What's for dinner?
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
We love to eat out, and I’m not talking about only on Fridays. For the first half of 2018, and years before that, we ate food that we did not physically make. Sure, there were the occasions where Peter and I would see a cool new recipe, or that brief stint I had on Weight Watchers where I wanted to make their recipes, or sometimes my mom packs us a to go bag from her Sunday dinners. But other than that, we would eat out, or get takeout. Everything from Chipotle to Five Guys to Thai Food to Red Robin to Ramen. We’re foodies – it’s one of the reason we’re a good match. We enjoy food. We like to try new restaurants and we have our favorites. But as a city-living couple, we were beginning to see that eating out was getting a little expensive (hello, have you seen the real estate market in Seattle. If you don’t have a million dollars, forget it. But that’s a story for another day).
So I decided to do some internet research on these food delivery services that kept having advertisements on my Facebook feed (touche to their marketers for knowing their audience - ME).
First stop – Blue Apron
A lot of my friends use Blue Apron; so many that they’re always offering me their free meal coupons. “If you sign up, I’ll get something free and you get a free week.” Sure, great. Well I went to their website to see what they had. The prices were okay, but the calories on their dishes were outrageous. The food did look delicious, but ’m an avid food journaler (for health reasons that I’ll explain another time) and just one of these meals would have set me WAY back. So I passed.
Second stop – Plated
I have seen the ads on Hulu with the man calls the woman and says “how does this sound for dinner,” and she smiles and says “that’s great.” So I went to their website. First impression, they had some beautiful food pictures. Second impression, there’s no way Peter can make these. He’s a novice cook and most nights I get home way after him, so he’s our main chef. And again, the calorie counts were kind of high. Overall, the dishes seemed too pretentious for me – cauliflower tacos with roasted chickpeas? I love a gourmet meal, but that just seems crazy for a weeknight.
Third stop – Hello Fresh
I started to feel like I should just get the free boxes from Blue Apron. I mean so what. I ate some high calorie dinners, but at least it would save us some money in the long run. But I decided to google “healthy food delivery” for kicks and giggles. Hello Fresh was the first hit. I went to their website and clicked around. My first thoughts were, “wow that food looks really fresh.” I liked the amount of vegetables in their meals and the variety of cuisines. They had Asian, Mexican, Italian and more. I liked the amount of variety. Then I went to look at the calorie counts – not bad. Okay, I’ll give it a try.
That was 6 months ago and we’ve only once had an issue with our boxes freshness (which they promptly apologized for and gave us a credit). Everything about Hello Fresh has been super easy. They have amazing service, a pretty good iPhone app and the food has been amazing. The only week’s I skip are when I know I’m going to be traveling a lot.
Hello Fresh has ultimately accomplished three things for Peter and I.
One – we spend less money eating out. Our weekly box has three meals which cost us $69/week. Before, we were spending $25-45/night on a meal. Now we have fresh food waiting at home for us to cook. And honestly, sometimes one meal lasts us that night and lunches for the next day (portions can be big sometimes!).
Two – It’s much easier to eat in my calorie range. Every week I look at the meals available. I look at the ingredients and the nutritional facts and decide from there. The meals are tasty, and don’t get me wrong, sometimes the meals are high in calories, but for the most part, it’s really helped me stay on track. I just make sure to have a balance of lower calorie meals if there is a high calorie meal that I want to get in my box.
Three – our time after work is now ours. Instead of running around to the grocery stores, waiting in line and, of course, having our list of recipes that we’ve decided we’ve wanted, we now get to spend time in the kitchen together cooking a healthy meal. Not to mention we get to watch Hulu when we eat it, which is a huge plus for me! And did I mention that Peter’s cooking skills have vastly improved? Win-win!
Go ahead, what do you have to lose? Their service is amazing so even if you decided to cancel, they’ll help you out with grace and kindness.
Do you eat out a lot? Do a meal delivery service? Let me know!