped me develop a cook-at-home habit and was enough to get me into a new, healthier, and ultimately cheaper dinner prep. I'm 100% for services like this!
  • bonnielee708bonnielee708 Member Posts: 65 Member Member Posts: 65 Member
    I did home chef for a while - it simply came down to cost effectiveness - even with factoring in shipping, to buy the limited amounts that I needed for certain recipes (because I would need a full bottle rather than the limited amount in the serving) was cheaper and less wasteful - only need 3 spring onions - I'd get that, rather than having to buy a whole bunch that I might not use elsewhere

    This. Often, if you don't meal plan, are not a family of 4 or more, not a big eater, not from North America, love to cook, hate to waste food, these options help make things more efficient and less wasteful.

    I am from Montreal. My husband and I shopped daily for our meals and prepped them at home that night. We never had issues with food waste. Then we moved to Japan, where you can buy a single carrot, stalk of celery and small quantities of foods to prepare meals. Again, we rarely had any food end up in the bin. But when we moved to Los Angeles it was next to impossible to shop for one or two people. I did not know how to use the freezer nor how to prepare meals for the week. A plan like Hello Fresh would have saved me from needing to build a compost bin on my balcony and still be able to cook and experiment with all the bounty available in Los Angeles.

    Now that we live in Vancouver, Canada, we still have some trouble with food shopping. My husband and I both love to cook, and we experiment with new flavours often. We also hate having food go to waste, and we are very aware of it here because all food waste must be separated out from other garbage and recyclables here and dumped in green bins twice a week.

    Buying from a service like Hello Fresh is tempting. Yet, we have not done it because we enjoy going to our local butchers and thinking about the week in food based on what is available from them. These services charge a small premium for people who want to learn how to cook meals at home, experiment with new flavours, and not waste too much food in the process. I think these services provide a nice, short-term solution.

    (Sorry for being so longwinded.)
  • erienneb66erienneb66 Member Posts: 88 Member Member Posts: 88 Member
    My husband and I do Home Chef every other week, phased down from every week, we are in the process of phasing it out except for crazy weeks.

    For a while, I did not have the space in my fridge and freezer to long term store food. I did not have the time to go to the grocery store every other to shop. I work full time, with a 30 minute commute either way, and I'm a student. My husband works full time. It was 100% easier and it was better than the fast food we were getting every single day because of schedules, fridge space, etc.

    Now that we own a deep freeze, now that I've been in school for a full year and am more adjusted to the time crunch, it's getting easier to prepare our own meals. But seriously we saved a lot of money while we were doing it every week 3X a week PLUS we were eating less calories in a day because even their high calorie meals were better than taco bell.

    Plus, we got to try new recipes I never would have come up with, and since they give you the recipe card we kept the ones we liked and have been able to replicate on our own the things we like.

    I love it. It is not shameful that it worked for my husband and I not matter what the reasoning. Even if I didn't work and didn't want to shop it is not shameful to live your life n a way that seems different to someone else. We recycle and compost and yes the plastic waste is a bit much, but like I said. Benefits outweighed the negatives for while we used it and I don't appreciate being judged for doing what was best for myself and my family.
  • kimny72kimny72 Member Posts: 15,103 Member Member Posts: 15,103 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    And now ALL my pop up ads are for meal delivery services. LOL.

    I know, I just learned Martha Stewart has one now!
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Member Posts: 13,472 Member Member Posts: 13,472 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    And now ALL my pop up ads are for meal delivery services. LOL.

    I know, I just learned Martha Stewart has one now!

    I just got that one too!
  • jzynanjajzynanja Member, Premium Posts: 28 Member Member, Premium Posts: 28 Member
    Yeah, I haven't quite understood that one yet, but then, I love to cook and I love to shop for my own food - some people don't, so if that's something they're willing to pay for and it's good for them than that's a great service!
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Member, Premium Posts: 5,599 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,599 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    And now ALL my pop up ads are for meal delivery services. LOL.

    I know, I just learned Martha Stewart has one now!

    I just got that one too!

    i'll admit the purple carrot (?) one with the vegetarian food is interesting to me - not vegetarian but my sister is vegan and I'm always looking for new stuff to try
  • LounmounLounmoun Member Posts: 8,433 Member Member Posts: 8,433 Member
    IMO it's just as easy to go to the store, buy a bag of salad mix and a can of tuna or a box of pasta and some cooked chicken. Why are people spending $X.XX dollars a month on meal kits like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, etc.

    Have not and will not use meal services but I'd say they are appealing because they give people confidence about cooking a meal that is more complicated and tasty than a bag of salad, can of tuna or boxed pasta. I think there are a number of people intimidated by meal planning, shopping and cooking and this feels doable. The cost is worth it to them.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Member, Premium Posts: 5,599 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,599 Member
    reason 1) because tuna, pasta and chicken gets boring...

    I now eat brussel sprouts based on a recipe I got in home chef (and have recreated that recipe several times). My friends and I who have used them, also share the recipe cards for ideas
  • leanitup123leanitup123 Member Posts: 489 Member Member Posts: 489 Member
    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.

    So passive-aggressive. Love it.
    edited June 2017
  • leanitup123leanitup123 Member Posts: 489 Member Member Posts: 489 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....

    Can of tuna, bag of lettuce and a dash of pepper.
  • chacaultchacault Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1 Member
    This looks more like a judgemental statement than an actual question.

    - If it's a judgemental statement, cool. It's gotta feel good to be better than other people.
    - If it's a legitimate question, I'd say that people order the prepared food because they prefer to have the food vs. make the food.
  • knittinjenknittinjen Member, Premium Posts: 6 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6 Member
    IMO it's just as easy to go to the store, buy a bag of salad mix and a can of tuna or a box of pasta and some cooked chicken. Why are people spending $X.XX dollars a month on meal kits like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, etc.

    I recently learned about these and am going to try soon and this is why. When I look through new recipes I'd like to cook on my app and tell it to add the ingredients to my shopping list there's all kinds of crazy stuff on there and it's so expensive. So what I'm going to do is get some meal kits to try out new stuff and when I find one we really like I'll learn to make it without the kit. But it's just me and one nearly adult child now so I don't know yet how to really shop for us. I just want to broaden my base. Keeping track of food on here I'm realizing I eat the same stuff over and over!!
  • knittinjenknittinjen Member, Premium Posts: 6 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6 Member
    Relser wrote: »
    Wow! So much mean-ness! I don't use them- to pricey- but if I got them as a gift I would! How about- you can try new foods, you get foods that aren't available where you live, and it's fun to get something in the mail that isn't a bill.

    Yeah it's kind of disheartening to read the judgment. I mean to each her own. If you like them for whatever combo of reasons and can afford, get them. If not, don't. Wanting to know why is one thing and I gave my reason above but it doesn't seem to really be something to judge people about. Or to assume things about people. We're supposed to be here to encourage each other so let's do.
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