For a while I’ve been thinking about inviting guest bloggers to write for Gingey Bites. I like to hear about peoples foodie experiences and fresh opinion is always good thing.
I mentioned the idea to my mum and she mentioned it at work and now, here we are! Guest blog numero uno. So, without further ado, I’d like to hand over the apron to Janet Browning. She works full time as a nurse and lives in Leicester. She’s been using Gousto food delivery boxes for the last few months – here are her thoughts.
|Image from gousto.co.uk|
Before I go any further I need to express my philosophy on food; I eat to live. So you may ask why I chose to have a home delivery meal service?
Although I am as happy eating beans on toast as I am having a “slap up” meal, I always feel that I should be cooking more interesting meals than I do. I tend to have good intentions to cook up a storm buying all the ingredients I need to make that recipe seen on (insert TV chef’s name of choice) but once I get home from work it doesn’t usually materialise and a week later, I’m throwing out withered vegetables and expensive out-of-date items.
All of the companies offered a similar service. My diet was a factor, I only eat poultry & fish, therefore the meals on offer needed to reflect this. Gousto was the only one which offered a choice of meals within their meat box recipes which also included vegetarian options. I may eat to live but I still want to choose what I eat. To assist with choosing, all the ingredients are listed as well as any items you need to provide yourself, along with calories per meal. Cost was also a factor because I wanted value for money. There wasn’t too much difference in price between the three companies. Three meals for 2 people; Gousto £34.99, Hello Fresh £39, Abel & Cole £36-39.
On the face of it, this could be classed as more expensive per meal than if you bought the ingredients yourself, but as I previously said, binning limp mange tout, squishy baby leeks and old fish sauce does in my view, make it more cost effective. It was the flexibility in choosing your meals which immediately swung it Gousto’s way for me. You can choose your day of delivery, but not the time although Gousto do say they are looking at time slots for the future. Biodegradable packaging is used as much as possible with all fridge items wrapped in polythene covered sheep’s wool with ice bags: my delivery day is a Saturday, I’ve only been out once and everything remained cold. You are not committed to having deliveries every week. If you want to pause at any time you can.
All the ingredients are measured out and you only have to provide basic items such as salt, pepper, olive oil. The recipe cards are laminated and very easy to follow plus I now have a folder to keep my favourites in (who needs the internet?) I’ve found all of the meals quick to prepare and cook with average time being around 45 minutes. I have to say we’ve not been disappointed so far although two recipes have come close: parsnip risotto – weird – and cinnamon in a veggie moussaka just wasn’t pleasant. What this experience has done though, is force me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been cooking meals I wouldn’t have even considered previously.
There are some niggles. Now I don’t know about you but I would class eggs, cheddar cheese and standard spices such as cinnamon as staple items in most kitchens (I have chickens so have eggs galore) but these are provided with eggs individually in plastic tubs, teaspoons of spices such in individual plastic bags and 40g of cheddar in plastic. I feel that by not providing items such as these could reduce the cost and non biodegradable plastic. Although the packaging is very good, time slots for delivery would be useful as I’m not keen on it being left in the porch. I don’t want a thief getting well fed at my cost.