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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Would you try a meal delivery service?

Since our second baby is due any minute now, Alex and I have been brainstorming ways to make our routines easier this summer. One idea was to try out Blue Apron, the meal subscription service, which delivers a box every week with fresh ingredients for three meals. We tried it this week, and here's how it went...
Blue Apron sent us a box to try out, and my jaw dropped when we opened it up. It was so organized! Every ingredient had its own packet—a piece of steak, two red peppers, two sprigs of oregano...so bright and fresh! It was weirdly satisfying to everything laid out so neatly.

The three meals this week were:
* Cod with Parmesan-Crusted Squash & Roasted Red Potatoes
* Steak with Salsa Rossa & Broccoli Rabe
* Chicken Banh Mi with Sesame Salad
(Here are more recipes, if you'd like to see)
Alex whipped up the first meal for us, and it was delicious. It was also fun to try new recipes, and much more exciting to eat fresh fish with vegetables than our usual scrambled eggs for dinner :) It felt really gourmet.
Overall, here's how Blue Apron works:
* Every week, Blue Apron delivers a box with ingredients for three meals.
* You can choose between two plans: poultry/meat/fish or vegetarian.
* There’s no commitment, so you can cancel anytime.
* A box with three meat/fish/poultry meals for two adults was $59.95 with free delivery.
* They deliver to most of the eastern United States (see a map here)

Would you guys try something like this? Such an awesome idea for new parents or just busy people in general, and it would make a great gift for someone with a new baby, a new job or anything else major going on in their lives.

Bonus for all readers: The first 200 people to sign up for the service will get 30% off their first delivery. You can also sign up for Blue Apron's free recipe newsletter to get weekly dinner ideas, if you'd like.
And a couple pasta photos from last week's box... :)

(This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. Photos by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible.)

230 comments:

1 – 200 of 230   Newer›   Newest»
Tinacious Me said...

What an interesting service! Thanks for the intro!
http://www.tinacious.me

Melissa Blake said...

I'd love to try this, especially for those days when I'm home by myself! :)

Carrie Lynn said...

I made freezer meals instead for WAY cheaper. I spent $175 for a MONTH'S worth of food. $60 is my entire meal budget for a week for my family of 3, so no. I don't think I could bite the bullet and do it. It's all very pretty though.

Unknown said...

I love this idea! But I wish they would use recyclable containers instead of wrapping everything in plastic. In case they are looking for suggestions ... :)

Laura said...

Really interesting, I think I'll try this! If I'm one of the first 200 to sign up, does the 30% off just get emailed to me? Thanks for sharing this, I love how widely available this is.

christa said...

This is unrelated to the food, but where did you get the napkins/towels with the blue/green stripe on them? I've been searching for the longest time for those and can't find them anywhere!

Fer said...

I tried Blue Apron before and really liked it :)

Shannon said...

How convenient! It seems very wasteful in terms of packaging though, with each tiny item wrapped separately...

Jennifer Jo said...

Agreed. Plus, the cost! There are easier ways to simplify meal times...

Allison Winter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

I've seen these services around, and they definitely look great. However (and perhaps this is because it was a sponsored post), you didn't really speak to how it all tasted! The pictures look terrific of course, but were you satisfied with the quality of the meal and the instructions that came with it? Assuming prep time was minimal, how long was it to cook?

Shelley Orr said...

I'd say that this would be worth it for the first few weeks of a newborn. I had my first in the summer and never found freezer meals that were good for summer. Chili in July? Lasagne in August? No thanks. It was hard trying to eat healthy when you're tired and don't want to cook.

Karelys Beltran Davis said...

When I was a stay at home mom we were on a super tight budget but we made it work. However, shopping for food and making everything well balanced can't be a one stop shop. And I think this is where the convenience comes into place for Blue Apron.

No shopping around to get all ingredients, no planning ahead, no trying to figure out what to do with the extra food you bought and how to incorporate it in other meals. The thing is, mental space can be very expensive if what you do for a living is high earning. So if you make quite the money from your job it's better to pay the little bit of extra money for saving time on this things and then use the mental and emotional space for work and family :).

Those are just my thoughts.

Right now I live in a small town and shopping for food is not that big of a deal. The other night I wanted to make fresh springrolls and it was expensive and quite the hunting trip. But I made them! If I lived in a big city I'd just get Blue Apron and do PB&Pickles, eggs, cereal, and take out for the other nights. Plus, making dinner can be so nice and special, so that's a bonus!

Miss Pea said...

I like the idea, but I agree all the packaging seems too wasteful. What about a reusable box with different compartments that you can send back once you're finished?

Kate said...

Looks beautiful and delicious but way too much plastic packaging.

Scout and Rice said...

I think it's a great idea, but I'm not sure I see the point in having the individual ingredients delivered if you still have to cook the meal yourself - if it's for new parents then surely the idea is to have as few steps as possible (ie meals that only need to be reheated)? It would be more convenient to just order from Amazon Fresh or some other grocery delivery service where you could get ALL of your groceries in one hit, rather than having three meals worth delivered and then still needing to go out to buy the rest of your groceries.

I'm all for freezer meals for new parents, and also making use of a crockpot - there's something so satisfying about throwing some ingredients into a slow cooker and then knowing for the entire day that your dinner is already done. :)

Samantha said...

If I were going to subscribe to a meal service, I would want it delivered ready to heat and eat...it's not that hard to go to the grocery store, IMO. Even easier to have groceries delivered. The hard part for me is the cooking of it! There is a meal delivery service called Farm to Fit out here in Portland, among others, that is more helpful for time management. Still expensive though, for those of us that worry about such things.

Jennifer said...

I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for the discount :)

Samantha said...

If I were going to subscribe to a meal service, I would want it delivered ready to heat and eat...it's not that hard to go to the grocery store, IMO. Even easier to have groceries delivered. The hard part for me is the cooking of it! There is a meal delivery service called Farm to Fit out here in Portland, among others, that is more helpful for time management. Still expensive though, for those of us that worry about such things.

Sarah said...

I agree with Alison. Aside from lots of pretty pictures (never a bad thing!), I really wish there was more detail. Did you use up all of every package (even the spices)? Did it taste good? How long did everything take? And fresh fish???? I'm not doubting you, but that is impressive if the fish is actually fresh and not frozen.

Also, you said that one idea was a food subscription service. What were your other ideas? I'm curious!

Anna said...

Same here: great idea but way too much plastic!

Rebeka said...

This is SO cool! I'm bummed they don't have delivery in Seattle, I would be ALL about this.

fancyalterego said...

This is such a great idea. I love to cook, and wouldn't want to give up doing that after having a baby. Taking out the need to go to the store, plan, and organize everything would be great so I could spend more time at home. A really great idea for people who need a little extra help, but not a complete meal takeover!

Heather.Joy said...

Yeahh, this is nice and pretty, but it would cost way less than $20 to buy those ingredients for one meal. Basically, you're saving the time to look up a recipe and go to the grocery store. Not worth it for me. That's actually one of my favorite parts of making meals.

Also, I'm going to say that majority of people I know can't afford to do services like these, especially with the giant cost of a new baby. Having friends bring over meals would be ideal and much more community-oriented.

