Facebook

08 October 2018

Seduced By Coupons | Experimenting With Meal Kits


I'm a sucker for coupons. The irrational part of my brain screams, "It's a bargain! Get it! Use the coupon!" This is the same part of my brain that convinces me that having cookies for breakfast is a smart dietary choice. The more sensible part of my brain has been beaten into submission over the years and doesn't even bother to put up a fight anymore.

So when I got a coupon for a Hello Fresh meal kit, of course I ordered one, even though I knew it was probably a bit foolish. But, in my defense, I was curious what all the fuss is about. I also did a quick calculation and figured out that the cost of the meals (with the coupon, not at full price) was about what I'd spend on groceries, so it wasn't going to break the bank.

I picked three meals (two servings each) - Korean-style chicken thighs, chicken over tabbouleh, and chicken cheddar fajitas. Because I don't have an oven, I was limited to meals that could be cooked on the stove-top.

A few days later, my box arrived. Everything was well insulated with chill packs, but even so, in the heat we've been having, I'm not sure how long everything would have remained fresh if I hadn't picked it up right away.


The packing materials are recyclable, but we don't have recycling facilities at our marina, so I ended up having to chuck everything out. I felt bad about that.

It was kind of fun opening the box up. There was a paper bag for each meal, along with a recipe card. There were also a couple of Lindor truffles on top. They had melted in the heat. Still scrumptious though. {The boaters among you may notice something that doesn't quite belong in the picture - a joker valve. Ah, life on a boat. Fixing the toilet before dinner.}


Inside the bag, were lots of tiny packages and bottles. I love tiny things. Just look at those tiny fish-shaped containers of soy sauce! {This is when the sensible part of my brain started muttering about all of the packaging.}


I rummaged through each bag and pulled out the stuff that didn't need to be refrigerated. I imagine if you had a normal fridge, then you could just tuck each individual bag inside, keeping the meal ingredients neatly separated. My top-loading marine fridge doesn't have room for this sort of thing, so I just chucked everything into a communal bag and jammed it into an empty corner.

As for the meals themselves, they were fine. The recipes are straightforward and easy to make. But because I make variations of the three meals I had chosen all the time, it wasn't too exciting.


I can see the appeal of meal kits. When I was working crazy long hours, the thought of figuring out what to cook, going to the store, and then pulling it all together was overwhelming at times. Going out to eat, getting carry-out, or just having cookies for dinner was often the default. Something like this might be a solution for busy folks.

It might also be a good way to experiment with new-to-you ingredients. While none of the ones in my meal kit were new to me, I can see how it might be a good introduction for things like sriracha sauce or dukkah spice mix for some people.

Would I buy another meal kit again? Nope. The regular price without a coupon is way too expensive for what you get. Plus there's the whole issue of not being able to recycle the packaging materials where I am. But as far as experiments go, this was an interesting and tasty one.

What do you think about meal kits? Have you ever experimented with them?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!



Murder at the Marina - a lighthearted & humorous cozy sailing mystery - available in ebook and paperback format at:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com 

22 comments:

  1. Looks like it would be better than most frozen dinners and certainly better than fast food. But we make our own Oriental food all the time so it would be a waste of money for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's a good solution for many people, just not for us.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing! I always like the sound of these kits/plans. I would worry about it staying fresh in the heat, though, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really not sure the packaging would hold up to Florida heat for too long, which is a bit of a worry when you think about the meat going off.

      Delete
  3. I don't think this would be something we would care for. We do packaged meals at times and they are good, but this type of thing we've not tried.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ❤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun to experiment with it, but it's not really for us.

      Delete
  4. My husband keeps talking about trying this. I'm unconvinced. Thank you for sharing this comprehensive information. That is a lot of packaging, especially after I listened to a podcast on the complications of recycling. It's not as easy as just chucking everything into a bin, though we do have a big one for just that purpose. We've changed some habits in hopes of doing it right.

    In case you're interested, here is a link to that podcast: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=stuff+you+should+know+recycling&view=detail&mid=3B0221168C4F3B6F14213B0221168C4F3B6F1421&FORM=VIRE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link to the podcast - I'll check it out. I do wish we had recycling where we are.

      Delete
  5. Sweetie is so very picky, and i'm a vegan, so it would make no sense for us to try these kits. If he weren't so picky, i could maybe see getting them for him to save us from all the trips to the store he makes (he buys extra stuff he doesn't need that would probably cost about the same as the kits).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While they had some vegetarian option, I don't remember if there were any vegan ones. If there are, it's probably quite limited.

      Delete
  6. I'm a coupon addict too. It does allow you to try things you might never have tried before.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nope, I've never tried any of those kits, but they do sound interesting, and I think they'd be terrific for some people. Just not us. I like to cook and I like to shop for groceries. (The only kind of shopping I DO enjoy.)

    Oh, and by the way, I think oatmeal raisin cookies would totally be fine for breakfast. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oatmeal raisin cookies is just like having a bowl of oatmeal, right? So it has to be healthy :-)

      Delete
  8. I see these advertised here too, so it’s Interesting to see what one looks like. Way too much packaging with all those tiny sachets, I’d feel guilty at the waste. Also, we’re quite adventurous with spices so I am happy to buy biggish quantities and know they will be used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did feel bad about using all of the tiny sachets, adorable as they are, especially as I already had a bottle of sriacha, soy etc. in my cupboard.

      Delete
  9. When my Grandson was born he spent quite a few weeks in hospital and it wasn't easy when he first came home. His mummies' friends treated them to a trial of a couple of these types of meal deliveries. It was a godsend for them and I think they still use one now. They have the advantage of a full size fridge so the bag does just get popped inside. They recycle most of the packaging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like such a good solution for new parents. I can see how handy that would be. It would be a great present to give to new parents.

      Delete
  10. With all the kids, meals like that simply don't make sense money wise. But I'm sure it's a nice thing for those in a hurry or who maybe wouldn't try to cook something like that on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely don't think it's economical, but for some folks the convenience would be worth it.

      Delete
  11. I've always been curious about those meal kits, but they're so expensive in Canada, even with the coupon. It's good to know they're not worth it. The teeny packages are cute, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think for some people they're probably worth it, like the example of new parents someone mentioned above, but for us, not really worth it.

      Delete

We LOVE when people leave comments. It's so much more fun hearing what you have to say. If you have a blog, make sure you leave a link and I'll be sure to pop on by.