This week I’m experimenting with those home delivery food services. As a person who eats simply most of the time and prefers to make their own meals, I’m very curious to see how I enjoy these pre-packaged feasts. The idea that meals would come pre-portioned and ready to prepare for the week is appealing. Not having to go to the grocery store is even more appealing, and the fact that I can try this out with their generous discount means it’s also cost effective. My first box arrived today and here are my initial impressions.
I was a little surprised to see my minimum order of 2 portions for 3 meals arrive in a small-ish box (I don’t know what I was expecting but after processing the contents, it’s actually quite a large box for what was delivered). Inside where 3 packages of the 3 default meal options and the meat on a frozen gel pack to stay cold. I assume I am sharing this same menu with other Hello Fresh subscribers, which makes the meal a little less original to me. But, with all of the ingredients and their 30 minute meal prep advertising, I’m hanging in there to give it a try.
From the nutritional chart, it doesn’t look like a lot of calories, which is probably a good thing since I’ve been sedentary for awhile now trying to sort out life stuff. So instead of worrying myself about meal prep or meal cost, I’ve got this week and then some covered by this small, not so small, box.
As I was investigating what it would take to ship a pie, I learned a lot about shipping food and in particular the pros and cons of using gel ice packs to keep food cold. Now that I know all about this, I was surprised Hello Fresh uses them. First, it was still pretty much ice when I got the package. The meats were very much cold (now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have put them in the freezer until ready to prepare, hmmmm). But, the box was very heavy and only because of this gel ice pack. Could part of the cost of having these door delivered meals be caught up in the shipping? I know they say free shipping, but….The food itself didn’t weigh that much.
Next, Vegetarian meals are more expensive. In case you missed my subtle post about my job being outsourced, I’m on a tight budget until I can find some reliable income. So, while I support the vegetarian option, I’m willing to stay on the inexpensive side for this evaluation. I kind of think if I want to prepare a vegetarian option, I’ll go pick up the vegetables for myself. Last time I used a food box service (farm to table kind of thing), the produce would rapidly go bad before I could consume it. In this regard, at least the meats can be frozen for the future and most of the fixings will last or can be re-purposed for other meatless options to make the whole thing last even longer.
Finally, the portions look really small. At first glance, it doesn’t really even look like 2 portions per meal. I’ll have to cook one dish up and see what portions it actually makes, but right now I’m a little worried. The calorie ranges are from ~500 to ~700, which isn’t really a lot and suggests the portion sizes are pretty small. I didn’t dive in to a meal today, but I will tomorrow.
If you have tried one of these meal services, what did you think and which did you like best? If this turns out to be even half decent, I may experiment with other providers. Someone out there must get a referral bonus. 🙂
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