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 Message Boards » » Blue Apron/HomeFresh - mail order meal prep Page [1] 2, Next  
Jeepin4x4
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Does anyone use a service like Blue Apron or HomeFresh? Weekly deliveries of rotating recipes complete with pre-portioned ingredients to cook at home? What are your thoughts on the quality of ingredients and recipes for the money? any tips or advice? Does anyone use these that's cooking for one?

3/5/2015 9:54:16 AM

BobbyDigital
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we did blue apron for a while, and for the six months we used it we only had one instance where the food was anything but fresh. They either refunded us the money for that week, or made the next week free, i don't remember which, but either way they took care of it.

The meals are pretty straightforward to prepare. I'm a novice cook at best, so i did learn some new techniques and at some stuff that i never heard of or never would have used due to lack of familiarity. we got the option for two, and most of them were decently filling.

we only stopped because the nanny we hired cooks for us now.

3/5/2015 10:02:46 AM

jbrick83
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We use Blue Apron.

We started using it for several reasons: budget, time concerns, and calories.

Budget: My wife is a good cook and has good recipes that we choose from, but they're all expensive recipes with pricey ingredients. When we were looking at our weekly purchases, we noticed that our grocery bills were astronomical. Blue Apron is a straight $20/meal for two. While you can definitely cook cheaper meals at the house (which we do on other nights), this gives you a nice/fancy meal for $20...which is less than we were getting for most of the other "nice" meals we cook. And $20 is DEFINITELY less than going out...even ordering in. Our cheapest pizza delivery is still $25 (and much less healthy).

Time: We both have a lot going on and going to the grocery store several times a week is a pain in the ass. While Blue Apron doesn't eliminate your grocery shopping needs, it definitely cuts down on the "can you stop by the grocery store on your way home from work? I need some broccoli rabe and shallots for dinner tonight." They include everything in the delivery except for salt, pepper, and olive oil. On weeks that we do Blue Apron, we find that we have a lot more time after work to run other errands, work-out, hang out with friends, etc.

Calories: It's not weight watchers, but overall, it's healthier than you average meal. For a fairly large portion, dinner ranges from 500-700 calories per person. While we do have some lighter meals that we make at home, they also make more than 2 servings...and we love to eat...so we often go back for seconds. With Blue Apron, you eat your 600 calories and you're done for the night.


Other Pros: The food is pretty tasty. I was expecting to have some bland meals, but we've been surprised with how good the food is. You'll get a dud every now and then and you're not going to get blown away on a regular basis, but I'd give the tastiness a B+ overall. Directions are simple and the cooking isn't that difficult. My wife is a good cook and she never has any problems with the prep or recipes and cooking dinner usually takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes at the most. Every now and then I'll jump on it if she has a late yoga class...and while I'm fairly proficient in the kitchen, it does take me longer because I don't have the best knife/prep skills. With that being said...you don't need years in the kitchen to cook this stuff.

Cons: Every now and then you'll get some wilted or "almost bad" veggies and fruits. I think this stuff ships out of New York, so it's not "picked fresh from the garden" type shit. We always take stuff out of the box and see if there's anything we need to cook first. You're also not getting the most delicious produce either. It's not bad, but we're use to tomatoes from the garden and local market veggies...so that can be a bit disappointing. They also missed a few deliveries in the beginning. We've gotten a few free and discounted meals from it, but its a pain in the ass when you've planned your week based around having those free meals. With that being said, it hasn't happened in a while and we've even started getting our deliveries earlier in the day. We also don't get to choose what day we get the deliveries...which I think is because we're so far away from their center (New York). They say you get three choices (Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday I believe)....but we're locked into Saturdays. Don't know if that's different in NC.

That's really about it. We got it in the beginning because my wife was really bogged down with her job and we wanted/needed something like this to help us manage our budget and give us more free time. She's recently switched jobs so we don't use it as much (we probably get deliveries about twice a month now). We always get it on weeks when we know we're going to be really busy and it's nice to know you've got meals at the house waiting and you don't have to run around and grab groceries. I think we're going to cut down overall and just get it on certain weeks where its really necessary. It was a good experiment, but I think we're going to try and shop and eat cheaper overall (wife wanted to give this a try first and had a friend that recommended it).

