9 People on Why They Use Meal Delivery Services
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to buy or subscribe to something, I want to talk to people who’ve bought or used it first—not just watch videos or advertisements only highlighting the pros and never the cons.
Many of you are probably skeptical about meal delivery services (I know I was at first) because you’re not sure about the price and the quality of goods. Well, here’s what the ESL team and our friends—real people telling their actual opinions—have to say about their meal delivery services and if they’re really worth your money and time.
What meal delivery services have you used and what plan(s)? If more than one, which is your favorite?
Jeremy Chrysler, five-person household: Plated, HelloFresh, Blue Apron — and my favorite is Blue Apron. We’ve done both the two-person and the family plan, but are on the family plan now.
Jeri Carter, one-person household: HelloFresh’s two-person plan.
Shannon Sanford, two-person household: HelloFresh’s two-person plan.
Kendra Howard, three-person household: Clean Eatery’s Basic Plan for two people, 15 meals per week (five breakfasts, 10 entrees), $245/wk total.
Katie Cox, two-person houshold: Home Chef’s two-person package.
Chris Biedenbender, one-person household: Purple Carrot’s two-person 3x/wk package.
Virmarie and David DePoyster, three-person household: We’ve used Green Chef (three meals/week for two people) and HelloFresh (classic package for two people). HelloFresh is our favorite, but we use Green Chef now because of our daughter’s food allergies.
Brian Turner, three-person household: HelloFresh’s family plan.
Why did you start using meal delivery services?
Jeremy: We have three young kids, so finding the extra time to both meal plan and get to the store is hard to do. Using one (or more) meal delivery services saves us time while forcing us to eat healthier.
Jeri: I received a $35 discount on the first box, and I also liked the fact that the veggie box wasn’t based on tofu and soy products but actual vegetables instead.
Shannon: I hate going to the grocery store and I wanted to try some new recipes.
Kendra: Clean Eatery’s business model is clean, macro nutrition-based food for fitness-minded people. I signed up because I’d gained about 20 pounds over the last winter season and was hoping it would help keep me on track to lose the extra weight.
Katie: My friend gave me a coupon code for a free trial, so I decided to give it a shot. I’ve never been a very good grocery store shopper—I never seem to come home with enough to make a complete meal. I go with good intentions, with a list in hand, but still fall short. I usually find that I have about 80-90% of what I need to make it work, but missing spices and vegetables to really complete the flavors. I looked forward to having complete, flavorful meals with everything I needed on-hand.
Chris: There were multiple reasons, including lack of time, desire to eat healthier, but, most importantly, to try a plant-based diet. I wholeheartedly agree with the concept, but in the past when I have tried this on my own it proved difficult to come up with unique and satisfying recipes.
DePoysters: We wanted to: One, not have the waste associated with going to the store; two, we like trying different things and this is a great way to try already-approved recipes; three, we wanted to cook together from time to time and this makes it easier.
Brian: My wife hates going to the grocery store.
What do you like most about your meal service? Why?
Jeremy: I’m saving time and money and learning how to cook better.
Jeri: I like that the items are delivered to my home, it saves time at the grocery store, and it offers new ideas for food combos that I wouldn’t have thought of before.
Shannon: I liked that I didn’t have to go to the grocery store that week. I also liked that it offered recipes that I wouldn’t think about making on my own. It also saved time on measuring out everything, although there were some ingredients that were double what I needed or more.
Kendra: The convenience of not having to prep my own food, cook it, and clean up. It’s nice to be able to just pop a container in the microwave and not have to clean a bunch of dishes when you’re finished eating. Also, the menu is different for every meal, every day. When I was prepping for myself, I was eating the same thing day-in and day-out because it was a hassle to cook a variety of food all at once.
Katie: The flavors! And not having to go to the grocery store.
Chris: I liked the fact that it was plant-based and offered diversity to my personal meal plan.
DePoysters: I like the recipes that we’d never know about and new things to try.
Brian: Good recipes, fresh food, all-inclusive meals, little or no clean up or waste, and we don’t have to think about what to make.
If you could change one thing about your service about would it be?
Jeremy: The family plan is a little too much food for us on most nights, so I might like something between the two-person and the family plan.
Shannon: I can’t think of anything that I would change, really. The only complaint I had was that I didn’t like some of the ingredients in my box and one of the recipes, but HelloFresh now allows you to switch out your recipes.
Kendra: Clean Eatery lets you customize your meals. So if you don’t like a certain vegetable or protein, they’ll put a note in your account and swap it out. In my case, I don’t like seafood, red meat, goat cheese, blue cheese, and certain vegetables, and about 60% of the time they fail to swap them out. So unless the gross foods can be picked out, I have to chunk it – which wastes more money. It would be nice if they paid more attention to the notes and preparing the food accordingly.
Katie: I wish there was an option to have pre-chopped vegetables. Lazy, I know! But the prep work definitely takes a while on some recipes.
Chris: Unfortunately, Purple Carrot only delivers on Wednesdays. It would make it more convenient if the delivery was on Sunday, so that I could prepare all meals for the week on Sunday evening.
DePoysters: We’d like the ability to customize the orders more. Soy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, etc.
Would you use meal delivery services for every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) if you could?
Jeremy: Not breakfast, but if someone could figure out how to do a service for healthy kids’ lunches, we’d think about doing that.
Jeri: I would, especially if they were already cooked. I’m a pretty picky eater, so most services would have items that I don’t eat—it would be pretty difficult to find one that would match my tastes/preferences.
Shannon: Depends on the price. I didn’t feel like the ingredients actually cost the price of the box. I felt like if anything, I was paying a lot for shipping (but my box was like 40% cabbage).
Kendra: Yes, only through the weekday. I like having my weekends open.
Katie: Probably not. Unless there was a ready-to-eat option. I wouldn’t want to go home for lunch to cook a meal, and I’m horrible at meal-planning ahead of time… Hence the grocery store struggles.
Chris: Being single, I was able to use the three meals as lunch and dinner 3x/wk and I have a set breakfast, so no. That being said, Purple Carrot doesn’t offer a five or seven-day option, which might have been a nice alternative.
DePoysters: No. That would be too much to keep up with.
Follow Anna on Instagram: @annamariedepoyster
Last modified on June 1st, 2017
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