It’s been a while since the family created dinners from a delivered meal kit so when My Food Bag launched the new Bargain Box Choice we were keen to see if it was a good fit for our family.
Bargain Box is New Zealand’s most affordable meal kit. Everything you need to create family meals for three, four, or five nights is delivered to your door (with the exception of a few pantry staples). To help you cater for those fussier family members (and let’s face it, we all have at least one!), Bargain Box Choice enables you to choose the meals you want to create from eight different selections each week. For us, this is a game changer. Whenever we’ve used a meal kit before, there’s always that one dish that no one is really that keen on. Now you can swap dishes around and choose the family favourites.
Our family of two adults and three teens tried out the five night Bargain Box to serve six (cos we love leftovers!).
After logging in to our Bargain Box account and selecting our delivery date, the next step was to check out the menu options. I roped in the assistance of the second fussiest member of the family (cos the fussiest is just too hard to negotiate with!). We chose a couple of chicken dishes, a beef dish, a pasta dish and a vegetarian dish – great variety!
Our Bargain Box delivery came perfectly packaged with ice packs to keep the meat and frozen veggies nice and cool. The ice packs are just bags of frozen water so they can be refrozen and reused. Or they can be emptied and the packaging popped into the soft plastic recycling. The wool insulation is great for the compost and the cardboard box it all comes in just flattens down for the recycling collection.
Dinner #1: Creamy Broccoli & Bacon Pasta with Basil Drizzle & Parmesan
Delivery of the Bargain Box coincided with Mother’s Day so the youngest family member was keen to cook his choice first for his mum (aww, sweet!). He’s a pasta lover so no surprises when he chose this dish. It did take a while for him to work his way through all the processes (multitasking definitely comes with practice) and he said he was not amused by the use of the word “meanwhile” in the recipe but he did enjoy making it and the meal was worth the wait. The creamy pesto sauce was tasty and the broccoli was a fresh and healthy addition. Family rating:
Dinner #2: Crispy Japanese Chicken with Crunchy Sesame Slaw
The next night it was the turn of the other two teens who had chosen to cook what we in this house refer to simply as Katsu. With two sets of hands it didn’t take long for them to pull the meal together. The dressing on the slaw was lovely, the rice was cooked to perfection (as long as those burnt bits stuck to the bottom of the pot stayed there) and there was a good amount of chicken to go round. Family rating:
Dinner #3: Mexi Rubbed Chicken with Spice Roasted Potato Salad
By the third meal we had run out of teens to cook for us so it was back into the kitchen for me. This dish had a small amount of preparation required which I appreciated. The roasting of the corn was a new technique I hadn’t tried before and will use again. There was an awesome amount of veggies in the salad but as it was a hot salad there were no complaints on a chilly night. Family rating:
Dinner #4: Herby Beef Meatballs with Colcannon Mash & Gravy
Our next dinner was meatballs and mash – but a posh version! As we were using the six servings option, I had to whip out my large stockpot and the mash required quite a bit of preparation, but with everything to hand it was easy to create. While I was working on the mash, my husband mixed up the meatball ingredients and rolled the 35 (!!) meatballs – a fantastic amount that meant there were leftovers for lunch too. I’ve not oven baked meatballs before and was concerned they wouldn’t have those all important crispy bits on the edges (I fully put my bottom lip out) but they were actually fantastic – and there were crispy bits! This recipe also had homemade gravy – something which I NEVER do – but the recipe was so easy to follow and the gravy was easily the best I’ve ever served. Family rating:
Dinner #5: One Pan Tomato Gnocchi with Cheesy Spinach Crumb
For the final night, we had chosen gnocchi. None of us had ever had gnocchi so it was good to see something on the menu that I would never attempt off my own back. The gnocchi was actually pre-made which, I won’t lie, was a big relief for this amateur cook. The accompanying sauce was nice and everyone liked it and liked that they got to try gnocchi, though they all agreed they probably wouldn’t choose it again. Family rating:
Portions and preparation
Bargain Box Choice can be ordered for two, four or six people. As we were five teens/adults, we opted for the largest box. There was an awesome amount of food – no one was left hungry and there were leftovers.
Most meal kits require a fair amount of preparation and Bargain Box Choice is no different. While it can be a bit of a slog to peel and chop and dice and grate, there are also pre-mixed sauces, and herb and spice mixes which make things easier.
My favourite thing about Bargain Box is actually the wonderful quality of the meat. It really does make an amazing difference to the dishes and I never seem to be able to replicate the flavour with meat purchased from the supermarket.
Give it a go
If you’ve ever been put off from using a meal kit because of the fussier diners in your household, Bargain Box Choice is the way to go. Everyone can have a say, including the kids, in choosing dishes that match your family’s preferences. Having a ready-made meal plan and all ingredients on hand is such a stress-reliever too, especially in a busy household.
For a limited time, you can save up to $90 on your first four Bargain Box Choice deliveries, making it the perfect time to try the meal kit.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”