Get introductory pricing on our local meal planning & delivery service!  Each week you order, you’ll receive recipe cards and all the groceries you need to make three complete dinners.  No more recipe hunting, ingredient list-making, grocery shopping…we do it all for you!  All three meals are designed to be straightforward, quick to prepare, and will feed 2 adults (often with leftovers.)  Take the stress out of dinner and let us help you put home cooking back on the menu WITHOUT all the fuss…

Ithaca Essentials is currently REVAMPING their menu offerings to account for more specific dietary types (think PRIMAL/KETOGENIC meals!) Email us with any questions or feedback on what types of meals you’d like to see!

H1 – BBQ Chicken Pizza (“Homestyle”)
H2 – Turkey Rice Bake (“Homestyle”)
H3 – Tortellini w Summer Veggies (“Homestyle”)
P1 – Honey Mustard Chicken w Sweet Potatoes (“Primal-Inspired”)
P2 – Garlic Butter Seafood Medley (“Primal-Inspired”)

1. Choose pickup or delivery

  • Pickup – available each week, Mon-Wed from 3pm-7pm, at our downtown location
  • Deliveries – made Mondays between 12pm and 5pm and we ask that you leave a cooler outside with ice/ice packs to receive the groceries. Delivery is available for addresses <3 mi and 3-6 mi from the center of Ithaca (according to Google Maps). To check the distance to your address, enter "Ithaca, NY to Your Address, Your City, NY" into Google. Email us with any questions.)

2. Choose your meals!

  • Homestyle Meals – We offer three “homestyle” options each week. These are traditional favorites with typically familiar ingredients (although we do like to experiment with different cuisines!)
  • Primal-Inspired Meals – We currently offer two primal-inspired options each week. These meals are grain-free, and contain little-to-no added sugar. (The slightly higher cost for these choices is reflected at checkout.)

3. Choose when to start!

  • Orders are accepted until noon on Saturday for the following week
  • For example: if you order before 12pm Sat Oct 14, your food will be delivered Mon Oct 16 (or you can schedule a pickup from Mon Oct 16 – Wed Oct 18

I’m IN!

  • We accept all credit cards and you don’t need to have a Paypal account (just choose ‘pay with debit/credit card’ at bottom of Paypal screen to check out as a guest)
  • You can also email us to make arrangements for cash/check payment
  • Once we receive your payment information, we’ll email a confirmation to make sure everything is set for your order!

What do I need to provide at home?
Basic cooking tools (e.g. spatulas, pots, pans, baking sheets & dishes, plates & bowls) typical appliances (e.g. oven, stovetop, microwave) and basic pantry items (e.g. salt, pepper, cooking oil, flour, foil) are all that you need.  Our meals are designed to be tasty but uncomplicated.

How does your service compare to national through-the-mail delivery services?
We build on the same goal of providing convenience to our customers, but our service is local and family-run, and we only use local grocers and suppliers.  Additionally, our Homestyle meals tend to be more straightforward and make more food/larger servings. Many of our Primal-inspired meals feed more than 2 as well. Because we are local, we avoid the bulky packaging and waste of shipping services and we emphasize reuse by using coolers and ice (or ice packs) that most folks already have on hand. We also strive to keep things simple with flat delivery fees (no fuel surcharges) and we are 100% responsive to requests and feedback. We are a local service working to support the community, so your individual satisfaction is our personal priority!

What are the pickup/delivery options?
Currently, you can choose local pickup or full delivery.  Local pickup is free with flexible timing–you can schedule a day (Mon-Wed, anytime between 3-7pm) to pick up your items from a labeled cooler at our downtown location (address emailed to you after order confirmation.)  Or we can deliver your groceries directly to you at work or at home (fee based on distance from our downtown location.)  We’re currently offering one delivery day option per week (Monday) and we ask that a cooler with ice/ice packs be left outside for the groceries to ensure their quality.  (We can provide coolers and ice packs for an additional charge if needed.)

Can I order for more than one week? What about giving kits as gifts?
Absolutely! At checkout, you can increase the quantity of your order. So, if you’d like to order 3 weeks of delivery service, just increase the quantity to three. You will then receive meal kits, starting the following Monday, for 3 consecutive weeks. Additionally, our meal kit service makes a wonderful gift! Have a friend with a new baby, or someone recovering from surgery? You can place your order via the website and then just enter the recipient’s address as the “shipping address” during checkout. You can also directly email us the recipient’s information after you place an order, or you can contact us ahead of time to let us know that you’ll be placing a gift order. We’re very happy to accommodate your requests so email us today!

Are there upcoming offers or features?
Currently, we’re offering introductory pricing on our service.  As of mid-November 2016, we have added flexibility in terms of weekly meal selection (ability to choose what meals you get) and have introducted Primal-inspired meal options! We look forward to continued growth (e.g. meal choices for additional dietary restrictions, offering single- and 4-person plans, etc.) and are excited to help bring stress-free home cooking back into the rotation, work with our customers directly to meet their needs, and support our local businesses while doing it!

What do you mean by Primal (and what about Paleo)?
Primal (and Paleo) “diets” (or ways of eating, as we prefer to say) focus on eating foods that were available to early man. This typically includes meats and vegetables, with some fruits/fats/etc. to supplement. The Paleo way of eating mimics how man ate during the Paleolithic Era, based on the thought that our bodies developed specifically to handle that type of diet, so that is the best way for us to eat today. The Primal way of eating recognizes that our modern diets aren’t working and uses primative eating as a starting point, but does not automatically exclude foods based on historical availablity/prevalance. Both are generally similar (avoid processed foods, added sugars, grains, etc.) although the Primal strategy is often considered a slightly less restrictive ‘version’ of a Paleo diet. Our Primal-inspired meals eliminate grains and minimize added sugars and dairy. We base our Primal-inspred meals on the general tenets of primitive eating, allowing for some flexibility, since we recognize that what “works” for each of our customers is unique!