Edit ModuleShow Tags

Are Meal Delivery Services Right for You?


Jason DeRusha, Local Crate
Local Crate meal delivery service. Photos by Jason DeRusha

Remember when Let’s Dish was all the rage? It’s still around—those storefronts where you assemble a bunch of meals, freeze them, and then have food for your family for a month. But now, meal home delivery services are the new Let’s Dish.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve put a couple of the new ones to the test: Homegrown Foods and Local Crate. Here’s what you need to know.

Local Crate, Homegrown foods, Twin Cities, meal delivery

They’re not cheap
The two I tested cost between $8 per serving to $13.50 per serving. If you have a family of four, you’re spending $32-$54 dollars on a dinner you have to make. 

They take time
You have to chop the vegetables, mince the garlic, and do most of the prep work. Including cook time, some of my meals took nearly two hours from start to finish. Some took more like 40 minutes. That’s tough for a lot of people.

The ingredients are fresh; the food is delicious
Overall I really enjoyed the recipes and the dinners. We saw Red Table meats included in the Local Crate meals, local produce and sustainable meat in both Local Crate and Homegrown. This is quality stuff. 

They’re subscription services
Both services provide weekly deliveries, so you might pick out two meals a week for nights you don’t have to shuttle kids to soccer or dance practice. It’s easy to cancel, and you get to select from a menu of meals they deliver.

This is grocery shopping with meal planning
The recipes are easy to follow. Homegrown gives a prep sheet and do-ahead tips for getting ahead, and Local Crate’s recipes come with beautiful photographs. Both define cooking terms and are useful teaching tools for relatively inexperienced cooks.

I loved how you’d get enough of a certain ingredient for the recipe, saving you from buying a full-sized ingredient from the store that you might throw away. Many spice blends were premixed, so you just dumped that into the recipe. That was cool.

Local Crate had a delicious clam chowder and we loved the meatballs with pancetta and kale on cauliflower rice. But they included an entire head of cauliflower, which I grated into little “rice.” Is that too much work for someone spending $12-$13 a serving on dinner? Maybe.

Homegrown Foods provided ingredients for a solid scallops dish on dried scallop noodles, and a very good deep-dish pizza. But I would have spent $32 to make my own deep dish pizzas. 

Jason DeRusha, Twin Cities, deep dish, pizza

Is It Worth It?
It might be! If you don’t mind grocery shopping, this is a tremendous waste of money. If you’re intrigued by grocery delivery services like Simon Delivers, or you spend a lot of money getting take-out delivered, this is a good option to make great meals. 

Honestly, I enjoyed the convenience of not having to worry about gathering all the ingredients and looking up a recipe. It’s so cool to have this stuff arrive at home, and know that you’re making your family good, wholesome, real food. 

I think there’s a strong future in home delivery of meals and groceries: Do you think one of these local companies has set the bar for this new trend? 

After seeing this blog, Local Crate wants to give MNMO readers a discount. Use code DERUSHAEATS to get 50% off your first order (any size) and give Local Crate a try.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Latest Minnesota-Born-and-Bred Apple Variety Debuts

The University of Minnesota apple breeders release First Kiss, an early ripening cross from the ever-popular Honeycrisp apple
August 2018

First Taste: El Burrito Minneapolis

The popular St. Paul Mexican restaurant opens in south Minneapolis
August 2018

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America
August 2018

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked
August 2018

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on
August 2018

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?
August 2018

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café
July 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags