Author Topic: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)  (Read 19459 times)

jasminegeekface

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Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« on: April 15, 2015, 09:18:42 PM »
I'm trying really hard not to immediately get judgmental about this (although I guess posting about it on this particular section of the forum defeats the purpose), but I just found out that meal kit delivery services even exist and I'm kind of baffled by the idea.

Basically, if you subscribe to one of these these, the company delivers a package to your house a few times a week containing a step by step recipe, along with all the necessary ingredients correctly measured out and labeled. I haven't looked into the prices for all companies that offer this, but for Blue Apron, three 2-person meals cost $60. So you pay $10 per meal per person, and you do all the cooking (including chopping vegetables and such) yourself? I don't get it, but maybe it might make sense depending on where you live or if you're working 60+ hours a week and don't have time to really do groceries regularly?

What do you all think? Is this severe antimustachianism, or am I just being really judgmental?

maricela

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 09:26:17 PM »
For plated at least the idea is to get gourmet meals without the dining out price or hidden ingredients/calories. With less time and effort than hunting recipes, buying random ingredients you need a tiny bit of, and putting combos together. That doesn't come easy for a lot of people.

Thedudeabides

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 10:40:17 PM »
I guess it could be helpful for people want to cook more and don't want to have any excuses for not cooking (not knowing what to cook, not having time for shopping, not knowing how to cook, etc.).

But it's really odd. I can't think of any other reasons why someone would do this. Why not pay a dollar more and get something already cooked delivered?

thingamabobs

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 11:54:01 PM »
I'll admit that I tried one of these... and it is a great idea if you are too busy to look for recipes and shop but want to try new recipes. You don't have to buy a bunch of ingredients that you may not have use for again and everything is portioned out. It's a good transition for those who may have been too timid to step into the kitchen or are so used to going out to eat that they really have no idea where to start.

Pricing wise, I found it was reasonable compared to going out to eat which usually ran around $25 (for 2 of us) then there was tip, the gas money to get there, etc. So even though these food boxes aren't really mustachian (of course you'll get more value if you plan your meals, shop the sales, etc) I think it can be a good stepping stone for those trying to break their eating out habits. It's even better if you use one of the coupons that are usually floating around for new subscribers, I think I got mine for 40% off list price.

RootofGood

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 07:31:01 AM »
A facebook friend did this and made sure to facebook brag about all the fresh cooked meals.  But $10/meal?  Wow.  Granted, these folks work in NYC and have a god awful commute from the woods of NJ (2+ hours I assume) but probably earn $350-500k, so maybe dropping $10 for a home cooked meal when you don't have time to shop is worth it. 

And some people are horribly wasteful when it comes to shopping and can't use up the extra ingredients they buy (because they don't cook at home for most meals).  Like using 1 onion out of a bag and tossing the other 4-5 out when they rot, or buying a $3 container of fresh cilantro and using 2 sprigs for a dish.  So maybe paying $10/meal if you suck at grocery shopping anyway comes out to about the same price.  The solution is clear - get better at cooking and shopping.  But earning deep into the six figures certainly offsets any inefficient shopping and cooking skills. 

infogoon

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 07:55:28 AM »
I wish I'd thought of it first. Who knew that people would willingly buy garlic powder online a quarter-teaspoon at a time?

CabinetGuy

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 08:21:12 AM »
I'll admit that I tried one of these... and it is a great idea if you are too busy to look for recipes and shop but want to try new recipes. You don't have to buy a bunch of ingredients that you may not have use for again and everything is portioned out. It's a good transition for those who may have been too timid to step into the kitchen or are so used to going out to eat that they really have no idea where to start.

Pricing wise, I found it was reasonable compared to going out to eat which usually ran around $25 (for 2 of us) then there was tip, the gas money to get there, etc. So even though these food boxes aren't really mustachian (of course you'll get more value if you plan your meals, shop the sales, etc) I think it can be a good stepping stone for those trying to break their eating out habits. It's even better if you use one of the coupons that are usually floating around for new subscribers, I think I got mine for 40% off list price.

The SO and I have tried this as well.  It gave us something fun to do together when we got home, and exposed us to ingredients that we had never tried, and easy recipes to replicate to boot.  It's epxanded what we're comfortable with trying to cook (I just nailed a pork loin a couple of days ago.)

Pricey?  A little.  But a nice start down the path of trying to cook foods you otherwise might not try.

Edit:  forgot to mention that Uber had a great deal on Valentine's day.  They delivered a meal from Hello Fresh.  Cooked an awesome meal (again, using ingredients I never would have tried on my own), and had a nice romantic meal at home.  I worked in food and beverage for years, and I will NEVER eat out on Valentine's day...

Jon
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 08:24:39 AM by JCH cabinets »

thurston howell iv

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 08:52:25 AM »
What about the pre-made meals?  I have a friend who tried this. It wasn't cheap but he liked the convenience of not thinking. He just grabbed what ever was labeled lunch or dinner and heated it and ate it.

Don't think I'd be into paying $10 to have to make my own meal. I do just fine for a dollar or two a serving. 

crazy jane

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 09:11:50 AM »
My son opened a business a few years ago. He works long hours and his eating habits were horrible. He recently discover Blue Apron and loves it. I think it's great for his current lifestyle. He is a very capable cook, but wasn't able to organize shopping and cooking. This allows him to prepare a nice meal in his apartment without waste in a timely fashion.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 09:23:52 AM »
I also don't get this. You are basically spending extra money so you don't have to think about your next meal. You'll still have to cook and clean and it's not like you can't order your groceries online and get to comfortably have ingredients delivered at home for a fraction of the cost. And if you factor the amount of recipes available online for free...

FatCat

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2015, 10:16:48 AM »
I read some reviews a while back. Often one food item in the package is spoiled and is dripping brown rotting liquid on everything else.

I'd rather pick out my own ingredients so I feel like I'm not risking getting stuck with somebody else's rotten overstock.

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2015, 10:18:26 AM »
I too have a fantastic way to not have to think about my next gourmet meal.

It's called a crock pot. If you wait for a sale, you can buy one for the price of just one family's worth of meal kits for a day, add some chicken breast and miscellaneous vegetables, and enjoy delicious stew that's-- get this-- bubbling and warm when you step in the door after work.

Oh, that's not "gourmet" enough?  Just mess with the seasonings. Add some honey and tarragon, or combine two other weird spices that ordinarily don't go together, and see what you get.  Then get out a small plate and stack the food vertically as high as possible.  Drizzle a randomly selected sauce over it, and pow: nouveau cuisine AND the small plate trend.

MsPeacock

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2015, 10:43:53 AM »
My boyfriend wanted to do this because 1) he doesn't know how to cook and thought he would learn recipes this way 2) he has no idea how to coordinate grocery shopping with what he wants to eat 3) he doesn't cook and thought somehow this would make getting meals easier 4) he has no idea how much groceries actually cost.   He has the most random assortment of stuff in his cupboards, none of which can be put together to form any sort of meal (believe me, I've tried - and I am good and iron chef type challenges w/ weird food assortments- its like hmmmm a packet of salmon, chocolate cereal, and a container of grape jam - yeah, I can't make anything with this.). 

(I will point out that we do not live together).

 I was all like ??? seriously??? regarding the subscription service. Crazy expensive - not just "a little more expensive". The recipes are online and rarely contain any ingredients that would qualify as 'costly.' Then I took him to the grocery store - where I needed to go anyhow - and had him put 7 frozen dinners, a box of cereal, a carton of milk, a loaf of bread, mayo, chips, lunch meat, and apples in his cart. 21 meals, in other words - which cost less than $30. I said "Eat that." Showed him budget bytes - he is not interested because he doesn't cook. My prediction about what would have happened to very expensive delivered "ready to cook meals" is that they would have ended up in the trash. He has since repeated the shopping patterns - once per week he goes and purchases the exact same stuff as listed above and managed to feed himself.

