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Recipe box subscriptions - any good?

(13 Posts)
TheUpsideDown Fri 21-Apr-17 12:29:29

Do any fellow MN'ers use a recipe box subscription service (eg. Gousto, Hello Fresh, Simply Cook etc).

I hate food shopping and I hate having to think up dishes to cook each night. Its a huge chore that I detest. So I'm considering one of these subscriptions.

But is it worth it, and is it cost effective (we're not on high incomes and gave to budget carefully with everything). Or is it just an expensive gimmick that will lose its novelty fairly quickly?

Would love to hear from anyone who does use / has used one of these services...

TheUpsideDown Fri 21-Apr-17 12:30:20

*have (not gave)

FriedPisces Fri 21-Apr-17 12:33:18

I loved using Hello Fresh, it really helped, but definitely not with the cost. I had to stop because it just wasn't cost effective at all. I was still having to do a shop for breakfasts, lunches, fussy kids dinners and weekend food so it just worked out more expensive in the end. I miss it though and would only do it for occasional weeks now. The recipes were delicious though.

originalbiglymavis Fri 21-Apr-17 12:36:23

We used to get one but we all eat different things due to diets so would end up with some odd things that we didn't want to eat.

I also got a one which had all the ingredients for included recipes​ at a charity thing and it was lovely but I was the only one who could eat it and it was loads for one person and would be expensive in the long run. It was fun to get all the tiny packs of rice and tubs of spices though - like being a tv cook!

Fine if you can eat most things and can improvise, but expensive to use. Unless you have a local farm that does seasonal fruit and veggie boxes.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 21-Apr-17 12:37:44

We tried HelloFresh and gave up pretty quickly - we went for the 3 meals a week option and usually only one of the dishes was properly good and the other two were a bit meh - e.g. a lamb biryani where the only seasoning was salt and pepper.

Obviously it may have been a blip, and other companies may be better but I wasn't wowed which I'd expect for the prices we were paying.

What we do now is have a list of 20 standard recipes that we like, have a couple of batch cooked things in the freezer and then try to make something new once a week. We also online shop occasionally when we can't be bothered to go.

TheUpsideDown Fri 21-Apr-17 20:38:48

Ah bugger. I thought this would be the case. I guess it would bump up grocery costs if you're still having to cater for fussy kids (which I have!) and still have to shop for other meals like breakfasts, lunches & snacks.

I'll have to pull my finger out and do what you do OneFlewOver and compile a list of staple family favourites / easy quick fixes / have some batch cooked options / making weekly meal plans etc.

original Good idea. I'm not far from a couple of farms, and there is a fortnightly farmers market in town where I live that I've never actually been to. Maybe it would be worth payjng them a visit to see if they have veg boxes.

Cooroo Fri 05-May-17 06:55:49

Like you I hate deciding what to cook and never shop with meals in mind. This week I ordered two lights meals for two from Riverford where I get my veg.

At just under £30 this is NOT a cheap option! But I did enjoy it. There was Chicken Madras and Peppers Stuffed with Borlotti Beans. It was great having all the ingredients and just following instructions.

It gave me some good ideas (I've always served plain rice but now will add turmeric and peas/spring onions/coriander because it was delicious). I'm planning to do it every few weeks and keep the recipes.

VerySadInside Fri 05-May-17 06:58:05

Tried hello fresh and had problems with it. Their customer service was pants. They sent us meals we didn't want and charged fro them, missing ingredients and tbh they are really very basic recipes.

VerySadInside Fri 05-May-17 06:58:39

Have heard better about abel and cole for vegetarians.

Floods123 Fri 05-May-17 07:13:39

Riverford every time. With HF etc you have to do regular order. And then there is a two week cancellation period do if you don't like them you HAVE to have two more anyway! With Riverford you can order as and when or just try one.

FairyPenguin Fri 05-May-17 07:15:14

We occasionally get the recipe boxes from Riverford. They are full of flavour and the portion sizes are large. For a meal for 2, I always have enough to take in a packed lunch the next day too. I really rate them. The only thing is we always find they take longer to make than the recipe says, as we aren't as fast at prepping veg than they are, so we always order the Quick meals and allow an extra 15 mins to prep things first before cooking. The recipe has you prepping things whilst cooking. I'd definitely recommend trying one - no subscription required, you just order them as you want them.

doli27 Fri 05-May-17 07:35:03

We use HelloFresh. Really happy with it as the meals are fab and takes the stress out of meal planning but it definitely works out a bit more expensive than just buying all the ingredients ourselves.
However, you can skip a week whenever you like and cancel at anytime so might be worth trying one now and again for net recipe ideas.

OodleDoodleBug Fri 05-May-17 08:03:56

We have a Spicery box once a month, does a decent size curry or similar for 4 adults with sides and breads. Each month two friends come over, one brings pudding and one brings drinks and we do the curry, it's brilliant.

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