I first signed up to My Food Bag in 2017 and stuck with it until early 2019 when I simply wanted a break for summer. It’s good to pause any food box over the summer period I’ve found, as I prefer to have barbeques, and I spend more time away from home or at friends and family for dinners.
Latest December 2020 Update: I’ve recently become a huge HelloFresh fan. Despite my wife’s pleading, I’ve found their meals simpler, and just as tasty.
The reason I joined My Food Bag was to learn how to cook healthier meals. I was stuck on a rotation of about 3 meals and decided My Food Bag would be a great way to expose myself to new recipes and to push the boundaries of what I knew how to prepare.
Below is my review of the past 18 months of My Food Bag. I hope this helps you decide whether My Food Bag is right for you, and gives you a better idea of what to expect in terms of both experience and recipes.
What is My Food Bag?
My Food Bag can be called a number of things. A food box, a meal delivery service, a meal kit, or a ready-made food box. Whatever you decide to call it, it all means the same thing: having a range of recipes arrive at your door every week with all the ingredients required to cook the meals.
Sounds good right?!
Kiwi’s are choosing food boxes like My Food Bag for a number of reasons. Some love being exposed to new meals (my reason), others love the convenience of not having to go to the supermarket, and others love that it forces you to eat healthy meals at home.
When did My Food Bag open?
My Food Bag was one of the first food box services in New Zealand (in fact it may have been the first). I’ve you’ve kept an eye on TV over recent years, or browsed through a book store in New Zealand, you would have heard of Nadia Lim who is the face of the business, and one of the co-founders.
Which areas does My Food Bag deliver too?
As of May 2019, My Food Bag delivery areas are extensive. In fact, My Food Bag claims to deliver to 87% of New Zealand households. To find out if you are in a delivery area just check out the My Food Bag help section – there are too many postcodes to list here!
How does My Food Bag work?
Joining My Food Bag only takes 2 minutes! All you need to do is head to their website, choose the food box you would like to subscribe too, then create an account by using your email address and choosing a password. You then set your delivery address and payment information and you’re ready!
The toughest decision you will need to make is choosing which is the best food box for you, and how many nights a week you want it. The good thing is that My Food Bag is not a long term contract (like a broadband connection!) so you can cancel or change your plan any time.
My Food Bag box options
Most food boxes have 3 or 4 different options, but with My Food Bag, there are a whole heap more so you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that suits your household. Below are some of the boxes available as at May 2019.
- My Classic – Nadia puts her twist on classic meals (their most popular food box)
- Fresh Start – The bag I typically use, which has meals of 450 calories with no refined sugar.
- My Vege – Vegetarian recipes (does the name give it away?).
- Ready in 20 – For those that want a quick meal that takes under 20 minutes to prepare.
- My Gourmet – Fancy restaurant quality meals direct from My Food Bag.
- Heat 2 Cook 2 – Two meals you cook, and two meals you heat and eat.
- My Family – Features kid-friendly meals.
- My Winter Warmers – Delivered 4 nights a week and has two slow cooker meals, and two classic winter meals.
- My Gluten Free – Meals which get the tick from Coeliac New Zealand.
Why would you want My Food Bag?
I’ve said in all my food box reviews that there are a number of reasons I like to use a food box. The main reasons are that I get to try new things, I save time by avoiding the supermarket (this probably also saves me money from buying unnecessary treats, magazines, or newspapers), and I know that I have everything I need to prepare the meal.
My Food Bag ensures I am 100% prepared
There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realising you are missing a key ingredient. Normally when you notice this your right in the thick of preparing the meal and you can’t simply run down to the supermarket without turning off the boiling potatoes or taking the steak out of the pan.
Whenever this happens to me it throws me completely off, and we end up with a meal missing a few things…typically the veggies.
With My Food Bag, you get everything you need to complete the recipes they provide, minus some basic kitchen essentials (like oil, salt butter etc).
Better time management
Most of the My food Bag recipes take about 30 minutes to prepare. Admittedly when I first started on My Food Bag my ingredient knowledge was close to ZERO, so some recipes took 45 minutes and required reading and re-reading the recipe a few times before I figured this out.