Bert The Turtle

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2015, 11:13:24 AM »
DW and I have done Blue Apron and Plated.  I liked them.  That said, we used a Groupon for Blue Apron and a promo offer for Plated so we only paid about $35 for three meals from BA and $35 for three meals from Plated.  We usually got 3 or 4 servings from each "meal", so the overall cost was something like $3.00-$3.50 per serving.  Plus they both came packed with reusable ice packs that we still use for camping. 

It's not super cheap, but we enjoy cooking, and there's less clean up than a scratch meal since a lot of the items come pre-prepped.  Also, there's no risk that you end up buying some obscure $10 bottle of a condiment/spice/ingredient that you'll never use again because that new recipe you're trying for the first time tasted like crap.

Anyway, I'll agree that these services aren't super Mustachian, but I don't think they're completely ridiculous especially if they help people start cooking instead of just ordering take-out or going to a restaurant.

Hunny156

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2015, 11:19:29 AM »
Plated had/has an ad of Facebook where you get 3 meals for two, along with free shipping, for $24.  I decided to give it a shot, one time only deal.  Hubby doesn't do well in the kitchen without direction, so I thought this could be a fun way to cook a meal together without me having to give orders for every step.  We did try a few things that we never had before, and the stuff we liked, I purchased those ingredients/spices to add to our pantry, so that was a plus.  The pre-measured stuff was funny, looked a lot like hotel shampoo bottles with labels on them.  The meals were adequate and filling.  I didn't care for their recipe cards - they try to put everything in 6 steps, but each step can have four sub-steps, so this wasn't as quick as they made it sound.  All in all, it was an interesting experiment, but if I'm going to pay that much for a meal, then I'm going out to eat and have someone handle the entire process!

mm1970

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2015, 11:41:21 AM »
I'm trying really hard not to immediately get judgmental about this (although I guess posting about it on this particular section of the forum defeats the purpose), but I just found out that meal kit delivery services even exist and I'm kind of baffled by the idea.

Basically, if you subscribe to one of these these, the company delivers a package to your house a few times a week containing a step by step recipe, along with all the necessary ingredients correctly measured out and labeled. I haven't looked into the prices for all companies that offer this, but for Blue Apron, three 2-person meals cost $60. So you pay $10 per meal per person, and you do all the cooking (including chopping vegetables and such) yourself? I don't get it, but maybe it might make sense depending on where you live or if you're working 60+ hours a week and don't have time to really do groceries regularly?

What do you all think? Is this severe antimustachianism, or am I just being really judgmental?
I think all of these subscription services are anti-mustachian, but they have their place.  (Meaning, you could be eating for less compared to eating out.)

Think the snack delivery companies, the clothing companies (Stitch Fix, Fabletics).  You our outsourcing your shopping to someone else, and outsourcing the thinking too.

I have to ask myself, who really needs a new outfit every month?  That seems excessive to me.

lise

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2015, 11:52:24 AM »
I think all of these subscription services are anti-mustachian, but they have their place.  (Meaning, you could be eating for less compared to eating out.)

Think the snack delivery companies, the clothing companies (Stitch Fix, Fabletics).  You our outsourcing your shopping to someone else, and outsourcing the thinking too.

I have to ask myself, who really needs a new outfit every month?  That seems excessive to me.

Fabletics lets you skip a month with a simple click.  I purchased an initial two piece outfit for $25 in November 2015 and have skipped ever since.  However, when I do need more work out clothes I will be happy to buy from them as it is good quality and value.  I could find something for the same price probably at gapfit but that would be with the 35-40% off and those coupons often exclude gapfit. 

faithless

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2015, 06:15:03 AM »
I got Hello Fresh on a 65ish% off Groupon deal here in the UK and quite liked it.
I wouldn't pay the full price for it, but I periodically get a box when they email me a 50% off code which is about 20 for 3x 2 person meals which I find a reasonable price for what I get out of it - 3 fairly healthy meat meals inc 1 fresh fish, with fresh, usually organic veg, and the chance to try new recipes.
Yes I could cook something cheaper myself but I don't have a wide repertoire, and it's a cheapish way to try out 3 new recipes and get some variety - which helps us resist the urge to eat out (which would be more than 20 for the two of us)! Some of the recipes have been real winners, and I've saved the cards so I can recreate them myself.

