It is pretty pricey, but depending on your circumstances can still be beneficial. I thought I'd share my tips on how to get the best out of it, because although the concept is great I reckon there are a few things you can do to maximise the benefits.
1. Give it a try before deciding you're in it for the long termThere is no minimum term so you can try it once and never touch it again. It is largely cooking from scratch and not everyone has time for that (especially during the working week) so don't stress if it's not you. The flip side is that giving it a go once is pretty doable, so there's not much to lose.
2. Don't assume you have to get the bag "designed" for your family
Do what suits you! When we first got it there were just the two of us, but we chose the Classic bag, which is designed to serve 4-5 people. We had it delivered fortnightly, which allowed us to continue our well-established habit of only cooking every second day, and having leftovers in between - and it's cheaper. I recommend you look at all the options and if you're not sure, try a couple of different ones.
3. Make notes on the recipes you like - and throw out the ones you don't
In my mind, expanding your cooking repertoire is one of the biggest benefits of My Food Bag. You could just buy a new recipe book, but if you're like me you'll make one or two of the recipes and then stash it away. My Food Bag essentially forces you to try lots of new recipes - but that doesn't mean you'll love them all.
We found the flavours and quantities of the recipes great, but sometimes there's room to simplify the process. Example: anytime kebab sticks are used we ignore that step altogether. Quicker to prep, easier to cook and easier to eat (unrelated: does anyone have alternative uses for kebab sticks? We seem to have accumulated quite a few).
There's also sometimes a level of luxury that we don't need for everyday dinners, e.g. an extra drizzle sauce or sour cream for serving - so I'll make a note that it's optional if I intend to make the dish again.
4. Use it for a while, then stop
I reckon My Food Bag is most beneficial when used for seasons in life. If you're looking for a menu reset it might make sense. If you're trying to break a takeaway habit it'll probably save you money and get you eating more healthily. If you are working too many hours it can save you the thinking time on what to have for dinner. But the benefits start to abate after a while.
Partly this is because cooking new recipes all the time is more difficult than having a regular rotation. And partly because once you form new cooking habits they become more automatic, and maybe you don't need the magical ingredient delivery anymore.
I recommend thinking about how long you might do it for (e.g. 3 months, 6 months, a year) and then re-evaluating at the end of that time. Have a break and see how much you miss it. And when you're not reaping the benefits anymore, stop.
Life after My Food Bag
We got the Classic bag fortnightly for about a year. These days we get a veggie box delivered, and then plan our dinner menu using My Food Bag recipes (we have a few old favourites that sneak in as well). I flick through the current season's recipes in the folder and flag the ones that work with the week's produce, then write a shopping list for the ingredients we don't have on hand. It works pretty well for us, and doesn't take that long to plan and shop (maybe 15 minutes or so to pick the meals, and a few extra minutes in the supermarket or on the Countdown website).
I'm pretty sure that the veggie content of our meals has increased, so we're eating better, and we definitely have a lot more variety in our menu now. The Little Monkey eats pretty much everything, though occasionally we'll add some yoghurt to spicier meals to suit his palate - but there's no need for separate cooking.
I'd definitely get the deliveries again - maybe when our new family member arrives and we're getting new routines sorted - but for now we're good with our hacked solution.
Have you tried My Food Bag or any similar services? How did you find it?