Patricia said...

I wouldn't use this. Way, way too much plastic. And too expensive.

katedeshiell said...

I like this idea if you're in a pinch, but there is an awful lot of packaging! Have you thought about doing one of those food trades with a bunch of your local friends/neighbors? You cook up one big batch of something every week, put it in a bunch of reusable containers and then meet up with your friends where you can exchange and have a different item for every night of the week! Cheaper, better for the environment AND a great way to stay in touch with friends!

Shoko said...

oh my goodness. this looks AMAZING! I'd love to try it out!

L8Blmr said...

Hoping they start delivery in northern CA...we'd love to use their service!

Jody said...

SOOO much plastic! No way.

Mario said...

I have a pretty good sense of humor about some of the one-percent-y-er things you post, but this one really pushes the limits of good taste somehow. Not only is it ludicrously twee, over-packaged, and expensive, it doesn't even save much time. It just gives you the illusion of being able to follow a recipe

LB said...

Happy to see so many people think this is wasteful. That was my first thought. Seems like there could be a better way. A discount when you send materials back for them to recycle/reuse?

KristyK said...

My friends always opt to bring food to new parents following the week of the birth. We just create a sign up page here: http://takethemameal.com/ and then drop off what we know they like/want on the evening we signed up for. Everyone understands its not a social visit, but we still may peek in at the baby when we stop by. :)

Nicole Michelle Centers said...

The food looks delicious!

I would try!

Nicole
www.eleganceandclutter.blogspot.com

Saliem Chiu said...

Where do you shop for food?

Amanda said...

This might be good for the average time-crunch evening, but not for new parents... Frozen food, delivery, quesadillas or omelets, and meals from friends are more like it.

grey-nyc said...

My jaw dropped too when I saw the pictures, but not in a good way - what a waste of plastic!!!!

Ali of Dressing Ken said...

My friend has his own business with a similar concept in Seattle called Eat Local except it is walk in. This is really great. Perfect for busy bloggers umm I mean moms : )

Ali of

Dressing Ken

Rachelle M said...

It is beautiful to see everything laid out like that, but the wasteful packaging in so unfortunate. It would be awesome for them to include reusable or at the very least recyclable packaging.

However the idea of delivering the exact amount of food needed for three meals is interesting, especially when you consider that 1/3 of all the food produced for human consumption is thrown away. Did you find that you finish everything on your plate at each meal?

Amanda said...

People are crazy, I had this same issue on a posting on apartment therapy the other day. Where the heck are you people shopping and what exactly are you making that you spend way less than $20 for a really nice meal for two people?!?! I mean, really??? The only way I manage to do that is if I make like rice and scrambled eggs and frozen peas or something equally boring that has zero unusual ingredients or spices or sauces that I don't keep in my pantry.

And even more, why be bitchy because you're so good at budgeting or whatever? I mean, really. (Sorry for the rant!)

K&K said...

Is that your kitchen in the photographs? Did a stylist work on the food? Because your post makes it sound like Alex just whipped up the meal, but the whole thing looks very staged. It strikes me as misleading advertising.

Meadow said...

I love to cook so I am not sure I'd do this. If you do a little bit of planning, it isn't exactly difficult to go to the store, grab the stuff you need, and whip something up really fast. Seems almost easier to just order ready-made food than try to figure out a new recipe, idk.

Melissa said...

hmmm the packaging doesn't bother me.... YOU CAN RECYCLE PLASTIC PEOPLE! And the bags look like ziplocs so you could rinse them out and reuse them if you were that concerned. The price however... not sure about it, does seem pretty steep. Might be nice to try once though for the novelty.

E. and Baby P. said...

wondering... in nyc, isn't take out and delivery plentiful and relatively cheap?

love the idea but personally, when life gets busy, i don't want to shop, cook or clean up and this eliminates only 1 of the 3.

Amy Lauree said...

Great idea. I know a lot of new parents are given meals that you just heat up in the oven yourself, which is totally fine and helpful too, but if you want a fresher route this looks great. Plus, if you like being in the kitchen but don't have the time you used to with a new baby, this seems super helpful.

Sara said...

I agree with some of the other commenters here. If the idea is to really save time, why make it so that they have to prepare it themselves too? I've seen food delivery services that give you prepackaged meals you reheat - and good, fresh ones too! Plus the cost is insane. There are indeed way better ways to save time and effort on dinner (and I say this as a 7-month-pregnant woman with a toddler, too, trying to plan ways to prep for new baby time... so I get the overall appeal).

Michelle Panting said...

This is such a nice alternative to freezer meals. A bit pricey, sure, but still cheaper than eating out!

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

Christy@SweetandSavoring said...

I have to agree, that's the first thing I think of when I see these delivery services. The high cost of convenience is all of that plastic waste :(

The part about trying out new foods and having it all planned out for you is fun, though.

Marit said...

Oddly enough- I bought some a few weeks ago. I too searched high and low and finally asked a local restaurant where they got them. Voila: http://www.royalshave.com/p/434-001/rs_green_herringbone_towel.html

Jinsight said...

Totally agree with you both! Just the thought of creating that much plastic waste for each meal makes me sad. They should at least try compostable wrapping (or recyclable containers as others suggested.)

Vale Cervarich said...

Agree! That's what I noticed first.

Quammie said...

Just as an aside, going to the grocery store in NYC is a) expensive and b) time consuming. For people who get out of work at 7pm, the hour at the grocery store (including the walk there and home) may mean they don't end up eating until 9pm or later! That's not terrible, but can be frustrating when you're starving and exhausted. Also, $10/person for a meal sounds like a steal for fresh ingredients that are sourced locally. I understand not everyone has the budget for that, but just wanted to point out the other side of the story - people whose work schedules don't really allow for grocery shopping AND cooking each day or week. This is way healthier (and worth the long term costs I think) than eating out every night!

(However also agree - too much plastic!) Thanks for sharing, Jo!

Katie said...

I live in a neighborhood where I can walk a few blocks and pick up very fresh produce, fish, meat, so I could never justify this delivery--but for people in NYC, I can see how it would be a time saver and a way to get a home cooked meal (as opposed to takeout, which isn't as healthy, most often). I can't help but say what's been said already: all the plastic packaging is a huge turn off. Not every ingredient needs its own little bag, cute though it may be.

StacyLove said...

Interesting concept. Curious tho if the portions were plentiful? Enough for 2nds or leftovers? How did it arrive? Packed w/dry ice? How did it taste? And most importantly, would you really spend this sort of money if wasn't a sponsored post paying you? Let's be a real?! Because I'll be real. If you can regularly afford this sort of service....maybe we don't need to be sponsoring your sponsors because obviously you're making more than your readers and you're therefore starting to become out of touch with your audience.

Beatriz said...

I agree with the comments from people who live in NY that say this service is not expensive. I decided to make tacos the other evening bc I had made them three days prior and had some leftover ingredients. Just buying more chicken and onions and vegetables came out to $15. I already had the rest of the ingredients and these were not fancy or special tacos at all. If you're in a relationship, $10 per person for a nice meal each night and the convenience of not having to go to the store sounds amazing. Thanks Joanna for the recommendation. Would love to hear more about the taste and any cons you can think of.

