During one of the last weeks of my internship, a coworker leaned over my cubicle wall and offered me some of the coupons she had stashed in her purse that she wasn’t going to have a chance to use before their expiration. I ended up scoring 20% off at Barnes & Noble which I used immediately (on my 2015-16 planner. *shivers in excitement*), and I also got a code for a significant discount at Hello Fresh. It’s one of those Blue Apron-esque meal delivery services. They send you a box of ingredients perfectly portioned for the recipes they give you and you cook it yourself. Once again, not very college-y, but it’s summer and John and I have both had full time jobs so it feels more like real life.
Since I was about to move out of my apartment, I figured it would be cool to have the meals delivered during the week I was in Austin so John and I could cook together. I never planned on using the service for more than a week because it’s just not feasible at this point, but it was totally worth the try at $10 a meal for three two-person meals.
I’m not gonna lie–it was pretty awesome. The ingredients delivered were fresh and local and the recipes were DELICIOUS. They send along a recipe booklet and the recipes we tried would be super easy to duplicate if we bought the ingredients! You also need very little in terms of supplies and ingredients at home. Basically we just used a big pan, salt, pepper, and olive oil and everything else was in the boxes.The meal above was wilted spinach salad topped with chorizo and plated with corn on the cob brushed with feta and chipotle mayo. It. Was. Delicious. You get to choose the meals delivered each week and I went with their three gluten free options for this week.
This service was super cool for cooking inspiration. This past year, I found myself getting into a rut of salt and pepper only for seasoning and forgetting to reach out of my comfort zone with flavors and textures. However, the price of these meal services is so high. I totally understand why it’s a good option for some people–I imagine someone who works in a place like Manhattan with fewer fresh options and pricier groceries who is looking for something healthier than eating out would find this useful, but for most of us around the country it’s probably not realistic.
The service is $11.50 per meal per person normally, so $69 a week for three two-person meals. That’s more than a lot of weekly grocery budgets. I don’t blame the companies–this is an expensive service to run. They don’t charge delivery fees and they ship the food to you in a refrigerated box. But the savvy spender college girl inside of me says she probably won’t be doing this again unless, you know, I end up living in New York City with a job that pays enough to justify it.