So yes, not particularly mustachian, but ok for busy novice cooks, who would probably have eaten out otherwise!

Jags4186

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2015, 07:37:13 AM »
I've done played, blue apron, and home chef--all when they were on sale of course.  What I find is that blue apron is the biggest rip off as you can't pick your meals and you end up with a ground chick, ground pork, ground beef meals.  Home chef lets you pick so you can get steak dinners or lamb chops. 

Regardless they do take about an hour to prepare and I have found that the stews offer the most quantity and the protein meals offer the least. Great for Asian meals as I have no clue how to make those.  No thank you on chicken breast with vegetables.

I'd say it's fun to do maybe once a month if it takes the place of eating out. But as a regular thing no go for me.

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2015, 10:41:24 AM »
My friends gifted my husband and me a free week of Blue Apron, so we're going to try it out. Unfortunately, each week there are only 6 meal options (3 meat, 3 vegetarian), and for reasons beyond my grasp, not all combinations of meals are allowed. They have recipes posted for the next 3 weeks, and I can't make a combination of 3 meals that both my husband and I will like in any of those weeks. We're taking bets on how long we'll have to wait until we get a week that we'll both like. Given that the meals will be free, we'll probably end up caving as soon as we can find 3 meals we'll both tolerate. But if we were actually paying for it? We'd probably end up skipping nearly every week.

I've also had fun pointing out to my husband the cost of each of the dinners I've made since our friends gave us the free week of BA. Last night's dinner, for instance, cost about $5 and made three generous servings.

The_Crustache

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2015, 10:55:56 AM »
What about the pre-made meals?  I have a friend who tried this. It wasn't cheap but he liked the convenience of not thinking. He just grabbed what ever was labeled lunch or dinner and heated it and ate it.

Don't think I'd be into paying $10 to have to make my own meal. I do just fine for a dollar or two a serving.

There was a time in my life where I pretty much ate hot pockets exclusively too.

shelfins

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2015, 12:05:17 PM »
We were gifted a free week of Blue Apron by friends as well. I think it's made for people who 1) have a lot of money but not a lot of time, 2) like to cook but don't like to plan meals, 3) like a lot of variety in their meals, and 4) like meals that are really gourmet using all fresh ingredients. If you need two carrots for meal #1 and 3 sprigs of cilantro for meal #2 and a quarter-head of cabbage for meal #3, and really want everything to be fresh, and you don't want to plan your meals so you do ALL cabbage meals or ALL carrot meals that week because you want the variety, well, it can be hard to do that without wasting ingredients unless you use something like Blue Apron.

This is basically the exact opposite of how I cook. I didn't like it because I spent 35-45 mins 3x in the week and got 6 meals out of it (ok, maybe closer to 8-9, as the portions are on the large side), whereas normally, I might cook 2-3 times per week for 20-30 mins, but cook enough to serve 8, so that we have plenty of leftovers for lunches and other dinners. Add another 30 mins for the meal planning & weekly grocery shopping, and I'm spending the same amount of time, but getting way more meals. But as a result I only cook things that re-heat well, and I tend to do things like use frozen peas instead of shelling fresh peas myself, as one of the Blue Apron recipes had me do. And, of course, I'll eat the same meal multiple times in a week. But I've never been known for my gourmet palate, so it works for me. I did like getting to try the new recipes though, and at least one of them I'd simplify a bit and make again.

