As a Goodfood Ambassador, I have been able to help out some families with free meals. At a time when prices seem to just keep going up, helping people lower their grocery bills is absolutely amazing.
Like all the meal plan programs out there, Goodfood touts sustainability through recyclable packaging, customizable plans and delivery dates, fresh local-ish ingredients, and delicious-looking recipes. Read my full article and review of my first box here.
Now that I’ve had two boxes, I can say most of this is true, except that I’m not sure the packaging is recyclable at my municipal depot. I have definitely created recipes I would not have on my own, and my kids have been eating (or at least trying) them because of the novelty of them coming in a giant cardboard box.
As an ambassador, I can offer new subscribers to Goodfood a free box to try out the system. There’s no catch, except that it is a subscription, so if you don’t wish to stay with the program, you have to unsubscribe. There is also an option to skip weeks — you can stay inside the system, see the recipes each week, and decide whether you want to take some or not.
I asked those who have already received a free box from me to share their thoughts on what they did and didn’t like about the program.
Here’s what they said:
Almost everyone mentioned how easy the meals were to prepare, and said that the recipes were quite tasty. Some reported leftovers, and some reported over-eating, so there should have been leftovers. But, when I asked if the Goodfood boxes would replace a night of take-out, almost everyone said no.
“For us, these meals did not save us any time or effort. They would be cheaper and more healthy than takeout but they don’t save any time as prep and cooking takes 45 minutes to an hour,” my parents shared. They ordered three two-person meals, and are expert cooks (in my mind at least.)
Andrea, mom of two, shared another view on why this wouldn’t replace takeout for them. “We don’t usually have a night of takeout planned. We just go out whenever we feel we want something different. These boxes have to be planned with time.”
Despite everyone’s lifestyle and family makeup being different, most of the responses to my queries were similar. Take a look:
What they liked:
The ability to try recipes outside their usual cooking repertoire.
The Goodfood boxes have a wide range of recipes (at different price points) to choose from each week. With all ingredients included in the box (besides oil, or salt and pepper) it’s easy to try something new.
Ease of preparation – simple instructions with pictures, so even young cooks could help out.
Almost everyone commented that the meal prep was easy, even if it took longer than suggested on the meal card. Older kids and teens could make these meals easily, especially as all the ingredients are pre-portioned.
Decent freshness of ingredients.
A few people purchased three or more meals and most were happy with the way the items lasted in the fridge. A few did report soft spots or some waste, but most said everything kept well for a few days until they were ready to make their meals.
What wasn’t so great:
A few had incorrect ingredients in their orders.
Andrea received a box with the wrong ingredients and so was unable to cook one of her two meals. She informed the company and received credit, so ordered a second box. Another individual had a poor experience. She shared that items were substituted in her boxes. She did receive credit and support, but after five tries, she unsubscribed from the system.
Too much packaging.
Everyone who received a box made a comment about how much packaging there was for a company that sells itself as eco-conscious. Since the ingredients are pre-portioned, if you get a meal for four, you often get two single-portion ingredients such as vinegar, dressings, sauces etc.
“The packaging was wasteful,” shared Ryan, a desk jockey who lives alone with his dog. “Their literature makes it seem like it’s environmentally friendly, but there were multiple plastics that are not recyclable, and even the ones that are, they often don’t actually get recycled downstream, we’re just allowed to put them in the bin. Perhaps it’s more environmentally friendly for people who eat a lot of packaged/processed food, but I buy mostly raw materials and cook everything from scratch, so I felt like it actually had more waste than I would have normally.”
Some had less-than-fresh ingredients.
A few recipients said they had to waste some of the vegetables due to soft spots and spoilage. The ingredients are supposed to last up to seven days in the fridge, but we all know that is not always the case. I don’t think these individuals told Goodfood that occurred – there’s a chance they may have been given a credit if they had.
When asked if they would order another Goodfood box, everyone commented on the high cost of the meals.
Michelle, who fed five (including three teenagers) with her box, said that while the meals were fine, the cost of the box was at least $20 more than another meal box she sometimes purchases. She also noted that the other company uses paper bags for produce, and the meal portions are larger.
My parents shared that they didn’t order another box because it was not a convenience for them but the recipes were interesting and “a good way to try many different types of meals.”
“I really liked the convenience and flavour of the recipes, but I think the boxes are very expensive for when you are taking care of the family budget,” Andrea stated, noting that she plans to sign others up to take advantage of Goodfood’s credit program. For every person you sign up and who orders a box (these are free boxes you can give away to friends and family) Goodfood gives you a $10 credit towards future purchases.
Ryan, who also enjoys cooking, said he’d consider ordering another box “only if it’s at a major discount.” As a single individual, his four two-person meals, plus shipping, was over his food budget for the week. “The box doesn’t feed me for the whole week and doesn’t leave me any extra materials in my fridge or pantry for future use,” he said.
I have a third Goodfood box coming this week. While the meals do take longer than advertised to make, I like that I’ve made meal decisions that I now HAVE to stick to, because every ingredient is in my fridge.
Strangely, my kids are more likely to eat these non-standard meals with less fuss. Perhaps it’s the novelty of dinner arriving in a giant box, but the why doesn’t matter to me. If they will try new and different vegetables and sauces, I’m on board with that!
Try a box for yourself. Click here or leave a comment, and we can start you on the process of trying a Goodfood meal for free!