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VOL. 39 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 10, 2015

Meals, grocery deals delivered to your door

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I recently received an email from Amazon.com about a new service since I am one of their best prime customers – at least my husband tells me so.

Amazon was informing me of their food pantry. I can now order most any grocery items I want, except fresh veggies, and have them shipped to my house. It seems like a pretty good service, and coupons are available.

I see this being a great option for a couple living in the downtown area of a crowed city, where shopping for groceries can be a hassle. I’m specifically thinking of my brother-in-law. He lives on the 42nd floor of a downtown Chicago high-rise and walks everywhere he goes.

If I lived in such a place, I’d either use a website to have my dry goods and cleaning products delivered, or I’d pay someone to go do my shopping for me. I mean, have you ever walked around downtown Chicago? It’s fun as long as you’re not carrying a bagful of groceries and cleaning products.

This could also be a great feature for an elderly person who finds it difficult to get out and grocery shop, and for people living in rural areas who find it difficult to shop every week.

I’ve also seen quite a few commercials lately for websites that ship food items necessary for entire meals directly to your house.

You go to the website, check the meals you want and they’re packaged and shipped to your doorstep. All the ingredients needed to make the meals are pre-measured and packaged up, with directions on how to prepare them.

Two such websites are www.HelloFresh.com and www.BlueApron.com. The BlueApron website is the one I’ve seen advertised on TV. HelloFresh is advertised in my Eating Well magazine.

I checked out both websites, and for two people, they had similar costs, both a bit pricey.

HelloFresh did seem to have a healthier approach to their recipes.

I’ve ordered meals from both, although they’ve not yet been delivered. I’ll let you know my opinion once I receive the meals. I’m excited to receive them and see exactly how they work.

Pineapple Whip

5 fluid oz. unsweetened almond milk
5 fluid oz. coconut milk
1⁄2 cup pineapple juice
2 1⁄2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
1⁄4 teaspoon stevia (or sweetener of your choice)
Pinch of salt

Add ingredients to blender, in order listed. Blend on medium-low for 20 seconds, and then increase speed to high for another 30 seconds or until smooth. If necessary, stop blender, scrape down sides, and continue blending.

Transfer pineapple mixture to a large plastic bag and place in freezer for 30-60 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls or glasses.

Back to Amazon.com’s Prime Pantry, as it’s called. I received all of the foods I ordered three days later. As a prime member, It doesn’t matter about how much the box weights, as there’s a flat fee of $5.99. If shopping this way was going to be more of a habit, I’d definitely fill the box to its 40-pound limit.

Since I was trying it out for the first time, I ordered for myself and for my daughter and her family in Memphis. Her order was received in two days time.

Here are the results of what I ordered and how prices stacked up against Wal-Mart. I did not use coupons, which one can download and use when shopping the prime pantry. (P.S. No, I’m not eating all of this cereal myself):

Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal (24.8 oz.) – Amazon price: $3.68; Wal-Mart – same

Honey Nut Cheerios (17 oz.) – Amazon price: $3.52; Wal-Mart: same

Cap’n Crunch Cereal (18.7 oz.) – Amazon: $3.57; Wal-Mart: same

Fruit Loops (21.7 oz.) – Amazon: $3.75; Wal-Mart: $3.98

Frosted Mini-Wheats (24 oz.) – Amazon: $3.05; Wal-Mart: $3.68

Frosted Flakes Cereal (26.8 oz.) – Amazon: $3.98; Wal-Mart: same

Honey Smacks (15.3 oz.) – Amazon: $2.99; Wal-Mart: $3

Cocoa Puffs (20.9 oz.) – Amazon: $3.98; Wal-Mart: same

Kettle Brand Potato Chips Sea Salt (8.5 oz.) – Amazon: $2.79; Wal-Mart: $2.98

Morton Course Kosher Salt Box (3 lb.) – Amazon: $1.84; Wal-Mart: $2.00

Velveeta Shells Dinner (12 oz.) – Amazon: $2.48; Wal-Mart: same

Nutella Hazelnut Spread (13 oz.) – Amazon: $3.48; Wal-Mart: same

Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets 40 count – Amazon: $2.32 – Wal-Mart: same

Strawberry Frosted Pop-Tarts 16 count – Amazon: $3.50 – Wal-Mart: same

As you can see, prices were mostly the same at both locations; however.

Another consideration is coupons. Both accept them, although Amazon offers a somewhat limited selection.

My daughter said the grandkids absolutely loved opening that large box and digging all the food items out. They were quiet happy to see that I’d bought each of them some of their favorite foods.

I would say this experiment was a success, which leaves me waiting for the meals. I’m anxious to receive those food boxes.

In the meantime, here’s a great recipe if you like the taste of fresh pineapple whipped up in a frozen treat. It’s also low in calories and carbs. It is perfect for diabetics.

Kay Bona is an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.

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