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Old 12-15-2017, 04:20 PM   #1
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Food delivery companies

This isnít really about cooking, so Iím hoping this is the right forum.

Have any of you used one of those food delivery services, like Blue Apron? You know, they deliver a box of ingredients and a recipe two or three times a week, and you make the meal.

Iíve read that theyíre very cost effective if youíre only cooking for two, and that they have some very good menus. If any of you have recommendations on which company to use (or avoid), or any comments about the service in general, Iíd be most grateful if you shared!

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Old 12-15-2017, 04:28 PM   #2
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I don't think $10-12 per meal is cost effective compared to home cooking, especially if you have a fairly well-stocked spice pantry. I know Blue Apron's recipes are on their website; not sure about the others.

https://lifehacker.com/are-meal-kits...ies-1794922297
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:51 PM   #3
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I don't think $10-12 per meal is cost effective compared to home cooking
$10 - $12 per meal? Holy Frijoles! I buy whatever I feel like making, and it's pretty rare for me to spend that much per meal, except when I get some pricey seafood. I think $5 or $6 per meal is a little more in line. Our monthly grocery bill for two is typically $600 - $700, but that's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, coffee (that's $60 right there), etc. Veggies are always fresh, and we eat a fair bit of fresh fruit. Also, I wouldn't let some food service decide what I'm going to eat, let alone dictate how I'm going to prepare it. Recipes are just guidelines, anyway, so I get the ingredients that I'm going to use for my version of the recipe.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:55 PM   #4
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Blue Apron won't last. They've been losing money.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:14 PM   #5
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For many of the reasons already mentioned (and then some), I've never even considered using Blue Apron, or any of the other packaged menu delivery companies.

I'd much rather plan and make my own meals to my taste, use my own herbs and spices, and often make a little more than needed so that I have leftovers to fiddle with and re-purpose for another meal.

Every now and then I order out for Chinese or Mexican, but that's different.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:30 PM   #6
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Yeah, I don't think we (DC members) are not like the bulk of the meal delivery subscribers. I also read somewhere that they cater mostly to 2-person households, no kids, non-picky eaters...
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
This isnít really about cooking, so Iím hoping this is the right forum.

Have any of you used one of those food delivery services, like Blue Apron? You know, they deliver a box of ingredients and a recipe two or three times a week, and you make the meal.

Iíve read that theyíre very cost effective if youíre only cooking for two, and that they have some very good menus. If any of you have recommendations on which company to use (or avoid), or any comments about the service in general, Iíd be most grateful if you shared!

JJ, my friend who didn't cook much, wanted to start up again when her husband passed away. She tried, I think it was 3 or 4 different meal-kit delivery services and decided that she liked Blue Apron best.
I think it was a good way for her to get her feet wet again in the kitchen.
Now she's progressed to going to the market (even Costco now!!) and making up her own meal plans. She's having alot of fun with new gadgets too, like Instant Pots, that sous vide thingy and the like.

Myself, I've never tried these services, so I'm just sharing with you her experience.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #8
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$10 - $12 per meal? Holy Frijoles! I buy whatever I feel like making, and it's pretty rare for me to spend that much per meal, except when I get some pricey seafood. I think $5 or $6 per meal is a little more in line. Our monthly grocery bill for two is typically $600 - $700, but that's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, coffee (that's $60 right there), etc. Veggies are always fresh, and we eat a fair bit of fresh fruit. Also, I wouldn't let some food service decide what I'm going to eat, let alone dictate how I'm going to prepare it. Recipes are just guidelines, anyway, so I get the ingredients that I'm going to use for my version of the recipe.
Yeah, I think Blue Apron is the least expensive and their 6-meal per week plan is $60.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:21 PM   #9
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My "good cook son", and his "never cook wife" gave Blue Apron a try for a while before it became too costly. With both of them employed full time, my son enjoyed not having to shop for the evening meal and she seemed to be more willing to participate in the kitchen with the clear meal instructions. For people like them, it's probably a good service to use a couple times a week, although the meals are as costly as many neighborhood diners.
Personally, I have all the time in the world to home cook meals. My remarkable Souschef does the shopping, chopping, and clean up.......priceless!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #10
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Hard to believe this guy spent those amounts of money at the grocery stores. I thought they would be a lot lower after portioning out the costs of each ingredient.