Cressida

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2015, 02:42:36 PM »

This is basically the exact opposite of how I cook. I didn't like it because I spent 35-45 mins 3x in the week and got 6 meals out of it (ok, maybe closer to 8-9, as the portions are on the large side), whereas normally, I might cook 2-3 times per week for 20-30 mins, but cook enough to serve 8, so that we have plenty of leftovers for lunches and other dinners. Add another 30 mins for the meal planning & weekly grocery shopping, and I'm spending the same amount of time, but getting way more meals. But as a result I only cook things that re-heat well, and I tend to do things like use frozen peas instead of shelling fresh peas myself, as one of the Blue Apron recipes had me do. And, of course, I'll eat the same meal multiple times in a week. But I've never been known for my gourmet palate, so it works for me. I did like getting to try the new recipes though, and at least one of them I'd simplify a bit and make again.

Yes. On weeknights, dinner preparation that goes very much beyond "reheat something I've already made" is just not in the cards - I don't have the time or the mental energy for it when I've been working all day. Unfortunately, it means that much of what we eat are stews and casseroles, and that does get old.

I can't wait to be FIRE so that I can cook whatever I want without resenting the time it takes.

On topic, I did try a meal service in my pre-Mustachian days. Coordinating the tastes of three separate parties (me, DH, and the menu planner at the meal service company) was difficult.

trobertson79

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2015, 03:17:50 PM »
We used one of these for awhile.  The cool thing getting to try different recipies that you would never cook for youself.  Obviously, though, the value kind of sucks. The issue I had/have is I hate the super market experience.  What did it for me is Instacart.  I'll gladdly pay a 20% markup for someone else to go to the store, do all the shopping and bring them to me.  We use the very affordable Market Basket chain in Boston and all told it costs as much as shopping yourself at one of the other stores like Star market (and less than shoping yourself at Whole Foods).   

Now all instacart has to do is make up these meal card recipie things and auto-add the ingredients to my cart and Viola!

Thedudeabides

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2015, 07:36:38 PM »

Now all instacart has to do is make up these meal card recipie things and auto-add the ingredients to my cart and Viola!

That would be awesome and would solve the problem much better IMHO.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2015, 08:50:57 PM »
Back when I first got married, I suspect that my husband I could have benefited from something like this.

He knew how to make maybe 2 or 3 meals. I had been subsisting off chicken fingers, alphaghetti and frozen vegetables. We really struggled with food preparation, in general.

Eventually I took some cooking classes. But then I just prepared meals without any consideration for price-per-meal. It was a whole other learning process to get the grocery budget to a reasonable level.

I think we actually would have benefited from $10/meal, shipped to our door. It would have substantially eased the growing pains of our food-life together. On the other hand, if it's $10/person, we can eat out for around that if we're careful - so I couldn't see it at that price point.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 08:53:40 PM by Cpa Cat »

Cpa Cat

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2015, 08:56:16 PM »
At $20/month though...

https://www.kitnipbox.com/#inside

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retireatbirth

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2015, 02:06:26 PM »
Bag of frozen chicken breasts. Throw a quarter pound on the skillet with some oil and seasoning. 10 minutes later youve got a meal for less than $1/serving. Steam some vegetables on the side if you want or add avocado to the dish. I can't believe so many so called mustachians have tried these consumerist services.

gimp

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2015, 02:19:42 PM »
My friend does this. It's so stupid. He can get the same shit at any store for a quarter of the price and with more selection.

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2015, 08:32:33 PM »
My friend does this. It's so stupid. He can get the same shit at any store for a quarter of the price and with more selection.

So your claim is that he could get the same meal for $5?

I easily spend $10-15/meal for the 2 of us. I only use fresh ingredients and our local grocery store is not the cheapest. We mostly eat chicken and one package of 14oz of fresh chicken breasts by itself is $6.50.

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2015, 10:09:08 PM »
A number of people have mentioned that a lot of food gets "wasted" when people over-purchase items but use only a little bit.

Is that actually a thing?

Seriously, is there that little meal planning going on? Do people not think about what they're going to eat for the next few days when considering what to pull out of the freezer or what to buy in the grocery store? Or do they not have access to freezers? Is there actually a fresh food storage crisis in upper-middle-class suburbia?

