Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meal Delivery | Subscription Boxes for Busy Holiday Weeks

Something I'm still getting used to while writing this blog is doing all of the prep work for holidays so far in advance of the actual day. For instance, our Thanksgiving dinner (Friendsgiving) was over 3 weeks ago! And I've already taken apart my Autumnal bar cart design and replaced it with holiday decor. Walking into our apartment is starting to remind me of that disorienting day when you walk into a store and see Christmas decorations before Halloween has even happened. On the plus side, I haven't been crazy busy this week preparing for Thanksgiving, as I'm sure some of you have been!

Speaking of - since we're all now officially into the holiday season and will only be getting busier, I thought I'd share something that's been helping me out immensely for the past few weeks. I started subscribing to HelloFresh, a subscription service that delivers recipes and pre-measured ingredients every Monday afternoon. As much as I love browsing Pinterest for recipes and shopping at our local markets, on busier weeks that can cause more stress than enjoyment. I find that when I have a big event coming up, it consumes my focus. I don't want to worry about weeknight meals when I have a dinner party to prepare for! A friend I was telling about the service asked why I would need to use it, since I know how to cook. I explained that, especially during the week leading up to Friendsgiving, without these recipes and ingredients showing up at my door, I wouldn't have stopped to cook real meals and I'd have survived on popcorn and eggs. Seriously. That's happened several times.
The HelloFresh recipes I've made so far were simple yet satisfying and took no more than 30 minutes to prepare. I wouldn't use this service every week - vegetarians don't get a choice of recipes like meat eaters do with the "classic" box, and many of the recipes included more cheese than I prefer to eat in weekday meals. Plus there's no mention of "organic" anywhere... However, for busy weeks I think this is definitely a better option than takeout, both health-wise and economically. If you'd like to try it you can use my promo code "QFKNKA" for $20 off your first box. And no, I did not receive compensation for writing this review. I was gifted a box, and a few weeks into your subscription you'll likely be given a few boxes that you can give out as gifts as well.

I'm curious - have any of you tried a meal subscription box? I've heard that Blue Apron meals are too complicated for weeknights, and I'm interested in learning more about Plated. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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