What We Have Decided After Your Input


Over the past month or two, I have raised a few questions in some of my posts, asking for your input. I figure you deserve an update on the effect of your comments and thoughts and my time to ruminate (love that word!) over my options.

Why is it so Hard To Buy a New Car? lead to a discussion of several options to resolve my dilemma. Keeping our 11-year-old CR-V for now, leasing a new car or buying out someone else’s lease, buying an older car to drive until the hybrid plug-in we wanted becomes available, or using a service like Uber as a fill-in until demand catches up with supply were the primary suggestions. All were workable possibilities in our situation. After a week or two of reviewing our choices, the answer was clear.

Our decision: keep the Honda with 103,000 miles for now as our only car. When the plug-in we prefer makes it to the dealer’s lot, we will purchase it and keep the CR-V as the backup second vehicle (assuming it is still running!). When that vehicle dies, we will revert to a one-car family, but now with an environmentally-friendly automobile that will require maybe one tank of gas a month.

Is Food Delivered to my Door…A Good Thing? I was interested in whether you had used the services of local supermarkets or services to have food brought to your home during the worst of Covid. If so, did you plan on continuing with the ability to skip the chore of in-person grocery shopping?  Also, there were some comments that dealt with meal delivery services that became quite popular, either from a local restaurant or the meal prep kits.

There didn’t seem to be a clear-cut consensus. Some of us enjoy going to the store to pick our own items from the shelf, while others are very happy to pass that chore on to others. Individual meal delivery fared less well, primarily due to the expense and problems with cold food or incomplete orders. Meal preparation subscription services were mentioned by one reader (Janis).

Our decision: we will continue to go food shopping in person. If the new Covid variant forces us to avoid stores and crowds, the at-home option would be reconsidered. For most, it worked well, particularly as the user become more adept with the ordering procedure. But, we enjoy the shopping experience together and like to be able to make last-minute purchases or change plans on the fly, based on what is in stock and pricing.

One thing we are signing up for is the meal preparation kits. As a break from cooking, a reduction in what we buy at the store, and as a way of trying new main courses, we are going to have two or three meals a week for the two of us delivered. Our daughter has used a few of these options and recommends HelloFresh for our situation and tastes. 

Streaming Services: How “Plus” Are All The Plus Options?. Hulu offers Hulu Plus, Pick Disney or Disney+, HBO or HBO Max, Discovery or the plus version…with streaming the way the majority of us receive entertainment, the companies didn’t take long to find a way to further separate us from our recreation dollars. For some, the monthly bills have started to match or even exceed what cable TV used to cost. 

The Lowry household is probably about average. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, PBS Passport, and the ad-supported Hulu. With an antenna, free over-the-air TV is also available; there are nearly 70 channels in the Phoenix area broadcasting in an old-school way. Kanopy is free with library membership.

The post was meant to help us to decide if any of the services we do not receive are worth the cost. There was good support for HBO Max, Britbox (all British shows), and Apple +. After reviewing our options we dropped Disney + and added Britbox. We last subscribed to Britbox in 2017 and were pleasantly surprised to discover several new seasons of shows like Shetland and Vera that we remember liking four years ago.

Since I wrote this post, we have started the meal prep delivery service. The dinners are quite tasty and the directions are simple to follow. The selection is broad enough to have p[lenty of choice.

 The biggest downside is the amount of packaging. The small containers of spices, condiments, and ingredients hold only enough for that one meal. Then the plastic plus the delivery bag goes into the trash and or recycling. It seems all rather wasteful. That rather than the cost may be what ends this experiment.

Thank you for all your thoughts and input. I will let you know if anything changes.

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