I’ll never forget the first time I heard about a meal delivery service. We had just had our Prince and we were living off Trader Joe’s frozen meals (more on my favorite Trader Joe’s meals here). However, things were getting repetitive and I thought we’d never eat gourmet again. Quick was the name of the game and fun and flavor seemed to be a thing of the past. Enter the era of tech-based meal delivery platforms. With the promise of healthy eating, contained costs and simple recipes, we were sold! After trying three different services, we’ve learned that simple and easy is relative and the level of true convenience can be across the board. Here is my quick and convenient review on Blue Apron, Freshly, and Gobble.
Concept: Blue Apron was truly a pioneer in the tech and food delivery category. They built a platform and a process that delivers fresh ingredients to your door – perfectly portioned and cost effective. Ideal for the modern couple or family.
Cost: About $60/week for 6 meals (3, 2-person meals)
Queenvenient Rating: 4/10. Sure, it’s portioned and delivered to your door, but the meals require a lot of prep and cook time (unless you are a pro chopper and multitasker). Not to mention the clean-up and dishes. Not recommended for families trying to save time, but perhaps for a couple trying to learn new cooking skills and try new flavors.
Concept: Freshly is not your ingredient delivery service. They prepare fully cooked gourmet meals and provide instructions on how to reheat.
Cost: About $60 a week for 6 meals (3, 2-person meals)
Queenvenient Rating: 2/10. The food sounded great, the convenience factor is quite high (throw it in the microwave), the flavor? Like a frozen dinner. Save yourself the trouble and pick up a Costco Lasagna.
Concept: At first glance, you might think “another Blue Apron knock off”. What we discovered is that Gobble is kicking things up a notch by adding variety (side dishes, cocktail mixes) and convenience – all food comes pre-chopped, sauces are mixed and some items are pre-baked.
Cost: About $70 for 3, 2-person meals
Queenvenient Rating: 8/10. All the recipes are three steps (though each step has steps…) but for us cook and prep time is down to 20 minutes. Without the chopping and prep we save dishes and time, allowing more family time. Some of the meals claim to be kid- friendly but out toddler sticks with his separate meals for now. The food is simply delicious – we have never had a bad meal (you might have guessed we are still using this service currently). Don’t forget to treat yourself to some of their delicious chocolate chip cookies.
I am still looking for the perfect answer to meal planning and prep for busy families, but between using a delivery service and simplifying our grocery process (The 3-Step Working Families’ Guide to Convenient Groceries), we have really trimmed down the time we spend thinking about “what should we eat tonight?”. More convenient living means more time doing the things you love!
Have you tried a meal delivery service? Give me your ratings below!