Company Bio: Schwan’s Home Service offers high quality foods that help make it easy to prepare home-style meals your family will love. Their friendly, knowledgeable representatives bring an exciting selection of over 350 frozen foods right to your door. From USDA Choice meats to Grade A vegetables and fully prepared meals, you’ll discover foods you can’t find anywhere else. Open your door to delicious and new possibilities!
Personal Experience: I was too young to really remember for myself, but my mom still talks about the excitement of waiting for the Schwan’s delivery guy to show up at our door every few weeks with new goodies for us to eat. With this in mind, I jumped at the opportunity to re-experience those days of quality, friendly home delivery with my own family. No… that’s really not some cheesy line they told me to use… I really do get this sentimental about food. 😉
I was given a gift card worth $25 so that I could choose selections for myself. I added to that to create a well-rounded order to give you all the best possible review of several types of products… and we got several meals out of it, too. 🙂 For a total of $46 after a $10 off coupon (see below) I ordered: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Oven Baked Chicken Breast, Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks, Six Cheese Tortellini, and Cheesy Quik Taters™ Potato Rounds. And herein lies my only big negative. Convenience does not come cheaply. In some areas, these prices may not be too bad… but around here I could easily get a similar menu for half this cost.
I did say “similar” for a reason. The quality of the foods was far better than I expected for frozen. None of the foods had that artificial, overly-processed taste that I’ve come to expect from today’s frozen selections. I’ll try to break it down meal by meal.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches barely made it in the door before they were being devoured. The cookie part was soft and chewy… just the way we all like it. The ice cream was a pretty basic vanilla. The overall taste was sweet and satisfying. It would be a great summer indulgence. They were sized just right… though my mom tells me they were larger once upon a time. They come six to a package, but I would love to see them offered in a larger package size at a better price.
The first full meal that we had from our order was a dinner of the Oven Baked Chicken Breast and the Potato Rounds. The chicken breasts came out perfectly! They are moist and flavorful and set off with a wonderfully crispy breading. I could see using these for sandwiches, a very simple chicken parmesan dish, or even sliced on a fresh salad. They could easily become a staple in our house and this was definitely my favorite of the items we received. I still can’t believe they are part of Schwan’s LiveSmart lite selections!
The potato rounds were nothing special and distinctly lacking in cheese… which is what prompted me to check the package and discover we had received the wrong item. I contacted Schwan’s help through the chat on their website. I was told that their policy in a situation like this is to talk to your representative next time they deliver and sort it out with them. I wasn’t totally satisfied with that response. What if you were not planning an order in the near future?
We tried the tortellini and breadsticks for a lunch. The tortellini was super-easy and very quick to cook. It was a good cheesy flavor that worked well with our favorite sauce. These would work well on their own, covered with your favorite sauce, in soups, and in salads. I used them later in a macaroni and cheese style creation. I simply made a cheese sauce using milk, butter, and cheddar cheese. Then I mixed in already prepared tortellini and broccoli. Xander kept saying “mmmm” all through lunch!
I had mixed emotions on the breadsticks. They were soft and sized just right for dipping in sauce. With cheese on top and cheese in the middle, I would have never expected to find these on the LiveSmart menu too. The reason for my mixed emotions comes from the way the cheese inside changes when the breadsticks cool. If you eat them hot, they are warm and gooey and great… if they cool, they get chewy and the cheese texture is almost gritty. I would order them again, but would eat them first so they are still hot.
I would love to explore more of their foods. I will order again from Schwan’s but I think my budget will keep it for special occasions and their special deals. I like that they offer special deals and coupons on certain items, because it not only opened my eyes to items I missed just browsing but it allowed us to try items like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches at a more budget-friendly price.
I would love to see them expand their vegetarian options beyond the typical veggies and pasta. It would be interesting to see what they could do with a “chicken” nugget or a veggie burger. I’m in the same boat with gluten-free options, too. I think expanding these markets could really appeal to those of us looking for more convenient ways to maintain our special diets.
Pros: Convenient delivery to your door. Surprisingly good frozen foods. Huge selection. Options for special diets like vegetarian and gluten-free.
Cons: Many of the foods are higher than you’d pay in the grocery store. Not thrilled with how they handle wrong orders.
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