Jinsight said...

Someone clearly isn't able to budget...I'm not sure how you can spend more than $20 for a decent meal (and by that I don't mean rice and eggs, which is more like a $1 meal). What exactly are you terming "nice"? Nothing on the menu above is all that fancy. You could get fish fillets for a few dollars a pound (I'm seeing no more than maybe 1/2 lb per person above), and all the vegetables won't run you more than a few more dollars (especially if you're shopping seasonally). I don't use coupons or anything, and shopping normally I can get several decent meals for two out of $20.

So maybe take a look at your own spending habits before you go ranting about those that have it under control.

Scout and Rice said...

Seriously? You think because someone makes a certain amount of money she must be out of touch with the audience? The people who read Cup of Jo come from a wide variety of backgrounds and budgets, why shouldn't Jo have all manner of sponsors? This blog would be terribly boring if it was always catering to the same people.

Pamela said...

All that plastic! Definitely my first thought too.

Pamela said...

Struck me the same way. I don't mean for this to start anything, but ... it read like a sponsored post and I wasn't surprised when I reached the end and saw that it was. All other thoughts I will keep to myself.

Pamela said...

What I'd like to know is if Jo would pay for this service if it wasn't free by way of sponsorship. If yes, then maybe it really is worth it and the ingredients are that fresh/tasty.

i'm stephanie. said...

I was thinking $60 sounded CHEAP. I guess I must be out of touch too. Sign me up! =) GReat post Joanna. Ignore all the naysayers.

xo

Haram Park said...

I live in NYC and I just drive to one of those gigantic grocery stores in the suburbs few times a month and stock up a full tunk worth of food. I think this service would work for you if you live in a building wherein people don't steal your packages and you have a doorman. This service would be worth the price if the portions are big enough in reality that two people could eat the $10 per portion...getting food in nyc is too crazy. Even smaller, hole in the wall ethnic grocery stores are expensive for sub-par produce.

Meg said...

I think this is awesome- espeically for weeks that I KNOW i'm going to be slammed...can still have a lovely meal at home... xx

Emily said...

Just signed up for this and got the discount, so thank you very much. We just moved and are currently remodeling so this will be a great help. Excited to try new recipes!

Melny said...

Everything has an up and a down side. Here the convenience and ability to receive portions of just what you need (I hate wasting herbs and vegetables when you have to buy the whole bunch and are only cooking for two) is a pro, but just like other readers I can't help but think it is mighty wasteful to have all that plastic (some vacuum sealed stuff that cannot be re-used) go to waste. Good idea, but could be better executed. And if you're looking for convenience, why just not order in...there's healthy and wholesome take-out options in NYC.

jessica said...

...and you still have to cook it all yourself? Sounds like a rip-off! Then again, this blog is somewhat geared toward upper-middle class readers who live on the East Coast. And the photos... what did the stuff that Alex actually cooked look like? How did it taste?

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for these comments! to answer the packaging questions: all the packaging is 100% post-consumer and 100% recyclable. liners can be recycled at Salvation Army or other textile recycling drop offs and the non-toxic ice packs can be melted and then recycled.

Lizzie Polish said...

WAIT! You eat scrambled eggs for dinner on a regular basis? I did that in college but you're an adult and married with a child. Nobody at your house cooks a proper dinner every night? Kids need nutrition. That price sounds totally reasonable to me but we admittedly spend a fortune on groceries. I do know that would never be enough food in my family. My husband eats twice what a normal man does as do my sons. They're tall and athletes.

Joanna Goddard said...

melny, i hear you — at first, i was thinking why not order in and skip the cooking part? :) but the food is so fresh and healthy, and ordering in really adds up. when alex and i order food, it generally ends up being about $30 for mexican or mediterranean, and $50 for sushi! that's crazy expensive, and we're not even getting anything fancy. here, this delivery service is $60 for three meals, so much less expensive, we found.

onechicklette.com said...

Same. So much waste.

I can see having prepared meals delivered during a time of high stress but in this case cost + waste + still having to cook = pass.

Nikita said...

I agree, far too much waste. It is also what I noticed first - and felt quite upset by it!

Cribbs said...

I really want to try Blue Apron but...are the the little things like herbs locally sourced or organically sourced? I know. I know. I sound like that Portlandia skit where the couple needs to know the actual name of the farmer who cared for the chicken about to be roasted that they're going to eat. But if I'm going to invest in something like that, it needs to be the whole hog. Ya know? Plus, this accounts for dinners and possible leftover lunches depending on your family size and appetites. So with breakfast, snacks and things like almond milk, etc...does it save you money or add to increasing living expenses.

Beth E. said...

I second this! Obviously the age of your child makes a difference but for my family of 4 we spend at least 350. Nobody eats lunch at home. If I know I'm going to be slammed I use a delivery service and then I spend over 400. Carrie Lynn, where do you shop???

Beth E. said...

That is 350 a week. Not a month.

Beth E. said...

You can recycle them. It is plastic.

Julia said...

I could not afford this at all, BUT if I could and had a new baby? Done! I would for the first month to six weeks. I've always gotten a maid the last month of my pregnancies, but that is an inexpensive service where I live.

It's a lovely service when necessary and clearly far superior to buying frozen food or take out.

vanessa said...

That is the first thing I noticed too—so much plastic. You can reuse them, but plastic bags aren't recyclable. I was also surprised that you still still have to cook. I bet it would be a lot more economical and ecologically sound to use a supermarket delivery service or hire a task rabbit to pick up your groceries.

vanessa said...

I've found them at IKEA

Beth E. said...

We either have a different idea of what decent is or you shop at a very different kind of grocery store. I don't generally look very carefully at prices when I shop so this is my only real example but still estimated, I had a dinner party on Saturday and we had steak and each steak came in at around 15 dollars. So I've already spent 45 dollars just on the meat for 4 - my kids share a steak. Then maybe I want to make sauteed new potatoes. A bag of those probably costs 3 dollars? I don't know. Then green beans for another 2 or so dollars? Maybe we started with three artichokes? No clue how much those cost but at least they're in season. And if I buy dessert I can expect to spend between 10 and 30 or I can make it and if I already have most of the basic ingredients hopefully only spend 5 or so. Then there is drinks first so if I needed a new bottle of gin that is 30+ and 2 dollars for some tonic. Then wine for dinner so 60ish. I know I could spend less for a meal but this is a nice normal meal. What is a decent meal? Burgers?

Ladies in Navy said...

these meals look delicious but seem a smidge expensive compared to just getting the items yourself... i think the idea is golden in that it takes the planning piece out of the whole ordeal and forces you to cook!
kw ladies in navy
Enter our giveaway!

Hayley said...

I'm a grad student, so signing up for this is not in my budget. However, I am also a food nut/recipe junkie and I have to say, these are AWESOME looking recipes! I'm super impressed, and I have signed up for their newsletter and have gone through their back log. Thanks for turning me on to this great new resource.

Do you have a link for the recipe in the first picture? (noodles and shrimp). Thanks!

Nerissa said...

NYC (or at least lower Manhattan) is hardly a food desert. I used to live there. Recently shopped for dinner at the Whole Foods at Bowery (which is a quick cab ride away from the West Village).