I'd definitely look at getting it if I was a single dude living by myself. It you don't mind eating leftovers the next night, I think it would be great on the budget. $60 gets you 6 nice dinners a week?? Not bad. It would also help improve your cooking skills...which is always nice.

3/5/2015 10:16:54 AM

dtownral
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We are also looking at Blue Apron. I thought it was more expensive than what we can spend per meal, but when I factored in groceries that were wasted because of poor planning or plans changing it was actually less expensive.

3/5/2015 10:39:23 AM

jbrick83
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I, too, originally didn't think the meals were cheaper than what we normally do. But when you really break down the costs, it regularly comes out cheaper.

Last night we had a meal with salmon, lentils, and rainbow chard. First...unless you're getting salmon on sale, you're not going to get that meal under $20 from a grocery store. But the secondary ingredients is where it gets you. One lemon, an onion, spice mix, cilantro, etc. You can buy a cilantro bunch for $3/4, but you'll only need 1/5 for the recipe. Unless we're making guacamole or eating tacos, you're rarely going to use the rest of that cilantro. With Blue Apron, they only give you what you need.

3/5/2015 10:49:16 AM

DamnStraight
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I think I have a free week or something for blue apron if anyone wants it.

3/5/2015 2:11:40 PM

Doss2k
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If its free Ill take it this looks like something I would like to try out at least and see how I like it.

3/5/2015 3:00:17 PM

PaulISdead
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farm raised sockeye 8/lb; cheaper if its Atlantic/catfood
bag of green lentils 2
can of tomato 1
rainbow chard 3
minced garlic essentially free
lemon .5
cilantro 1.25
onion .5

yea it works out pretty fair

3/5/2015 3:37:00 PM

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Quote :
"You can buy a cilantro bunch for $3/4"


Come onnnnn buddy. It ain't nearly that expensive.

Quote :
"Unless we're making guacamole or eating tacos"


OH THE HORROR!!!!!

[Edited on March 5, 2015 at 3:42 PM. Reason : ^ and I doubt it was a pound of salmon]

3/5/2015 3:41:56 PM

PaulISdead
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my guess is closer to half a pound but that's costco price anyway

Do they gather nutritional data and publish with each meal?

[Edited on March 5, 2015 at 4:04 PM. Reason : .]

3/5/2015 3:57:41 PM

jbrick83
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^^^

I wasn't in my preferred grocery store (and that was probably the problem), but I had to pay 13 fucking dollars for 10oz of frozen salmon the other day.

^^

I actually meant parsley, but I think I pay around $3 for a bunch of parsley. And even though I meant parsley...what I meant by that "guacamole/tacos" comment is that when we have leftovers like that we end up going out and by more shit so we just don't put it to waste. It's like, "we've got a ton of cilantro left over, pick up some avocados, ground meat, tomatoes, cheese, and tortillas and we'll do a mexican night." Then we'll have leftovers of shit from that meal. And it's just an endless cycle of buying more shit. Again, it's not optimal for every meal, but it's nice to have a nice meal with a lot of ingredients and have ZERO waste.

^ I know they do total calories and I'm pretty sure their meat has nutritional information as well as can boxes or cans they supply. Stuff like bread and produce doesn't come with any nutritional information.

[Edited on March 5, 2015 at 4:29 PM. Reason : .]

[Edited on March 5, 2015 at 4:30 PM. Reason : .]

3/5/2015 4:28:01 PM

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Quote :
"I actually meant parsley, but I think I pay around $3 for a bunch of parsley."


Naw, that's like a buck a bunch too. I doubt even the super duper organic local whole foods parsley is $3-$4/bunch

Quote :
"but I had to pay 13 fucking dollars for 10oz of frozen salmon the other day."


Yeah that's just insane. I mostly shop at Harris Teeter and you can usually get good quality fresh salmon for $8-$10/lb.

Quote :
"It's like, "we've got a ton of cilantro left over, pick up some avocados, ground meat, tomatoes, cheese, and tortillas and we'll do a mexican night.""


I get your point, but it's not like the parsley or whatever is going to turn bad the next night. You've got plenty of time to use it

[Edited on March 5, 2015 at 4:51 PM. Reason : ]

3/5/2015 4:49:53 PM

slappy1
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Quote :
"You can buy a cilantro bunch for $3/4"


WHAT

even parsley is like $0.50-$1.00

3/6/2015 2:06:39 PM

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Inorite? Anything to justify overpriced, stale, delivered food!