After 18 months on My Food Bag, now the time is down to the recommended time, and I don’t really care if I don’t understand the recipe perfectly. I have learnt enough to know how to freestyle some meals, and what ingredients I can remove or add to make the meal ‘my own’.
I get exposed to new recipes and flavours
THIS IS THE BEST REASON TO JOIN! You’ll get to try a whole heap of new meals which you can add to your repertoire and continue cooking for many years ahead. I’ve been on My Food Bag for a long time, and there are very few (if any?) times the same recipe was repeated twice. I outgrew the first recipe binder they sent me, and am onto my second.
I’ve now got hundreds of recipes, and have made every single one of them. I’m a little fussy and don’t like kumara or mushrooms, but 95% of the My Food Bag recipes have been delicious. Furthermore, 80% of these recipes I would have never tried had I not signed up for a food box. I have no doubt I would have kept reusing my 3 or 4 go-to recipes for many years to come.
Who is My Food Bag good for?
Couples: There are six different My Food Bag options that cater to just two people, including the tasty My Gourmet Bag. I’ve heard of many young professionals using My Food Bag as their working day extends well beyond 5 pm (shoutout to all the people working in marketing agencies out there 😂) so leaving work knowing that you have a pantry full of exactly the ingredients you need to cook a healthy home cooked meal is one less thing to worry about.
My Food Bag is also good for couples with young families or newborns, as the food box can cater to the parents, and give them a little more time to prepare the kids food. 👶
Families: I’ve also used My Food Bag in a “family” situation (in my case it was actually four adults in a flatting situation). My Food Bag has a number of options suitable for families, and the My Food Bag recipes cater well for people wanting to cook for four people. Families also benefit from lower cost per servings through My Food Bag, as the delivery and administration cost is effectively spread around more meals.
My Food Bag details and features
My Food Bag is pretty straight forward, but I often get asked the same three questions by friends, family, and readers of this blog time and time again. These are how many people can My Food Bag feed, how much does it cost, and what kind of recipes are typically found in the boxes?
How many people can My Food Bag feed?
My Food Bag plans can serve between one and four people, although most boxes are made for two or four people (for example, you can’t buy the My Gourmet box for just one person).
Keep in mind that just because the My Food Bag website says a box serves four people, you can always buy a four-person box for just two people, and take the leftovers to work the next day to reheat.
How much does My Food Bag cost?
I could spend hours typing out here the prices of each food bag, however, the easiest way to see the prices would be to head directly to the My Food Bag website and select how many meals you want, for how many people, and you’ll see the prices immediately before signing up.
Use this link and you’ll see some discounted prices too ($40 off your first delivery 😉).
What kind of recipes will My Food Bag provide?
The My Food Bag recipes vary depending on which food box you subscribe too. Below is a selection of the recipes from May 2019 to help you decide which looks tastiest for you.
Fresh Start Recipes
This is the My Food Bag my family loves most. At only 450 calories per meal, and no refined sugar, this is the healthiest food box on the list. This week’s recipes were halloumi with roasted vegetables, coconut poached chicken with vermicelli salad, and beef stroganoff. My only tiny pet peeve with this low-calorie recipes is I sometimes need a bit of toast or a sandwich before going to bed. For reference, I’m a 80kg male 😂.
Heat 2 Cook 2 Recipes
Shepherds Pie has always been one of my favourite meals, so it’s great to see it make it onto the My Food Bag recipe list in the Heat 2 Cook 2 food box. It’s fair to say however that the beef sirloin steak and creamy chicken paste look amazing too.
My Classic Recipes
My Family Recipes
My Gourmet Recipes
Fancy recipes deserve fancy black plate photos, right?! How tasty do these recipes look though! I’d happily live off the My Gourmet bag recipes for the rest of my life. The beef scotch with Yorkshire pudding definitely is the highlight of this weeks gourmet recipes. Although the Indian roasted chicken and pumpkin risotto look delicious too.
My Veggie Recipes
Some of the My Food Bag vegetarian recipes this week were masala potato cakes with lime beetroot, artichoke and ricotta cannelloni with leak sauce, and chilli bean nachos with chipotle sour cream. The mashed potato cakes were an absolute hit with our family, and we’ve starred the My Food Bag recipe to try it again in our time.
Ready in 20 Recipes
The Ready in 20 recipes truly only takes 20 minutes to take (ok, for beginners it may take 30) and are super healthy as well They are also cheaper than spending 20 minutes driving to the nearest McDonalds or Burger King fast food drive-through. This week the recipes included beef brisket, chicken nasi goreng, and coconut tumeric fish.
Pros & Cons
Everybody’s pros and cons will be different, just like everybody’s reasons to sign up to a food box is different. Below are some of my own personal likes and dislikes about My Food Bag. Most of these will also apply to any of the My Food bag alternatives as well, such as HelloFresh.
Occasionally you may get an ingredient you don’t like (e.g. mushrooms!), but over time you learn to like them. 🤷
- Large range of meals & flavours
- Level-up your cooking skills
- Multiple delivery options
- Easily understood recipes
- Some recipes can be a little vague for newbies
- There is a chance of getting food you don’t like
My Food Bag reviews
This review is just one of the hundreds you can find online (hint: most of them are on the My Food Bag Facebook page), so we’ve scoured the web and dropped a few other My Food Bag reviews below.
Have you tried My Food Bag and would like to share your review here, please do it in the comments at the bottom of this page. We’d love to add it here!
We’ve been getting it for over a year now and we find it really good. We wasted a lot of money prior to that on junk food and take-out. So it has saved us money. And there’s only the two of us, so it’s nice getting things in little portions – especially spices which would otherwise just sit in the cupboard going stale. Plus, I like the actual cooking, but I hate shopping and having to think about what’s for dinner. With this, I don’t think about it at all until we get home and start cooking.
My food bag is such an amazing idea. My husband and I are enjoying the gourmet menu, four nights a week and there’s even enough left over for the fifth night. The produce is top-notch. So exciting to get the goodies on a Sunday night. Cooking has become exciting again – great to try new flavours – had venison on a school night – who would have thought!
We had a super fun week of cooking our My Food Bag Classic meals, and we enjoyed all of them.
These My Food Bag reviews are taken from real people. In order of how they appear:
- Papango from reddit.com/r/newzealand
- Nicola from facebook.com
- Lisa from nofiltermum.co.nz
My Food Bag coupons, vouchers, and promo codes.
Using this link (or any link) on this page will get you $40 off your first order with My Food Bag. It would also be me a little discount on my next box as well, so if you enjoyed reading this review and sign up to My Food Bag that would be much appreciated! 😍
Check out how some of the most popular My Food Bag prices change when you use the above link to apply our promo code:
At the moment we are not aware of any other My Food Bag coupons, but if we come across any, we will share them here. Have you found a My Food bag coupon that works? Let us know about it in the comments below!
My Food Bag is our #1 Hello Fresh Alternative
Many visitors to my website are looking for alternatives to Hello Fresh. They may be wanting to support a local company, or simply didn’t like the options provided by Hello Fresh. For those wanting to support a local food box company, then My Food Bag is probably one of the best Hello Fresh alternatives.
Ok so if you made it this far you can probably tell that I’m a fan of My Food Bag. If you’ve read any other My Food Bag reviews you’ll also have seen that most other people who have tried it are fans too (with a couple of reviews saying the price is a little high).
In over 50 deliveries there have probably been only 2 boxes that were missing an ingredient or had some low-quality vegetables. That’s a better error rate than when I drive to the supermarket myself and realise I forgot something when I get home!
My Food Bag recipes are delicious, healthy, and easy to cook. If you’re considering a food box, give My Food Bag a go. You can cancel anytime, so there is no major risk of a long term commitment.
Have you tried My Food Bag? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of it and help other New Zealanders decide which food box is best for them to try.