I agree that the packaging is a huge turn off. Even if it is recyclable, people likely buy this for convenience and I would surmise would take the time to recycle 20 bags. How hard is it to keep spices and flour around? Recycling is great and all but it takes up energy/resources to do so--the idea is to consume less! I hate when companies are faux-eco.

grace said...

agreed on the price for this time in my life but I can definitely see myself doing this for busy weeks in the future! i love the idea and the food looks amazing!

graceblumberg.blogspot.com

Alexa said...

It's expensive, it's over-packaged, and you have to cook it yourself. So all it saves is the shopping time?

I don't understand the point of this service. Wouldn't an already-made meal-delivery service be the same price and less work?

David Maruzzella said...

you should check out Sweet Roots NYC (http://www.sweetrootsnyc.com/). my awesome friend Marisa runs it out of Brooklyn, keep it local!

sage said...

omg. This sounds great, like Kiwi Crate for adults who like to eat. Also, might be a life-saver when I go back to work full time!

Erin said...

it seems like for all the effort to make it yourself plus the kinda high price for actual quantity, especially with two little ones, you might as well just order in. No cooking. At all. In my opinion.

e said...

Agreed! I think it's very wasteful, especially for individual ingredients. There's no need to package them that way. And no, those plastic bags aren't recyclable.

I also don't see how this is much more convenient than buying ingredients yourself - you still have to do all the prep and cooking, except this way you have to follow a strange recipe. I think if I was gifting things to new parents I'd just do a box of self-explanatory things - e.g. here's some pasta, boil it - or order them meals that actually come prepared!

e said...

All you have to do to try out new foods and have it all planned out for you is to read a recipe! (And then, if you want to make it super convenient, order the ingredients online)

e said...

It breaks my heart to see all that plastic packaging.

You can order a recyclable box of organic groceries to be delivered, with no or minimal dispoable packaging, and use recipes off the internet to cook with - same result, no planetary heartbreak.

liz said...

Plastic is plastic whether it can be recycled or not. Recycling doesn't assist the problem of our world literally swimming in unnecessary plastic. Wrapping one carrot in plastic is not only environmentally unfriendly, it is totally silly.

amy said...

agree as well- SO much packaging! (like, seriously- an individually wrapped CARROT?)
also, I don't reallly understand how this is much easier than reading a recipe and buying things (that you at least know you'd like?) but I guess maybe if you have a new baby any time saved is good.
but mostly, yes, too much plastic!

Elizabeth said...

We started doing The Fresh 20 when baby boy #2 was born...after the meals from friends and family ran out. It's a weekly meal plan using 20 fresh ingredients. I do the shopping, but the meals are easy, great, and usually take around 30min to make. It's also less expensive at $15 for 3 months or $35 for the year. They give a shopping list, nutrutional info, and recipes. It has been a lifesaver! The blue apron looks amazing, but for those who don't have the option, Fresh 20 is a good alternative.

amy said...

YES. recycling is really over-rated in terms of being 'environmentally friendly'- it still takes energy to recycle, sometimes more than it would to just make a brand new product! not that I'm saying don't recycle- but skip the unnecessary packaging in the first place if at all possible.

Katie said...

I HATE thinking of what to make! So for me this is great. $20 a meal + no thinking + no shopping + nice fresh meal at home = a score in my book!

The packaging could be a concern (after reading everyone's complaints), but if I was honest about how much extra food I throw away due to timing (especially herbs!) I think we could all agree that it would better to deal with the packaging.

Thanks Jo! We also eat a lot of eggs! ;)

e said...

"I think we could all agree that it would better to deal with the packaging."

Sorry Katie - food scraps break down in the garden and help to grow more food. Plastic goes nowhere :(

SnappyLemon said...

I'm always on the go, rarely have time to go grocery shopping and to be honest, I'm a horrible cook. I would love to try this concept out for the pure convenience factor and I would need to eat junk food.

This is an interesting concept and I would love to research the market the company is targeting. I've seen start up companies in LA where they deliver already prepared foods.

Margaret said...

Try calling northeast linens...

e said...

We live in Australia, which is more expensive than the States. Still, last night I got two pizza bases, a sweet potato, fresh rocket, and a pack of tofu for less than $10. Then I went home and used pantry olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and a red onion to make two whole delicious vegan pizzas with sweet potato remoulade and grilled s&p tofu topping. Not only did we have a great dinner, but we had heaps left over for lunch the next day! That works out at about $6 or $7 a meal - or $3.50 each - and it was beautiful.

Did I mention I have health issues that mean I can't eat sugar, red meat, white meat, hydrogenated or heat-pressed oils, or anything inflammatory - such as tomatoes. If I can do it for ten bucks, anyone can!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

wow. this is super neat!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e said...

Facing the Dirty Truth about Plastics: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm

US EPA report on plastics and the minimal percentage that are actually recyclable / recycled (11% or less): http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm

Morena said...

If I am using a meal delivery service, I want a meal delivered to me.

Convenience is _not_ cooking. With the exception of (decent) sushi (which isn't going to be delivered in that box anyway), there's not much of a price difference between this and NYC takeout, and I don't have to do anything other than point, click, and eat (and I will probably have leftovers and can recycle the containers).

If we feel like/have time for cooking, I just go with whatever groceries I ordered and had delivered that week from Fresh Direct (they have recipe suggestions that just you can just click and add the components to your cart). Also pretty easy and convenient.

Plus, what if you don't like what they send?

Jemma said...

I couldn't justify all that plastic packaging for fresh ingredients!
I'm no saint, I occasionally buy bagged salads etc...but a separate package for each and every ingredient?
It makes me cringe!

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

alas, no florida deliveries. nevertheless, the service looks great. it would make an awesome gift for new parents (next to the meal train)!

p.s. my husband's family is HUGE and most everyone lives locally, so whenever someone has a baby the whole family (+ some friends) signs up for a night to bring the new family dinner (a meal train, in essence). i just had my second child and, when you're just home with a newborn, it's a total blessing. and, as a meal-bringer, it makes for the perfect opportunity to meet the new little one and get a few snuggles in while the mommy and daddy (crazy idea) sit down to eat!

p.p.s. my other favorite gifts for new parents include hiring them a cleaning service to come in while they're at the hospital. and classic, glass bottles.

CYLiou said...

Agreed! I thought the exact same thing when I saw the photos! Very aesthetically pleasing, but terribly unnecessary use of plastic!

Renae said...

I don't think we have anything like this (I live in Toronto) but we have something called supperworks - every month there are about 12 options to choose from (you can order 3, 6, or 12 meals). You decide which you would like to try in advance, and show up (with your own containers) and go to "stations" where everything has been washed and prepped - you just have to throw things together (they provide recipes). You can make about a dozen meals in an hour - then stick them in your freezer (so you do need the freezer room.) I would love to be better at meal planning though - having a toddler makes that tough some times!

I think some of these comments are overly harsh - the woman is 8000 weeks pregnant and wants to eat nutritious, home cooked meals and is looking, as we all are, for ways to save time. Sheesh.

Shana said...