[Edited on March 6, 2015 at 2:29 PM. Reason : V i kid i kid i'd totally try it for free ]

3/6/2015 2:18:05 PM

slappy1
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flood control


My friend sent me one of her "free meals" and I'm considering trying it out. I'm afraid they're going to lock me into some subscription or something.

[Edited on March 6, 2015 at 2:20 PM. Reason : ,.]

3/6/2015 2:19:49 PM

Jeepin4x4
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Current Harris Teeter pricing

Parsley 1.69 per bunch
Cilantro 1.79
Organic Cilantro 1.99
Thyme 2.49

Fishermans Market Fresh Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Fillets 19.99/lb
Harris Teeter Fishermans Market Farm Raised Fresh Boneless Salmon Fillets 9.99/lb

3/6/2015 2:57:21 PM

jbrick83
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^^

You just have to make sure you cancel all of the proceeding shipments after your free one and/or close your account. They make it really difficult to find on their website. I had to call them up and ask them how to cancel...because nothing on their site was directing me to it (obviously that's how they plan it).

^

Yeah...I definitely lumped parsley/cilantro into whatever the most expensive herb in those little plastic containers. Thyme is probably one of the higher ones. My point still stands.

[Edited on March 6, 2015 at 3:18 PM. Reason : .]

3/6/2015 3:17:42 PM

Sayer
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I'm kinda shocked this is so popular?

IDK, $10/meal for something I still have to prepare myself seems kinda steep for me.

3/6/2015 4:24:54 PM

jbrick83
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^ It's definitely not for everybody. Honestly, it's not even for me. I love good food, but I'm eating on a budget, I don't mind eating grilled cheese and tomato soup five nights a week. Heck, I'm fine with a meat, veggie, and starch (which you can also cook tasty meals for $5 or $7 per person).

But my wife grew up with a mom that was a great cook and made fairly elaborate meals on a nightly basis. Both her and her sister do the same...and as much as we've tried, these meals just can't be done that cheaply...at least not every meal. So we gave this a try and it worked pretty well.

And while $10 a meal isn't that cheap, it's not that bad when you weigh in the lack of waste and grocery shopping (and overall just deciding what you're going to eat, which can sometimes be frustrating).

I also think Blue Apron at $10/pp might be the cheapest. We glanced at Plated and it seemed really expensive. And as far as "prepared for yourself"...we don't have one delivery/takeout place that we go to that's less than $10/pp when you factor in fees and tip. Granted, we're not ordering Little Caesars...but takeout is expensive for the good stuff.

[Edited on March 6, 2015 at 4:56 PM. Reason : .]

3/6/2015 4:54:51 PM

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Quote :
"we don't have one delivery/takeout place that we go to that's less than $10/pp when you factor in fees and tip"


Well if you're shopping in grocery stores that sell parsley and cilantro for $3-$4 a bunch I don't even want to know what restaurants you frequent!

3/6/2015 5:02:39 PM

DamnStraight
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So sorry everyone. I forgot to log into TWW over the past like what, 2.5 weeks. I still have a couple free weeks on my account.



That all being said...once I get them sent out. Be sure to use the Skip Week function after signing up or youll get hit with a charge for the next week. You have to skip like 5+ days in advance so waiting until you try it is a dangerous game

3/23/2015 11:43:47 AM

jbrick83
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I remember to check cilantro and parsley last time I was in the grocery store...$1.99/bunch for each...harris teeter organic.

3/23/2015 2:17:11 PM

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Does Blue Apron only use organic produce?

3/23/2015 2:33:42 PM

Jeepin4x4
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i don't think so.

3/23/2015 3:25:47 PM

jbrick83
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Non organic was .20 less.

3/23/2015 5:37:49 PM

0EPII1
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There is also Plated, anybody tried them? They keep sending me buy 4 weeks get 2 extra weeks coupons in email.

3/23/2015 6:17:00 PM

jbrick83
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I could be wrong...but I think Plated is expensive as shit.

3/23/2015 6:18:26 PM

PaulISdead
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Public cilantro is one dollar Bob and the Indian grocery next to work is50 cent

3/23/2015 7:54:54 PM

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$3-$4 lol

[Edited on March 24, 2015 at 10:42 AM. Reason : saps]

3/24/2015 10:41:34 AM

Jeepin4x4
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first shipment of meals arrives today.

