Simplicity Challenge #4: Food delivery services

Blue Apron meal cooked by me- cheese quesadilla with a fried egg and poblano pepper sauce.
Blue Apron meal cooked by me- cheese quesadilla with a fried egg and poblano pepper sauce.

It’s becoming more and more popular all the time – and I’ve totally and completely hopped on the band wagon, with gusto.

I’m talking about food delivery services.

Now when I say ‘food delivery’, I’m not talking about the type of delivery that’s been around for decades, i.e. phoning up a restaurant or pizza place and having them show up at your door with your order. That could probably be considered a part of it, and there are some new innovations there, too – but overall, not much has changed.

What’s really making my life easier recently are two things: 1) Ingredient/meal services such as Blue Apron, and 2) Grocery delivery, whether that’s through Amazon Fresh or through local grocery stores (here in Colorado, there are several different grocery chains with delivery options).

At first, I was a bit skeptical – it seemed like I had just found a new, innovative way to be lazy…

However, after trying these things for a little while, I’m sold.

In modern times, we often stay super busy. There is of course, a big push to get back to a simpler life – to slow down, enjoy life, and avoid feeling like we’re run off our feet all the time…

However, for most of us – especially if we have a demanding job, a family, and a smart device that keeps us connected to the rest of the world 24/7 – it can be difficult to slow down completely. There are always things that need to be done, and people that need us.

So, what it really comes down to is this: There are only 24 hours in a day – how do you want to spend them?

For me, if I can pay a few extra dollars for a delivery fee, and by doing so avoid going to the grocery store (especially during peak times – I used to stop by the store in the evening after work, about the same time hundreds of other people were getting out of work and heading to that same store…), then that’s an extra 30-60 minutes, or more, I have to spend with people I love – or to meditate, read a book, go for a walk… or, to just veg out and watch TV if that’s what I feel like doing to relax after a long work day.

I used to wonder if it was wasteful to have groceries delivered… However, I think that may only be the case if your normal habit is to walk or bike to the store.

If you’re like me and drive to the grocery store, then it may actually save fuel to have the groceries delivered… Whenever our delivery person shows up, they’re usually in a car or truck FULL of lots of customers’ orders. So, instead of all those customers driving separately to the store and back, now there can be one car to make a single trip to houses in the same area. And that seems like it could really save on the total amount of mileage and fuel consumed when you lump all the separate commutes into one that is more efficient.

Keep in mind, I don’t have any actual numbers on this… this is totally me surmising in my head… but it kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?

And moving on to my other favorite, Blue Apron, let me talk about how much I’ve enjoyed it.

Sure it’s a little pricy – but there’s a much lower price for vegetarian dishes, which is the only thing I order. Also, even though they say each meal comes with two servings – they usually last 3-4 meals (the servings are huge!). So, say you pay $60 for 3 ‘meals’ – that’s really 8-12 meals, which amounts to $5-7 per meal.

Sure, it’s not something I’d pay for every single day – but getting just a few meals a month seems reasonable – and it’s A LOT cheaper than eating out at most restaurants.

And besides that, the food is REALLY good… like, ‘some of the best pasta I’ve ever had’ good.

All the ingredients are organic, too. And they typically include instructions for recycling the packaging. It’s a pretty good system.

And last but not least, it’s introduced me to new ways to cook veggies that I don’t normally buy – it’s actually expanded my vegetarian horizons. And, you get just as much as you need – no more buying an entire container of fresh rosemary and then having it go bad before you use it all… with Blue Apron, you get just one sprig, if that’s what the recipe calls for.

The only downside, in my opinion? Sometimes the meals do take a long time to cook. Granted I’m usually the only one that cooks them – if you had two or more people working on it together it might go faster.

Here’s where you’ll have to decide if that works for you – if you and your family enjoy cooking together, or if you’re passionate about learning new recipes, then that could be time really well spent!

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to spend absolutely no time cooking and cleaning, then Blue Apron might not be for you…

Let me know what you think below… Are you a fellow rider on the delivery band wagon, or do you think all of this is just laziness on my part?