Is Degustabox good value?

The excitement of a big bargain parcel of food

I like trying new food, love a bargain and adore getting parcels in the post, so a discount offer on Degustabox seemed an ideal combination.

Degustabox sends out a box of 9 to 14 surprise food & drink goodies, many of which are meant to be new to the market, once a month.

Normally it costs £12.99 a month including delivery, and Degustabox says that the contents should be worth more than the price you pay.

So when a £4.99 offer for a trial box popped on Facebook, I finally gave it a whirl.

It was great getting a big fat surprise parcel, and even the inflatable wrapping caused great excitement. We’re easily pleased in this house.

 

Who needs a hat when you can use plastic packaging?

Anyway the contents was mostly an enormous quantity of snack food, including soft drinks and snacks and rice crackers, plus a couple of convenience foods with some gluten-free muffin mix and a pot of Japanese noodles. There was a nod to healthy snacks with some freeze dried fruit, a fancy nut mix and some carob-covered seed bars, but they’re still snacks.

The tin of tomatoes, bottle of passata and voucher for butter were the only things vaguely approaching the kind of raw ingredients I’d buy regularly.

I happily took lots of photos, and it was fun trying out new brands, and gorging on crisps, nuts and noodles.

But I realised the bigger question for me, rather than reviewing the individual items, was whether or not Degustabox represents good value to our family.

One of their main selling points is that the value of the products sent is worth more than the amount you pay, so the box includes a list of what the contents would cost elsewhere.

Content list in the box

Our particular parcel contained:

  • 4 cartons of orange & pineapple juice from Appy Drinks: £1.99
  • Lorina coconut and lime drink: £1.49
  • The Snack Organisation freeze dried strawberries:  £1
  • The Snack Organisation sweet thai chilli rice crackers, 100g: £1
  • Cirio bottle of La Classica passata & tin of chopped tomatoes: £2.25
  • Liberation Foods Baked chilli & lime cashews with peanuts and roasted corn: £2
  • Provena gluten free chocolate muffin mix with chocolate chips, 300g: £3.79
  • Box of 5 Original 9Bars, with seeds and carob: £2.49
  • Kabuto noodles: £1.99
  • 2 x 90g packs Chip Strips in sour cream & onion, and sweet paprika: £2
  • Voucher for President Normandy Butter: £2

Wow! Amazing! A total of £22 of food for only £4.99! Even sounds good compared to the normal price of £12.99 a month!

But it made me think about what actually counts as a bargain.

I don’t really feel as if I’ve saved £17.01, because I would never normally buy this quantity of branded and processed foods.

We don’t eat anywhere near this volume of soft drinks, crisps, nuts, treats and convenience foods on a monthly basis.

Instead, I had a think about what I’d normally buy, and what I now don’t have to buy because I bought a Degustabox.

So for example, now I don’t have to buy fancy crisps when we next have visitors, or a multi-pack of drinks cartons when we take a packed lunch on an outing.

Here’s the breakdown:

Predictably, my children loved the Sponge Bob drinks, just because of the picture.

Pack of 4 Appy juice Drinks: if I’m buying the children cartons or bottles as a special treat, I tend to buy Fruit Shoots on offer (parental food police: shoot me now). I wait until I can get eight for £2.50, so allow £1.25 for four.

Climbing on the coconut band wagon. 

Lorina lime & coconut drink: I rarely buy fancy soft drinks, only really mixers like lemonade, tonic water and soda water. A litre of Sainsbury’s tonic water costs 50p, and hey I have been known to push the boat out and squeeze a lime into tonic water, so add 35p (much as it pains me to put the price of a single lime, rather than one from a multipack).

Sounded fun, tasted a bit weird

Freeze dried fruit: the children ate it as a snack, and I do occasionally buy them Bear Yo Yo fruit snacks, when the boxes of five are on offer for £2. Maybe allow 80p for two?

We’re partial to sweet chilli flavours, so these crackers went down a treat

 

Exceedingly long strips of  crisps, slightly weird taste, but fine. 



Rice crackers and Chip Strips: I lay in stocks of fancy Aldi Passions Hand Cooked crisps when people come round, which are 79p for a 150g bag. So allow £1.58 for a couple of bags, to match the same weight of rice crackers and Chip Strips.

Cashews – great. Peanuts – good. Roasted corn? Not so much.

Liberation foods cashews/peanuts/corn: again, I’m more likely to stick to the Aldi crisps than nuts, but I do sometimes offer Sainsbury’s Basics Roasted Salted Peanuts that I also use in cooking, which cost 70p for 200g.

Loved the branding, wasn’t so keen on the noodles


Kabuto noodles: I don’t buy instant noodles, but my husband is occasionally seduced by supernoodle cravings, which at last count cost 50p from the Co-op.

 

No butter in the box, just a voucher to swap when you find a shop selling it.


President Butter: Morrisons British unsalted butter is good enough for me at 88p

I quite liked these, but the children rejected them,
possibly because they spotted the worthiness of some of the ingredients.

5 x 9Bar Original Carob Hit: I do sometimes buy individually wrapped bars like Clubs or Penguins as a treat for packed lunches, when they’re on offer at 8 for £1, so 5 would cost 63p.

Chocolate muffins – what’s not to like?

Provena Gluten Free chocolate muffin mix: I never buy cake mixes, mainly because I genuinely like baking, and tend to have the ingredients handy.
With this one, you have to add fat and eggs, so I suppose it’s the equivalent of a bag containing flour, sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips. I do buy Dove’s Gluten Free flour, if I need to bake for people who can’t eat wheat or gluten, and that costs £1.70 for 1kg, while Sainsbury’s chocolate chips cost 80p for 100g, and their cocoa powder costs £2.00 for 250g. So maybe 50p chocolate chips plus 20p cocoa plus 40p flour, a total of £1.10 to make up 300g of muffin mix?
(If you’d like to find out how the cooked muffins turned out, see my post here.)

