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At the time I'm writing this...we've been using Imperfect Produce (now called Imperfect Foods) for over six months now (that's over twenty five boxes). This is my Imperfect Foods review. Completely honest and hopefully helpful for you.
UPDATE May 2020: They have a dedicated page for all your COVID questions, including information on delivery delays and how they're handling this situation. Just click on COVID-19 in the menu and you'll find the information you're looking for.
Imperfect Foods Review
In this post I'll go through the positives and negatives about my experience using Imperfect Produce over the last few years, as well as what makes Imperfect Foods stand out from the rest of the produce boxes out there.
To see what we got in our most recent box, watch this video on YouTube:
Things I love about Imperfect Foods
- We're saving money!
- No more last minute grocery store runs.
- We get to customize our box.
- They bring it to my door.
- We're reducing food waste.
- No plastic bags.
We save Money with Imperfect Foods
You might be wondering if Imperfect Foods is really cheaper your local grocery store, and if it's worth a try. So I made a video of our most recent box, and have included the prices for every item we got below:
- Organic Cauliflower - $3.99/head - ours was 1lb 14oz
- Coleman Natural Foods Applewood Smoked Bacon (No Sugar Added) - $5.99 - 12oz
- Organic Spring Mix - $3.79 - 5oz
- Imperfect Foods Medjool Dates - $5.99 - 14oz
- Conventional Lemons (2) - $.89 - about 7oz for both
- Vital Farms Pasture Raised Eggs - $3.99/dozen
- La Quercia Sliced Prosciutto - $4.99 - 2oz
- Conventional Summer Squash (2) - $.89 - 1lb 3oz for both
- Avocados (Small) - $.80 each
- Conventional Pears - (2) - $1.49 - 13oz for both
- Niman Ranch Uncured Pork Andouille Sausage - $6.99 - 12oz
- Imperfect Foods Grass-Fed 85% Lean Ground Beef - $6.49/lb - 1lb
- Organic Broccoli - $3.09 - 1lb 9oz
- Organic Gold Beet Bunch - $2.79 - about 1lb 13oz for the bunch
I can't guarantee these prices will be the prices you get when you order from Imperfect Foods, but it'll give you some numbers to compare against your local grocery stores to see if it makes sense financially for your family.
Also, wanted to mention this here - if you're looking to get your spending under control - grocery & food spending as well as other areas, I want to invite you to watch this FREE budgeting masterclass to tell you about a program that I recently started to help you do just that!
No More Last Minute Grocery Store Runs
When we use Imperfect Foods, I don't have to stress about making it to the grocery store with my kiddos. We still go to the store for some of the non-produce items, but by using Imperfect Produce, we don't ever reach the point where the fridge is empty and everyone's hungry.
That's not a good situation to be in. Ask me how I know.
With Imperfect Produce I know the box will come on Tuesday afternoon and it'll provide apples, oranges, vegetables, and sometimes a non-produce item that I want to try out. They've recently added a bunch of discounted pantry staples like oils, vinegar, snacks, pasta, and more.
We even got some meat & eggs in our last box. They're really expanding their selection to make it more of a one-stop-shop grocery experience.
Customize Your Box
We've used other produce delivery services before, and the one thing that we didn't like was the big element of surprise. It made it hard to meal plan when we didn't know what produce we would be getting.
On Thursdays I get a message that it's time to customize my box. Then I can log in and add/remove/adjust the default items they put in the box.
And, if we have a week where we still have produce leftover (or our garden is in full swing), I can skip the box all-together, or only get a couple items that I need. You only pay for what's in your box.
When you go to sign up, you get to choose whether you want the Organic box or the Regular box, and what size works for you. At this moment, there is small, medium, large, extra large, and organic, fruit only, vegetable only, and a mixed fruit/veg. We signed up for the Large - Organic mixed fruit & vegetable box.
They've recently added even more options (other than just produce). Now, when you sign up for a box you'll get the option to add on other non-produce grocery items.
This is what you'll see:
Imperfect Foods Delivers the Food to My Door
I still remember the day our first box arrived. It was a Tuesday afternoon and a white van labeled "Imperfect Produce" found our house (which is a feat in and of itself). We have a really long driveway and we're kind of out in the country.
I felt bad about making the driver come all the way out to us, but when I mentioned it, she was all smiles and was super friendly. She told me we're not even the farthest ones out, so that made me feel a little better.
Try Imperfect Produce TODAY! Use this link for $20 off your first box.
We're reducing food waste
I was initially interested in Imperfect Produce because of their mission to reduce food waste and sell the less-than-perfect-looking produce that would otherwise be wasted. I've been learning about how much food is currently being wasted just because it doesn't look good enough to make it to the supermarket shelves.
When I look closely at the apples from our apple trees and compare them with apples from the store, I saw that the home-grown apples often have little marks on them. It doesn't mean they are any less delicious or that anything is wrong with them. It just means they were grown on our giant old apple trees in our yard.
