I don’t know about you, but sometimes, just sometimes, creating healthy, interesting, varied, balanced meals 7 days of the week gets a little tedious. Life is busy. We aim to make the best meals, with the best ingredients to feed ourselves and our families as broad a variety balanced diet, whilst considering value and quality. Is it any wonder that we tend to go on auto-pilot as we pop to the local shops and supermarkets, or even leave the online shopping as a repeated order and perhaps in turn as the weeks turn to months and we get bored with the choices, start to opt for ‘cheat’ meals that can limit quality and nutrition, and ultimately end up costing more money and having a bigger cost against health.
We stumbled across a couple of door step delivery services in the middle of 2015 when life was particularly hectic for us as a family. The companies offer recipe boxes with the correct amount of ingredients measured into the box that is required for the meals that you have purchased. On the surface they are not cheap and for the ones we used they provided organic, ethically and UK sourced ingredients wherever possible, so you expect to pay a premium.
We chose to try two services – HelloFresh and Gousto and what they offered us as a family for a few weeks last year was fresh, unexpectedly tasty, simple to follow and quick to cook meals. As well as recipes to re-use in the future again. You can get as involved as you want in the selection of your menu choices for the week, or leave it to be a surprise! You can have as little as one box delivered every now and then, or as regularly as weekly – you manage your account on line.
Both the services offer reward schemes for on-going purchases and both have good reviews, although do experience some less favourable reviews occasionally, linked to delivery or quality issues. We were impressed with the packaging as everything came well insulated against the weather and the driver always put the boxes where we requested if we were out (so as not to get stolen!).
Like other industries it is a growing market. Many years ago it ‘veg boxes’ were the trend and now the recipe boxes are widely available. Some of the original veg box providers have also expanded to offer recipe boxes -check out Abel and Cole or Riverford for example. You can also get cream teas delivered (our local friend Jane Malyon of the English Cream Tea Co can do this for you!) and smoothies/juicing options too.
If you look on any and all of the following companies you could try most of them for the first time for ‘half price or less’ and then cancel for awhile and try again, so there is always a more cost-effective way to try a perceived luxury service. This is another example of life being simplified, at a cost, but for an occasional treat perhaps it seems a good thing to try if you are lacking inspiration.
Let us know any you try and which ones get your vote for quality, taste and value.
New ones that have popped up include:
SimplyCook – these offer partial boxes
"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones"