Over this past week I decided to try a grocery delivery service, called imperfect foods. Overall I would recommend the service to others but if you want more detail, beyond a strangers opinion, read on!
Why I needed a change in the way I purchase Produce,
Let me start with my location, so you understand why this service is a really great deal for me. I am currently out here in the PNW about an hour and 15 minutes from the nearest big town. The small town I am living in has a local grocery store, with all the essentials conveniently close with inconvenient pricing. They have sales every week and if you base your shopping on sales you will be okay, however if you are set on having a certain meal have fun paying a few dollars more per item. With it being the only store nearby it is necessary to shop on there on occasion. Other wise we travel every 2 weeks or so and stalk up at Costco on non-perishables and a week or so worth of veggies. Unfortunately that leaves us with a week without veggies, unless we dare to spend $7 for a small bag of salad. Our method has been working fairly well, besides the fresh fruit and vegetables issue. I have been wanting to eat more produce and have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how we can afford to do that. We simply can’t afford to drive to town more often with our vehicle being a gas guzzler. Seriously our vehicle does a great job pulling our travel trailer so we love it but it is at the expense of our wallets! So when I saw an ad for “Imperfect Foods” I was pretty intrigued from the get go.
I’ll admit I didn’t read to many reviews before hand. This is unusual for me as I am typically in research mode %80 of the day. Mostly I just checked if they were legitimate and then checked their pricing. After confirming it was indeed more affordable then my local grocery I signed up!
The experience wasn’t completely new to me, I have done Wal-mart grocery pickup when I was in a town that supported the service. Both my husband and my oldest boy hate leaving the house (unless it’s something outdoorsy, and even then it can be touch and go) so I really appreciated having my groceries ready to go when I got to the store. The difference between this and my previous experience was going to be the shipping to my door instead of store pick up. YES, even better! Secondly, is that imperfect foods inventory changes more then the grocery store does. Will this be a problem? Only having placed my second order I honestly don’t know yet.
Imperfect foods inventory is more subject to change because they are “rescuing” food that may have been wasted. Grocery stores want consistently similar sized, colored and shaped fruits and vegetables. That means farmers end up having to throw out the food that isn’t quiet right. Another reason a food may end up being sold to imperfect foods is surplus. Sometimes farmers have too much food for their consumers and with no one to buy the extra. Imperfect foods mission is to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. Sweet! This also means that the food will be sold at lower prices to imperfect foods and thus lower the cost to you as well.
With that in mind, lets talk about the process. When you are going to put in an order with imperfect foods you are given a delivery window. For me that is Wednesday from 8am to 9pm. That is a huge time frame but they say it doesn’t matter if you will be home they can deliver your groceries either way. The box comes with its own cooler pack and your groceries will be fresh on arrival.
Customizing your box
You are allowed to start customizing your box about 5 days before it will be delivered. If you don’t customize your box you will still receive a delivery of foods that they pick for you. If you don’t want any food that week you can select to skip the delivery and then you wont receive a shipment or a charge. Excellent in the customizing department.
I was relieved to see that you can permanently ask for a food to not be offered in your basket. Hello food allergies, goodbye onions! They also have the option to add Meat, Meat alternatives, Dairy, and pantry items. I have ended up with all of the above with in our orders now because the prices were so great on those items. You will be able to decide each week if you want any of those items by going through what they are offering that week.
In order for it to be worth it for them to ship to you they want you to have a minimum order of $30. Considering the low cost of the food, $30 is going to get you a lot of food and I feel like it was totally worth it for us. If you don’t want to pay for shipping you can place a $60 order. Yes, we totally did place a $60 order our first week. Shipping is not prohibitive and only costs 5.99 to my area. If you happen to be in a low income household and qualify for EBT they will give you an additional %30 discount after your application is approved. They want everyone to have access and be able to benefit from their service.
As far as individual item pricing goes I would say the food varies in cost to average out as being about the same price as shopping at Walmart for groceries. Definitely not as cheap as Costco, or say a local discount grocer. Some of the items will be much cheaper then you would expect. For example this week they have wonderfully delicious dark chocolate discs for $4 less a bag then it would normally cost. A 500ml bottle of olive oil for $5.29 and 3 avocados for a total of $1.69. These are just a few things I have in my pending delivery. I know prices and availability of certain items is going to be different depending on what they have in their inventory and your location. My experience with pricing and what is available has been great so far.
This week my husband was home when the box of produce was delivered and had everything put away by the time I got home. So I didn’t get to see first hand the way the box was packed. In his words it looked like it was all jumbled up/thrown in there. With further questioning however he did say that the heavier items were on the bottom. Things that needed to be colder were closer to the cooler pack, and delicate items like cilantro were on the top. When I took out all the veggies to see them and take a picture for the blog I saw that nothing was damaged. So even if they looked a little jumbled it certainly didn’t hurt anything.
The fruit and vegetables themselves looked totally normal to me. The potatoes were the only thing that had a non-uniform shape. I was actually expecting weirder looking produce and was secretly a tiny bit sad they looked so average. As far as taste and texture they were just good produce. Maybe my next delivery will have some funkier looking food.
The pantry items we received were packaged very well and to my delight included an explanation as to why they were considered “imperfect” or ended up at imperfect foods. The dried mangoes were too dark, the pumpkin seeds buyer bailed after the product was grown leaving the farmer with produce that had no where to go and the rice was “damaged” during harvest. I haven’t tried the rice yet but the pumpkin seeds and dried mango were good. I ended up dividing them up into baggies with some of our Costco purchases for a delicious and nutritious trail mix that we can snack on throughout the week.
The delivery did not come on Wednesday. However it was shipped end of day Wednesday, possibly after I e-mailed imperfect foods at 8:30pm letting them know I hadn’t received my groceries. I received an e-mail indicating the package would arrive on Thursday via Fed-Ex and was given my tracking information. In the moment I was a little panicked that it had all been a scam and that I wouldn’t get my groceries but honestly it was fine. I do wish they had some sort of disclaimer about possible delays so I wasn’t as worried about it. In the FAQs they do have a section on what to do about missing items or deliveries, once I found that I just followed their recommendations and got my produce a day later then expected.
All in all I am happy with the produce I received, the ease of ordering and the pricing! If you want to give them a try you can use my referral link which will give you $20 off your order and $20 off my next order. CLICK HERE Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed my review of Imperfect Foods. If you have any questions about My Experience I would love to hear them in the comments below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org !