cwerdna
Posts: 11550
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA

prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:14 pm

Anyone subscribe? Ever since I had to WFH due to COVID-19, I did start and am on/off with Freshly. Their meals are kinda pricey (over $10 each if you get 6 meals) and some are good while some are not good/not worth it.

There is https://www.tovala.com/ which requires you buy their special smart oven that bakes and steams. Supposedly, their oven is $299 but they're running a Black Friday deal where their oven is $99 if you commit to ordering 6 weeks of meals within the next 6 months.

Any others people have tried like/dislike? I'm not real interested in meal kit services where there's significant prep time (e.g. Blue Apron). I've seen some people complain on TiVocommunity (for example) that the prep time is WAY longer than Blue Apron claims. I don't have time for that.

I suspect I will be still working from home until at least mid-2021. :( When I was working in the office, we had free lunch and we eventually got some pretty good choices and variety.

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SalisburySam
Posts: 379
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Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:19 am

We’ve subscribed to meal kits for about 3 years now with mixed results. Unlike you, we do enjoy prep and cooking in general so the kits were pretty great in that menus were easy to put together, all ingredients were provided, instructions were complete, and the food reasonably good for the cost. We did BlueApron for 2 of those years and enjoyed it but found the quality of ingredients going very much downhill in our last year so cancelled. Then we switched to HomeChef for awhile and still use them. We suspended HomeChef deliveries for a few weeks to try out HelloFresh. We found that to be both more expensive (costs the same but food provided was significantly less than HomeChef), and the meals were heavy on kale, quinoa, and other food items we don’t especially care for. So we cancelled HelloFresh and revived our HomeChef subscription.

May I be so bold as to suggest the Tovala might be a great option for you. I went through the website and if most of that is true, it sounds like a good fit for someone who does not wish to go through the bother of prep and cook. The oven, even at $300, seems not too expensive for what it purports to do (steam as well as heat, plus multiple timing controls and QR code reader). At $100, it’s a steal. Can’t speak to the quality of the oven without seeing and testing it and it could be awful or terrific. I didn’t pursue the warranty info on it or Torvala’s customer service reputation but probably worth looking into for this critical component of their service. For us, we don’t want another countertop appliance and as I mentioned we do enjoy cooking together.

We’re trying another approach as well. The meal kits tend to cost about $65/week for 6 meals: 3 different meals for 2 persons each. And that’s with ordering the meals priced at $10 per serving. There are many options that increase the per serving cost such as doubling the protein, higher cost proteins (think steaks, scallops, etc.), and you still have to eat the rest of the week. For us the difficulty was always the meal planning, shopping, and always having a missing ingredient or two for the dishes we wanted to make. Our solution was the meal kit but now we’re thinking a better (for us) solution is a meal planning app called Mealime (sic). For $50/year you get very good recipes thoroughly explained, a full shopping list for the week’s selected meals, a calendar to schedule those meals, close watch on extra and waste food, and a superb interface to Kroger, InstaCart, and a few others to actually place a food order from within the app. Mealime is one of many of such meal planning apps but the most well thought out and functional of the several we tested. So far it is working well for us, so well that we may by cancelling the HomeChef subscription, now on hold. We have seen a reduction in weekly, and therefor overall, food costs and what we eat is higher quality and better in all regards.

Good luck with your choice and of course bon appetit.
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cwerdna
Posts: 11550
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:01 pm

SalisburySam wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:19 am
May I be so bold as to suggest the Tovala might be a great option for you. I went through the website and if most of that is true, it sounds like a good fit for someone who does not wish to go through the bother of prep and cook. The oven, even at $300, seems not too expensive for what it purports to do (steam as well as heat, plus multiple timing controls and QR code reader). At $100, it’s a steal. Can’t speak to the quality of the oven without seeing and testing it and it could be awful or terrific. I didn’t pursue the warranty info on it or Torvala’s customer service reputation but probably worth looking into for this critical component of their service. For us, we don’t want another countertop appliance and as I mentioned we do enjoy cooking together.
Re: warranty, per https://support.tovala.com/hc/en-us/art ... nty-Gen-2-, the oven's warranty is only a year.

I've seen at least 1 person on https://www.tivocommunity.com/community ... ad.569928/ (very long thread, you will need a free account to see it) who had their oven fail. Not sure which generation of oven they had as gen 1 apparently had a 2 year warranty: https://support.tovala.com/hc/en-us/art ... vala-Oven-. I think they got it covered by their credit card's extended warranty.

