What HelloFresh + Plated Boxes Taught Me

So, last week, I wrote a review of my first two HelloFresh boxes. I also got two weeks worth of Plated. boxes. Originally, my plan was to alternate them back and forth for a few weeks to decide which one I liked better and would want to keep for the long haul.

But today, I made the decision to cancel both of them.

Here’s the thing: I actually like picking out recipes from cookbooks or Pinterest or cooking shows. I don’t mind grocery shopping. The Farmers’ Market is suddenly bursting with the most amazing ingredients, right at my finger tips. But I used to get into such a rut with my meals, I turned my back on those things I loved and went to the boxes instead because it felt like the “easier” thing to do.

And then I realized that maybe this is an area of my life where I don’t want or need a shortcut. But that doesn’t mean that ordering the boxes was a mistake. I’m so, so glad I did it.

Why?

Because what HelloFresh and Plated. provided for me the past four weeks – aside from pretty tasty meals – is confidence. Before this past month, I’ve never roasted a chicken. I’ve never touched a pork tenderloin. I’ve never cooked a steak on my own. And it probably would’ve been months or years before I actually tried to do those things if I hadn’t tried the boxes.

I mean, the food has been delicious. Just look at all of this:

The boxes made me stretch my kitchen comfort zone. Now, flipping through a cookbook (like Fixate) or watching cooking shows (or, you know, the Fixate show exclusively on BOD), I’m not scared of any of the recipes. Having the boxes for four weeks has helped me remove the fear of complicated recipes or ingredients I haven’t tried before.

Plus, to be honest, they were both a bit expensive for me, especially when I considered what I spend weekly for other recipes I made/will make. I’d rather spend my money on clothes or movie tickets or wine. Now, that’s just me! For you, they might be a savings – when you consider the TIME factor of planning  + shopping, the boxes aren’t that expensive. But I’d rather spend the time on those and the actual cash in other ways.

Where do you think it’s worth spending the extra cash to save time/energy? Where do you like the DIY method in order to have more money to spend elsewhere? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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