I purchased a $65 Budget Box of organic veggies from Doorstep Organics last week, using a $35 Living Social voucher. Having never used a doorstep food delivery service like this before, I was interested to see what it would be like. My unwritten criteria for judging the box is based primarily on value for money, and quality of the produce. In particular, the question of “is this cheaper and fresher than what I would normally buy from the local fruit shop” was foremost in my mind when I was preparing meals.
I made four main meals and one main side dish out of the box:
- Rocket salad with cucumber, avocado, tomato, peach and sweet corn (two servings)
- Home made beef burgers with potato rosti and side salad (six servings)
- Pork cutlets with herbed mash and sauteed vegetables (four servings)
- Simple roast veggies with brown rice (two servings)
- Side dish: stir-fried silverbeet (side dish for four meals)
We snacked on the fruit in the box for our morning and afternoon teas, plus as a dessert option at night. I also cut up the celery into sticks, and had them as an afternoon snack with peanut butter.
Disappointingly, there was some produce that we needed to throw out before we could consume it – half a head of cos lettuce that went limp and slimy, and some peaches that wrinkled and melted within four to five days of receiving the box. I also mentioned in earlier entries as well, that the bananas were brown within two days, and the avocado wouldn’t have lasted more than two days as well.
This is actually the main reason as to why I might hesitate to buy another vegbox in the future – I like to pick the produce myself to ensure it lasts the week. For example, if I buy bananas, I’ll buy two ripe bananas, two less ripe bananas, and two green bananas. That way, I get consistently ripe bananas to eat throughout the week!
Overall, I also thought that the box wasn’t great value. Don’t get me wrong – for the $35 price I got, it was fine. The quantity of produce we received was on par what I could buy at my local (non-organic) grocer. However, if I was to pay the full $65 price every week for this produce on top of other groceries I buy from week to week (meat, grains, dairy, etc), I’d be paying around $1500 more each year. It’s not sustainable and not an attractive option either, when you consider that the extra $30 a week could buy you a reasonably nice meal out each week. There’s so many great cheap restaurants in Sydney that I haven’t yet tried that an extra meal out each week would really help!
I may try my luck at another vegbox option in the New Year. Someone put me onto Aussie Farmers, and their fruit and veg box for couples looks like it might be a good basic box that you could then supplement with a few produce specials from the supermarket.
Does anyone else have other suggestions for vegbox suppliers?