Households across Australia are finding that the ‘weekly shop’ is just no longer practical. Time pressures, working schedules, and the prospect of a trip to the supermarket with young kids have meant that many people are looking for alternatives.
But rather than picking up takeaway, there are great ways to get healthy food brought to you.
What do you need to consider?
The main things you’ll need to consider are: your budget, how much meal preparation you want to do, any special dietary requirements within your family and which services will be able to deliver to you.
A little research will tell you who’s delivering in your area. Next, give some thought to how and when you’ll be able to take delivery of your food order. Some options will come fresh, some frozen, but either way it’s best if you’re on hand to receive the goods. Likewise, if you live in an apartment building or just lack a secure place where a delivery can be left, you’ll need to be there to meet the driver, or you might find that your healthy options go walking.
Be prepared to experiment
You might not find the perfect solution for your household on the first try. You might even find that a combination of a few kinds of delivery works for you – some meals for the freezer, a fruit box to keep everyone snacking healthily and a shopping delivery for the times you want to cook, or have the time to do some advance meal prep.
For families catering for allergies, intolerances and restricted diets, or people looking to moderate their diet or support a wellness routine, there are a surprising number of options out there. Sometimes a provider will have a specific offering for a type of diet, like low FODMAP, vegan or low carb.
Alternatives to the supermarket trip
Take the supermarket trip online
Major players Coles and Woolworths both offer an online service in most areas across Australia. These services essentially take your supermarket shop online, allowing you to choose the items you want. These are packed for you, put into refrigerated trucks and delivered to your home during a time slot of your choosing. These services usually require someone to be home to receive the delivery, so take this into account when considering your scheduling.
Services like Your Grocer bring the best of your locals to you. Your Grocer offers a home delivery service based on a ‘run’ of local shops. This means that you can select from any shops that are on offer including a greengrocer, fishmonger, butcher and superette. Groceries are collected from each shop and delivered to you in chiller bags.
Get a prepared meal delivery
Companies offering pre-prepared meals are a dime a dozen now, so you’re sure to find one that meets your criteria. Meals can come fresh or frozen, in a huge variety of cuisines and sizes. Some will be single serves, but you’ll find other family-size options.
Before you order, check whether you’ll be able to use an oven to heat your food, or whether you’ll need a microwave, and whether you’ll need to prepare any extras on the side, or you’re getting a complete meal.
If you’re still keen to roll up your sleeves and get into the kitchen but don’t want the added hassle of meal planning and shopping, this could be for you. These services deliver boxes full of pre-measured ingredients. Services like Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon, Aussie Farmers Direct, and Pepper Leaf have sprung up in this competitive space.
Check your menus carefully because some recipes will require you to have various ‘staples’, like eggs, milk, oil or flour. Get ready to do a lot of recycling and reusing too, because all those measured portions mean a lot of packaging. Have a look on the website of the supplier you’re using and see what their guidelines for recycling are – if you can’t see any, ask them.
Fruit and veggie boxes
Getting just your fresh fruit and vegetables delivered can mean that you can put your meals together, provided you’ve got a good stash of the staples. You can choose from boxes which deliver a range of produce each week, or from vegetable or fruit-only offerings. You’ll find both organic and non-organic producers out there, so choose accordingly.