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Old 12-15-2017, 06:50 PM   #11
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Hard to believe this guy spent those amounts of money at the grocery stores. I thought they would be a lot lower after portioning out the costs of each ingredient.

I'm surprised, too. It's not like he's in LA or New York.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:44 PM   #12
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I'm surprised, too. It's not like he's in LA or New York.
Even if I shopped at Whole Foods I think I can spend less...
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:16 PM   #13
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I've never tried it, although I have looked into it. There just doesn't seem to be good value in those meals. It seems to me to be a way for people who don't know how to cook to spend too much money for food they could cook for less if they got past their belief that they can't cook any other way.

Becoming a good cook takes some time and effort, and the ability to laugh off your mistakes and move on. These meal delivery services are just taking advantage of the desire of too many people for instant gratification, IMO.

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Old 12-16-2017, 06:44 PM   #14
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I checked out several of these companies (I didnít order any, just looked at their menus and prices), and I read several reviews for each of the major companies.

Iím going to have to agree with the majority consensus; unless youíre a well-off, busy person, or if youíre home bound (for whatever reason),these meal services aren't any bargain. The possibility that you end up with a meal that you donít want to make or eat arriving at your doorstep is almost guaranteed, given the limited number of menu options each week. And nobody I know wants to sign up for scheduled deliveries from which you canít escape.

All that being said, if you are a well-off, busy millennial, or you are homebound, this is an option. I know that I hate to buy a jar or tube of something, full well knowing that Iím only gonna use two teaspoons of it and then relegate it to the back of the pantry (or even worse, the fridge) and then throw it away during my next cleaning. Some of the menus do have some interesting and exotic meals that require small amounts of esoteric seasonings, herbs, or spices that I would never consider buying a full jar of.

If there were a service (and maybe there is) that offers one-time only orders, I might seriously consider ordering a ready-to-cook meal every now and then, just for spits and giggles, or for the convenience. I donít want to get involved any way in anything that reeks of ďfood of the month club.Ē
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:10 PM   #15
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If there were a service (and maybe there is) that offers one-time only orders, I might seriously consider ordering a ready-to-cook meal every now and then, just for spits and giggles, or for the convenience. I donít want to get involved any way in anything that reeks of ďfood of the month club.Ē
Grocery stores in my area have things like pre-made chicken and beef kabobs with vegetables, pot roast and veggie packages, etc., and McCormick offers packaged spice mixes for different types of cuisines - a tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of that.

I find all that packaging an annoying waste, so I don't buy them, but the option is there.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:26 PM   #16
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Some of the menus do have some interesting and exotic meals that require small amounts of esoteric seasonings, herbs, or spices that I would never consider buying a full jar of.

If there were a service (and maybe there is) that offers one-time only orders, I might seriously consider ordering a ready-to-cook meal every now and then
, just for spits and giggles, or for the convenience. I donít want to get involved any way in anything that reeks of ďfood of the month club.Ē
You have a good point there Joel. I also would be interested in buying an exotic meal that would be an educational experiment. For example, Indian cuisine sounds interesting but I've never liked anything I've tried and I'm not willing to buy all the ingredients required.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:29 PM   #17
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Grocery stores in my area have things like pre-made chicken and beef kabobs with vegetables, pot roast and veggie packages, etc., and McCormick offers packaged spice mixes for different types of cuisines - a tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of that.

I find all that packaging an annoying waste, so I don't buy them, but the option is there.
We’ve got two supermarkets that offer delivery; one of them has “ClickList,” a service that lets you order your groceries on line and then pick them up at a pre-arranged time. It’s very convenient, except that the store employees don’t come home with you and unload the groceries, lol. There’s a $5 fee for pick up, and a whopping $12 for delivery to your home. I prefer to choose my proteins and fresh produce in person, by hand, though. So if I’m getting pantry staples or packaged products, I don’t begrudge the five bucks for the convenience. I use the service often, and after I’ve picked up the packaged stuff, I make a quick foray into the store for the chicken, or steak, or Brussels sprouts, or eggs (you gotta check your eggs!)

