Do you ever get cooks block? When you feel totally uninspired by food – you need that little shove to take you out of your comfort zone… often mine coincides with lack of time. Usually I love planning what I’m going to eat and doing the online shopping (I have a chronic phobia of the same meal two nights in a row) but when you’ve got a load of other stuff on at the same time *cough doing up a house* it’s the most laborious task.
My friend had mentioned Gousto boxes to me over brunch one day and I figured I’d maybe get round to trying them sometime but it soon got forgotten. Then another weekend of non stop house jobs rolled round, and all I wanted to do that evening was curl up in front of Netflix instead of planning the food shop, I had a light bulb moment and remembered the Gousto discount code she’d sent me.
The set up process is very simple; the usual personal/payment details, choose how often/how many people you want the boxes for and finally the fun bit – the recipes! They change the recipes every week; a mix of new and returning favourite. I have to say I was dubious to start though – I wasn’t convinced the recipes would be that different than those I could find myself and yes the packaged up ingredients would be easy but worth the price?
Okay there’s no beating around the bush. It’s definitely a luxury and not your best option if you’re trying spend less. For me it probably works out at around the amount I’d spend usually (it’s £34.99 for 4 meals for 2 people) but you get the exact amount needed rather than say a pack of chicken thighs that can be used for a few different meals. You can definitely see the difference when Gousto comes vs a weekly shop – on a Gousto week the fridge looks pretty bare but on an online shop week it’s jam packed. We got the first 2 boxes at 50% off but even at full price I don’t think it’s a complete rip off as you can opt to have meat & fish every day.
This is the part I was most dubious about. If I can toot my own horn, I’m a pretty good cook and figured that they wouldn’t be that much better than when I plan and buy the ingredients myself. I was wrong. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re eating recipes we might not usually go for or because the ingredients are all measured out (I often play fast and loose with measurements) but the meals so far have all been very, very good. There’s lot of variety, lots of options (so you can always find something you like the look of) and it does really push you out of your comfort zone – I’m having gammon for dinner tonight, something I’ve never even eaten let alone cooked. The recipe cards are easy to follow but I would suggest having a read through before you start as some of the steps I did in a different order to my own preference.
One of the most surprising things I found about the ingredients was that they all had a really good shelf life compared to my usual supermarket shop which I find can sometimes be a bit hit or miss with items going off the next day. The quality of produce was also really good; especially the fish & meat. They don’t really mention suppliers all to much up front but there is a section on the website that goes into a bit of detail (Riverford Boxes seem a lot more provenance focused if that’s you’re inclination).
All the ingredients and recipe cards get delivered to your address including cool packs so you don’t need to refrigerate everything straight away. I would say though if you’re getting it delivered when you’re out then somewhere out of the rain is ideal as the box is cardboard. Like I mentioned previously *everything* is measured out for you and nearly all ingredients are included – some recipes require some milk or butter but that’s mentioned when you choose your meal and on the recipe card.
This might be the only bug bear for me – there is quite a lot of packaging. You can see that they’re tried to limit it (fruit and veg come naked, spices come in a paper bag) but a lot is still in plastic. I’m sure it’s something that they’re working on (which company isn’t) but it might be something to consider if you’re deadly serious about cutting down your plastic waste.
I have to say, I was very surprised by Gousto. I was expecting to use both of my 50% off codes and then close my account never to look at it again but P & I have decided we’ll be getting a full price box every other week. I still want to keep a little bit of the meal planning but it’s nice to have a break sometimes.
p.s. Not a sponsored post, just love me a Gousto box!