Food roundup

I tried responding to a message from texasts about the food services we use.  I spent a bit of time on it and hit send but apparently it did not make it.  So here is the round up after about a year of getting food every week.  

Nearly every week we get 3 or 4 meals from Home Chef  (and, yeah, that link earns me a $35 credit so feel free).  We average about $78/week and get the three or four full dinners for two with complete instructions to cook.  The food is excellent.  There is a good variety and generally you can choose the meat (custom changes cost a bit more but are sometimes worth it).  There are surprise meals that I'd have never thought of myself (fish cakes from tilapia — easy enough to recreate myself if I want) and ingredients I've never used before.  There is chopping and mixing for most of the meals although they have a few that are dump in the provided pan and cook.  But overall it is an excellent experience.

Hello Fresh was about the same level done a little differently but equal quality.  I learned new cooking techniques and still have a binder of the recipes.

Dinnerly is a different animal.  First of all for three meals for two it is about $40.  Way cheaper.  But you don't get all the ingredients (sometimes an egg, or butter or such) and you have to print off the recipes yourself from their web site.  Or cook from a tablet.  The food is quality but the recipes are just cheaper.  More casserole kind of things.  Good food and amazing for the price.

We typically get Home Chef every week.  I put an entry in the calendar on the days we expect it to arrive — 3 Home Chef or 4 Home chef.  They come on Monday.  Then sometimes I'll get a Dinnerly if I like what they've got.  The Dinnerly comes on Thursday so I put that on the calendar too.

The way the services work you have to intentionally skip the meals or they will deliver something.  So paying attention is critical.  I usually work a month in advance going through the Dinnerly weekly choice to see if I want that week and skip if I don't and then go through the Home Chef and customize that.  I'll skip a Home Chef week if there is nothing that excites me and we'll do something else.

It seems like a bit of work to keep track but it is far less than going to the store.  We cut down our store trips from two or three times a week to once every couple of weeks mostly getting bread, eggs, milk and cereal.  And flour for cake.

I'd say Hello Fresh and Home Chef are comparable.  I like them both and have considered throwing Hello Fresh into the mix getting service from all three.  Juggling.  Dinnerly is really the best value and worth it.

You can stop any of them any time or put them on hold.  They make that part easy.  I've never gotten a box I didn't want and only once or twice have gotten something that was not as fresh as it should have been.  A complaint got me a quick credit.


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