The Pros & Cons of Meal Kit Subscriptions
While for some making a meal each night is a nice way to unwind and de-stress, for others, it is a stressful event that reaps zero good results (including the taste of the food). We aren’t all born chefs! And that’s okay. We all have our own talents and ‘things.’
Are Meal Kit Services Worth It?
So maybe you fall on the not-so-great chef side of things. You’re thinking a meal kit subscription service might be more up your alley. Should you or shouldn’t you dip your toes into the world of meal kits?
Well, we’ll break it down for you. Let’s take a more detailed look into the pros and cons when it comes to meal kit subscription services.
The Pros of Meal Kit Subscriptions
Let’s start with the good side of it all. What do you have to gain?
Hint: It involves a good meal and less hassle or prep for you. Let’s take a look.
PRO #1: It gives you more time
With busy lives and schedules, more time is something we all tend to crave. If the whole thought of ‘if only I had more time’ has crossed your mind more than a few times during your week, you might benefit from these meal kits.
However, it may depend on the type of meal kit you get. Some come pre-made. Others come with ingredients you put together yourself. Both save time to an extent. But the pre-made ones come out on top. You literally just have to pop it in the oven or throw it on some plates and BAM - meal done.
PRO #2: You get more nutrients than ordering fast food or from another restaurant
Sometimes, you can even get a list of the nutrients contained in the food. This is super convenient if you’re trying to figure out your diet (or clean it up).
But all in all, these types of meals won’t bump up your total caloric count for the day - meaning you won’t be busting out of your jeans anytime soon with them when compared to nutrient-less and high-calorie fast foods.
PRO #3: You can try new things
Grocery shopping often involves us going for things that we know how to cook or are familiar with. If you get a meal kit subscription, you’ll have the opportunity to try something new with a full meal concept behind it.
Always wanted to try cooking muscles but have no idea where to start? You can get a delicious coconut curry muscle kit in your next order, if you like it you can save the recipe and make it again later.
The Cons of Meal Kit Subscriptions
Usually, there is a downside. And meal kits are no exception. So, let’s take a look.
CON #1: All the packaging
If you’re environmentally conscious (which let’s be honest, we all need to be), the packaging is a tad excessive. It comes in a box inside another box most of the time, with plastic wrap and plastic trays or plates galore. It isn’t the most earth-friendly option.
Yet, this packaging is often necessary to guarantee freshness. Still, some argue that the packaging could be significantly reduced, but we will leave that debate in your hands for now.
CON #2: The price can add up
Most of the time, the grocery store offers the cheapest option for meals. You can make a ton for a fraction of the cost. With meal kits, you pay for the convenience.
CON #3: You might not like the meal
If you have a subscription, you might not have much of a choice as to what exact meal you get. And if you’re a particularly picky eater, this may prove to be a difficult dilemma. You spent money on the food, but you don’t want it. This could also potentially end up very wasteful of the food you’ve ordered.
Then there’s the other side… if you have an allergy or intolerance, this could restrict what you get as well. Or it may not offer as many options.
Brands We Recommend
Okay, so HelloFresh isn’t exactly a pre-made meal. But HelloFresh is also kind of cool in that way too. This box comes with all your ingredients ready to go. All you need to do is follow the instructions and make the recipe as laid out - no measuring or grocery shopping required!
Also, this meal kit has great combinations that most people wouldn’t think of trying. If you’re looking to expand your tastes and learn to cook new things, this is the meal kit for you. They have different tiers of boxes so that you can make enough for two or a whole family.
2. Blue Apron
Similar to HelloFresh, you’ve got to make this one. But it comes already with step-by-step instructions on how exactly to do that. While the simplicity of these boxes are good, especially for picky eaters, some may think that the variety may be lacking here.
Another put together yourself one! This one wins for its simplicity though. They offer no-fuss and quick meals that you can make in no time.
Hate cooking? Daily Harvest is what you need. It’s delivered straight to your door (like all the others) but it takes mere minutes to prepare. So, if you’re tight on time and looking to cut back, this might be the winning option for you.
One of the winning pieces of this box is the price. Where it includes the same offerings as their competitors, they’ve cut the costs and provided free shipping on their boxes. Also they have really delicious vegan, keto, and paleo options.
5. Or… Go Local
If you can find a local brand or chef, this is the best option! Plus, the meals are sometimes even better than the bigger brands (bonus!). And you know that it’s completely fresh. So, do your research and find a local brand that is suitable for you and your life.
Research local brands and chefs! Support your local economy by ordering from a local business. Most places have ‘meal prep’ style services that offer already-made healthy and delicious meals (like Ottawa Meal Prep, which is our family’s go-to).
The only way to find out which is right for you is to…
Try it out!
Go for it. Give it a shot. But maybe first work it into your budget to ensure it is a viable and affordable option for you and your household. Then bon appetit!
Want a new recipe to try from scratch? Try this yummy coconut curry noodle bowl!