am I just kidding myself that if I get a riverford box we'll all start eating healthier and I'll stop spending so much money on crap in tesco?

(47 Posts)
Fairylea Sat 08-Feb-14 12:13:56

Well what do you think?

Anyone with any recent experience of riverford?

I'm doing utterly rubbish with our food budget at the moment. I know it's my fault. I can't stick to a meal plan or a list and what should be a budget of 70-80 a week always seems to be embarrassingly about 130 a week sad

(Yes I'm an idiot).

I have this vague idea that if I get a fruit and veg box delivered and possibly the meat too then I will have to eat more healthily and hopefully reduce the amount of nonsense I buy at supermarkets.

Any ideas or slapped wrists appreciated.

I can see why the box thing sounds like a nice idea, but can't help thinking you could do the same thing yourself more cheaply by doing a 10 min wander round the veg aisle and deliberately choosing a random range of veg each week, rather than just the ones you normally buy.

bugglebean Sat 19-Apr-14 14:11:32

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cupcake78 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:43:10

We did this once. All it did was make us eat more potatoes. Loads of potatoes and wormy carrots smile

I did get excited each week as it was always a surprise. Except for the potatoes and carrots hmm

ShoeWhore Thu 13-Feb-14 20:38:09

I would really look for a local scheme OP - they are usually cheaper (ours only cost pence more than the equivalent conventionally grown produce at Sainsburys) and of course the food miles will be lower (for some of it at least) They are often more flexible as well - ours had no standard boxes at all, you just told them how much you wanted to spend, what ratio of fruit to veg, any likes and dislikes. You could if you wanted text special requests a day or two before the box was due. All the stuff he grew himself was ultra-fresh as well - sometimes still damp! (Sadly our guy had to give it up for family reasons, I really miss it and am being pig-headed about trying Riverford as I think it should be small and local)

It definitely gets you eating a much wider variety of veg.

Fairylea Thu 13-Feb-14 20:09:44

Hi smile thanks for the replies....

Just thought I'd update incase anyone was interested!

The box came and was really lovely. Full of very fresh and ripe produce, much nicer quality than available at our local supermarket. However, the bag of potatoes was quite tiny really - we get through a lot more than that (!) So I've had to buy more to top up.

I'm nearly half way through the week now and I don't think I've saved any money BUT we've had some really tasty and different meals because I've planned the meals around the contents of the box..so that's been nice. We had the sweet potatoes tonight and they were lovely smile

Dd aged 11 isn't too sure about some of the fruit as the apples look so different to tesco apples! But ds 19 months adores everything he's had from the fruit box including the blood oranges.

I am not sure if I'll do it again next week. I think maybe I'll check the box contents online and see what's available in our local tesco to compare and go from there.

Certainly been a fun week anyway smile

(And ds has learnt a new word - "dirrrt" (dirt !- as all the veg came fresh from the ground and covered in dirt!)

Follyfoot Sun 09-Feb-14 22:29:01

We've been having veg boxes for years. Started with Rod and Bens which were the best by far but then they moved into soups. Then went to Abel and Cole - the boxes are OK and you can ask for substitutions but I found them a bit inflexible in terms of chopping and changing to different boxes, no box for a couple of weeks etc.

Riverford (ours is from Sacrewell) boxes I've found to be slightly better quality than Abel and Cole. They often pop in an extra item for free too. We can cancel or amend an order upto Monday night for Wednesday delivery. I often change boxes or cancel if we have plenty of veg left and its never a problem. They are very flexible.

To go back to your original question, the box definitely helps me to avoid expensive trips to the supermarket. We buy and freeze lots of meat in one go and then DH or I get the other bits and bobs as needed, but we rarely need to to a full shop. I like the challenge of using whatever is sent to us, and there isnt much we throw away. Made a big stew today with Aldi meat and box left overs from the last couple of weeks, and DH tells me it was lovely (I'm veggie so wouldnt know...).

Planning was easier when I worked less hours, its a bit of a faff cooking from fresh when the working day/commute is 10 hours, but batch cooking and freezing is the way to go if you can be arsed grin

BonaDea Sun 09-Feb-14 22:11:04

Fairy lea - yes sweet potatoes are lovely as jackets. Your ds will love them as they are (obviously) lovely and sweet.

They also make good wedges, especially if spiced up a little with chilli flakes as well as oil, salt and pepper smile

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sun 09-Feb-14 22:09:13

Oooh that sounds delicious. recipes....

BonaDea Sun 09-Feb-14 22:08:47

K8, there is a lovely roasted beetroot and feta lentil salad. Very simple but absolutely gorgeous. I'd never cooked with fresh beetroot before we went with riverford and it's lovely.

Also a lovely roasted ratatouille recipe which is very adaptable to whichever veg you have but comes out better than others I have made.

There was also a kohl rabi recipe I used for the two weeks this summer when they sent us one!

Cantdothisagain Sun 09-Feb-14 21:53:18

We get Riverford. Pretty sure it doesn't save us money but I love the variety and the recipe cards. This week there was a carrot tahini slaw recipe which is amazing - 1tbsp light tahini, 4 tbsp yoghurt, juice of a lemon, mixed with a grated carrot, half a shredded cabbage, and 4tbsp toasted mixed nuts/seeds plus seasoning. Really good!

