We’re big advocates of planning meals in advance and being a super savvy saver when it comes to food shopping. However, this isn’t always possible as we find ourselves stuck on life’s fast-paced treadmill.
Meals are usually the first thing to suffer, together with our wallets as we opt for the easy option – a takeaway. Why? Because all too often we fancy a decent bit of grub but don’t have the ingredients, imagination or motivation at the end of a busy day to do it ourselves.
However, there is another option which we’ll discuss in this article, which are three online services that are aiming to get us back into the habit of cooking ourselves, while making it as simple as possible.
HelloFresh is one of the largest of these types of services and certainly the most well known. Launched in 2012, the company can be described as a grocery subscription service. You subscribe for a certain box to be delivered each week (based on your family size) and inside you’ll receive recipe cards and the exact ingredients needed.
It’s then just down to you to follow the step-by-step instructions and create your own healthy meals at home. The service takes the hassle out of hunting through for new recipes, as well as helping to reduce wastage as you only receive the amount of ingredients needed for each recipe (a big plus for anyone with a regularly full food bin!).
The service doesn’t come cheap at around £4.90 per meal (including delivery), but it’s cheaper than a takeaway and should enable you to develop your skills in the kitchen.
Next up we have Gousto, which offers a very similar service to HelloFresh. The main difference is that unlike HelloFresh that delivers a set box plus recipes, with Gousto you pick out the recipes in advance.
The website is incredibly easy to use, you just select the number of people and then select 3 recipes from a variety of around 11 each week.
The service is slightly more expensive than HelloFresh, with each portion costing close to £6, but the recipes are closer to what you’d find in a fine dining restaurant. The good news though is you can try it for yourself and get a £20 discount on the first box with our voucher code for Gousto.
Both HelloFresh and Gousto are aiming to really take the hassle out of home cooking, but both require a little planning as the deliveries are weekly. What about if you just need some help a couple of nights a week after you’ve had a late day? This is where Shuttlecook comes into play, offering the ability to pick a recipe and have all the ingredients delivered the same day.
Shuttlecook was only launched in November 2014 but it’s already become hugely popular due to the ease of the service – literally no planning is needed.
You can sign up to get recipes sent via text on a daily basis – if you like the handpicked recipe you just click on the link and the exact portion required will be delivered within hours. Each recipe can be cooked in under 30 minutes, which is another huge plus for this fledgling new company.
Currently Shuttlecook is only delivering in central London but will roll the service out to new cities later in the year – so watch this space!