Interested in trying out Imperfect Foods grocery delivery? Check out my honest review, how it works, and what it costs along with an unboxing video where you can see how the products are packaged, as well as how to save on your first order. (Spoiler - I love it and think you will, too!)
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Have you heard of Imperfect Foods?
The last I had heard of them they were known as Imperfect Produce, delivering only produce, and were only available in select larger cities.
Recently, though, I discovered that they have grown into a larger grocery delivery subscription box service and are available in a lot more areas.
But I really got interested when I read that the boxes you get now are customizable - not just the "this is what we have" boxes I had gotten in the past from similar produce deliveries. Even though it was sometimes fun to try new produce, most of the time it was a quite a few things our family just wouldn't eat.
So I grabbed a coupon referral link and visited the website.
Before I ordered, though, I looked around at some of the FAQs to answer some questions I had.
The most important being: did they deliver in my area?
I was happy to see that yes, they did - they are now in 43 states, in fact. (Note: some areas are serviced by FedEx and may have a minimum requirement for each box.)
Other questions answered on the website include how to pick the food in your box, how the food is delivered, pricing, and delivery options.
I was also pleased to read about their mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. And that the prices average 20-30% lower than store bought.
Imperfect Foods Unboxing Video
How to Order From Imperfect Foods Grocery Delivery
I signed up and ordered my first box to test it out.
I do have to say I was a bit confused at first because when you sign up you are required to pick a "starter option." This is a small, medium, large, or extra large box that will be delivered on a weekly or every-other-week schedule as you choose.
You also choose organic or conventional. These things made me think I was only going to get what was listed.
Don't worry, though, you're not locked into anything.
I think there were prices listed at that point, but nothing is charged until your window for customizing your box opens. This happens a few days before your delivery - you will get an email.
And it's at the customization stage, when you can choose to leave what they've chosen for your box, or take it out and add others, that I finally "got" the system.
Here's a screenshot I took of customizing my medium size box:
On the right is where the items for your suggested box are listed and it's easy to just scroll through and remove what you don't want. It doesn't matter that I chose an organic box - I can add any conventional produce I want.
Again, you're not locked into anything, thankfully.
(Wondering why I sometimes choose conventional? To keep my grocery budget down, I use the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists, buying organic for the former but choosing conventional for the latter.)
Then you scroll through the items pictured on the left and click the "+" to add to your box. You can choose all produce or both produce and non-produce, it's up to you. So simple, right?
Imperfect Foods Packaging
If you've had a chance to watch the video, you know that I'm most happy with the lack of plastic in packaging.
The box I ordered this time was delivered in two cardboard boxes and the only plastic was around a head of cauliflower, a plastic box for the tomatoes, and the cheese and tortillas.
The only other packaging was a cold ice pack and the silver quilted liner for the cheese.
What to do with the packaging?
Cardboard is never hard for us to recycle, since we're always saving it up to use in the garden, plus most recycling places still take cardboard. But what about the ice pack and lining? You may be able to reuse them for picnics or camping, but you'd only ever need one or two.
Guess what? Most of the time you can return the ice pack and silver packaging!
If your boxes aren't delivered by FedEx, you can leave the packaging out when your next box is delivered and they'll take it away. Isn't that a great option?
Again, there is more on this on the website, but I was really happy to try this out and see that yes, they did just take the packaging I put out on the porch.
Types of Food & Pricing for Imperfect Foods
Pictured above is my entire order that was delivered in the two boxes as I show in the unboxing video.
Keep in mind these are things I chose this time - there were lots of other produce and grocery options I didn't choose, including more fruits, as we already had some.
