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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Dinner is Ready!

There is one really great thing that has come out of the pandemic: food delivery services.

The years I was very ill and hardly moving, food delivery services, groceries to meal programs to restaurants, were very new. I didn't trust them. They seemed quite a bit more expensive than groceries, and, frankly, I didn't trust them. I wish I had been braver about using them in the past. When the pandemic hit and we couldn't go anywhere and supplies were flying off the shelves, I attempted to use the services more.

Being immune compromised, it was too risky for me to go driving all over town running into various stores trying to find paper towels. Besides, nobody had any anyway. That is where I started: searching for paper towels and ordering in food from restaurants for my hungry family. The only paper towels I could find were from a company that supplies cleaning products for larger companies on the east coast. They shipped me a huge box of cheap, crappy paper towels that I am finally getting to the bottom of and getting back to normal paper towels.

Anyway, back to topic: last Christmas, my son and his fiancee got me a meal delivery service. It was Blue Apron. At first, I was uncomfortable setting it up and trusting them to safely deliver my food. My concern was hot things staying hot and cold things staying cold. I was also concerned with cross-contamination. I get rather upset when grocery store workers don't do an adequate job of separating raw meat from the rest of the food during check out and bagging. (If people only knew how often they had the "flu" was actually food borne illness from cross-contamination, although that usually happens in their kitchen.)

I must say, I was very pleased with Blue Apron. They did package it well. The cold packs did stay cold. It's a bit of a pain to discard the cold packs appropriately, but I got used to it after a while.

The food was good. A bit more difficult to prepare for novice cooks. I am not a novice cook. When I was writing The Power of Ketchup, it sure was nice to not have to plan meals and run to the store to get supplies, etc. It saved me time and effort.

I was thinking I was spending more than I wanted on food, so I decided to go back to the old fashioned way of doing things after the book was completed. I hated it. And, I discovered, I was spending just as much money, possibly more, and was not finishing all the food before it went bad. So, I decided to go back to meal delivery, but figured I would try a different company. I went with Hello Fresh.

Packaging was almost as good a quality. Food was slightly less quality, but slightly larger portions. Other than that, they were pretty equal. However, after a few months on Hello Fresh, I noticed a few things.

One, I started putting weight back on. A full ten pounds. I am concerned that could mean I am starting to come out of remission. However, after looking at the recipes from both companies, I realized that Hello Fresh had more gluten and larger portions. I am not sure of the correlation, but I do need to keep an eye on my health. Remission is too wonderful to lose.

Second, I did prefer the food with Blue Apron just a bit more. Not a lot more. Just a bit. Hello Fresh seemed to be more western culture flavors like pastas with Italian seasonings, more burger offerings, etc. Blue Apron seemed more around the world especially Asian inspired dishes. Less gluten but not gluten free, more rice, more vegetables, and more variety of spice blends.

It's difficult to do this comparison because even what I just wrote is not 100% the case. I just made it seem that Hello Fresh doesn't do cuisine from other areas around the world, and that isn't true. they do. There just seems to be more western with them and more eastern with Blue Apron. Seems.

I made a decision today: I am going back to Blue Apron. I just got done making all the changes. My last Hello Fresh box should be arriving any minute now for this week. Blue Apron will arrive on my doorstep next week.

Both services do make it difficult to cancel if/when you want. They make you hunt for the right buttons to push to get to the correct "Cancel Service" button. Also, they have both offered me discounts for various reasons, but when I try to use them, they don't seem to take, or I can't find the actual code in the emails. I do think they deliberately make them hard to find.

With either service, I did find I was spending about the same amount of money as grocery shopping, maybe slightly less, but was gaining the ease of meal planning and the safety of less time in stores. They certainly cost less than restaurants all the time. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy a lovely evening out for dinner now and then. Who doesn't?

Another plus with either service, my daughter and I can take turns cooking, and she is learning some great kitchen skills! That is probably the best bonus of all. The young woman can cook. On a side note, turns out she can bake too. But, I might have to ask her to change that up because of the gluten situation.

If you are considering trying a meal delivery service, I say give it a try.

If you have a comment or question, or a blog idea, shoot me an email at

Thanks for reading!



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