K8Middleton Sun 09-Feb-14 20:48:12

Yes meal plan round your box is the answer. I love mine smile

I'm looking forward to my Hugh book too. Any fave recipes from it Bona?

LadyMaryLikesCake Sun 09-Feb-14 20:46:40

Might have accidentally just ordered that. blush It does look good.

Fairylea Sun 09-Feb-14 20:28:29

Oooooo that hugh whatsnot book looks really good. I might treat myself.

I know online shopping is probably the answer... The main issue is that ds 19 months likes to walk everywhere (absolutely loves to walk non stop) so to save my sanity I tend to take him for a walk to tesco everyday (about 15 / 20 mins walk and a buggy ride back). When the weather is better there is a lovely park near us but it's so muddy at the moment it's quite dangerous. I think i shop mainly from boredom.

I really need to generally overhaul my life actually. I need to get out to some toddler groups with ds (truth be told I'm painfully shy and very anxious around people).. I have started to take him to one on a Friday that he enjoys but if I could find more free things to do with him during the rest of the week then I'd be less tempted to amble around tesco.

I have just sat and planned a weeks meals around the box I'm getting. One of the things in the box was a bag of sweet potatoes. Never really had them before so I thought maybe like a variation on jacket potato with some crispy bacon and some salad... ?

I know what you mean about buying a lovely chop or steak with nice vegetables. If dh had his way every single bloody day would be a roast dinner or massive meat dish!! I'm not so fussed about meat. .I was vegan for 20 years so I'm a veg fan really. Just have to convert dh (and dd who mainly just wants chips and nuggets!)

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:54:21

Wouldn't you be better doing a meal plan then getting it all on online shopping? Because with this approach you'll still have to go to the shop fit cereal, meat, bread, cleaning products etc. and be tempted in the shop.

pancakesfortea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:48:56

We loved our riverford box and it wad quite a cheap way of buying what you got. And it definitely expanded our cooking repertoire.

But it did end up costing us more money. Not because of the box itself but because my husband always thought that the best thing to do with seasonal veg was serve it with a steak or a pork chop. There were fewer pasta and pesto type meals.

BonaDea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:44:07

K8, it is really very good. I've made lots of things and keep going back to some.

K8Middleton Sun 09-Feb-14 19:39:13

Ooh I just bought the Hugh Feels-Hiswhatsits book from Amazon for £5. It's massively reduced!

BonaDea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:25:46

Good for you fairy lea.

If you stick with it, I've found the Hugh F-W 'Veg' book brilliant. It isn't a vegetarian cookbook as such, just contains lots of veg recipes, often for use as sides. I've found it invaluable for finding good recipes for all the veg we now get, especially where the thing is something I haven't cooked with before.

Genuinely my only complaint so far is the number of carrots which seems to arrive!

Fairylea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:19:31

Oh by the way I had a look at the able and Cole website.. might give them a go too maybe. I loved some of their recipes, going to give some of them a go. Maybe I just needed a kick up the backside to remind myself there's more to life than roast dinner, chips and jacket potatoes!!

Fairylea Sun 09-Feb-14 19:13:26

Thank you everyone. Interesting replies smile

I don't expect to save much - saving would be nice but it's more the fact I'm so awful at seeing something I like in the shop and thinking I'll have that and to be honest it's mainly chocolates, sweets and ready meals and then not having much to actually cook a proper meal in the evenings.

So.... I have decided to place a one off order with riverford for next week and see what happens. I have ordered a medium veg box and a fruit box and i'm going to plan meals around what's in the box. If I can behave myself this week then I'll try what one of the posters up thread suggested which was to buy the contents of the box from tesco and still plan it .. then I might get more motivated to plan in general.

I know if I really wanted to save a fortune I'd go to aldi and I've done that before, guess I just wanted to try a better quality of veg and hopefully have some inspiration for making some better meals.

I'll have to be good and try and make my own snacks....!

Thanks all.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 09-Feb-14 17:26:49

We did a veg box for a while, and it made us try different veg (because we had to!) but it didn't save us money at all because we are pretty thrifty shoppers anyway. I think the key is to plan what you're going to eat and buy accordingly but allow for some flex eg the day you have extra people over or the day you end up with a take away because the train has been delayed by two hours.

Fraxinus Sun 09-Feb-14 17:22:44

Get into baking and make your own treats instead of buying snack foods.

I like aldi, because you can just zoom straight past all the sweets and then start shopping.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sun 09-Feb-14 17:18:13

We did riverford for a bit but there is no way we saved money. It was "fun" and got us eating a wider variety of veg. Sometimes. Othertimes it was "what on earth else can we cook with an x".

We don't now for financial reasons but I love the idea of poncy recipe cards and interesting ideas!

BonaDea Sun 09-Feb-14 17:12:37

We get the medium riverford box. I don't know about saving money as I'm not on that tight a budget, so don't really have comparison data if you know what I mean.

But, we definitely eat way more veg and work hard not to throw anything away. So far we haven't put down any 'dislikes' so we always just get what they send us. I've done tons of new recipes because of wanting to use stuff that they have sent which has so far been high quality and tasty.

Winter can be a bit grim in veg box land as of course they don't source from further afield than Europe, but certainly in the summer and autumn we had a lovely selection of British veg. You can always try it out for a few weeks and see - it is easy to cancel if you want.

WholeNewProblem Sun 09-Feb-14 17:06:14

Farm shop or greengrocer?

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