Here are the produce and non-produce items included with the (Jan. 2020) prices:
- Organic Celery (1 ct) $1.89
- Organic Bell Peppers (1 lb) $3.19
- Organic Carrots (1 lb) $2.18
- Organic Potatoes (1 lb) $1.58
- Organic Apples (3 ct) $1.79
- Organic Parsnips (1 lb) $2.39
- Organic Rainbow Carrot Bunch (1 ct) $2.29
- Organic Grape Tomatoes (1 ct) $3.09
- Organic Romaine Lettuce (1 ct) $2.09
- Organic Beets (1 lb) $1.75
- Conventional Onions (1 lb) $0.65
- Conventional Cauliflower (1 ct) $3.06
- Conventional Turnips (1 ct) $1.89
- Conventional Avocados (3 ct) $1.99
- Imperfect Foods - Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (8 oz) $3.49
- Mi Rancho Organic Flour Tortillas (6 ct) (10.8 oz) 1 $2.49
- Mind Fish Co. Skipjack Tuna with Spring Water (5.6 oz) 1 $1.49
- Imperfect Foods Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips (14 oz) $2.99
Total = $40.29 + $4.99 delivery
Note: in the video I mistakenly say it cost $43, which was actually what our first box was - this one with shipping was $45. But this is just to give you an idea of prices and cost, which I hope you can see are pretty good for delivered-to-your-door food.
Most of the time you can get free shipping with a $60+ order, too.
How does this fit into a tight grocery budget?
I've already gotten this question on YouTube, so I wanted to address it here, too. Our budget isn't as tight now as it used to be when our kids were younger, but I remember what it was like.
I can't answer if this would be right for you with your specific circumstances and the area you live. Some parts of the country can get cheaper produce - if this is you, it's probably not a good fit.
But I do encourage you to at least check out the website and prices, using this coupon code to try it and see if it's something that will help you keep your budget down.
I regularly shop at Grocery Outlet and the prices you see listed above are all comparable, even with the delivery fee.
As for me, if it saves me a trip to the store it will save me money because I often buy items I see on sale that aren't on my list (this isn't terrible, but does make the trips more expensive).
I hope to use this service to keep us in produce (which is usually the reason I go to the store) and only shop once a month in a regular grocery and once every other month at Costco.
As you can probably tell, I'm pretty happy with Imperfect Foods and will continue to get boxes every other week from them as we need them.
It's very easy to skip a delivery, though, so you're not even locked into that if you don't need anything.
How to Use The Coupon Code:
Simply CLICK HERE to check out the website and the coupon will be applied to your account once you set it up!
Have you used Imperfect Food Delivery Service? I'd love to know what you think!
*June 2021 Update*
We've been getting boxes regularly, and Imperfect Foods continues to deliver through the pandemic and lock downs (was I ever grateful for the deliveries then!). I wanted to address a couple things from the comments:
- Yes, I have gotten 1 - 2 produce items that weren't useable - beets that were too woody, even after cooking and one other I can't remember. I didn't bother contacting them because it's not really a thing they would've been able to tell and I really do want to support the idea of less food waste and shopping responsibly.
- The customer service has been really great the times I've used it (this is in contrast to one of the comments). When I was given less rhubarb than I ordered, I sent in a message on their website and was emailed the next day with a credit to my account.
- The service has gotten really popular because of the pandemic issue and I've learned that the sooner I customize my box the more likely they won't be sold out of some things. I've put a reminder in my phone when my window opens to choose.
- Like I mention in my review, if you can easily find produce and food cheaper in your area, this might not be the service for you - that's okay. I still think it's worth it to try it and see - like any store there are things I'd never pay a certain price for and other things that are decent price. I always add in the convenience of having it delivered and because I'm rural that's good for me.
January 2024 Update
If you've visited the Imperfect Foods website, you may have noticed that the prices are quite a bit higher than what I listed in 2020.
Like everything, they have gone up quite a bit and to be honest I don't order from them as much anymore.
I place an order only once a month or 6 weeks and then usually produce and a few dairy products that are similar to what I would get in stores (their butter prices have been consistent with stores, for example).
It's been especially nice when things have been super busy and I don't see me getting to the store to refresh our produce to be able to have it delivered. So that's how ordering from Imperfect has been fitting into our food budget these days!
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