It seems to me that chopping up a bunch of random crap from the fridge and making a crockpot stew or a stir fry once a week just shouldn't be the end of the world. Or, freezing vegetables or chicken breast to use later? Child's play.

retireatbirth

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2015, 04:41:41 AM »
My friend does this. It's so stupid. He can get the same shit at any store for a quarter of the price and with more selection.

So your claim is that he could get the same meal for $5?

I easily spend $10-15/meal for the 2 of us. I only use fresh ingredients and our local grocery store is not the cheapest. We mostly eat chicken and one package of 14oz of fresh chicken breasts by itself is $6.50.

You can get a 2.5 lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts for $7.50 at Trader Joes. Trader Joes has locations in the Twin Cities area.

Miamoo

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2015, 10:38:21 AM »
My friend does this. It's so stupid. He can get the same shit at any store for a quarter of the price and with more selection.

So your claim is that he could get the same meal for $5?

I easily spend $10-15/meal for the 2 of us. I only use fresh ingredients and our local grocery store is not the cheapest. We mostly eat chicken and one package of 14oz of fresh chicken breasts by itself is $6.50.

You can get a 2.5 lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts for $7.50 at Trader Joes. Trader Joes has locations in the Twin Cities area.

You can buy a whole organic chicken for less than $6.50/# (not 14 oz.) and get 3 or more meals out of it - plus stock from the bones.  Gotta check TJ's too tho.  If those are boneless/skinless that's pretty good and always convenient to have on hand for the times you don't want to fiddle-fart around with a whole chicken.
$10/meal for 2 using the good stuff isn't out of line at all tho in my opinion.  (And that'll give ya some leftovers too!)

Cornelia

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2015, 10:43:57 AM »
I had no idea this was a thing. If I am paying a premium ie. 40$ for four servings, when I could spend 5-10$ for the same meal and amount, and they are not even going to do the cooking and cleaning up for me.. That is crazy business.

With the interwebs, and the library, recipes for new meals abound, even with helpful, handy reviews. Don't want to buy too much of a special ingredient for that recipe? then make a substitution, go to a bulk food store and buy a teeny bit, or just sink the cost of the few extra dollars of the ingredient, because it would still be cheaper than buying this service...

This is why home ec in schools is so important, kids need to learn basic life skills like menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. And if you still need help or inspiration for a new recipe, there is always youtube!

TRBeck

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2015, 11:29:58 AM »
We were gifted one of these services when our first kid was born. Nice thought, making our lives easier during the first couple of weeks with a newborn. In practice, though, the food was just so-so, the prep wasn't much less than when I cook, the cleanup was still the same, and I was thankful for the gift but not impressed with the service.

Even on sale, these are a colossal waste of money and resources. Plan your menus. Plan your shopping accordingly. Cook in large batches. Use slow cookers/crock pots. Do quick-cooking stir-fries. Cook when you have extra time on weekends. Plan time for food prep into your life.

Do anything but this.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2015, 11:48:45 AM »
A number of people have mentioned that a lot of food gets "wasted" when people over-purchase items but use only a little bit.

Is that actually a thing?
The tub of Gochujang in my fridge says "yes", along with its friends: half a packet of champagne yeast , 6 half-empty bottles of salad dressing, and everything else I've tried and disliked or couldn't think of another use for.

hownowbrowncow

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2015, 01:04:03 AM »
I will admit to trying Munchery.  It worked out great for me.  I had just gotten back from a trip and I was sitting on a $20 promo code.  I got two meals worth of food for $0 out of pocket - no tax, tip, delivery fee.   Def beat dragging myself to the grocery/pulling something together.

Fully cooked meals so basically just take out you have to heat up/assemble.  Food was pretty good.  Prices weren't bad but I don't see myself ever actually paying for the service.


« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:57:27 PM by hownowbrowncow »

aristotle

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2015, 07:49:49 AM »
So you're basically paying for some company to deliver grocieries to you...