4/22/2015 8:42:38 AM

colangus
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I've been ordering from ModPaleo for about 9 months. They're based out of Charlotte, but they can ship via FedEx to a few hundred miles out.

Good meals, for the most part. I've only had 2 meals that were disgusting (in 9 months!).

Obviously, it's paleo-friendly. I've lost about 35 lbs.

It's not cheap. Meals range from $11 - $15 each. But the meals are precooked- all you need to do is heat @ 350 for 15 minutes. Makes life very easy. Especially with 2 kids and work. We feed them regular food, get them bathed and in bed. Then the wife and I heat our meals and eat by 8pm.

I eat one for lunch and dinner 5 days a week. Weekends we cook or dine/take out.

4/22/2015 10:03:14 AM

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Quote :
"Obviously, it's paleo-friendly. I've lost about 35 lbs."


Just from a diet change?

4/22/2015 10:15:00 AM

Jeepin4x4
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^^ a friend of mine is actually a chef for ModPaleo

4/22/2015 10:32:17 AM

DeltaBeta
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^^ I launched Operation Stop-Being-A-Fatass on January 8th. Through dieting alone, I have lost 63 pounds as of this morning.

Yes, I was bordering on being a hamplanet, but now my BMI is in the average/healthy range.

I was always fairly active, but my fork was outrunning me.

[Edited on April 22, 2015 at 11:12 AM. Reason : *]

4/22/2015 11:12:01 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"Just from a diet change?"


It's only the most important factor in losing weight.

4/22/2015 11:19:11 AM

0EPII1
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Quote :
"Obviously, it's paleo-friendly. I've lost about 35 lbs."


Just from a diet clothing change?

4/22/2015 11:36:20 AM

BobbyDigital
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63 pounds in 3.5 months?

That's insane. possibly dangerous. I hope you've got a good primary physician you're consulting with.

4/22/2015 11:41:14 AM

DeltaBeta
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Yeah he says everything's good.

4/22/2015 12:26:02 PM

colangus
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Quote :
"Just from a diet change?
"


Diet is about 75-80% when it comes to weight loss.

I used to think you could run to eat, but your body adapts and you still get fat.

When I decided to really get serious about my eating habits and try ModPaleo, I had to take a break from my daily running.

I didn't want to be so hungry. Running would make my appetite like I just smoked a bowl and had the munchies.

[Edited on April 22, 2015 at 12:59 PM. Reason : dgf]

4/22/2015 12:50:29 PM

jbrick83
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While I agree that your diet is 75-80% of losing weight...the 2nd part depends on the person. Heavy exercise makes my appetite want to go away. About the only thing I want after a long run is a beer.

4/22/2015 12:59:55 PM

eleusis
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Quote :
"63 pounds in 3.5 months?"


4 pounds a week is insane weightloss. I imagine there's a lot of cardio going on in there, because most people can't cut 2,000 calories below RMR out of their diet and function.

4/22/2015 5:50:54 PM

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Paleo-friendly meals = 35-63lbs of weight loss

[Edited on April 22, 2015 at 6:19 PM. Reason : You heard it here first folks!]

4/22/2015 6:18:57 PM

slappy1
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I got my free shipment from Blue Apron last week. I would give it a 6/10 in overall experience.

First, the portions seemed really small. I usually eat about twice as much protein for dinner (my "big" meal of the day, moreso if I work out that evening). Perhaps these are what the FDA recommends as "normal" but I don't subscribe to that magazine.

Because of my schedule that week, I actually only ended up making one of the meals they sent, and the rest I had to throw away (which I felt really bad about). That said, one of the ones they sent was pasta-based and I wouldn't have eaten that part anyway. The one I did make was really good, and the instructions were clear. But the whole thing took much longer than the 30 min they called for.

Unless I was a working mom with loads of money (or just had loads of money), I don't think I would ever subscribe to this on a consistent basis. But if someone offered me another free shipment I wouldn't turn it down.

4/22/2015 8:42:56 PM

Jeepin4x4
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portions are small, but i'm ok with that. Lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day (meeting with customers or salesmen, home to visit with my mom) so having something smaller for dinner isn't a bad thing to me. Also it helps with portion control...i could have totally eaten the entire thing that I cooked tonight. But after dividing it in half I have a nice little dinner for tomorrow before my bike ride.

