Saturday, September 19, 2020

Grocery & Meal Delivery Services, My Firsthand Experiences

In the midst of a global pandemic, I have never been more thankful and grateful for businesses that have made my life easier. Grocery delivery, produce delivery, butcher delivery, meals in a box, and so much more. I have used each of the services below and here is my honest review of each as well as links to try them for a discount if you'd like to.

Grade: B

Misfit Market was my go to for over a year and I was so grateful when the pandemic hit that we had a subscription and were able to keep it coming each week. They had paused membership for quite some time and opened it back up over the summer. 

Misfit Market is a subscription membership for produce that is classified as a misfit. You could get a carrot that splits in half, a potato growing an eye, or an avocado that might have rolled off the counter onto the floor. Honestly, my produce always looked and appeared perfectly fine upon opening the box. The only issue I ever had, which happened every single box, was that I needed to use almost all of it within 2 days. So that meant our family had great produce for a few days, but the second half of the week was slim pickings for us. 

All of their produce is organic. One issue I had with them was you didn't know what you were getting until your box arrived. So, you could get a dozen apples or no apples. You could get everything you need for an amazing salad for dinner or no salad items. So, you pretty needed to have an open mind. 

We paused out Misfit Market subscription over the summer to switch to Imperfect Foods because you can choose what is included in your box. Misfit Market appears to have changed that now and you CAN choose what comes in your box. 

Try Misfit Market out here. And use code COOKWME-LN4LHV for 25% off your first box. 

Grade: C-

First of all, we just cancelled our subscription. Like today cancelled. The packaging and delivery was such a disappointment for me, I just couldn't deal anymore. With that being said, their food, beverages, meats, cheeses, and produce are all phenomenal. If their items weren't great, I would totally rate them an F. 

Their prices are great and competitive. Their produce, while claiming to be imperfect, was almost always great. Their pantry items are solid and brands are known. They have both organic and not and if you're plant-based or vegetarian, they're a great company to check out. 

You can set preferences and repeat orders, which is great. So if you want a certain pasta every other week or coffee every week, you can make that happen in your subscription. 

This week, our box arrived and the side appeared wet. When I opened the box, the box of chicken stock was smashed and every single item in my box was covered in chicken stock. It was disgusting, I'm not going to lie. It also stank because I don't know how long everything was covered in it. 

Last week, our box arrived and two containers of blueberries were open and all of the berries were smashed in the box and everything was covered in blueberries. They credited me $2, the amount that the blueberries cost because I wasn't able to eat them. Nothing for the other items that were damaged that I had to toss. 

The week prior, one of the onions was moldy and had been rolling around inside the box, touching every other item in the box. Again, they credited me for the ONE damaged item, but not for anything else, even though I tossed almost everything else in the box because, well, mold. Eewww. 

Also, they claim to deliver to my zip code on Thursdays. I have never once received a delivery on their scheduled date. It's either the next day or two days later. Sometimes, my cold food is no longer cold as the cold pack is warm OR has fallen out of the cold bag because it wasn't sealed and then everything is wet and not cold. Again, a packaging and delivery issue. 

I'm not sure if it's just me or just my area or it's company wide, but right now, I am just fed up with the damaged items in delivery. 

BUT, if you want to try Imperfect Foods, click here for $10 off your first box. 

Grade: A 

This is one of those million dollar ideas I wish I had. Seriously. And the best part is they now carry seafood! 

Butcher Box is a meat (and seafood) delivery service that is a monthly subscription. You can create a custom box or a box they design. I personally prefer the custom box because I will modify it each month if I need to (like if we didn't go through all of our chicken, I won't get chicken next month). 

It's $149 a month (if you do their pre-chosen box it's $129) and at first, it seemed like a lot to me but we have yet to run out of meat in a month since starting with Butcher Box. Their meats are exceptional. They taste amazing and have tons of flavor. The beef is grass-fed and the chicken is free-range organic. The pork is heritage breed and the seafood is wild-caught. 

Their packaging is exceptional and I have never once had an issue. My order has never had an error and everything comes pre-packaged and frozen. A nice perk which I like is if you want to push back your delivery date or skip a month, it's super easy to do online and there's no penalties or upcharges. Honestly, I cannot rave about Butcher Box more. 

Everyone I know who has subscribed to it raves about it. They had a long waitlist because of the pandemic and not only are they accepting new subscriptions now, but they have specials again. 

If you want to try Butcher Box, click here for $15 off your first box AND their sign up special right now is free ground beef for the life of your membership! 

Grade: B (personal shopper grade depending) 

First and foremost, if Instacart didn't jack up prices compared to the store being shopped, I'd totally give them an A. Maybe even just say that every item gets a 2% upcharge to cover their fees and cost. 

With that being said, Instacart has been a saving grace for our household for a few years. When they finally announced delivery to our town, we were ecstatic! Stop N Shop, Big Y, Costco, and more deliver to our front door and I couldn't be happier about it. It saves me so much time and frustration not having to go to the store. Also, I meal plan much better and more efficiently. I don't end up with random items that caught my eye or were on an end-cap screaming my name. My shopping is much more intentional this way. And we love it. 

If you'd like to try Instacart in your area, click here for $10 off your first order or use code NROSENSTEIN1F01B2

Grade: A  

This is worth every penny. Amazon Prime perk for the win, without question. I can shop at Whole Foods without leaving my home. And there are often numerous specials for Prime members so you can get some special items on sale too. 

If I want to make something special for dinner, I get it from here. I get my produce here now. I get snacks and treats here. I even get fresh bakery items here. Once every other week I place an online order. They are very similar to Instacart in that you have a personal shopper shopping for you. So they'll text you or message you while shopping for any changes or substitutions. 

I don't have a link for a discount but if you have Prime, you have this opportunity!! 

Grade: A

I haven't used Blue Apron in over a year, but when we did we absolutely loved it! The only reason we stopped was because I would only want 1 dinner once a week from them and that isn't an option. I love meal planning and having Butcher Box delivery, it didn't make sense to have both. 

Their recipes are outstanding and very easy to follow. Their ingredients are clearly labeled and marked and are often things I want to make again in the future. 

Want to try Blue Apron, just click here and they often give $60 off your first order! 

Grade: B+

The only reason they aren't an A is because when I compare them to Blue Apron, I just like Blue Apron better. The ingredients, the recipes, the packaging, just the company as a whole. 

Just like Blue Apron, I didn't continue it because it didn't really fit for us with Butcher Box. Also, you really should get 3 meals a week from them to maximize the cost. And right now, that doesn't fit into our family needs. 

I love how their meals encompass all aspects though. There's a protein, a starch, and veggies and makes for a complete "happy plate" as we call it at our house. Most of their meals are able to be made in under 30 minutes, and the rest in under 45 minutes. An added bonus that they do is with each menu dish you choose, it breaks down the cost for you. So some dishes are under $5 each while some are upwards of $7-10 each so you can really see the breakdown of what you're paying for.  

If you want to try Hello Fresh, click here for $40 off your first box!

Whew. That was a lot, wasn't it?! I hope this gives you some insight into the companies we use and have used in the past to help with our groceries and meal planning.   

1 comment :

  1. Blue Apron is always my favorite, it gets me to try new things that I would have been scared of before. HelloFresh is also good, I like them for more "simple" meals.
    I'm actually about to try a new one this week (Every Plate) because we got a coupon in the mail and I felt like being a lazy cook. Sadly they don't let you get 1 meal a week either. I'm doing 4 meals this week, 3 the next and then saving my last bit of the coupon for another week.