A nice tin of tomatoes that I was glad to use. 


Good quality passata, with a useful resealable lid.



Cirio chopped tomatoes and passata: I waver between value range chopped tomatoes, own brand and KTC, which come in at between 25p and 38p a can. Occasionally I stretch to Napolina when it’s on offer at 50p a can. To be generous then, 50p for chopped tomatoes and another 50p for Morrison’s own brand passata.

TOTAL: Drum roll please – £9.29

So the contents of the Degustabox mean I don’t have to go out and spend £9.29.
Combined with the excitement of a parcel with lots of treats, I do think it justifies the £4.99 offer price.

I even signed up for the offer via TopCashback, so got a cash back credit of £2.32, reducing my expenditure to just £2.67. TopCashback are currently running a similar Degustabox offer, so you can sign up for only slightly more at £5.99 a month, and still get £2.32 cashback.

(If you haven’t come across cashback websites before, I did about a blog about them here
If you fancy trying out TopCashback, whether for Degustabox or anything else, via this link you can get a £5 Amazon voucher once you’ve earnt £10 cashback, and they’ll bung me a tenner as Tell-A-Friend cashback).

However, I won’t be continuing with the Degustabox monthly subscription at £12.99.

I would never normally spend anywhere near this amount each month on this type of food. Apart from anything else, I don’t want the temptation of all those crisps, nuts and snack food lying around!

I’d love to know your views, as obviously, these calculations just reflect my own food preferences and purchases.

If you love trying new snacks with quirky ingredients, and prefer branded, packaged foods, then Degustabox could be a great fun.

Anyone else tried to Degustabox, or have thoughts on whether it would be worthwhile to them?

Disclaimer: I bought Degustabox off my own bat, and wasn’t sent a box to review or anything like that. Much as I’d love to have lots of people charge off to buy it via my TopCashBack Tell-A-Friend link, I’ve chosen to give my own unvarnished opinions of the contents.

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11 Comments

  1. 19th February 2016 / 7:38 pm

    I've seen the ads but not been tempted – it's essentially a lot of foods which I wouldn't normally buy, so it didn't make sense to me. However, I might try it out at the bargain offer and go through tcb – worse case scenario I'll have some different donations for the foodbank next time! 🙂 x

    • 20th February 2016 / 5:25 am

      It was fun as a one-off, even I wouldn't subscribe on a monthly basis.

  2. 19th February 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I mis-read as Disgustabox!
    Looks like some good things for pack-ups but the only thing I would buy out of all those is tinned tomatoes

    • 20th February 2016 / 5:31 am

      Yes I was hoping for a few more raw ingredient, like pasta, couscous or crackers, rather than all the snacky stuff.

  3. 19th February 2016 / 8:43 pm

    I mis-read as Disgustabox, too! Maybe it is a Freudian slip, har, har! I'd not buy all that snacky stuff in a zillion years. The most snacky stuff we buy is a bar of quality Lindt and hazelnut chocolate which we share, one bar per week between two of us, a piece each evening and when it's gone, it's gone!
    I'd use a can of tomatoes, as would Sue in Suffolk, but that's about it. Muffin mix? I don't make muffins, or are they what I would've called buns? I don't buy anything with the word "mix" on the packet. Also, I don't buy passata, I make my own tomato sauce from a sautéed onion, can of chopped tomatoes, dried basil and oregano, a veggie Oxo cube, a pinch of sugar to take the 'edge' off the tomatoes, blitz the lot and then add some torn up fresh basil – total yum. Interesting to try this once, but I'd not shell out good money on it even if the individual items came to more than the retail price.
    Margaret P

    • 20th February 2016 / 5:37 am

      Love the sound of the Lindt chocolate! When it comes down to it, think I prefer being able to choose my own food based on my own tastes and preferences, rather than receiving Degustabox's choices which might not match.

    • 20th February 2016 / 9:51 am

      That's exactly how I would feel, Faith … not being able to choose my own products. We used to have a veggie box delivery service from Abel & Cole (several companies do this now, including our local Riverford Farm which has expanded enormously in the past few years) but while the food was excellent, we found we sometimes just didn't want some of the items included or there were too many of one type of veg/fruit and insufficient of another. But the premise was one had to produce food using what was delivered, something we're not used to these days with such choice in the supermarkets; it means we can make anything regardless of season. So after a year or two with this scheme I decided it wasn't for us although if we lived a long way from a supermarket, such a delivery, I am sure, would be most welcome.
      Margaret P

  4. 23rd February 2016 / 1:45 pm

    I think it's the sort of thing that is nice as a one off, like you have done. A bit of a treat and an experiment in trying new things, but it doesn't contain much of what I would buy except the tinned tomatoes and the 9bars so I don't think I'll be giving it a go.

  5. 24th February 2016 / 9:20 am

    The only thing we would eat would be the tinned tomatoes but you have to try these things if you get chance of a promotion like that x

  6. 24th February 2016 / 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the review. I keep getting emails from Degustabox and have been wondering how many of the items would be of use to us.

  7. Malcolm Taylor
    17th July 2018 / 1:12 pm

    Those London crisps just full of salt i could be dead in six months my gp said if i keep on eating them i am 82 yrs old with a weak heart and high blood preesure Malcolm Taylor