If I go w/them, I will definitely buy it via a CC that has an extended warranty.

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Oilpan4
Posts: 1809
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:44 am

Fords all natural, free range venison delivery service for me.
Heard a noise out side my house, guy hit a mule deer right next to my drive way. It was a nice buck but the impact also wrecked the antlers.
I gutted it hung it in my front yard for all to see, luckily it was pretty cool and wet for mid November. About 140lb of meat, I would have expected at least 160lb from one that size but the 2020 ford F-150 at nearly 100 feet per second packs an incredible amount of kinetic energy and damaged some of the meat.
Saved me a $ for a bullet, cost the guys insurance about 5 figures I would bet.
That's my meal delivery service.
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DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 15330
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Nov 2019
Leaf Number: 319862
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:17 am

I am taking a different tact; for one thing, CV has not changed my work schedule at all so no WFH issues but I eat out a lot...too much probably. I had a LOT of issues with most fast food joints including

Same chains with different restrictions making it hard to deal with them. Some have walk up service where you simply scan a QR code and you are treated as a delivery service except they deliver your food to the front door. I plug in a lot so drive up service only helps me occasionally. But others in the same chain don't allow pick up unless you are in a car (walking thru the drive thru is against policy for most places)

Either way, I got tired of trying to figure out how each one handles the restrictions so I went to all locally owned restaurants and my new location has a TON of them within 2 miles. Since most don't have a drive thru, they provide walk in service which can mean simply calling them to order and they bring it out to you or simply ordering it online or whatever.

Now, I get that many of you may be on a primary WFH schedule forever... many businesses have noticed the savings but getting an appliance to specifically cook meals is...weird. TBH; I enjoy getting away from home as much as possible even if its something mundane as picking up food to bring right back home to eat.
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 92.44% SOH
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gncndad
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:25 am

DaveinOlyWA: "...but getting an appliance to specifically cook meals is...weird..."

Uhh...most residential spaces have these "appliance": they're called STOVES!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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2018 Toyota Prius Two (son's car)
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:11 am

I am taking a different tact
Millennial Speak Correction Service says: It's "Taking a different tack." The term is from sailing.

I think that Dave means that it's odd to buy an appliance that is designed to cook a specific brand of packaged food, rather than to just cook food in general. I agree, although $100 isn't much to spend on that. Can it be used as a regular or warming oven?

Oilpan, please don't post things for the sole purpose of offending people. Do you want to be filtered by everyone here...?
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DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 15330
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Nov 2019
Leaf Number: 319862
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:21 am

LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:11 am
I am taking a different tact
Millennial Speak Correction Service says: It's "Taking a different tack." The term is from sailing.

I think that Dave means that it's odd to buy an appliance that is designed to cook a specific brand of packaged food, rather than to just cook food in general. I agree, although $100 isn't much to spend on that. Can it be used as a regular or warming oven?

Oilpan, please don't post things for the sole purpose of offending people. Do you want to be filtered by everyone here...?
:lol: damn... this voice to text thing is usually a lot more funnier than this... I try to proofread but my screen text is sized to where I can only see a handful of words at a time so a lot of scrolling is involved... but at least I can tell what those words are...for the most part. :roll:

As far as the appliance thing; after mulling it over a bit, I figure it will work on any leftovers with some trial and error and its a welcome change from the microwave but I already have a toaster over, a Instanta Pot and and an air fryer. I feel like I am well on my way to having a separate thing for everything I eat!
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 92.44% SOH
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gncndad
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:01 pm

My gadget-oriented son wants me to buy a dry/air fryer...to set on the kitchen counter.

I pointed out that the 35-year-old hi-end oven that was installed when the house was built has a CONVECTION OVEN setting, which...does...the...exact...same...thing...very efficientaly.

Marketing...sheesh.
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Two (son's car)
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

gncndad
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: prepared meal services (e.g. Freshly, Tovala, etc.)

Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:03 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:11 am
I am taking a different tact
Oilpan, please don't post things for the sole purpose of offending people. Do you want to be filtered by everyone here...?
Leftie: You should know better than to feed the troll. His latest post wasn't funny, was insulting and demeaning. He probably already knows that, which is why he posted.
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Two (son's car)
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

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