Does anyone here have the boxed meals delivered like Blue Apron, or Home Chef? And if you do what has the experience been like?
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I can't speak from personal experience, but I can tell you that a good friend who is known for having a limited palate tried Home Chef and she and her husband loved it. It was definitely out of her food comfort zone, too. If nothing else, it's a way to try foods that maybe you wouldn't normally think about. She would have never tried kale, or brussel sprouts, for example, and probably not salmon either, but ended up loving all three. (Beets, however, are still in the 'dislike' column.)
I tried Blue Apron a couple times and liked it the times I used them. The reason I don't use them more often is I am a very picky eater and most times when I found three meals I liked it would block at least one of the meals out after I chose one I liked, it won't allow you to chose any three meals.
It is nice that most of the items are premeasured but you will need to chop the veggies.
They also use a delivery service I never heard of so if you aren't going to be home to sign for it have it sent to your work
Also if you have a friend that has done it they may have a good discount referral code for you or you can find codes online for up to half off your first order
You can use the discount code 'sawbones' for half off your first order, they advertise extensively on a lot of podcasts I listen to. Sawbones is a good one, btw. :)
We've tried Plated, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. They all have had their pros and cons. We found Hello Fresh to be our favorite and have used that regularly for a few months. Meal boxes are packaged nicely. There is just 2 of us and the amount of food works really well. Normally there is just enough to feed us, but sometimes we have a little extra for lunch the next day for one of us. The biggest perk is we have learned more cooking tips from the recipe instructions! We have a couple free boxes to try still. If you are interested, send me your email and I can send you an invite.
I have tried Plated for a few weeks and liked it for all the above reasons - Trying new things, new cooking techniques and convenience. Not having to think about what was for dinner and the convenience factor were big for me. The cost is a little higher for some dinners vs going to the store - probably equal for others. BUT - one of us is a little more picky than the other... and Plated recipes didn't fit that too well so I stopped the service. However - I have been looking into trying Home Chef. Their recipes seem to fit our tastes a little better but still have new thing to try.
So - they have great deals to start with any of the services.
Its great for one or 2 people, but probably not family IMO.
Trying new foods is fine, right up until some well-meaning pseudo gourmand delivers baked gopher with a side order of cattails and nettles sautéed in MadDog wine. Match that up with Red Stripe beer and Hostess Twinkies for desert.
Madjack-i would like to preorder your book. That either-totally happened, or, you're on a Hunter S Thompson level trip
Home Chef has excellent quality and very creative dishes. The downside is that you have to be able to spend 45-60 minutes cooking most meals, as you are preparing almost everything from scratch in these recipes:
- Need minced garlic? Here is a garlic clove - go clean and mince it.
- Need chives? Here is a green onion - go clean and dice it.
- Parsley as a garnish? Start chopping, brother.
And so on. Great food, and cheaper than a dinner out, but time consuming in effort. That, plus you wind up going out and buying all the kitchen utensils you lack. Off the top of my head, since we started using Home Chef we have purchased a lemon zester, two fruit juicers (gotta squeeze fresh lemon and lime juice in these recipes), a butter curler, and an avocado slicer.
How did we ever survive as a civilization without butter curlers.... ha!
There is a lot of prep work involved. A food processor is a great tool to have and plan on buying olive oil if you dont have any.
My wife and I joined Home Chef in the spring, and I couldn't be happier with it. Personally, I love the fact that it cuts no corners for you. It essentially lays the raw ingredients out for you and gives you the recipe, and the rest is up to you. The things I love about it:
- You get specifically portioned ingredients, which is really nice. No more buying a carton of mushrooms for a dish, only to use a quarter of them and leave the others in the fridge for a week until they need to be thrown out.
- It gives you a perfectly sized meal. Plenty to be filling, but no so much that you either a) have leftovers that may never get touched again, or b) you just polish off whatever is left, even though you aren't even remotely hungry anymore.
- We probably make 1/2 the grocery trips now, which is a great money saver. We're the epitome of the "went for lunch meat, came back with some new furniture" shoppers. (that actually happened.)
- It decides what you'll be making. I love to cook, but I frequently have writer's block in the kitchen, not being able to get out of some cooking ruts I fall into. And not only does this make that decision for me, but some of the dishes are very high on the elaborate/creative scale, which I love.
But by far, the most important benefit of this has been that it turned my wife into a cook. I've always been the chef of the couple. She's made a few attempts to get over her fear of it over the years, but never succeeded. This has changed all of that, though. Now she's learning why you choose certain cooking methods, mastering knife skills, and making sauces from scratch. She gets more confident with each meal. And it's extra fun for me, since now we can "talk shop," or just the fun of cooking together.
Thank you all for your wonderful feedback. I have a free week from Blue Apron so I'm going to try that one. The positives are all ingredients delivered, no wasting things you need for a recipe, but will never use again, they decide the menu, ultimately saves money. Negatives are Blue Apron blocks changing the menu options. My husband and I cook together now but I think this will make us better chefs, and hopefully expand our palates. Now that I know Home Chef is good too may try them out also in the near future. Looks like they are both great for feeding only two people.
Thanks again everyone.
Pizza comes in a box. Does that count? That's as fancy as I get . ☺
Costco has 2-$50 blue apron gift cards for $80. Good way for Blue Apron users to save 20%.