The meal I cooked tonight, almond crusted cod with quinoa salad, was shown to be about 45 minute prep and i'd say i came out right about 45-50 minutes. i'll update after i cook the next 2 meals in the coming days to see how the complete experience is.

4/22/2015 9:32:59 PM

TreeTwista10
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^^Why'd you have to throw them out? Can you not put them in the freezer or something? I don't know how this works.

4/22/2015 11:32:00 PM

DeltaBeta
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Quote :
"4 pounds a week is insane weightloss. I imagine there's a lot of cardio going on in there, because most people can't cut 2,000 calories below RMR out of their diet and function."


I have done next to no cardio. I haven't counted calories after the first few weeks. I restricted my intake to around 6-800 calories. Since then I have followed the same pattern. I eat a shitload of garden salads and lean proteins, some nuts and airpopped popcorn and that's about it. Some of those Oikos Triple Zero greek yogurts from time to time.

The rate has been pretty steady at about 18 pounds per month. I have been going to the doctor regularly because I was concerned something else was going on for the drop to be that much, but he says everything's fine and if I'm good with the diet to keep it up, but he doesn't want me to keep it up for too much longer. He said I shouldn't get below 165 and that 185 would be fine for my build. I'm at 197 right now.

4/23/2015 8:05:37 AM

Jeepin4x4
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^^definitely. at least the protein.

4/23/2015 8:34:04 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"Why'd you have to throw them out? Can you not put them in the freezer or something? I don't know how this works."


The protein is probably the only thing that could be saved...unless there was also some pasta (which it doesn't sound like she likes). The rest of the meals usually contain herbs and veggies that probably only have about a week left to be good.

Quote :
"First, the portions seemed really small. I usually eat about twice as much protein for dinner (my "big" meal of the day, moreso if I work out that evening). Perhaps these are what the FDA recommends as "normal" but I don't subscribe to that magazine. "


I think that's the point. I could always eat more for dinner, but I shouldn't. My wife and I always talk about how we go back for seconds when we should really just stop eating. I'm rarely "stuffed" after a Blue Apron meal...but you shouldn't be stuffed after any meal if you're eating the correct portions.

Quote :
"Unless I was a working mom with loads of money (or just had loads of money), I don't think I would ever subscribe to this on a consistent basis."


If I had loads of money I'd probably try one of the more expensive services (like Plated) or just have one big shopping trip a week and make expensive meals (which is what I'm trying to keep my wife from doing). If you're single and can control yourself and eat just one portion a night...that covers your dinner for six nights out of the week for $60...don't see how you would need loads of money to do that.

With that being said...we've gotten to the point where we just cancel all of our meals a month or 6 weeks in advance are we're just picking a week here and there where we do Blue Apron. The weather is getting nicer and we're wanting to go out to eat more and I'm still working on us cooking cheaper meals at the house. We'll use the Blue Apron when we don't feel like going out and/or planning meals at the house for a week.

4/23/2015 9:17:05 AM

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Quote :
"I restricted my intake to around 6-800 calories. Since then I have followed the same pattern. I eat a shitload of garden salads and lean proteins, some nuts and airpopped popcorn and that's about it. Some of those Oikos Triple Zero greek yogurts from time to time."


Congrats dude! Calorie restriction can be difficult, but it sounds like you're knocking it out of the park.

4/23/2015 9:43:40 AM

slappy1
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Quote :
"^^Why'd you have to throw them out? Can you not put them in the freezer or something? I don't know how this works."


Because I didn't/couldn't forecast my schedule and by the time I realized I wouldn't be able to make them in the time the ingredients would still be edible, it would've been questionable to freeze the protein. I saved the butter pats they sent and some of the spices


^because $60/week is probably twice as much as I spend on home cooked meals already, and if I'm going to be wasting them, then it could be 4x as much. I don't always have 3 nights a week already penciled in where I can/want to spend 30 min to an hour crafting a meal (albeit probably generally fun and delicious). And don't forget: I'm single and cooking for one.

If there was an economically and environmentally friendly way for me to do one or two meals a week, that would be a much more attractive situation for me

4/23/2015 8:32:14 PM

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