We live in a disgusting culture where people are too busy to cook basic meals. Not that difficult or time consuming. If you can spend 12 hours a day working you can't muster up 10 minutes to cook a meal?

amberfocus

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2015, 10:37:08 AM »
The price point for these services is way too high for my tolerance, but I've actually recommended these to some co-workers of mine who currently only eat pre-made microwave dinners and fast food. My rationale is that if you're gonna be spending all that money anyway, then at least have it be on fresh and healthy food rather than on processed junk that's slowly killing you.

I also thought that it might help transition them from microwaving to cooking real food, and inspire them to make the leap to proper meal planning and grocery shopping down the line.

I'm kind of intrigued by some of the recipes, too. Some of them look tasty and seem quite easy to make for an experienced cook.

RunHappy

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2015, 10:46:59 AM »
I tried services like this in the past.  When you travel a lot and spend so little time at home these are great.  Sometimes I would be gone several weeks at a time which means anything in the fridge would be ick, so I would schedule a delivery to arrive the same day I would get back.   It allowed me to eat a "home cooked meal" without having to go to the grocery store at 10pm after a 7 hour flight.   For one person you can get a few meals, but they are crazy expensive if you are doing it on a regular basis.  These would probably be a good gift for new parents.

golden1

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2015, 12:44:24 PM »
I have been tempted by these sometimes just to broaden my palette a little bit.  I tend to get in a rut foodwise and I thought that ordering these a few times a year would get me to try things I wouldn't ordinarily because I wouldn't have to track down a bunch of weird stuff at the grocery store.  I figured that if I found a recipe I loved from those services, I could integrate it into my recipe mix.  I haven't been able to bite the bullet though, mostly due to price. 

Boganvillia

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2016, 09:39:16 PM »
Reviving this old thread to report from NZ that the concept has officially taken off here amongst busy corporate types.

The biggest market player is My Food Bag and they are reportedly turning over $100m.

My SIL, who is a keen cook and  probably has higher standards than me when it comes to frozen vegetables etc, is a grateful customer of theirs.

I enjoy menu planning and making pennies squeal and deploying leftovers creatively like many a mustachian and wouldn't consider it. But we ended up with turkey mince at our place last night because it was surplus to their requirements, and was grateful to receive it.

Americans will be shocked at the prices. NZ groceries generally are relatively expensive.

Helvegen

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2016, 07:57:58 AM »
A facebook friend did this and made sure to facebook brag about all the fresh cooked meals.  But $10/meal?  Wow.  Granted, these folks work in NYC and have a god awful commute from the woods of NJ (2+ hours I assume) but probably earn $350-500k, so maybe dropping $10 for a home cooked meal when you don't have time to shop is worth it. 

And some people are horribly wasteful when it comes to shopping and can't use up the extra ingredients they buy (because they don't cook at home for most meals).  Like using 1 onion out of a bag and tossing the other 4-5 out when they rot, or buying a $3 container of fresh cilantro and using 2 sprigs for a dish.  So maybe paying $10/meal if you suck at grocery shopping anyway comes out to about the same price.  The solution is clear - get better at cooking and shopping.  But earning deep into the six figures certainly offsets any inefficient shopping and cooking skills.

A $3 container of cilantro? I just bought a huge bunch last night for $.49. Six times that would take an entire crisper drawer, I think. I live in a HCOLA myself, but man if a bunch of cilantro costs $3 in the NYC area, wow...

I will be honest though, besides basil, I generally can't get through fresh herbs fast enough. However, I don't cry at night about throwing out .20 of Italian parsley or a container of thyme I already got several weeks use out of. If I could buy just what I needed, I would. Like I usually only need 2 spears of celery for a pay period for tuna salad, but no one will just sell me a spear or two. No one is going to sell me a few grams of fresh thyme. Is what it is.

StarBright

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2016, 08:10:30 AM »
Count me in the group that says it isn't mustachian but could be a great option for people who just don't know where to start.

I bought a few weeks worth of blue apron for my best friend last year. She has a full time regular job and a part time passion job and was eating out all three meals every day. She didn't know how to cook and she didn't know how to grocery shop (she was raised in a house where hot pockets and pepsi were regular dinners) and she basically did not know where to start.

