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  • BSideBecca

{TryDay} Ordering Groceries & Meals Through the Mail - My Review

picture of grocery store produce

At first I wrote this out all happy and rah-rah, but I don't think I put enough emphasis on how overwhelming it was for me when I was working, going to appointments with my mother, dealing with a pandemic AND responsible for feeding six people a day. So I know from experience that we can pile on guilt on our heads for not eating healthy enough, struggling with making dinner every night, comparing ourself to our friend is the coupon queen of the local grocery store. As for me, I like cooking, I like meal planning, but it can also become frustrating and fast food starts to look like the "best option." Ugh. Ever felt that way too? I'm here to help. Read on.

Since I am a research-everything personality, I have tried quite a few food/meal delivery services where I can order groceries and meals through the mail and thought it would be helpful to give you my reviews on four that I've liked! I don't do all of them consistently, as I try to keep our budget for groceries in line, but all of them are services I've used in the past during times when we had specific dietary needs, illness, just-plain-busy, or helping a family member out. All of these services are great options for those who are unsure about how to cook for themselves (I love the idea that you can order meals for just one or two people!) or don't live where you can easily get specific foods needed for health reasons. Don't be so quick to put the convenience down, but rather, think about the ways they may be able to help you out.

Hungry Root: Think of this as helping you have snacks and lunches and even dinners in your fridge. While I've only done this a couple weeks because the cost ended up being too high to justify for me, I do see how the convenience and just the blessed relief (!) of having healthy food in the fridge was so helpful. 100% if you have the budget and are trying to "eat healthy" or on a diet plan, this would be so convenient and nice to use! I wish I had known about them when my mother was so sick, she would have loved this system.

Pros: Nice app. Variety of snacks, foods. You can let them deliver/pick whatever foods they want to send you, OR you can sit and handpick each and every item. The dinners are super convenient - I'd say they took me 10 minutes to prepare. Cost is based on how many dinners, lunches, breakfast or snack servings you choose. Discovered some really good brands which I then found in my local grocery store.

Cons: Cost is higher. Picking what you want each week takes time. (Unless you just default to what they pre-pick for you.)

Overall: Recommend if you need healthy snacks on hand and you really hate grocery shopping. "Healthy" is the key word - I will say their food options are really great quality products. Loved everything we tried.

Discount Code: Click HERE for a code

Thrive Market: Think of this as an online grocery store for pantry staples, snacks, frozen foods and household products that are natural, healthy and dietary specific. You pay a membership fee of $12 a month or $60 a year to join (prices listed as of today's post). Shipping is free with orders over $49 (at this time). They have an app or you can go online to select your items. They have search capabilities by category or by diet (Paleo, Gluten Free, AIP Diet, Low FODMAP, Keto, etc.) and their own Thrive Market branded items (Their salted cashews are SO good!).

Pros: Selection is good. App is easy to navigate (I do not like their online site, so use their app mainly). Shipping is fast and currently free for orders over $49 - which makes up for that membership fee. If you pay for the year membership, you're in for the year (while you can cancel easily, you will not get the rest of your fee back, you'll be in for the year). They're always giving free gifts with orders, and I find this helpful as it's introduced me to new products.

Cons: Their online site gives me trouble, not sure why exactly...when it works, it's good! Use the app! Cost is a bit higher than a normal discount grocery store, BUT is equivalent to what you would pay for food at a natural/health store, so for me, this balances out (especially if you don't live by a natural food store!).

Overall: I've always been happy with Thrive Market and haven't had any issues. Love the products. While I don't use them consistently, I do jump in and out of the membership as needed.

Discount Code: You'll get 40% off your first order Click HERE for that offer

Kindness Tip: You can gift memberships of $60 or use your own membership to order a box of groceries to be delivered to help a friend out.

ButcherBox: I just started ButcherBox this year to give it a try. Their grass-fed, grass-raised beef is great quality, great flavor and is a great convenience having it delivered to your door. In their online market, they offer beef, chicken, pork, seafood items and more. You can easily skip a month or select the type of box you want (a mix of products, or all beef, all poultry, etc.). There are always deals to add on, and special rates. So far, we've liked the products. Out of all the services I'm talking about today, they are probably the one where I can most see a difference in price (BB being higher), but if you are already buying organic, pasture raised, you'll find them to be equivalent in cost - with the added bonus of having it delivered to your door.

Pros: Easy to select items online. Easy to skip a month if you don't need it (I do this all the time). No membership fee or additional cost.

Cons: Price is higher than what you can find in a grocery store (unless you specifically are looking for pasture raised, etc.)

Overall: Love their products and never have had any issues with customer service or deliveries.

Discount Code: You can get $50 off your first purchase if you use my link to order here: Link to Butcher Box

Kindness Tip: Search their site for their one-time boxes to send to someone who could use it!

HelloFresh: Out of all the meal prep companies, this one is my favorite. The app is easily navigated and their meal options are varied. You can order as many dinners as you'd like, for 2 or 4 servings. The items for the meals come all packaged for you and you just have to chop, mix, and cook them up to make really delicious meals. There is some effort involved, as compared to a company like HungryRoot, but if you like cooking and trying new flavors, you will like the convenience.

Pros: Different flavors and meals to try - we've grown to have our favorite meals I select each time. Recipe cards with instructions are easy to follow. You get the amount of ingredient you need - as compared to following a recipe where you may never touch that bottle of specific condiment ever again and waste it. HelloFresh is starting to develop more of their "market" side with dessert, breakfast, already cooked proteins available as add-ons to your order.

Cons: More expensive than just shopping for ingredients at your local store. You are paying for the convenience here. Serving sizes are adequate, but for someone who eats more at a sitting, they may feel it's not enough (hungry teenagers, anyone?).

Overall: We used this pretty consistently throughout my mother's illness and when we were prepping to move. Love this service and recommend it highly. Anytime we've had an issue, they've resolved it with a refund.

Discount Code: Free Box (no commitment!)

Kindness tip: Just switch out the mailing address and have a week sent to a friend!

picture of Kevin's Natural Foods product

Specific Companies you can order from online: These are two of my favorite pre-made meal companies I've discovered through ordering online foods are Tucson Tamale and Kevin's Natural Foods (oh, man, they're so good!) (sooooo good). Both of these companies sell their products online and at stores such as Meijer and WalMart. Healthy and affordable!

-In addition, sign up for Rakuten (a cash back through online ordering company) and order through your link to get additional money back for most of these companies. Just an idea to add on some savings so you can try them out. Rakuten Link: HERE

In summary: All of these services take a little set up time and will (probably) cost you more than a trip to your local store, but all of these companies are helpful, convenient and provide a needed service. I know I keep mentioning it, but there really was a time when I was balancing a job, going to appointments with my mother, a pandemic AND being the one that was in control of feeding 6 people... to say there were times this overwhelmed me is an understatement. Having food delivered that was healthy was so much better than running by fast food options, IN MY OPINION. To me it can be worth the cost to get a healthy, quick meal on the table for my family. I know food budgets can be a tricky subject, but I hope these company reviews are helpful!

All the links I've listed under Discount Code are ones where I receive a little commission, not as an affiliate, but through their rewards programs.


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