Hello Fresh and other such mean ingredient programs

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by a2z, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Thoughts?

    If I'm spending 9.99 per serving, I'm eating out....

    Anyone try them, and what was your experience?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We used Hello Fresh for about 6 months. I loved the food, and the recipes were pretty easy. We ran into a lot of packaging problems, though, such as items not being included or packages being open already when we opened the box. This was especially problematic when it came to the meats. Like, it's hard to make meatloaf without the meat, you know? Or when the package of chicken sausage was sliced open, like from a box cutter, and arrived with uncooked chicken juice all over everything. Hello Fresh was very good about issuing credits for all those problems, but it got to be too much. We cancelled a few months ago. I may try Blue Apron because I have a coupon, but after looking at the meals I'm not sure if I'll like them as much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the heads up. The only thing more tedious that cooking is trying to cook with missing ingredients and having to have a back up plan (and ingredients) ready to go.
     
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  5. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    I am always interested in these options especially with my busy lifestyle and apartment living but I have heard all of above problems as well and am too nervous to spend my money on that.
     
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  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Right---I feel like the price is not significantly cheaper than just eating out....if I'm gonna splurge, might as well let someone else do the cooking.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    At least if I eat out I can send the food back if it isn't any good. You know who takes the blame for getting the right ingredients but serving inferior outcome, right? I'm an OK cook, but not an avid, loving it kind of cook.
     
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  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    DH and I both like to cook, so we didn't think it was worth it. We live in a small town, so if we were missing an uncommon ingredient, we couldn't just run to the store and pick up a replacement.
     
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  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I also like to cook, which is why I enjoyed the boxes. I got to make things that I may not have thought of on my own, like lots of different sauces. I remember making these wontons that were amaaaaazing. I kept that recipe and will definitely make those again.
     
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  10. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    My parents do blue apron
    The meals are yummy. The prep can be a lot more than I’d want on a weeknight though.
     
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  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I don't like to cook, so that combined with the cost means I would never consider them. Like a pp mentioned, if I'm spending that much I'd much rather go out and let someone else do the cooking and clean up! I guess I can see how it would be fun for someone that likes cooking. I'm a decent cook, but it's such a chore to me (plus I hate having all of the mess to clean up) that I have trouble imagining people actually viewing cooking as a hobby or fun activity. Obviously a lot of people do though!
     
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  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I don't do the recipe boxes but we've recently gotten a subscription to Imperfect produce boxes. They ship us produce that apparently wasn't "good enough" for the supermarkets because of small imperfections, but for the life of me, I can't really tell the difference between the supermarket produce and what they send in most cases.

    I don't really know if I'm getting a good deal (I suspect I'm paying about the same price overall when you count the delivery fees and all that), but at least it might be doing something small about food waste. And it's interesting to get produce that I would never normally buy in a store myself because I wouldn't know the first thing about cooking it, and then having to look up recipes to use it in and how to prepare it. Kind of makes cooking a puzzle, and introduces more variety and creativity into our meals, even if we don't always care for certain vegetables (eggplant... yuck).

    And it means we're forced to eat more vegetables and fruits in our diets which is... healthy.
     
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  13. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    A friend is pressuring me to do it so she gets a referral credit. I started to do it and then I just realized that I am too...cheap and lazy. I can cook. However, since I live alone, I think it might be a waste. I would not only have to cook, but also clean if I invited friends or family over. Also, I am trying to save money and lose weight. I am finding that I am not eating a lot of big meals anymore.
     
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  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I tried it and wasn't thrilled. A few of the produce items weren't fresh and I was missing meat in one of my boxes. Where's the beef? LOL!
     
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  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Thanks everyone.

    I'm a good cook, but I was surprised by the cost of the servings. Hearing about missing or damaged items makes me want to steer clear even more.

    I guess the one advantage is that you can make different things without having to purchase a whole bottle of an herb or spice you wouldn't typically use or getting ingredients the local store may not carry.

    I don't know, but I think I would prefer standards I don't have to think about cooking during the busy week. New dishes are best left for weekends for me.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I thought about doing one of these boxes but decided my splurge would be having a personal shopper service at a local grocery store for my large shopping trips.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I would agree - not only will the store shop for me, with my list, for a very reasonable fee they will deliver, as well. What I would save by eliminating impulse buys would make this a win/win. I've spent a lot of time watching the personal shoppers in my grocery store, and I love their attention to detail. Adding delivery is just the icing on the cake!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If you have enough freezer space and something like a Food Saver system, it wouldn't be bad to "cook ahead." However, without a family to pick and choose through the frozen prepared meals, it could just create hassle. Hubby and I seldom eat the same things for dinner, or at the same time. Just an observation. . .
     
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  19. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I am almost embarrassed to say this but I’m reticent with these types of food programs because although everything is measured out in the right quantities, they aren’t pre-prepared in terms of being chopped up or sliced or diced or whatever. I would be much more inclined to use these programs if all I had to do to make a meal was open packets and chuck things in a pot and et voila. But I understand because food loses its freshness much faster once they are cut so this is why they don’t come pre chopped. The preparation time is something i don’t enjoy and it’s extra washing up.
    I don’t eat for pleasure and if I have to spend time preparing meals then I’d rather eat a protein bar or a whole tub of halo top. I can see how someone who truly enjoys cooking and eating and has the time would enjoy such a program though!
     
