Author Topic: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)  (Read 19437 times)

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2016, 08:09:27 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.

Handholding + introductory price: worth it. :)

In general terms, though, it helps to be aware that what you're paying for is the hand-holding, not the ingredients. AKA: it's a temporary set-up, not a permanant solution.

fattest_foot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2016, 08:47:28 AM »
My wife received a free promotional thing for Gobble a while ago, so we got 3 free meals. They were really good, so we decided to actually pay for I believe 2 or 3 more.

We don't really eat out, so we kind of looked at it as the same as an eating out budget item.

I somehow manage to remember to check menus almost every week, and I've yet to be blown away by anything enough to want to pay for it since (6+ months?).

Making Cookies

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2016, 10:43:28 AM »
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.

There is seriously a business here to be started. Probably in a dense populated area. Teach people to shop. Make them shopping and cooking lists. Lots of people out there putting random things in grocery buggies. 

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2016, 10:51:33 AM »
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.

There is seriously a business here to be started. Probably in a dense populated area. Teach people to shop. Make them shopping and cooking lists. Lots of people out there putting random things in grocery buggies.

A friend of mine has a LOT of health issues relating to food (diabetes plus major allergies for her AND her partner) and is an excellent chef - she started a business like that in Montreal that's basically combining the above with a "I'll teach you to plan/shop/cook to your particular dietary issues and budget".

She even offers to go with you to dietician appointments and build a meal plan from that, if needed. Totally a great service.

Making Cookies

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2016, 10:59:01 AM »
Any idea of what the cost is? Just curious. Am 5000 miles away so I couldn't use her service. ;)

DW & I do well enough on groceries but you know, I'd hire a guide once or twice to up our game. In savings and improved health it would pay for itself.

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2016, 11:04:37 AM »
Custom prices, depending on what's needed (aka: a grocery list + Recipes vs teaching to cook for a few sessions).

I believe that a custom grocery list, plus recipes, plus 2 cooking sessions was 2-300, but I could be wrong.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6329
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2016, 11:34:21 AM »
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.
It definitely has its place, but I'm all for incremental changes. Some times in your life you can go "all out", with a newborn is generally not one of them.

My up the street friends do a local version 1x a week, it's a nice fancy date night meal that the family of 4 cooks together.

I cook a lot from scratch.  Full time job, kids are 10 and 4.  But sometimes...this weekend I added it up.  I cooked or prepped 13 separate "things" for the week and weekend.  That's a lot of cooking, dishes, and PLANNING. (spanish rice, mixed dried beans, salsa chicken, tomato/spinach/feta frittata, cracked wheat and sunflower bread, nutty citrus cole slaw, cheddar cheese biscuits, baked teriyaki chicken, homemade hummus, mixed raw veg, salad (wash/spin lettuce), guacamole, and I'm forgetting a few.

I used to get a CSA for my veggies, but because of the drought they aren't running.  My friend found another one - pick up day is Tuesday, a few locations...but none are particularly convenient.  Instead I signed up for a delivery service.  Like a CSA but they deliver.  My gosh I love it.  Yes, I am paying for delivery.  It's a fair bit more money, but it saves my brain and my car.

Making Cookies

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2016, 11:54:27 AM »
Custom prices, depending on what's needed (aka: a grocery list + Recipes vs teaching to cook for a few sessions).

I believe that a custom grocery list, plus recipes, plus 2 cooking sessions was 2-300, but I could be wrong.

If a person came away with some lifelong lessons to build upon then it would be worth it. Thanks.

deadlymonkey

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2016, 12:23:23 PM »
We just did this by accident.  Our neighbor subscribed to the service and moved but forgot to cancel/change delivery address.  The package was dropped off and the company would not take it back/redeliver so after talking to former neighbor, she just let us keep it rather than let it go to waste.  It was nice, easy to prepare (although DW makes better dinners).  We would never pay for the service, but I can understand the attraction.

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2016, 12:30:14 PM »
Custom prices, depending on what's needed (aka: a grocery list + Recipes vs teaching to cook for a few sessions).

I believe that a custom grocery list, plus recipes, plus 2 cooking sessions was 2-300, but I could be wrong.

If a person came away with some lifelong lessons to build upon then it would be worth it. Thanks.

Exactly what she's setting up for. It's not a personal chef service, it's a "oh shit my kid has celiac/I have diabetes/my spouse has a sudden allergy to soy, wtf do we eat", and she swoops in and shows people how they can make it work.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2016, 03:12:29 PM »
I actually tried HelloFresh during busy season this year. Meal planning and cooking just started getting problematic due to my busy schedule.

We liked it during the first week, so we re-enrolled for 3-4 more weeks. But we canceled it because of various problems:

1. Some of the meals weren't very good. They tended to be bland we had to do some additional seasoning.
2. The real death knell, because we had a very tight schedule - some of their recipes under-clocked the actual cooking time. We had a couple of unfortunate incidences where one of us had to leave without dinner, because it wasn't ready when it was supposed to be.
3. There was nothing that we liked that couldn't be made for significantly less money per meal.

I did mine their site for recipes, though. I pulled down whatever looked good and put it in a file on my computer. My husband suggested that we could do this and then just pull a few recipes at random, order the groceries to be delivered from our local grocery store for a $5 fee and have essentially the same service for half the cost.

Jrr85

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1204
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #61 on: July 19, 2016, 04:35:03 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?

Can't speak to blue apron, but we have tried hello fresh and you could not get equivalent meals already cooked, much less delivered, for a dollar more.  For us, it was a relatively fun way to try out some new recipes, but it was too expensive and doing a completely new recipe every time was too time consuming.  The meals would probably take 15-30 minutes of active prep and cook time for somebody cooking the recipe a second time.  With every time being a completely new recipe to us, it was more like 20 to 40 minutes of active prep and cook time, plus maybe another 15 minutes of passive cook time.  Way too much time for us during the week.

It's definitely pricey, but not a terrible idea for people that are clueless in the kitchen and just want an easy (if expensive) way to to try out cooking and/or people that are clueless about how to cook reasonably healthy and need a simple (if expensive) kickstart to learning. 

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2016, 08:37:15 PM »
The NZ service mentioned above has also recently introduced a 'bargain' version of the meal kit delivery product ...

https://nadialim.com/bargain-box/

Some associated press coverage - with comments:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81272970/My-Food-Bag-launches-bargain-option-for-thrifty-families
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 08:42:52 PM by Boganvillia »

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2016, 12:34:00 PM »
I was also thinking that it might be a nice gift for a young person moving into their first apartment--get them into the habit of cooking regularly instead of eating out all the time. I don't mind the grocery store myself but I know some people get totally overwhelmed.

Boganvillia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #64 on: July 25, 2016, 11:25:53 PM »
^ That is really true, it would be a very thoughtful gift indeed for someone out of home for the first time, having an educational angle.

Personally it would not jibe with my personality at all, at this time in my life. Creatively solving the problem of Dinner is about all I have left, seeing as I have taken the safe and boring route with work. 

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
  • Location: MA
Re: Meal Kit Delivery Services? (Blue Apron, Plated, etc...)
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2016, 05:49:09 AM »
Quote
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.

Ok, so I got a free intro week and gave Blue Apron a try.  It was a hit at our house.  Everyone really liked the meals I made, and I kind of enjoyed making them.  I got the two a week family plan which made enough for leftovers so that stretched the value out somewhat.  I will probably continue the two a week for the rest of the summer.