Completely agree. Based on this post, this service seems completely ridiculous, wasteful, and didactic to the point of insulting.

Win said...

yes, share your secrets!

Sarah said...

I live in New Haven, CT and I easily spend more than $20 a meal for my husband and I, more if it's not something basic. So, I don't find to be a problem and honestly if the wrappers are recyclable or I can find another use for them, they don't bother me much either.

Krystel said...

I agree with the comments about it not being time efficient, and I also think its not environmentally friendly either. So much plastic wrapping... plus the gas of the delivery service. I completely agree that meal service should be ready-to-heat meals. I am imagining that new parents would leave that food in the fridge to rot just like they would for groceries they bought themselves if they run out of time... if new parents barely have time to change their shirt everyday, we all know that cooking can seem like a luxury as well.
I think this would probably be a better idea for a young couple starting out and that doesn't have much experience cooking. Kind of like a do-it-at-home cooking class ;)

Lindsey McLean said...

In Zurich, Switzerland our grocery budget is 800-1000 per month. So, yes, I'd do this in a heartbeat and love every bite!!! ;)

Rachel B.C. said...

This WSJ article is so a propos... Blue Apron is definitely a step ahead of the companies mentioned here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324021104578553570654727736.html

Lindsey Krummenacher said...

We do a similar service in Chicago and absolutely love it. It is a total lifesaver for lots of reasons: keeps us eating healthy (and not take out), we don't have to think of something for dinner everynight, I don't forget things at the grocery store because they bring everything chopped and ready to go. I'd say to definitely keep this up when the new little babe arrives! xo

Georgia Christakis said...

agree

Jemma said...

This. So much amy.

Caroline, No. said...

I have to comment because vegetables wrapped in plastic literally sends me insane. No. Just no! It's insanity.

Carlien said...

It looks like very little food for two adults and a child, for three meals...

IsraLuv said...

I have used http://takethemameal.com/ when my friends have had babies (and surgeries). It sends the meal host an email the night before to remind them of the meal.

This way... all the friends can participate and either bring food or order food and the new parents have fresh meals every evening for as long as the friends want to bring it to them. Typically we do it for two weeks.

The Slow Pace said...

It looks incredible! I would sign up, no doubt! It's a pity taht I live in germany, umpf! ;)
xx,
E.
www.theslowpace.com

sophie verhulst said...

I agree with lots of the above comments. It looks great but really, why so much packaging?

I think it undermines the whole idea of the service (which seems like they try to offer a healthy, responsible choice).

ceci said...

What a waste!! all that plastic!!

Annis said...

Oh i love this post Joanna! I live in Europe, but i could subscribe to get the recipes every week in my mailbox! Thanks for all the meal-inspiration! Yay! Going to try the one with roasted cauliflower tonight!

Annis said...

You can subscribe to the recipes by email. You'll have to do your own shopping, but i dont mind :-)

Astrid said...

I find this packaging CRAZY absurd!! Two pieces of herbs and one single carrot per package? Why on earth would you want that? You could buy all of these ingredients for a fraction of the price as a whole (meaning a whole cabbage etc.) and make these (or similar) meals a zillion times more (with some time in between obviously). I think this is so representative of why the 'taking care of our planet' discussion is going so slowly: the whole idea of 'when it's recyclable it's ok' is so wrong. Plastic is still plastic so if you can avoid it, do it! (in that way I would definitely not call it satisfying to look at all of these pre-packaged ingredients) I adore your blog, Joanna, but I am really surprised that you would recommend this since you are usually so pro honest/environment-friendly products.

kittenhood said...

Sounds like a great idea, actually! I've also heard of a service that delivers you ready-made meals for your diet - so you don't beat yourself up with what you should & shouldn't eat. I think it's awesome!

Ruby said...

You have to pay all that and you still have to cook? Hmmm.... I think not. *Looks up Chinese delivery number*. Your pictures are GORGEOUS though. Love the pasta ones, especially. :)

Jen said...

Couldn't you just join a CSA? You get more food, it's cheaper, it's fresh healthy food delivered to your house (or nearby), it's not individually wrapped, and they provide recipes that use the produce they've given you. ??? I don't get.

For me, the clincher was that someone still has to cook... forget it!

Isabelle said...

I agree with many here... I think there is a lot of packaging and that it is quite expensive !

As for new parents, if I am short on time the last thing I wanna do is cook and furthermore a new recipe. I stick to my set of tried and true fast recipes I can pull with my eyes closed or get take out if I am too tired. The effort would be less and the price the same or less in my opinion. It'd just make more sense to me, especially in a big city with many food options like NYC.

Abby said...

I agree with Amy.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, in that order.

Abby said...

Unused food is compostable. And, you can reduce your food waste by planning. This plastic will live on forever.

Abby said...

She is also attempting to sell us a product.

Maywyn Studio said...

loading the page with so many large photos takes too long.

Bethanne said...

Even if the packaging was recyclable I would never use it. We should be more concerned about reducing and reusing than we are about recycling. I am all about having friends and family bring over meals after the baby. It is a great opportunity to try new meals and for friends to see to new baby.

Patricia O'Shaughnessy said...

I agree Alexa! I don't see where the time saving really is for a family. It does not seem that expensive to me, it does seem like there is excesses in packaging (but I guess I expect that in this type of service) but I don't get where the time save is ? You get three meals for two. So you still need to go to the grocery store to get food for, you know, your kids other dinners, lunch, breakfast etc. if I am already at the store I might as well pick up that 1/4 head of red cabbage (or get a whole head of cabbage and make something else for the week too.). I can really see this service for the couple w/o kids who may not keep a kitchen stocked to eat more than three meals home a week.

emilie sarah said...

Agree!!

Hayley said...

Yep, same thoughts here—terrible waste of resources, and it honestly doesn't seem any easier than just getting groceries from FreshDirect or similar delivered.

Tonia said...

My thoughts exactly...so wasteful. Even if you recycle the plastic, there is so much water, energy and waste involved in the recycling process–it would be way better to just avoid that altogether because who needs an individually wrapped zucchini??

My group of friends and I do a "meal wheel" for anyone in the group having a baby. It's so simple- we all sign up to prepare a meal or two for the family during the month of their due date. Everyone picks a different day, and it ends up so that the expectant family barely has to cook for themselves at all during that time. Last time, I made homemade pasta and boiled it until al dente, made my Nonna's ragu sauce, picked up a bottle of wine, added a wedge of good parm and a baguette, and a couple packets of deluxe hot chocolate for dessert– all of which was delivered in a cardboard box leftover from a CSA delivery with reusable containers for the food that the couple washed and returned to me later.

Katie said...

I am in the minority bc I was overwhelmed by the cuteness of all the little packages. But I do see that it is a huge waste. Even though you can recycle, the point would be not to use that much in the first place.
I think this is a good idea overall. Sure you can try a new recipe, but if you are like me, having someone say *this recipe*, *these ingredients*, *here it is* would make a big difference in my cooking outside of my normal rotation of food. Also, once I try it, then I know it and can go to the store get it for myself.
I think for me, it's expensive and the portions are small. Plus I'm a picky eater. But I can see the pros.

