Dinner at your door
– A guest post by Laurie Guthrie
There has been a lot of hype lately around subscription food boxes. Touted as the new way to help save you time or money and keep your healthy meal plan in check, we thought we’d check out one of these companies to see what all the fuss is about.
We got in touch with Aussie Farmers Direct to see what kind of options they had on offer for an active female who doesn’t spend loads of time putting together a meal, but still wants to eat a balanced, healthy and locally sourced meal with her friends.
They talked to me about my meal planning and eating habits, how many people I feed and how much time I like to spend cooking. And based on their recommendations, hooked us up with the WW Freshbox.
A confession on my typical meal planning…
When it comes to meal planning, I am not the most organised. I have a reasonably healthy diet, but it’s rare that I will spend my Sunday afternoon buying all the food I need for the week. Those people you know who make packed lunches and design all their evening meals, well that is not me and never will be. If you’re like me, your weekends are spent out of your house doing the stuff you love, the last thing you are thinking about is what you’ll be eating for dinner on Wednesday. In saying all that, it is still really important to me to fuel my body with good food to keep me doing the things I love and feeling energised and fit – and avoiding hanger.
I think this is what initially appealed to me about the idea of the meal boxes. All your food is delivered in one box for the week, no visit to the grocery store, no staring vacantly into your fridge on a Wednesday at 9pm when you’ve just returned home wondering what you can make out of half an onion some cheese and a tomato.
And honestly, the Aussie Farmers Direct WW Freshbox was amazing. Here are 5 things I learned about meal box services through this product.
#1 The Freshbox meal box service is incredibly convenient
I ordered my meal box online and it was literally on my doorstep at 6am, 3 days later (you can order it up until midday before you day you need it).
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after work or on a weekend is spend an hour walking around the grocery store. Having a box of fresh food delivered to your house before you leave for your morning run is an incredible thing.
For someone who is busy working full-time, spends a lot of time with friends and in the outdoors doing the things I love, taking anything off of my to do list is a huge advantage to me.
#2 The WW Freshbox takes the thinking out of your meals
The WW Freshbox I ordered was enough for 3 meals. It came with 3 healthy recipes, each one only taking a max of 30 minutes to prepare. My meal options were:
- Eggplant parmaigiana;
- Pasta puttanesca with rocket and ricotta and;
- Sweet potato fritters with mushroom salad.
I had never made any of these meals before. The directions were super easy to follow and all of the recipes turned out (almost as nicely) looking like what was on the recipe cards. Without having to think about a thing, I ate 3 healthy and new meals I’d never done before.
I even had enough food to host a 4 person dinner party (with the fritters). I had leftovers for lunch throughout the week and also use some of the ingredients in other meals I made. They even gave you suggestions of what to do with leftover produce.
This was actually one of my favourite things about the meal box. Instead of making the standard meals I generally default to throughout the week, I tried out some new recipes and used ingredients I would probably have never thought to buy had they not come in the Freshbox.
#3 The food is fresh and super high-quality
As I said previously, the box arrived on my doorstep by 6am. And all of the produce was incredibly fresh. All of the food was neatly packaged and stored with freezer bags to keep it fresh. The box included storage tips and 3 recipe cards with different serving suggestions.
It is all sourced from Australian producers, which I was also really into. I have to admit, I’m not always the best for doing this. So it gave me a bit of satisfaction to know all the food I was consuming was sourced in Australia.
#4 Flexibility of meal and package options
I ordered the Vegetarian WW Freshbox that is designed to feed 2 people 3 meals (Price $64.00 AUD). There was a large selection of other options depending on food preferences, how many people you feed and how many days and meals you want covered.
When you order the box online, you can see what the upcoming meals for the next few weeks are. It also tells you what extra items you will need for the meals (for example olive oil or cumin or breadcrumbs). So you have some idea what you are signing up for.
Also, I had ingredients leftover that I have been using in other meals throughout the week. Which, again, was actually pretty great because it really mixed up my go to breakfasts and lunches.
#5 The one downside – environmental impact
This is the only downside I found with the Freshbox, it isn’t as environmentally sustainable as it could be. Because of the nature of the product, it has to come well-packaged, with paper, cardboard sections and freezer bags to keep all the produce, meat and cheese fresh. Which of course, means you are creating extra waste than buying it yourself and using a reusable bag to bring it home.
You can save the freezer bags and reuse them, but if you are ordering a box every week – you’re freezer is going to fill up pretty quickly.
Also, the recipe cards all come on thick , coloured paper. I appreciate a lot of people like printed recipes, but I’d rather just read mine off my phone or computer.
Recommendations for Aussie Farmers Direct & Fresh Box
- There could be a Aussie Farmers Direct mobile app that lists all the recipes for each box type, and allows you to save ones you like or put in your leftover ingredients and recommends what you can do with them. The app could also enable you to reorder.
- Even just giving you the option if you want your recipes printed or emailed to you would be good.
- Aussie Farmers should allow you to leave your old box on your doorstep along with your old freezer bags. They could pick them up when they drop off your new box, reducing production of bags and their ultimate disposal in the home, along with the cardboard box. They state on their website that they can not take the boxes back for ‘healthy and safety reasons‘. There is no information regarding returning the freezer bags however our contact at Aussie Farmers Direct said the freezer bags can be picked up by the driver.
So are subscription food boxes worth it?
Absolutely. I actually wish I’d bought into this trend way sooner. The price is totally flexible based on your food needs. You can order them online. There is a variety of options available. I found I had way less food waste by the end of the week. And I got to try out a variety of ingredients I never would have eaten. Not too mention, those were probably the healthiest meals I’ve made for dinner in ages. But as with a lot of products on the market right now, there is an environmental impact that could be made better.
If you want to check out the subscription food box or recipe options available with Aussie Farmers Direct check out their website here. Happy eating!!!
Thanks to Aussie Framers Direct for giving us the opportunity to test their product. For more delicious recipes and food ideas check out our recipe section or all articles on nutrition including advice from top female athletes.