Amid the panic-buying and stockpiling, getting hold of your weekly food shop is proving to be a struggle, as supermarket delivery slots are booked well in advance.
While many national chains have introduced priority shopping hours for the elderly and limited opening times to allow staff to restock bare shelves, now is the time to opt for a food subscription box, that can be delivered straight to your doorstep in time for dinner.
They’re the ideal opportunity to provide some much-needed inspiration for mealtimes and improve your culinary skills, especially as many of us are adjusting to working from home for the foreseeable future.
Not to mention they’ll ensure you can stay healthy throughout self-isolating, when fresh produce is running scarce in supermarkets.
It’s not just limited to boxes of vegetables either, with many food delivery boxes serving up handmade pasta, prime cuts of beef and poultry, plant-based dishes and delicious desserts to feast upon, with something to suit all taste buds and dietary requirements.
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Aldi has, for the first time, started selling groceries online. It has launched a food parcel box, available to buy online. For £24.99 – which includes delivery – boxes contain 22 products, ranging from essentials like toilet paper, soups, pasta and coffee to little treats like chocolate, too.
The boxes will be delivered to your home, and left on your doorstep to minimise any interactions. The boxes are only available to buy online, not in-store, and are limited to one per person.
Take Pasta Evangelists, the letterbox friendly subscription service that delivers a weekly drop of two fresh pasta meal kits (or more if you want), which you can pick from 10 recipes. Among it includes a vegan orecchiette with pesto and a pistachio crumb or fettuccine with nduja sausage, Amalfi lemon and mascarpone. Each dish takes very little preparation or cooking time, meaning more time spent eating and less time clearing up afterwards and costs start from £7.25 for weekly delivery.
If you are ordering a box for delivery between 10-13 April, your delivery may be slightly delayed or changed to a different day because of Easter and the couriers Pasta Evangelists use. Here is more detailed information on rescheduled dates, which differs between central London and the rest of the UK.
It’s also teamed up with Age UK to donate £5 per box sold to support the charity, encouraging customers to send a pasta care package to an elderly relative you can’t visit in person. It also won best buy in our IndyBest on the best recipe boxes, in case you needed convincing.
Mindful Chef is also still available, offering British reared, free-range meat, fresh fish and plenty of gluten and dairy-free options in its recipe boxes, with a focus on healthy eating. Each week, there's 16 dishes to choose from, and you can choose two to five recipes per box for one or two persons, or a family-size which feeds four adults or two adults and two to three children
There are dishes such as almond-coated chicken, green beans and herb yoghurt, sliced duck, Asian-style nectarine and noodle salad or hake with sunflower seed, mint and basil pesto. Prices start from £10 a meal for an individual serving size.
Morrisons' supermarket is also offering essential food delivery boxes which have been specially created in the light of th pandemic. Three of the boxes start from £35 and customers can choose from a vegetarian box, one for meat eaters, or a family meat box for £45. Each box incudes essentials like milk, bread, butter and tins along with fresh vegetables.
It also has two boxes offering meals already made, which you add pasta or rice to. These are good options for older or vulnerable people, and are £30. Once you've selected your box, sign in to your account and select your delivery date.
Ramadan starts on 23 April, and Morrisons has also launched a Ramadan box, £35, which will be available throughout the religious month. It contains essentials like onions, potatoes, =pittas, almonds and spice mixes.
Family-run farm Eversfield Organic has also been catering to people unable to make it to supermarkets, or those deliberately steering clear. Offering fresh vegetables, meat and fish from it’s Devon based butchery and dairy products, you’re almost spoilt for choice. There’s 19 different boxes on offer, from exclusively meat, veg or fruit or a mix of both to keep mealtimes varied, starting from £10.95. The vegetable boxes are currently all sold out, but you can sign up to be notified by email when they're back in stock.
For any Scots in London missing home, order from Mac & Wild. Its menu includes dishes like venison scotch eggs, salmon bowls and venison burgers, and are available to order through Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Wee plates start from £6 and mains from £7.50. It is currently offering 50 per cent off its whole menu on Deliveroo, plus £5 off for every £20 spent on Uber Eats.
On its website, you'll also find a "go wild at home" recipe series to give you all the inspiration you need to whip up a feast in your kitchen. The next date available for the meat deliveries is 15 April.
If have a more adventurous palette, try Feast Box, which focuses on Asian cuisine so you can dine in on dishes such as paneer makhani, vegan tofu pad thai or sticky Korean pork chops.
In each box comes pre-measured ingredients and spices, making flavourful dishes a breeze to whip up. You can order a minimum of two recipes, or a maximum of four, with added extras too like naan breads and sushi rolling mats. Prices start from £6 per person.
If you’re keen to keep your diet strictly plant-based, All Plants is an alternative option that won’t leave you feeling restricted. From £68.04, while admittedly pricier, allows you to choose six pre-prepared frozen meals, all vegan of course, from the 22 dishes available. It is running a smaller menu than normal at the moment, in a bid to keep up with orders, but some examples include bbq jackfruit burrito bowl or a rigatoni bolognese, and all microwave friendly.
By Ruby is the brainchild of former head chef Ruby and co-founder Milly, who together also make freshly frozen meals to order online, from a menu designed in Ruby's west London kitchen. With dishes like butternut squash and tomato risotto, Scottish salmon with pak choi and grass-fed beef bourguignon, there's a wide range of meal options, all which have a six-month shelf life in the freezer.
Subscriptions start from £20.40 for an Indian takeaway box full of fragrant meat and vegetable curries. There's also meat, vegetarian, vegan, new parent and comfort boxes for £40.80, each with six dishes inside.
Elsewhere, VeganApron also offers three to seven meals from its menu a week that take the work out of deciding what's for dinner. Prices start from £29 which will get you a seasonal organic fruit and veg box, while a £59 box (which will be back in stock soon) will delivery three vegan recipes that'll feed four people. You can cook up a storm with meals such as lentil moussaka, plum and seitan stew or hasselback butternuts.
It's perfect for a family of vegans or if you're looking to reduce your meat and dairy consumption.