Ever since I started my journey zero waste I've been hearing about different grocery subscription boxes that rescue odd-looking produce and sell them to you at a discount. I've gone back and forth a lot on whether or not to even try one of these out for quite some time now and had ultimately counted this option out for myself. That is until one of my co-workers mentioned she started a subscription at Misfits Market and was enjoying it!
With an unsponsored recommendation behind the company I decided that I wanted to try it out for a week to see if it would fit my life and budget, I also wanted to document the whole process and put it together here as a review for anyone else considering trying it! I often find these reviews online to be sponsored so I wanted to see for myself how the process and the product are and give an honest and thorough review. Maybe even a little too thorough, buckle up because this will be a long one!
To give some more information on Misfits Market first, they partner with farms and food hubs across the Americas who supply certified organic produce that will be thrown out based on looks and rescues it to deliver to consumers like us at a discount. Their website claims their packaging is recyclable and compostable as well. They also supply produce as they are able to get it so their offerings will change with the season, ensuring you're always eating seasonal produce!
The Set Up:
To set up your account you start by entering your zip code so they can ensure that you live in a delivery region of theirs. If you live in any of the states that they currently service in you can live in any zip code and they will deliver to you! After this, I had to select which box size I wanted and pay. One thing I didn't like about this was I didn't get to see what the options would be before I had already paid for my box. However I later found that on their website you can visit the "What's In Your Box" page for what they currently have so you can ensure you can pick things you'll actually eat/like.
Then I picked what size box I wanted, their smaller box they said had 12 types of produce with 1-2 portions per type. This was the cheaper of the two at $22 for the week and was recommended for 1-2 people. Typically I think that Kyle and I would go for the larger box which was 14 types of produce with 2-4 portions per type but for the first try I wanted to go with the cheapest option and see how it worked.
Next I got to pick my delivery date. This was really important to me to be able to control what day my order arrived. If my box came too early in the week it could go bad sitting in the fridge while I'm eating all my food I just bought over the weekend.
I set up my account on a Sunday and it was already time to make your selections for a Thursday or Friday delivery. Nothing before Thursday was available so keep in mind that with a service like this you'll need to plan ahead. Usually we grocery shop on Friday, for this week however I selected Thursday incase we didn't get enough of something that way we would be able to buy more the next day. (If I continue using this though I'll probably switch it to a Friday delivery).
Choosing My Box:
Next was the fun part! I got to pick out all the items I wanted in my box. They had the produce in groups and you had to pick a certain number from each group. One thing I didn't like is that it didn't let you select any item more than once. So if I wanted them to send me double the apples and have it count for 2 slots of that group it wasn't an option. This to me is the biggest con because if I was to upgrade to the larger box I would want the option to double or triple up on items to make a full weeks worth of meals on, not just get more varieties of produce! There is only 2 of us after all.
Honestly though I was pretty impressed with the variety of produce they had and I was able to get all of the items for my meals next week.
One other thing is that you could choose an option called "Surprise Me" and just get a variety of the offerings if you're feeling adventurous or are just too busy to make your selections. I think it's great they have this option but personally I would probably always want to control what items I'm buying and I went with this service specifically because I could pick my box. Scroll through the images below to see what was available in each of the three groups.
After I selected everything in my box I was brought to a grocery page where I could add in more options. I really liked this because if you wanted to you could easily get everything you need for the week in one box! I did go through and check out what they had in each category but I didn't add anything on this time around. If I like the box and I think the packaging is eco-friendly I'll definitely do more of these add ons in the future.
The delivery of my box was overall smooth. On their website they say they use FedEx to deliver the boxes. I scheduled my delivery for Thursday but it actually got delayed and I received an email letting me know my delivery was delayed the day before and my package would come on Friday. I'm not sure if this is a normal occurrence with this box or truly just a one time thing but for me this week it was fine. I think it would bother me a lot though if I set up my delivery on a day I knew I would be home all day and it got delayed to a day I wouldn't be home.
Misfits Market recommends not leaving the box out for too long so you should schedule your delivery for a day when you'll be around to bring it in somewhat quickly.
I received some texts from the delivery service to let me know the estimated times of delivery and then again with a photo of the package on my doorstep after the package was delivered. I was overall happy with this delivery process.
Overall I found the packaging to be what I would expect from the website description. It was mostly paper minus the ice pack. Their website says they are non-toxic and eco-friendly ice packs. We put ours back in the freezer so we can use it again. However, if I constantly used this service I would probably run out of use for ice packs and would need to find somewhere I could donate them.
This is the unfortunate part. The produce was only okay. Since this box is supposed to be the rejected fruits and vegetables I was by no means expecting them to be perfect. However, when they say 1-2 portions per person what they really mean is 1-2 items regardless of how small they are. Scroll through my pictures below and you'll see what I mean. I selected potatoes as one of my choices because we plan to make curry for dinners this upcoming week and we got the two tiniest potatoes I've ever seen. I don't care that they are tiny but for 1-2 portions per person I should have received at least 10. Same with the head of lettuce, I had planned on making salads for lunch and I could probably only make one salad out of this.
The bell peppers were also extremely small as well, and my only other complaint is that the bell peppers and the tomatoes were both bruised and were well past ripe. I can look past a bruise on an apple that I can cut off but I really didn't like that I just paid for a some tiny going-bad peppers.
Honestly I ended up cancelling my subscription service after going through my box and seeing the amount of produce that we got for $27 (after shipping). I really think if I had the option to control better the amount of each item I was getting I would like it a lot more. Also, if I was using each of these items for just one meal each it would probably be fine but since we tend to make the same dinner every night for the week it just wasn't enough for us. I think that this box could be great for some people but it just wasn't a good fit for our lives and how we like to shop and eat.
I still really like the idea of a subscription box so next week I'm going to be trying an imperfect foods box and then I'll make a post comparing the two with also just grocery shopping at Walmart for the same produce! Be sure to sign up for our email list if you're interested so you'll get an email with the posts!
Comment below your thoughts on these grocery subscription boxes and if you've tried any before!
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.