My problem with this post is that it read as so sponsored. I didn't get a sense of what you thought about it beyond how it was pretty. Did you think the meals were good? Would you pay for it yourself? Would it work for you and Alex or not really for you, but still a good idea? What didn't you like? This post just kind of said "here it is. the end." I noticed a comment you wrote that gave more of an impression though.

simplethingstolove said...

Hi Jo I live in Australia and obviously some nights you can eat more economically, but with two boys and a new business we are on the go one way or another all the time. I bought three pieces of fresh salmon tonight that alone was $23, I needed pasta and parmesan and made a sweet potato, onion, capsicum and fetta salad, two of those veges were out of the garden and it still cost me over $40. I do meal plan but some nights are later than others and plans change, sometimes everyone just wants dinner now. I think as an option this is great now and then. I also had two babies 17months apart, with little family and career friends no one had the time to drive out to our semirural area to drop off meals, once again it is nice to have options if you are fortunate enough to afford it. I get the packaging but there may be a viable solution here. All ideas need some massaging, thanks

Roxy Floraluna said...

Wholeheartedly agree with all of you -- and thank you for pointing this out. I think people lean too heavily on the concept of something being "recyclable," as if that means it is okay to use -- and dispose of -- as much of it as you like. There are huge costs/resources used just for the recycling process. If I bought all of these fresh ingredients at the store myself, there would be some wrapping used for the fish (unavoidable), and some of the herbs might be prepackaged, but the rest would be thrown into my cart with no wrapping and then tossed in a cloth grocery bag, and already a whole bunch of plastic would be "saved." This service strikes me as pretty gross, to be honest, especially when I have seen many other meal/ingredient delivery services that aren't so preciously, and pointlessly, wasteful just for the sake of being cute.

Melissa Bies said...

Seems like a lot of waste to me.

Sarah B said...

I tried one of these (a different service), just because I was curious and I'd found a coupon.

It's basically all of that. The best part about it is that all the ingredients are included, so you don't have a moment of "Crap! I don't have any garlic salt!" but the recipes tend toward the (God, I hate this word) 'foodie' crowd and it's way too expensive (for THREE meals!)

My husband put it nicely: "I guess it's good if you aren't able to leave the house, or if you're too busy to cook, but why not just go to the store?

mfelenyuk said...

Yeah, for 2 people not eating lunch at home we spend around $200 per week on groceries. Shopping in Washington DC. $60 seems like such a steal for 3 meals!

Sarah B said...

We used a different, similar service one time, and the proportions were surprisingly spot-on. We ate everything, and it was enough, but not too much.

Sarah B said...

I think most sponsored posts are pretty misleading.

Sarah B said...

@Pamela, I tried a similar service once (I had a coupon), and I can tell you that I wouldn't ever pay full price for the service. The recipes were good, but nothing you couldn't find online or make up yourself. The ingredients were fresh enough, but you could always go to the supermarket.

Jaclyn Pacheco said...

I really can't see the benefit of this if you still have to do the prepping and cooking? Couldn't you just send a friend or family member to the grocery store with your shopping list?

Too much money, waste of packaging, and you don't get to pick out your own ingredients.

And I agree with others that I'd like to hear the nitty gritty details such as taste, portion size, did you have leftovers?

desertsunrise84 said...

WAIT! You're judging the eating and parenting habits of someone you've never met?

Jaclyn Pacheco said...

Wait, I want to know where Beth E. shops and spends $350 a week?! Are you eating filet mignon and lobster dinners every night??
I don't have kids but my husband and I only spend $300 for a whole month of groceries and that includes buying 90% organic and also a weekly trip to the farmer's market + our CSA.
The thought of spending more than my mortgage payment on food every month gives me serious anxiety!

PS: I'm in Rhode Island and shop at Stop&Shop.

And I'm not meaning to attack anyone with my comment, I'm just truly flabbergasted and very interested to know how it is possible to buy that much food!

desertsunrise84 said...

It LITERALLY makes you insane? You should seek treatment.

Katie said...

You're right. I didn't think of it that way.

I live in Brazil where Ziploc bags don't exist. In the very rare event that I come across one I feel like I have struck gold! So by dealing with it, I meant I would just reuse it.

Sorry friends, you are all right about the plastic, but I can just imagine poor Jo, a million weeks prego almost in tears because of the one too many comments about her killing the earth because of two weeks of using a meal delivery service. Can't we just relax a little, and trust that she doing her best just like the rest of us?

laurenfoode.com said...

My live in boyfriend and I spend around $90 a week on food, including lunches for me (he eats at a dirt-cheap cafeteria at work). If you're smart, look for sale items, and stay away from budget killers like packaged cookies (make your own!) you save lots.

laurenfoode.com said...

I hate to say it, but I agree. Most of the time your sponsored posts make sense but this one... not so much. Lovely photos, though :)

laurenfoode.com said...

You're cabbing it to the grocery store? Fancy!

When I think of NYC food deserts, there are many, many areas that could qualify. If it isn't within a 10 block radius, it's far. Especially with babies and/or armloads of groceries. Even my neighborhood in semi-trendy Astoria is lacking in grocery stores because the closest one has rotting produce and gray meat. Trust me, it's possible for an NYC neighborhood to be a food desert. Sad but true.

katharrrina said...

I agree, all that plastic! A plastic bag for one leaf of herbs?! Bummer - though the idea sounds really good.

Meadow said...

Wow, over dramatic much. It's called recycling. Calm down. She is also not using it forever.. just for a couple weeks.

Meadow said...

Eggs are nutritious. I suppose you cook a gourmet meal every night? Yeesh. Give the lady a break!!

lauravaughn said...

I think that would be fun to do once or twice, but I don't necessarily think it would be a huge time saver. Cleaning is definitely my least favorite part of cooking - I actually kind of like browsing in the grocery store (although, I've never had to navigate a grocery store with an infant and a toddler, so I imagine that would probably make a pretty big difference).

I live in Ohio and the price doesn't strike me as being outrageous, but I'm also notoriously oblivious to the price of most things I buy. Overall, I think it's interesting, but I more consider it something fun to do with a girlfriend rather than just an everyday time saving thing.

christa said...

Thank you all!! :)

Meadow said...

Wow, after coming back this morning and reading how the comments exploded, I would like to offer Joanna some support. While this food service isn't the greatest IMO (sounds like a lot of work still), you can't fault her for a) trying something new and introducing her readers to it and b) earning a living. She clearly marks it as a sponsored post. She is 8 months pregnant.. give the lady a break! And for those of you who point out that this service is expensive etc... well Joanna makes her money and is free to spend it however she wishes. No one is forcing you to use the service. Yes, there are a lot of little luxuries mentioned on this blog. That is one of the things I love about it. For those who scoff at luxuries, go donate all your time/money to charity instead, take your rude comments somewhere else, and we'll all be happy.

Tasha said...

The food looks yummy but I completely agree about the packaging. Plus, I try to have my kids eat the same things that we eat for dinner--and the portions just don't look big enough for 2 adults and a 4 and 1 year old. What did you feed Toby?

Also, I love the concept of meal delivery (i love delivery anything--I'm a New Yorker), but I would still end up having to do Fresh direct (grocery delivery) or head to the store anyway for snacks, drinks, the other missing meals, lunches etc etc. So it wouldn't really save that much time for me.