Imperfect Foods sources food that would otherwise be wasted and sells it at a discount. We get the organic box and it does save us money. Not only does it save us money on the price of the produce, but also because I have fewer trips to the store. Fewer trips to the store = fewer spontaneous purchases = good news for the budget.
Looking to overhaul your budget and start saving more money? Watch my free masterclass here!
No more plastic bags
We try to use re-usable produce bags when we go to the store, but inevitably there's a few times where I don't bring enough, or I just forget the bags all together. Imperfect Foods boxes up the fruit and vegetables without the need for any plastic bags. The items that could get bruised easily are usually put in a plastic container within the box.
If you're working to eliminate plastic from your life, Imperfect Foods can help with that.
Try Imperfect Produce TODAY! Use this link for $20 off your first box.
Things I don't like about Imperfect Foods
- It's not a one-stop-shop for all your grocery needs (although they're getting there with recent changes). There are still things I need to occasionally get at the grocery store. The difference is that I'm never desperate for produce, which is a big deal to me. Because we eat a lot of veggies. With their recent changes you can add on dairy, snacks, meat/fish, and grains to your box each week if you'd like.
- Their selection changes weekly, so if you like eating the same meal over and over, you'll need to still go to the grocery store on the weeks they don't carry an item.
- Delivery fee. This isn't really something I don't like about them, because like I said, they come ALL THE WAY out to our house and it's totally worth the convenience to me. But I wanted to mention it, because it might not be worth it to you. There's a $4.99 delivery fee for each box you have delivered. They've recently added the option to get this delivery fee waived if your order is over a certain amount.
- It's not available everywhere. They're growing quickly, but they still aren't available in every city. Check their website here to see if they deliver to your area. If they're not, it's very possible they'll be there soon.
What do you think? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Is it something you might be interested in trying out? If so, click here to get $20 off your first box today!
What's Different About Imperfect Foods than other produce delivery boxes?
We've tried a bunch of other produce delivery services in the last few years. Here's what makes Imperfect Foods stand out above the rest.
You get to choose what goes in and what stays out of your box every single week. You also get to log in a few days before your delivery and see ALL the options. So instead of letting someone else decide what you get, YOU pick (and you get to see the prices when you make your selection).
This makes it easier to think through my weekly meal plan and make sure I'm getting food I'll actually eat.
Sense of Humor
This may seem like a minor thing, but I appreciate when companies have a good sense of humor. I laugh out loud sometimes at their weekly newsletters and their blog. Here's an example on their error page.
I think we could all use a little more laughter in our lives...don't you?
The produce box is hand delivered by somebody in the company. It's not shipped via UPS, it's hand delivered to your door by somebody in an Imperfect Foods van. And the drivers always seem really happy to be there.
Food waste is a really big problem, and I appreciate that Imperfect Foods is trying to help address the problem. Grocery stores want the food to look "perfect" and won't even accept the imperfect shaped or colored produce. But that's exactly what Imperfect Produce does.
Ready to try Imperfect Produce? Start here and get $20 off.
Questions you might have
Yes. There is a $4.99 delivery fee for each delivery, unless you order over a certain amount.
Go to their website, click on the "Sign Up" button. It'll ask you for your zip code, and when you put it in they will tell you yes or no!
Usually no. As long as it's clear to the driver where to leave the box. There's a place for "Driver Instructions" in the sign-up process. This is where I explain that we have an extremely long driveway and ask them to put the box on our porch.
I emailed them to ask this question and they said the farms they're sourcing their food from differ each week, depending on where there's excess produce they can use. But they mostly source food from medium to large farms. Their business model was designed this way (which makes sense to me...bigger farms, more surplus/imperfect produce to provide). Their website says they source 78% of their produce from family farms or cooperatives, 13% is wholesale, 6% comes from grower representatives, and 3% comes from corporate farmers. If you want more transparency in where your meat is coming from, look into something like Crowd Cow.
They deliver Monday through Friday from 12pm to 8pm. Which day they deliver to you depends on your zip code. To find out when they would deliver to you, enter your zip code on the sign up page. It says on their FAQ page that they can provide a shorter window if it's more convenient for you, but you can't change the day.
There is an automated text message when your box is getting close (under 10 minutes). And another text when the box has been delivered.
When you specify where you want them to drop the box, you can specify "in the shade" (assuming there is some). Or you can put a cooler on your porch and ask them to put the box in the cooler and close the lid. The drivers won't deliver to a garage or inside your house.
According to their website, online grocery stores aren't allowed to accept SNAP and other benefits. However, they have a reduced-cost box for anyone who meets the requirement for CalFresh/SNAP/EBT benefits. When you sign up, click the box to apply for a reduced cost box and you'll get a 33% discount if approved.
Grocery shopping is a pain. Give Imperfect Foods a try. It makes shopping less stressful, delivers produce to your door, and it'll feel like you're doing your part to help reduce food waste (and cut back on plastic produce bags).
Ready to try Imperfect Produce? Use this link and Get $20 off your first box today!