Nawal Husnoo's personal blog

One year of Gousto boxes

I came across Gousto's offering in November 2014. At the time, I wasn't too sure what to expect, but decided to give it a go. I get a box delivered each week, with enough ingredients for two meals for two (about £28) or three meals for two (about £34). This is a lot more expensive than buying the ingredients yourself, my reasoning for subscribing to it was that I would learn new recipes. I treated it as the price of a cooking lesson with ingredients I might not otherwise have come across, or more likely, would not have experimented with even if I knew of them. At the time, I intended to buy the boxes for a few months, so that I would learn some new recipes and then cancel the subscription.

I'm happy to say, a year later, I'm still subscribed to them. Dan and I enjoyed the meals so much that we often go and get fresh ingredients ourselves, and use the recipe cards that came with the original boxes. Still, it is nice to come home three days a week and have it all planned out for us without having to find the more obscure ingredients myself - I just have to cook it.

The one problem we have had too often is that they use Yodel for delivery of the boxes. We live in a gated residence, so the boxes are quite safe if they are left by the door during the day - nobody is going to steal them. The instruction on the box reads "Address.... Gate code NNNN, leave by door". For somebody who can read instructions, this would be easy. Unfortunately, too many times, the Yodel delivery person has decided to get creative. A few times, they harrassed my neighbours to take the delivery. Once, this meant the neighbour didn't see me for two days (because of our differing schedules), and the ice packs inside had melted. The contents had to be thrown away. Another time, Yodel delivered it to a local business nearby and left a card with some hieroglyphs on it. Yet another time, they managed to stash it into a cupboard we never used before in the building.

I found the solution to getting the person to read the instructions:

Instructions to Yodel delivery person

For several months, this worked nicely, until:

Yodel is lost

That was another lost box. As usual, I complained to @YodelOnline and @FollowGousto and copied @YODELhell. This time, I got asked to supply any additional instructions that might help the driver find my house next time. I obliged:

Hi, it's all on the box. I wish they'd make a habit of reading the instructions. The address is [...], as it says on the box. The entrance is on [...] road, as Google maps shows. The gate code is [...], as it says on the box. Number [...] is at the back, as Google maps shows. There's a poster begging them to leave the box by the door, because they often ignore the instructions on the box.

That worked last week. I do wonder what they will come up with next week.

Thankfully, every single time that Yodel messed up, Gousto was very kind to reimburse the cost of the box, and they sent a lovely black chocolate bar with a "We're sorry" card. I feel bad that Yodel's incompetence costs them so much, but then, they made their choice to work with Yodel, and have almost certainly factored the cost into their financial plans. Overall, I'm very happy with Gousto, as long as you take some extreme precautions with regards to Yodel. I should also say, Dan and I are vegetarians, so it's nice to see Gousto has a nice selection of veggie meals each week!