I have been testing several different meal ordering services over the past several months. I was NOT a good cook at all before starting to order from places like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Plated and perhaps others in the future.
I could barely boil water for spaghetti and knew a little to cook hot dogs and things in the microwave. One of the biggest things to better mental health and just feeling good all around is the need to eat well.
Figuring out what to buy at the grocery store was pretty much beyond me. I didn’t know how to follow a recipe and the long process of getting to a grocery store in the first place was too difficult for someone without a car like me.
Along came Hello Fresh. They were offering a free first week of food and I decided to go with that. Who can beat free food?
I received the box months ago and I didn’t want to look back. I was wondering how to eat more vegetarian so I went with their vegetarian kit. They had two options- Classic (3 meals with meat) or Veggie (3 meals with just veggies). They did come with cheeses and other dairy, so vegans beware.
I was unsure about the whole process, but I had been guided to be a little more experimental in my meal choices and for a long time I had been wanting to switch to vegetarian. This was my chance to make that happen.
I hesitantly went about chopping things up with a beat up old steak knife (not the best for chopping vegetables) when the first box arrived. Eventually I went ahead and followed the easy to comprehend cooking instructions and voila! I had a meal ready to eat. I didn’t know what to expect, but down went my first bite.
I was hooked.
Several meals for two later and I felt I was learning like the pros. I impressed myself with my own cooking, for the first time!
The next month came and I had some cash and I ordered more boxes. Then when money was running out, I noticed another company, Blue Apron also offering a significant discount. More free food! I ordered more and more and my skills at cooking went through the roof. I did end up burning a few things and adding too much lemon or the accidental ingredient swap several times, but darnnit if I didn’t learn a whole ton about cooking.
My mood felt better and since I am living with a meat eater who raised me on meaty foods, I went ahead and ordered some more meat meals here and there, mostly sticking to fish and the rare chicken or beef. I am a near vegerarian now and that is much better for me than meat at every meal.
I grew as a person because of these meal services and I learned valuable cooking skills at a discount and with the ease of home delivery. All of the services I tried had great food, mostly locally sourced and I think organic. This was quality food here. Not that box meal from the supermarket.
Hello Fresh has since brought Jamie Oliver from television fame on board as a chef. I have yet to try one of his meals, but maybe next month I will. Hello is very helpful for local artisans and food sources. They put advertisements for local food shops and coupons for local stores in their boxes.
Blue Apron seemed to have the best food in terms of recipes when I tried them, but perhaps with Jamie Oliver, the stakes were upped. Blue Apron for me was the go-to place, but it was a bit more expensive than I wanted it to be. Enter Plated.
Plated was a fairly good service and they again were offering a discount for newcomers. I liked the food they sent and it really seemed to be the best organic food from all three, however I didn’t care for the recipes when compared to Blue Apron.
There are other services like this who offer free first order or a big discount for newcomers. I think I have some more places to try soon.
If you are on a budget and don’t know how to cook, this plan of action has worked well for me. You can even send your friends a free week of food after several orders from these services. Lots of good food to go around. Hello Fresh offered, over the holidays, to deliver food for free to people in need if you wanted to donate money for a meal. With services like this, I feel good about the state of things in relation to organic suppliers and gmo free lifestyle.
I learned a lot and got some great recipes in the process that I can buy food for without the service, but I find my food turns out better when I use the specific food sent by the services. It is usually all measured out beforehand and all you have to do is cut, prepare and cook.
DISCLAIMER- I was not paid or asked to write this article, I just love to eat good food and was happy to tell the world about the great services available now.