I really don’t mind buying a bottled spice or herb that I only use rarely. I’ll come across it at some point and say to myself “hmmm, wonder what I could use this in,” and that leads to an interesting web research session and possibly a great meal.

The real convenience of these services seems to be 1. Getting only the amounts of ingredients that you need, and 2. Having most of, if not all, your mise en place done for you.

I’ve seen those little McCormick spice packages. They could come in very handy, but they’re a bit pricey, and very oriented to a single dish. You don’t have to make thatdish, of course, but keeping track of any of the spices I don't use is a PITA. Although I do save the shichimi when I order out for udon!
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:36 PM   #18
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Weíve got two supermarkets that offer delivery; one of them has ďClickList,Ē a service that lets you order your groceries on line and then pick them up at a pre-arranged time. Itís very convenient, except that the store employees donít come home with you and unload the groceries, lol. Thereís a $5 fee for pick up, and a whopping $12 for delivery to your home. I prefer to choose my proteins and fresh produce in person, by hand, though. So if Iím getting pantry staples or packaged products, I donít begrudge the five bucks for the convenience. I use the service often, and after Iíve picked up the packaged stuff, I make a quick foray into the store for the chicken, or steak, or Brussels sprouts, or eggs (you gotta check your eggs!)

I really donít mind buying a bottled spice or herb that I only use rarely. Iíll come across it at some point and say to myself ďhmmm, wonder what I could use this in,Ē and that leads to an interesting web research session and possibly a great meal.

The real convenience of these services seems to be 1. Getting only the amounts of ingredients that you need, and 2. Having most of, if not all, your mise en place done for you.

Iíve seen those little McCormick spice packages. They could come in very handy, but theyíre a bit pricey, and very oriented to a single dish. You donít have to make thatdish, of course, but keeping track of any of the spices I don't use is a PITA. Although I do save the shichimi when I order out for udon!
Yes, I realize it's not quite the same as the meal delivery services. My point is that something similar is available in grocery stores for a similar price, so you're not locked in to a contract. And of course, those services pick out the meat and produce and provide small amounts of spices for the specific meal - just like the grocery store.
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Old 12-19-2017, 02:34 PM   #19
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I worked for a company in Ottawa, Ontario that did that. The most fun job I ever had. Expensive, yes, but gosh it was fun to learn how to cook quail, elk, rabbit and use ingredients I never knew existed. And to cook recipes from the tip 12 chefs in Ottawa for the food photographer. It was like going to culinary school.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:06 PM   #20
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I actually tried Blue Apron once. A friend who uses it all the time had a free week coupon to give away. I selected 3 meals for 2 people and tried it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed. Of the 3, one was tasty, and I'd have made it again. The other two were just meh. If I had actually paid for them I'd have been upset. One, we actually tossed and went out for dinner - it was so bad.

It was very convenient (and tempting) to just have small, pre-measured quantities of special ingredients. I didn't have to deal with using up the balance of the ingredient. I received one heavily packaged egg to dip the chicken. I got 2 radishes to peel and slice. I got a small plastic bottle with a single tablespoon of oil, a small package with 6 Brussels sprouts, etc. Much of that was wasteful, since I have eggs and oil on hand, but it was nice not to buy a bunch of radishes, which I'm not particularly fond of.

The surprise was the amount of preparation needed. While everything may be pre-measured, nothing is peeled, chopped, sliced, etc. And some of the prep instructions were tedious. Two of the meals ran about 45 minutes prep time each, one of them took over an hour. Imagine what it would have been for a beginner!!! The most disappointing part was that it really didn't save me any time. After work, I prefer something I can put together in 30 minutes or less, and not one of the meals filled that bill.

Since it was free, I didn't consider the cost, but if it had been either good or extremely convenient, I would have continued. They didn't require you to use it every week, You could just pick and choose the weeks you wanted a box, which held possibilities for weeks when I'm extremely over-scheduled. The quality of the ingredients was excellent - better than I sometimes see in the grocery store. But the quality in the recipe was lacking.
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