Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like


As your What The Hell life coach, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas that will help make your life easier. One that’s just come onto my radar is the meal kit delivered to your door, provided by companies like Blue Apron. And Amazon. Blue Apron, of course, will soon cease to exist because of Amazon.

The concept is simple. You’re too lazy or, perhaps, busy, to set foot in a grocery store, so you’ve consigned yourself to eating out most days. This is not good for your body or your pocketbook. If you try to save money by eating at fast food outfits, you’ll soon lose any savings to copays and deductibles at your health care provider. Meanwhile, dining out at fancier places will rack up huge credit card debt and many inches of marbly fat around your waist.

The solution? Meal kits! Delivered to your door!

For about $60, Blue Apron will deliver three meals for two each week. In the box you’ll find everything you need to enjoy delicious, healthy food – except a cook to make it for you. But hey, since you’ve managed to avoid setting foot in a grocery store, you now have time on your hands to cook your own meals.

It’s actually quite adorable. The box contains cute little individual packages of stuff like fresh thyme or four baby carrots. Five radishes. Two chicken breasts. A tiny cup of ground cumin. There’s a lot of packaging, truth be told. All recyclable of course, but there is a lot. There are also ice packs to keep the food relatively fresh as it sits on your doorstep from noon till whenever you get home. Where have you been all day? Not the grocery store.

Blue Apron et al. provide you with a detailed recipe too, and this is really what they’re selling, I guess, because now you can use the recipe with ingredients that you buy yourself. Teach a man to fish, eh?

A friend of ours gave us a gift certificate to a similar service not long ago. We appreciated it. Or at least my wife did. She assigned me the cooking duties. It was a lot of work. And ultimately it tasted no better than the food I usually make, except in this case the raw chicken, the zucchini, the pouch of tomato paste, etc., were free. Because our friend paid for it.

All that was missing was a prepackaged glass of wine for the cook.

In any event, try it out, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a spouse who will play the part of sous chef. Since the cheap Blue Apron plan only gives you three meals, though, you’ll have to fix something else for yourself the other four nights.

My advice? Top Ramen cooks up nice every time.

[Image via Wiki Commons.]

10 comments on “Food-ease

  1. Carrie Rubin
    September 13, 2017

    I’ve seen these types of services advertised, but considering I live a block from a market with lots of fresh produce, I haven’t seen the benefit. Plus all that packaging! Who’s got time (and space) for that? 😬

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 13, 2017

      True. Plus the environmental impact of delivery. Bring on the food drones!

      • Carrie Rubin
        September 13, 2017

        Here comes my pasta! In the sky!

  2. kingmidget
    September 13, 2017

    We got Hello Fresh meal kits for a couple of weeks. The pros are that you cook things you may not normally cook, expanding your horizons is always a good thing. I also liked that the amount of food was perfect for two people. My wife, of course, did not like that there were no leftovers. The food is fresh as long as you make those three meals right away, but we didn’t do that. Frequently, it was a week later by the time we got to the third meal. These are good for people who don’t normally cook and need a kick start to do it.

    The cons. Yes, the packaging. And, to me, the price. I actually got in an argument about this on Facebook with somebody who claimed to have costed out the ingredients and that it was cost-competitive. Sorry, but the ingredients you get that you pay $20 for per meal simply do not add up to $20, unless you’re going to a high-end grocery store.

    We cook our dinners five or six nights a week and have our routine meals but also try to mix it up with new dishes. We don’t need meal kits for that. πŸ˜‰

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 13, 2017

      Yeah, I don’t see how the pricing is competitive when they’re sending you two chicken breasts and a sprig of basil. You can buy those in larger quantities for a lot less.

      Of course, you and I are excellent cooks, so we’re not intimidated by the idea of whipping up a meal. πŸ˜‰

  3. Phillip McCollum
    September 13, 2017

    My in-laws did Blue Apron for awhile, but I think the novelty wore off and they’re back to the put-this-frozen-thing-in-the-oven plan.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 13, 2017

      Heh heh. I’ve been known to fall back on a Stouffer’s lasagna from time to time … 😐

  4. 1WriteWay
    September 17, 2017

    We did Home Chef for several months (yes, months). For us, it was cost competitive with our co-op (what we spent on Home Chef, we did not spend at the market) and, for the most part, it was fun. The key here was that we got entire meals (well, except for the wine) so we didn’t have to think about what we could have with that tender steak or bosomy chicken breast. Both of us are quite unimaginative when it comes to vegetables. That was the very best thing Home Chef did for us: open our eyes to the wonder of roasted brussel sprouts, sauteed shallots, and creamed kale. Since both of us were employed full-time at that time, it saved us a lot of meal planning for awhile. Now we have a binder full of meals and my husband is retired. So, instead of Home Chef, I have Chef Greg πŸ˜‰

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