This got her a bit more comfortable in the kitchen and now she probably only eats out 15 meals a week instead of 21 :) She also subscribes to blue apron and still doesn't grocery shop but she is still saving money and eating more healthfully than she was.


alme

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2016, 02:01:00 PM »
I used Blue Apron for about a year after my son was born (not immediately after, but after 4-5 months when he started sleeping). DH and I both work full-time and often have to continue working when we get home, and until recently we alternated days off to minimize childcare expenses. We like cooking, but meal-planning was difficult and tiresome and often resulted in arguments. We also had a hard time knowing how many nights we're going to be home each week, so we often had wasted ingredients. In general, I thought Blue Apron was great. The food always arrived fresh (and they gave us a full refund for the meal the one time it didn't), the meals were consistently tasty. Obviously, it's not Mustachian, and the only way to justify it financially is to believe that you otherwise would have picked up takeout or ordered pizza, not planned and prepared a low-cost meal yourself. Now that we've made some major changes to our schedules, with resulting major changes to our budgets, we've stopped ordering Blue Apron and are doing the meal planning and shopping ourselves.

Kitsune

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2016, 07:24:31 AM »
I will agree with the OP that I look at the price point and have a tiny fit (we average 15$ CAD per day for ALL meals, with limited and expensive shopping options, eating fresh/healthy/good for 90% of meals plus the occasional hot dog/pizza/homemade mac and cheese night).

That said, I can see some value in it as a teach-yourself-to-cook device for people who want to learn and have no idea where to start. It hand-holds you through the process until you feel comfortable figuring it out yourself. Of course, you pay richly for that, so it's definitely not a permanent solution IMO, but I can see some use to it.

MrsDinero

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2016, 07:34:17 AM »
When I was a single road warrior I used a similar service and I actually found it very helpful.  Most weeks I was only home 1 or 2 nights and I didn't feel like going out to eat because I was eating out the other days of the week on business travel (ordering from a menu gets old after a while).  Since I was only home a few days a month it wasn't that expensive for me.

On the other hand I have some Facebook friends who have decided to try each of the big ones for 1 month.  They created a FB group to chat with others to compare the service and foods, etc.  It was fun to see the pictures and read the reviews until I noticed the ones participating are the ones who always complain about not having enough money for <whatever>.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2016, 07:49:21 AM »
We tried Blue Apron.  I suck at cooking so I could use the hand holding while my husband is recovering from being hit by a car while biking from work and I have to prepare food.  The intro price was fine, but I can't imagine paying full price.  The meals were excellent. We will make them again.

However, when I looked up what was in their spice blends, I realized we have ALL those spices already... and all the various vinegars, etc.

It might be good for someone without a fully stocked ingredient, but I think we actually already had everything they sent us except the main protein.

The masa spilled in one of my containers (I substituted in masa I already had on hand) so we got a $25 credit, so I'll get it once more. Then we are done.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2016, 08:06:51 AM »
I also don't get this. You are basically spending extra money so you don't have to think about your next meal. You'll still have to cook and clean and it's not like you can't order your groceries online and get to comfortably have ingredients delivered at home for a fraction of the cost. And if you factor the amount of recipes available online for free...

Maybe it's because I live outside a major city, but I can't easily order groceries online.  I can order them online to pick up at the store, but I still have to go to the store.

Not to mention, if you don't cook a lot- it can cost a ton to buy all the spices needed for meals. So if you only plan to make something once, this might actually cost less than going to the store and buying everything individually.

A $3 container of cilantro? I just bought a huge bunch last night for $.49. Six times that would take an entire crisper drawer, I think. I live in a HCOLA myself, but man if a bunch of cilantro costs $3 in the NYC area, wow...

That's what cilantro costs around here (I live in the highest cost of living area of my state, but still below the national average). We are trying to grow it ourselves because that's insane. So far though it isn't growing well :(
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 08:09:26 AM by iowajes »