Prepped meals…

Ingredients are prepped during the EMFP Garden to Table Cooking Class, August 6, 2015, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erica Holbert-Siebert) From Scott Air Force Base

The latest grocery trend, for some years now, has been home delivery of ever-more-prepared ingredients. The more urban your environment, the more options you have to get almost-completely-cooked food delivered. Well, you can also get completely cooked food, too.

So I decided to check into it this morning – in part because we have been averaging about $20-30 per evening meal for two buying ingredients at the grocer, and then have the prep and clean up effort/time to invest as well. And immediately I discovered this market is apparently really important, at least, based on the sheer level of spyware.

Who would have guessed being lazy about food would bring out the worst in corporate practices?

  • Movement Food: the site is effectively unusable with any privacy. It is based in Shopify, tries to load js from at least 19 different domains, many of which are on blacklists. Could not get to pricing.
  • iMeal: completely blocks TOR.
  • HelloFresh: Site is usable, barely, with selectively enabled js (6 different domains.) Three meals delivered for two persons would set me back ~$80 (before tax price) per week, and the meals look quite attractive.
  • MultiFood: completely blocks TOR.
  • ReadyMaidMeals: Definitely the most privacy-friendly site, with minimal js spywares. But then, also a wholesale website which happens to have home delivery of mostly frozen meals (which sound delicious, and homey, but not really make-at-home.) ~$10 per evening meal, which is slightly better than I do myself.
  • YourHomeGourmet: site is effectively unusable with any privacy (as is typical with Wix-based websites.) 84 objects blocked by µBlock, and 5 domains by privacy badger, and that after selectively allowing only 3 domains to load js. This is ready-to-eat food, rather than prepped ingredients/diy food.
  • EatYourCake: Reasonable website extolling their meal planning/delivery service 2x a week. It appears to be ready-to-eat, reheating at most. Because of the business model it is hard to estimate, from the site, what the per-meal costs may be; they suggest a weekly rate of between $85 and $385, assuming the first is 1 meal per day and the last is 3 meals + snacks, that comes out to about $12-18 per person per meal, $24-36, or right in the same ballpark of me shopping and preparing my own.

Two-thirds of the sites visited (and there were dozens more) were effectively unusable. And that is enough of a sample for my level of ADD.

The two I could get useful information from suggest it will cost roughly the same as getting the groceries myself, but I will not have the massive time cost of planning meals, getting groceries, and then preparing. Not sure where I stand on that as a value judgement; I like cooking, everything else kind of sucks though. (Especially the cleaning up part.)