“Stop, oh yes, wait a minute Mr.Postman, wait, oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman.”
The lyrics above from the classic Motown hit capture perfectly my feelings toward receiving mail. However, rather than a love letter, my choice deliverables are snacks.
Goodness knows the trend of monthly mailings has increased. My first foray into regular goodie boxes has been with Graze.
Originally based in the U.K., Graze sends you a brown box of four different healthy snacks, individually wrapped.
At first, Graze codes were difficult to come by. You either had to receive a code from a friend, (each customer got one code to give out), or join a wait list. Fortunately, a coworker handed over her code, and seeing as I love to receive mail and am competitive when it comes to joining clubs that are difficult to get into, I signed up for Graze.
Imagine, hours upon hours of scanning through snacks, categorizing them as either “trash,” “try,” “like,” or “love.”
In theory, the subscription is useful if you’re looking to regulate your snack intake and eat healthier. As with almost everything in life, the subscription has its benefits, and disadvantages.
Note: For some reason I have zero photos of any of the snack boxes. Use your imagination or just visit Graze to see some pictures of the food, or read their FAQs which I’m sure explain the service much more eloquently.
1. This stuff is healthy!
I’m a lover of all things fried, sugary, and cannot resist the occasional bag of Cheetos. These little packs are very convenient, since they’re small and can be stashed in a desk drawer or in a purse or bag. Instead of heading to the vending machine or drive thru, they’re very handy and a filling enough, but not huge portion. Seeing as how I avoid fruits and vegetables at all cost, they’re a good source of nutrition.
If you don’t live near a health store like Whole Foods or Sprouts, Graze snacks can be a good replacement for some interesting dried produce you wouldn’t be able to find in a regular supermarket. Also, if you’re incredibly busy and don’t have time to shop, getting boxes in the mail can be super convenient and a big time saver.
Initially, Graze boxes only ran on a weekly basis, but later added new plans, including receiving a box every two weeks, or every four weeks. I switched to the two week plan, and later four month plan so I could continue my subscription without being inundated with snacks every week.
At $5/$6 a box depending on your join date, the boxes aren’t exactly cheap. Taking into consideration a small pack of sunflower seeds would thus run at about $1.25, it would be much more cost-effective to buy the same product in bulk at Whole Foods. $20 a month for a weekly box may seem like a bargain, but the same amount of money could be used to buy at least double the amount of food from a regular grocery store.
2. No control over selection
Although you can give your preferences for each snack on the website, you can’t guarantee that you will receive a certain snack you’d want to try. Services like Naturebox allow you to pick specific snacks, or leave some selections up for random. Graze won’t let you select exactly what you’d like sent. Certain snacks like the pina colada dried fruit mix or chili pistachios I would purchase in bulk in a minute, or at least have sent every month. However, you can’t directly control what you receive, and if you don’t update your preferences, could end up with duplicates of things you did not enjoy.
3. Limited offerings
This is more applicable to picky eaters like myself, but some of the ingredients in many of the snacks are in almost every selection. For instance, I just can’t do raisins. Eliminating the snacks with raisins took a good number of trail mixes and fruit mixes out of the running. Again, this is a problem for me specifically, not the service. The UK service has desserts, as well as tea…which I would love. Unfortunately, the US service is more limited.
Note: I also started the subscription in the summer, so it was incredibly hot outside. Some of the best snack mixes had chocolate, which unfortunately, melted within a short time in the mailbox. Keep in mind freezing or hot weather when rating snacks.
I subscribed for about 8 months, and decided to put my deliveries on hold. Ultimately, I wasn’t using the service as intended, since I would stash the snacks that didn’t necessarily appeal to me. It wasn’t cost effective to continue, even though I was on the most infrequent plan as it was. It was fun to receive a mystery box every week, and sample different snacks. However, the costs added up for food I wasn’t always eating.
Let me know! Do you subscribe to Birchbox, Naturebox, or any other fun subscription?