Wallet Savvy founder Jason Mills takes a look at Oddbox and asks the question – is it as good for your wallet as it is for the planet? Find out that and more in his Oddbox review below…
If you haven’t heard of Oddbox before, you’ve come to the right place. In this Oddbox review we are going to establish exactly what service they offer, how it works and, most importantly for us here at Wallet Savvy, whether it can save you money.
Oddbox’s slogan is simply “Eat Fresh, Fight Food Waste”. These are two things I feel quite strongly about. I am always trying to find ways to get my children to eat fresh ingredients, and the amount of food waste that we see in the United Kingdom is shocking – something needs to be done, and if Oddbox can help in that matter, and help us save money in the process, I’ll be very impressed.
So let’s crack on with this Oddbox review and find out exactly how Oddbox can help you to Eat Fresh and Fight Food Waste – and whether or not it will be kind on your pocket…
TLDR: Oddbox Verdict
Oddbox is not the cheapest way to get fruit and veg – but it’s a great, convenient service that helps to fight against food waste.
Get Wallet Savvy With Our Weekly Money Saving Tips Straight To Your Inbox:
What is Oddbox?
While on holiday in Portugal, back in 2016, Emilie and Deepak tried a tomato from a market stall. It was an ugly tomato, but it was also a delicious tomato. So it got them wondering why it is that we never see fruit and veg like that in our supermarkets? What happens to all of the ‘ugly’ yet delicious food that we grow over here in the UK?
When they started looking into it a bit more, they were horrified. So much food that doesn’t meet our aesthetic expectations, or just simply because they have grown too much, is just thrown away. This amounts to around 40% of all the food we grow in the world.
40%! Just thrown away!
It’s not just the food that is wasted either – growing these crops takes energy and water, all of which is wasted when we don’t eat the food at the end of it.
They came up with a solution. They would speak to local farmers and see if they could buy all of this food that would usually go to waste, and distribute it to a few customers throughout their community. Fast-forward to present day and they are delivering thousands of boxes every week to households all over the country.
The premise is so simple, really – they speak to farmers all over the country (and beyond) and get an idea of what could be going to waste – whether it is too odd, too small, too big or they just have too many of them.
From there, they match these foods up with the orders that they have received, and deliver them at night, to keep their emissions as low as possible. Even when they source their food from abroad, they don’t use air travel to get them here as they are conscious of their emissions.
What do you receive when you order from Oddbox?
Ultimately, you won’t know for sure what you are going to get when you order an Oddbox until it arrives at your home – but you can narrow down the selection a bit.
There are a few different choices you can make when you order – you can go for a fruit box, a veg box or a fruit and veg box, and within each of those you can choose what size you would like, from X-Small to Large.
To give you an idea of how much you are likely to get, a Large Fruit & Veg Box will consist of 9 varieties of veg and 4 types of fruit. The X-Small box will be 5 veg and 2 fruit. You can choose whether you want them sent every week or every fortnight.
I know what you’re thinking – what if I end up with a load of veg that I absolutely hate? Well, you do get some say about what you receive. Every week you will get an email to tell you of all of the food that they have got for the following week, and you can select up to three foods that you don’t want to have. These will then be replaced with different fruit and veg.
There are extra products that you can tag onto your order as well, like oat milk, cereal, coffee, condiments, stock cubes – all products that have been ‘rescued’ by Oddbox and that need a new home.
When you receive your box (which, don’t forget, will be delivered at night), you will also receive a small leaflet explaining what’s been included in your box, where it has come from and why it has been included.
How Do You Sign Up For Oddbox?
It’s really easy to sign up to Oddbox. You first need to check whether they can deliver to your area by entering your address. As things stand, there are some parts of the country that they cannot provide this service for, which makes sense given how reliant it is on efficiency and how time-sensitive the process must be.
From there you just need to select which box you would like and how often you would like it to be sent, before adding in your details. Then you can list your fruit and veg preferences, before adding your payment details. It’s as easy as that!
What are the benefits of Oddbox?
There are quite a few benefits of taking up a subscription with Oddbox, let’s take a look at them individually:
Convenience: This is the main one – you get fresh fruit and veg delivered to your door every week. We have probably become accustomed to having things delivered to our homes these days, but having fresh fruit and veg delivered may help you cut down on trips to the supermarket.
Great quality: The food you get in an Oddbox isn’t ‘rejected’ food – far from it. The quality is great and you know that it has been collected from the farm box and then gone into your box. The very definition of fresh food.
Try different foods: I don’t know about you, but I always find that we get stuck in ruts when it comes to planning our meals. The same dishes every week, just because we don’t have the time to really think outside the box. With Oddbox, you get to unleash your creative side and fashion new meals out of whatever you get given from week to week.
Doing your bit: I get that this isn’t the main point of a personal finance website, but this will be very important to many of you. Ordering from Oddbox does help to reduce the horrific levels of food waste in this country, and they go to great lengths to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum.
What are the drawbacks of Oddbox?
Despite the many benefits of Oddbox, there are a few negative points that I would like to address:
The Cost: This is the main one, especially so for readers of Wallet Savvy. As great as the service is, and it is incredibly well rated on customer review sites to back up my experience, this is not the cheapest way to get fresh fruit and veg.
You will find cheaper in the supermarket, and especially at your local market if you want more of a ‘farm to fork’ feeling. This won’t be as convenient, of course, but certainly will be cheaper.
Not great for fussy eaters: There will be plenty of people that hate the idea of a ‘surprise’ box of fruit and veg because they only like certain foods. I get that, and it has been a bit of a battle to convince my children to eat spinach and broccoli at times. Generally, we love it because we love the variety, but this won’t be for every household.
Is Oddbox Value For Money?
This is what it all comes down to, really. Is Oddbox good value?
That’s a difficult question to answer, because it depends on what you prioritise. As I said in the previous section, Oddbox is not the cheapest way to buy fruit and veg. But not all of Supermarket produce will be as fresh as you get with Oddbox, particularly if you are going to the cheaper supermarkets – I often find that their fresh foods go out of date quite quickly, but they are priced in a way to reflect that.
There is more to Oddbox than cheap food though, and to be fair to them, they don’t market themselves as a cheap way to buy fruit and veg – they are more about the social impact that buying from them can have.
So from that point of view, I think Oddbox is good value for money, as long as you have the luxury of being able to afford to prioritise combating food waste over just getting the cheapest fruit and veg. Not everyone will be in that position.
An Oddbox subscription isn’t for everyone. There will be plenty of people that don’t fancy the idea of not knowing exactly what they will receive from week to week, and plenty of people that can’t afford to pay the extra cost to have their food delivered to their door – because I should stress again that Oddbox is not the cheapest way to buy your fresh food.
However, I do think that Oddbox is a great service. It combats food waste, it’s convenient and it pushes us out of our comfort zone so that we are a bit more creative with our meals – and I’m all for that.
If you are happy to spend a little bit extra to get all of this, then Oddbox is a great option for you.