For reference, I usually spend about 200-250 a week for our family (in NYC).


Gabriella Hoell said...

Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tasha said...

I agree that there is no need to be rude, but Joanna did ask her readers if we would use a service like this. And a lot of us are just offering our opinion on the service--not on Joanna's choices in general.

Joanna shouldn't feel as if we are against HER if we don't like the concept/packaging or whatever. This post is basically advertising for Blue Apron so I hope whatever comments are posted are not taken as personal. That would be like ad agencies getting upset if we don't like the product they are hocking.

But again, I agree there is no need to be rude.

jamie said...

I don't think anyone is attacking her personally (and I haven't read all the comments, but they don't seem particularly rude to me). If she likes it, that's cool - whatever works for your family. But she did ask people what they thought and if they would use it, and most people didn't like the ideas for their own lives.

newhouseproject.com said...

I agree with other commenters. It's so much waste and doesn't seem worth the cost. There are better ways to simplify the dinner routine. I wouldn't use this service.

Tonia said...

Totally agree, Jen. This is basically what a CSA does for you, except CSAs also support local small farmers, usually organic, and use zero/minimal packaging. We have full-diet CSAs here in Wisconsin, which literally provide everything you need in your diet seasonally, including locally harvested and ground wheat, natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey, etc. I'm sure that New Yorkers have CSAs available to them- it would be a great option for any family that cares about eating healthfully and locally and likes to cook from scratch but wants to save time by not having to grocery shop.

Check out the book The Dirty Life: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dirty-Life-Memoir-Farming/dp/1416551611 about a Manhattan journalist turned CSA farmer...her story is fascinating and really helps connect you to your food and think about the impact your choices have on the world.

If you're interested in joining a CSA, visit http://www.localharvest.org/csa to find one near you. :)

jamie said...

I personally would not use it, because a.) it seems like the dishes (e.g. pasta with toss-ins, fish and veggies) are simple enough they can be whipped up without a cookbook, recipe, or even much effort - it doesn't seem like this service would save me much time, especially since the ingredients don't come chopped b.) I'm an avid cooker living in NYC and from experience, I have always been able to get far, far more bang for my buck in terms of ingredients from any farmer's market and grocery store - even delivery service (like maxdelivery or freshdirect) c.) maybe I just have a big appetite, but the portions (especially the pasta) don't look particularly satisfying to me d.) sorry, but I agree with most of the comments above - the packaging slays me. Even if it is 100% recyclable, it's far better for the earth not to produce it in the first place. I'd encourage folks to bring a tote bag to any of New York's many wonderful greenmarkets once a week - you can support local farmers and sustainable agriculture while saving a ton of money and avoiding packaging.

jamie said...

I disagree that grocery shopping in New York is more expensive than anywhere else (and I've lived in New York for many years). I shop everywhere, but you can't get much cheaper than most greenmarkets here and of course, trusty Trader Joe's. I usually make one big farmer's market trip every week, and might stop at Trader Joe's or a local shop once or twice a week before work, and it never seems time consuming. I eat a mostly vegan diet and even with that, I still spend much less on food.

Tonia said...

Here is a looooong list of CSA farms in NY: http://www.localharvest.org/search.jsp?scale=&lat=&lon=&x=&y=&ty=6&zip=&st=34&but.x=33&but.y=5

Check out PA as well- many PA farms will deliver to NY members.

Wildes Waldwesen said...

Exactly my thought when I saw the picture.. What a waste, indeed.
You know that plastic is actually one of the things that's destroying our planet.. killing thousands of animals, polluting the oceans etc.

I wonder why they don't wrap it up in recycled paper? It's just as nice and soooo much better for the environment..

Elisha said...

The packaging is biodegradable: http://www.blueapron.com/pages/learn-more

Gabrielė said...

PLASTIC!!!!! It's totally horrible. Very sad.

sumslay said...

For a "nice" meal, I definitely spend just over $20, but that's because I usually buy fancy cuts of steak at an nicer grocery store. If you notice, they only had one steak (seriously, look at that recipe...that's not a $20 meal).

sumslay said...

....That being said, I don't think $20/meal is terribly unreasonable for trying something new and getting comfortable in the kitchen. It's just the portion size...I like leftovers if I'm going to take the time to cook. *pats belly* :)

Sammie Hayden said...

Check out hearthandtable.com. They are a Brooklyn based catering company that provide weekly food services in the NY area. Everything used to prepare the meals are from local vendors. Truly an amazing and affordable company!

D said...

The waste involved with this service is awful. I was shocked by the pictures, and was hesitant to scroll to the comments, afraid I'd see hundreds of people agreeing how cost effective/convienent it seemed. Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity everyone!It's great so many people are concerned about the environmental impact of plastic packaging. The upshot is maybe the company will reconsider their approach upon viewing this post?

Joy said...

I'm with you! I am shocked at the waste with all of this packaging and am happy to see that other people are concerned about the impact a service like this has on the environment.

I could never come close to affording something like this, so it wouldn't be an option for me.

Sara said...

I think it's great how many people agreed that there is way too much waste!

Kathy said...

I would not use this service. $60 for only three meals you have to cook yourself anyway? If the meals were made for me, then MAYBE. I currently share a subscription to The Fresh 20, which is a meal planning service using basic pantry staples and then only 20 fresh ingredients for the rest of the five meals. You have a choice of three meal plans (classic which is 4 meat nights & 1 veg./ vegetarian/ gluten free). You get a shopping list to take with you to the grocery store, plus the nuitritional breakdown of all the meals. Using this service, I spend between $40-60 per week on dinners, which are made for 4 people, so since it's just my husband and I, we usually have leftovers for lunch as well.

Kathy said...

I have to agree with Jamie, I don't live in NYC and I find, comparatively, it's actually cheaper to grocery shop for food there. Where I live, the availability of fresh, organic produce (or really any produce for that manner) is VERY expensive ($6-8 for a pound apples) and local food doesn't exist unless it's summertime. We also don't have Trader Joe's/Whole Foods around here, so if there's only one grocery store in town (like mine), that's where you're shopping, unless you want to expend the energy & gas to travel somewhere else.

MissFingertips said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Collins said...

Much like the majority of people, my first thought was immediately "What is with all the plastic?!?!" I genuinely thought that everyone would overlook it and be just as enthused about this product. I was intrigued to come back and see where things were at today. And I am blown away!!! Good on you all, you environmentally aware wonders!!! I lived in NY for a year in 2000 as an exchange student. Every night my American family would use those red plastic party cups to put drinks in. I was beyond shocked. They looked at me like I was some kind of hippie when I told them how unnecessary and thoughtless it was. But EVERYONE they knew did it too. I honestly thought this mentality was just the way it was. SO pleased to hear so many people talk clever alternatives.

Sarah Collins said...

Much like the majority of people, my first thought was immediately "What is with all the plastic?!?!" I genuinely thought that everyone would overlook it and be just as enthused about this product. I was intrigued to come back and see where things were at today. And I am blown away!!! Good on you all, you environmentally aware wonders!!! I lived in NY for a year in 2000 as an exchange student. Every night my American family would use those red plastic party cups to put drinks in. I was beyond shocked. They looked at me like I was some kind of hippie when I told them how unnecessary and thoughtless it was. But EVERYONE they knew did it too. I honestly thought this mentality was just the way it was. SO pleased to hear so many people talk clever alternatives.