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  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
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  21. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    After looking at the prices (9.99 per serving with a minimum of 2 servings per box; does that mean you'd have to pay $20 for a 2 serving box?? The website seems very vague on the pricing front...) I'll just stick with my current food set up. My local grocery store does deliveries now, so I buy my groceries online and pay $5 for someone to bring it to my door. It's fantastic since I hate grocery shopping, plus I don't spend extra money from "Ooh, that looks good!" like I do when I'm in the store. The new recipes would be nice, but that's what the internet is for, right?
     
  22. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I mean... I'm kinda the same when it's just me. I like food, but it's more fun to cook and eat with other people. Eating by myself is just because I have to in order to function. And sometimes I just flat out forget to eat/don't feel like eating if I'm by myself.
     
  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I am totally jealous. I would love delivery! I live too far out of town. I count myself lucky to be close enough a store that offers the pick up.
     
  24. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    I never have any freezer space at all. Even when I cook chili and do freeze portions of it, I usually end up tossing it months later.

    Miss-m, if my grocery store did deliveries I would be overjoyed! My issue is that I buy about $100 of random things that I really don't need. Oddly, there are not even food items but discount candles, plants, and bizarre things like color-changing logs. Delivery would be worth it even if it was more than $5.

    Oh and my co-worker is still bugging me to "try" the free meal at Hello Fresh. Ugh, I know I will forget to cancel it and get stuck with it another month.
     
  25. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Just tell her that it's not worth it for you and you know you will forget to cancel the subscription. Be honest or she will never leave you alone.

    We have a local business that is like a supper prep buffet. You can go and prep meals and put the prepped food straight into your freezer with the cooking instructions attached to the package. They have all of the ingredients ready for you, you simply assemble the packages.

    We went as a staff a few years ago, and financially the meals weren't worth it for me. I live alone and can prepare freezer meals for myself for much less money. But since it was a staff party, I went along and prepped a meal for a colleague who was recovering from surgery.
     
  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Rockhubby and I are strongly considering Blue Apron. We eat out far too often, which is probably more expensive than any service. My biggest problem with cooking is fear of the unknown and unwillingness to improvise. With ingredients and directions, I could manage a meal.
     
  27. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    My wife and I have tried Tastefully Simple. It includes a big box with a month’s worth of recipes and pantry-item ingredients, and weekly shopping lists for the meat and produce to get ourselves at the store. This is the best of both worlds, in my opinion. Convenience of not really having to do the thinking, but choice in making sure your fresh items are good quality.

    Each recipe is supposedly designed for six servings at about $3/serving. The pantry-item ingredients are all Tastfully-Simple brand and therefore marked up, but we have learned to take the recipes we like and substitute generic brand stuff from the store.
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Is that $3/serving plus the cost of the food from the grocery store or is that factored in?
     
  29. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    I believe it is with everything factored in, but I haven’t actually crunched the numbers. Put it this way: the box of the month’s worth of dry goods, recipes, and shopping lists was $200.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Wow. That is really good.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    How many recipes per month?
     
  32. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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  33. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    30
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So on top of the $200/mo you also have to buy proteins and produce for six people per day for 30 days? That seems like it would be really expensive.
     
  35. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    I never said it was a cheap option. With any of these programs you are paying for convenience. It also kept us from relying on fast food so much, or aimlessly buying produce with good intentions but failing to use it before it rotted, so those savings offset the cost in our case.

    I will say that I picked up on certain meal prep skills using this particular program for a couple months that we don’t need it anymore, yet we still have all the recipes to use when we want.
     
  36. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would probably try it once if they had different dietary options. We don't eat most carbs like pasta or rice so I wouldn't want those things to be included in my meals.
    Maybe my neighbor should look into this. She gets takeout probably 5 times per week. She does buy things from the grocery store like Ellio's pizza and chicken wings though :toofunny:
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    .......
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  38. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Let’s put my stoicheometry skills from chemistry to the test.

    (30 recipes/month) x (6 servings/recipe) x ($3/serving) = $540/month estimated for everything, including groceries.

    ($200/month of pantry items) x (1 month of pantry items/30 recipes) x (1 recipe/6 servings) = $1.1111111.../serving for the pantry items that come in the box.

    Those are the raw numbers.

    Beyond that, I am not trying to sell anything. We have found the program beneficial as a starting point to shopping and eating healthier, but have since become more self-reliant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  39. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I apologize. I messed up that math by forgetting a step. Then I corrected you when it was me that was in error. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. (I mean that seriously - no sarcasm.)

    I guess it is best not to do math when not feeling well.

    I was so wrong. I apologize.
     
  40. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Lol no worries. It is very difficult to interpret tone on written forums. You’re good!
     

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