How many times have you seen a recipe online, or noticed a mouthwatering plate of food on television, and thought to yourself “I’m going to make that!”. You walk into the kitchen, search the fridge, rummage through the cupboards only to discover that you only have half the ingredients you need? Off to the grocery store…
…Not off to the best start.
Our goal was to compare the price and experience of recreating a dish that was recently on our menu – Southern Style Salmon & Cheddar Grits with Sautéed Greens. We asked an intern to head over to a local grocery store to buy all of the ingredients necessary to prepare it. We wanted to follow the exact same recipe, and keep the portion size as close as possible to make the comparison as precise as we could.
Off to the Grocery Store
The experience at the grocery store was a nightmare. To start off, there were no grits to be found in the entire store. Not to worry though – thinking quickly, we thought that polenta would make a workable substitute. After a second scavenger hunt wandering around the aisles on an unsuccessful search however, our frustration was rising fast. At this point, we weren’t even sure what the next best thing was. Couscous maybe? Who knows. So we gave up on it altogether.
Not only were there no grits, or anything that resembled grits, but the spinach was wilted and sad looking. This brought us to thinking – how many times have you gone grocery shopping after work to find that all the freshest produce has been already taken, and you’re stuck with the scraps that no one else wants?
After the wild goose hunt for the grits, and time spent standing in line, there goes an hour of your life you’re never going to get back.
Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – how much did it cost? Well our bill came out to $33.40, and that’s taking into consideration that we weren’t able to find grits, and without grits, we didn’t need to buy butter either. So all of that for an incomplete meal!
And look at all those onions! Three pounds of onions was nearly the same price as just one relatively large one, so in terms of price it only made sense to buy the bag – but now look at all the onions you’re going to have to use before they go bad! This experience didn’t sit well with our customers because although it was a good deal, it still felt wasteful and unnecessary.
Was it worth it?
Most people are going to have a few basic ingredients at home, so keeping in mind that nearly everyone has garlic, butter (not that we needed it anyway), and the odd onion lying around, the bill still totalled $28.43 – still more than the $10.95/person from Chefs Plate.
Not only did Chefs Plate turn out to be less expensive than going to the grocery store, but the ingredients are guaranteed to be of the highest quality – farm to table, always fresh (no more sad spinach), and locally sourced whenever possible. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home – even better for those frigid winter months or rainy days! So sit back, relax, have some family time, or watch a movie. Anything beats the chore of the weekly grocery haul.
In the end, the experience was lengthy, extremely frustrating, and by all accounts, unsuccessful. Was it worth the satisfaction of cooking a new recipe from scratch? Well that depends on how much you value your time, money and sanity, but it seems quite clear that Chefs Plate is a clear winner on all fronts.
We do all the legwork so you can enjoy what really matters – cooking and eating!
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