Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Barb_

Dinner in a Box service

Recommended Posts

I keep tossing trial coupons for hello fresh, but I just had the thought that maybe I want to try a dinner in a box service. For years I cooked big meals that everyone loved--I'm a good cook and food is definitely one of my love languages. My best memories I have of my somewhat tempest-tossed childhood revolve around food. But now three of my kids have moved out, my husband works out of state, and the two oldest left at home have gone vegetarian. Meh, vegetarian is ok but I can't get motivated to cook or that way more than once a week or so. I think a box for two people might work to feed my kids and myself pretty well because chances are, one or the other isn't going to like what is served. Food has gotten too blinking complicated.

 

So who has tried the different boxes? Any recommendations? What about portion sizes? We aren't big eaters. Any vegan/vegetarian options as an alternative? I'm just feeling so sick of food and so uninspired. I've lost five pounds and notice my son is looking a little skinny too because we're all bored of beans and pasta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did Home Chef for awhile and every meal was absolutely delicious.  I was really happy with it but the price was a bit high and I've since gone vegetarian.  I did have an issue with the amount of waste generated by it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and one other one I cannot remember right now.  Some have vegetarian options.

 

Nearly all the recipes were delicious.

 

All were doable; some a bit more complicated than others, but nothing crazy.

 

It was great to not have to think about what to make for dinner.

 

The ingredients were of good quality, but I prefer to buy organic/locally grown

 

The amount of packaging was incredibly wasteful and that's what I hated about it.

Edited by jen3kids
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah I can see the waste issue being a problem for me too. Maybe I'll do it long enough to bust out of the food rut I'm in and learn how to cook for 2-3 instead of a crowd. I'm embarrassed to admit how much food I waste when I do cook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dh and I are trying Hello Fresh now that DD is at college.  I am not a good cook and do not enjoy cooking.  I tried Blue Apron before and while the food was good it caused me stress to cook it.   But now, what we are doing is getting two meals from Hello Fresh and cooking together.  Music on, glass of wine, in the kitchen.  OMG I'm loving it!  The portions are just perfect.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use Plated and adore it. They have so many choices and the recipes are amazing. I have some free meals from Plated and Blue Apron if you want to try them. Just PM me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The packaging doesn't bother me because the two cold packs are to keep the meat fresh. I expect something like that with having cold items sent in the mail. Then there is the large cardboard pieces around the inside of the box. I guess that's to keep it all insulated, so again, it's expected. 

 

FWIW, we use Hello Fresh. I've never tried any others so can't compare. The veggies that come in Hello Fresh are sometimes not great. I had some wilted broccoli and used their Live Chat to complain and got $10 off my next box. I didn't think that was bad. The other boo boo was a zucchini. It was edible but I could tell it was getting old. Everything else I've received from them has been wonderful. The recipes are easy to make. The majority are ready in 30 minutes. I'm a slow prepper though so it might take a little longer for me. So far there's only been one dish I didn't love and that was because it had lots of crushed tomatoes in it. I don't like so much tomato taste, like spaghetti. DH loved it though. So all the meals have been successful. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah I can see the waste issue being a problem for me too. Maybe I'll do it long enough to bust out of the food rut I'm in and learn how to cook for 2-3 instead of a crowd. I'm embarrassed to admit how much food I waste when I do cook.

 

It was excellent for getting out of the food rut.  I was cooking the same things over and over again, and it was boring.

 

The packaging doesn't bother me because the two cold packs are to keep the meat fresh. I expect something like that with having cold items sent in the mail. Then there is the large cardboard pieces around the inside of the box. I guess that's to keep it all insulated, so again, it's expected. 

 

FWIW, we use Hello Fresh. I've never tried any others so can't compare. The veggies that come in Hello Fresh are sometimes not great. I had some wilted broccoli and used their Live Chat to complain and got $10 off my next box. I didn't think that was bad. The other boo boo was a zucchini. It was edible but I could tell it was getting old. Everything else I've received from them has been wonderful. The recipes are easy to make. The majority are ready in 30 minutes. I'm a slow prepper though so it might take a little longer for me. So far there's only been one dish I didn't love and that was because it had lots of crushed tomatoes in it. I don't like so much tomato taste, like spaghetti. DH loved it though. So all the meals have been successful. 

 

 

 

The cold packs and big insulated box didn't bother me; I free-cycled the ice packs and recycled the boxes.  It was the 2 cloves of garlic in a plastic bag, and if you ordered meals for 6, then you get 3 of the little plastic bags, plus all the spices in individual foil-lined packets, the rice in a plastic bag, etc    So much garbage...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was excellent for getting out of the food rut.  I was cooking the same things over and over again, and it was boring.

 

 

 

 

The cold packs and big insulated box didn't bother me; I free-cycled the ice packs and recycled the boxes.  It was the 2 cloves of garlic in a plastic bag, and if you ordered meals for 6, then you get 3 of the little plastic bags, plus all the spices in individual foil-lined packets, the rice in a plastic bag, etc    So much garbage...

 

Oh, those don't bother me. Especially because we like to use some of the extra they send to us, like the garlic. I only have 3 meals a week, 2 weeks out of the month, so I can use some of the leftover stuff they send on other meals I cook on non-Hello Fresh nights.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah I can see the waste issue being a problem for me too. Maybe I'll do it long enough to bust out of the food rut I'm in and learn how to cook for 2-3 instead of a crowd. I'm embarrassed to admit how much food I waste when I do cook.

