Box lunches – and dinners, and….

https://newrepublic.com/article/122959/sorry-blue-apron-joys-cooking-cant-fit-box?src=longreads

The link takes you to a longread about Meals in a Box. This seems to be a growing industry with several companies that pack up fresh ingredients, spices and sauces, with instructions for making up the meals, and ship them to people who pay around $10 a meal for the convenience of having them delivered to their door.

I was intrigued to read what the writer had to say because my family in Stockholm do buy them, though not all the time.

Both my son and his wife work and this is a boon to them but Elisabet does not always follow the enclosed meal plans, using the ingredients in her own recipe or even at times rejecting part of the contents.

This does not prevent them from having to shop for basics, bread, milk, salads  etc., but it does help out when life gets too busy to shop.

One day a shiny card came with our mail promoting Hello Fresh (hellofresh.com) with a $40 card off your first order. They promise “Award-winning recipes and pre-measured ingredients delivered to your door!” And an endorsement by the New York Times.

Might be a great idea for someone who is home-bound and doesn’t like to cook. But can they afford it? $40 (first time only) off how much?

Then there is Omaha Steaks.

They advertise their selection of meats and other foodstuffs in magazines and constantly send letters through the mail. We recently gave in to their repeated urging. When the price was lowered and the contents didn’t include baked potatoes, I decided to try them. They also offered a free cutting board and knife set.

It came in a styrofoam cool box (nice extra) and was packed each variety in its own box. The longread article complains about the amount of packaging. I shall reuse the internal boxes but everything else is shrink wrapped in strong plastic which doesn’t show a recycle icon.

The quality of the beef, pork and hotdogs is good, but the steaks are oddly square and larger portions that we normally eat, so I am cutting them in half. There are also apple dumplings to be baked; the pastry is very good. We have yet to eat the filet mignons, something I would probably never buy. Maybe they’ll be a treat for Valentine’s Day?

But the low cost ($40) was increased by a hefty postage & packing cost ($15). I might have done better at our local butcher, and probably wouldn’t have bought the expensive cuts. Well, this was an experiment.

That wasn’t the end of it, though. I had a call from a gentleman who tried to get me to accept a “very good offer” of another box of their products. I had a hard time convincing him that we two oldies didn’t need so much meat and were still plowing through what we had. He even offered to hold it back for us, but finally I got him to hang up. I don’t think he was very pleased.

Then came a card with a voucher: $20 off – but off a $75 box? No, thank you.

I expect to get another mailing any day now, but I won’t even open it.

And I’ll go to the market and choose what I want when I want it, and take it home in a bag, not a box.

 

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