Christy@SweetandSavoring said...

Me too, Sara, it's making the eco-conscious geek in me so happy :)

Rasheeda said...

Thank you Elisha. I was just as confounded by the amount of waste, but then I went online to read more about the company before misjudging their commitment to the environment. Those packages are recyclable but they ARE bio-degradable.

charinthecity said...

The better solution is:

-Window Herb Box
-Supermarket Delivery Service
-Simplified meals and planning- I love 'Economy Gastronomy' by Allegra McKevedy and Paul Merrett http://www.amazon.co.uk/Economy-Gastronomy-Better-Spend-Less/dp/0141045507. Such tasty, gastro-pub meals.

Less waste, the enjoyment of cooking, cost efficient cooking with time saved. Cute to have herbs on your kitchen window. Yes I live in Britain but hey, you could do this almost everywhere!

sarahsue said...

I enjoy the vibrant comments section on this blog and this seems to be an especially polarizing topic. What's interesting to me is the undercurrent of wealth disparity that is popping up... all over a meal service. I'd guess that most COJ readers have a food budget that supplies them with subsequent nutrition, but even here we see a microcosm of the status associated with access to food. It's fascinating.

ribbons2010 said...

We LOVE Blue apron. Until my daughter was three months old we basically ate takeout every single night(this was not the case at all before she was born). We have basically done it every week for the past 6 months. For us it actually is cheaper than takeout or grocery shopping, plus we have a home cooked meal. It saves us from having to think of something to make, gives us much more variety in our diet, we eat better and it is way cheaper than if we were to cook the same exact meal as they send us. NYC supermarkets are not cheap, so this actually works out to be a better deal. I too have an issue with the packaging. And I also feel that they should let you know what should be refrigerated and what shouldn't. Obviously somethings don't matter and some things are obvious, but we have wound up with a few rotten items when we stored them the wrong way. But otherwise, we love it. While it is not cheap, we have saved money by avoiding take out a lot and we usually have lunch leftover for one or both of us the next day. We reccomend it to all our friends (but definitely not for those first few weeks when you have a newborn who does not have any sort of schedule!)

catbee said...

i just did a couple rounds with plated.com
while the ingredients were good, the dishes were easy and the food was great, i do not like all the waste created by the cute baggies and other containers.
it was certainly fun to try but in the long run, not for us as it is less expensive and wasteful for us to buy our own groceries which we, fortunately, have the time to do.

Jackie said...

Yikes, I want to know what and where Beth E shops for $350 a week!

$350 is the monthly grocery budget in my house. It's just me and my husband and we spend $50-60 per week on food. If we buy beer or wine that amount goes up of course. The Blue Apron service sounds nice in that you don't have to think about planning meals, but it's way too expensive for me!

We are on a tight budget because I am in grad school so we live off my hubby's salary. Things that help us reduce our grocery budget are menu planning and eating less meat. We probably cook a meat meal 1-2 times a week but otherwise it is veg. We also try to eat all whole foods and stay away from packaged foods for health and $$ reasons!

This summer we are part of a CSA which has been fun too!

ink said...

Are you serious? Anyone who shops at Trader Joe's has way more time on their hands than I do. They have a line going out the door just to get INTO the store! Whereas this post is certainly expensive, I think it's suitable for busy professionals. I never have time to go to the grocery store (and in fact, order my groceries from FreshDirect at 10pm), or to the farmer's market (which, by the way, isn't that cheap). I find that grocery shopping in NY is definitely more expensive than in the burbs of NJ where my parents live. Plus the experience is less pleasant due to the narrow aisles and crowds.

Jackie said...

Yikes, I want to know what and where Beth E shops for $350 a week!

$350 is the monthly grocery budget in my house. It's just me and my husband and we spend $50-60 per week on food. If we buy beer or wine that amount goes up of course. The Blue Apron service sounds nice in that you don't have to think about planning meals, but it's way too expensive for me!

We are on a tight budget because I am in grad school so we live off my hubby's salary. Things that help us reduce our grocery budget are menu planning and eating less meat. We probably cook a meat meal 1-2 times a week but otherwise it is veg. We also try to eat all whole foods and stay away from packaged foods for health and $$ reasons!

This summer we are part of a CSA which has been fun too!

Alison said...

Sarahsue, I think it's very interesting too. I often feel that products/services that are recommended here on COJ can be enjoyed by the "1%" but not too many more people beyond that. (I was so excited to hear about the Emerson Frye shoe sale! And then I checked out what their prices are even at 50% off...). That being said, it's amazing that something as simple as a meal service can spark the same undercurrent. I thought the idea was great, and that $10/person/meal wasn't bad at all, until I started reading all of these comments! Now I'm not so sure.

Kate said...

I had the best time coming up with freezer-friendly meals when my best friend had her first baby last year. Make a few quiches right now! This galette was my favorite:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/06/zucchini-and-ricotta-galette/

Beatriz said...

I was thinking the same thing about these comments!.... and I didn't expect so many people to be going back and forth about the price since it's obvious we're from all over the US. Not sure why someone would say $20 is outrageous for a meal and say they can make it for $10 where they live and it comes down to budgeting. I don't know where you live and how much your vegetables or meat cost or whether you have a car that facilitates buying in bulk. What's cheap and accessible in your town is not the same where I live.

I think food (where to buy it, how fresh is it) and real estate are two of those things that often shock me when I leave NY. It seems that a discussion of this service that extends beyond answering the questions: is this a good deal for me based on my lifestyle and where i live? (without judging others!), does it taste good?, is it fun to prepare?, etc seems pointless.

Beth E. said...

@ mfelenyuk, I'm in DC too! Your 200 a week for 2 people in DC makes me feel better about spending 350 for 4. I shop at a few different grocery stores. I don't buy organic ever if I can help it. Generally shop at Wegmans and for specialty stuff Dean & Deluca or Whole Foods. Breakfasts are omlettes (cheese, peppers, tomatos), turkey bacon and greek yogurt. After school snacks are cheese and crackers, hummus and pita, nuts, olives with cheese and salami and always with fruit. We always eat meat or fish with dinner and we usually do a dessert. I also keep a lot of fresh fruit in the house. It adds up. And yeah, we eat steak once a week. My husband grew up in Argentina so it is pretty much mandatory.

Beth E. said...

There is actually nothing I hate more than leftovers. The only person who eats our leftovers is the housekeeper or the nanny.

Beatriz said...

@Pamela the comment "if you can regularly afford this sort of service..maybe we don't need to be sponsoring your sponsors" was kind of ridiculous. may i ask where you live?...because i feel very confident in saying that anyone who lives in ny and wants to make dinner using the exact ingredients in those recipes will find the service incredibly inexpensive.

i'm not saying all nyers can afford this but for those that can cook fresh fish or meat a few times a week, what's being offered is a very good deal. if joanna wants to use this service regularly, i don't think it would be considered a luxury at all.

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