 

We use Blue Apron every couple of months just to change up the food rut. Some things we've liked so much that we cook them on our own occasionally.   Blue Apron always has some vegetarian options.  We do the box for 4, so that only includes 1 vegetarian option, but the box for 2 has six choices each week, and it looks like there are two or three veg. choices.

 

I've been pleased with Blue Apron.  The quality of the food is very high, and if there is an issue, Blue Apron is very good about communicating and making things right.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, those don't bother me. Especially because we like to use some of the extra they send to us, like the garlic. I only have 3 meals a week, 2 weeks out of the month, so I can use some of the leftover stuff they send on other meals I cook on non-Hello Fresh nights.

 

We love our left over garlic with Blue Apron. It has saved us several times.  But then, we use a lot of garlic.

 

Some of the little plastic containers for vinegar and such, I wash and re-use for when we go camping, or if I have a tiny bit left of something.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't used it, but when you asked for Vegan and Vegetarian options, Purple Carrot came to mind.  Mark Bittman left the NYT a few years ago to get in on the ground floor at Purple Carrot.  No idea if he's still involved or not, but if he had a hand in some of the recipes, I would love to try them.  It's one of the more pricey ones, but I think you can also pick up boxes at Whole Foods, so if you have one of those nearby, it might be worth picking up a couple to see if you like them. 

 

I think Marleyspoon has a vegetarian option.  That's Martha Stewart's contribution to the boxed meal kits.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, those don't bother me. Especially because we like to use some of the extra they send to us, like the garlic. I only have 3 meals a week, 2 weeks out of the month, so I can use some of the leftover stuff they send on other meals I cook on non-Hello Fresh nights.

 

 

We love our left over garlic with Blue Apron. It has saved us several times.  But then, we use a lot of garlic.

 

Some of the little plastic containers for vinegar and such, I wash and re-use for when we go camping, or if I have a tiny bit left of something.

 

 

 

It's not the extra garlic, it's the extra packaging.  Three bags when one bag would be enough.  And all those little bottles/jars of vinegar, mustard, mayo, etc.... so wasteful

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the midst of working my way through ALL of them. Well, maybe not all, but my plan is to hit most of them. Packaging waste is an issue across the board. Plated manages to package everything in a smaller box, but uses a lot of ziplock baggies. Hello fresh uses a ton of single-serving bottles, but they're all recyclable. It's a problem that's inherent to the concept.

 

Hello Fresh- huge portions. I can easily feed 5 or 6 with what they send for 4. Good recipes so far. 

 

Plated- Love the options. Portions are more true to size. I like that I can order 3 plates per meal, because I think that would be closer to the right amount of food for us.  You have to finalize your order waaaayyy in advanced compared to HF. 

 

Blue Apron- Just got my first box, but I already feel like this will be a one time order. I like that their ingredients are marked clearly with sources and diets (pasture fed, etc). What I don't like is that they only give 4 options for meals if you order the family plan. I need more choices than that. 

 

All of them have more complicated recipes than most of my usuals. I'm ok with this because I am really craving variety. These boxes are EXACTLY what I need right now.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my Terra's Kitchen referral link. It will get you $40 off your first order. http://tk.co/raf?i=splXnMgt

 

I've been using Terra's Kitchen for a few months now. I get about two meals per week. It has helped me enjoy cooking again and get back into meal planning. I either get the family meals or the 2 person meals with extra meat. They have a lot of choices which vary seasonally. All of their meals come with a reusable recipe card, no proprietary sauces, just simple ingredients. I love their reusable shipping containers. I tried one week of another service and had so much trash.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Blue Apron- Just got my first box, but I already feel like this will be a one time order. I like that their ingredients are marked clearly with sources and diets (pasture fed, etc). What I don't like is that they only give 4 options for meals if you order the family plan. I need more choices than that. 

 

 

I, too, wish Blue Apron had more than 4 choices for family meals.  If they did, they'd get more of my business.   Often on a week when I have time to order a Blue Apron, there are not two meals that I'm interested in. Lately that's happened a lot.  I don't think I've ordered anything since late summer.  I think that Blue Apron recently added more options for the 2 serving boxes, but not for the family-sized box. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 And all those little bottles/jars of vinegar, mustard, mayo, etc.... so wasteful

 

Aw, I love the little bottles, but I re-use many of them.  However, Blue Apron doesn't use as many of them as it used to. We even use the leftover giant ice-packs when the boys go on scout trips.  They are great because they last longer than traditional-sized ice packs, and because the food is surrounded by ice on all sides. 

 

I would not want to use one of the services where I have to actually return a box.  That would be too much work for me, unless it was as simple as adding a label and sticking it out by the mailbox.  If I'd have to wrap it up somehow, or take it to the post office, that would be a deal-breaker for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I would not want to use one of the services where I have to actually return a box.  That would be too much work for me, unless it was as simple as adding a label and sticking it out by the mailbox.  If I'd have to wrap it up somehow, or take it to the post office, that would be a deal-breaker for me.

 

I haven't used that one but I did read up on it and yes it's as simple as leaving the box where they dropped it off, they automatically come the next day and pick it up.  If it came with Fedex you have to peel off your shipping label and the return label is underneath, if it came UPS you don't have to do anything.

 

I too thought that returning the box would be a hassle but clearly they had already thought of that and made it as painless as possible.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...