Cooking and coming up with new recipes constantly can get exhausting. Sometimes, your own kitchen and tried-and-true favorite dinners can get a little boring. Going out to eat isn’t always budget-friendly — especially if it means dragging the whole family along — and that’s where meal kit delivery services come in.
The question remains: Are meal kit delivery services all they’re cracked up to be? They do bring fresh, easy-to-prepare ingredients to your door along with recipes for new, innovative dishes to make. Are they worth the cost, or would it be better to just dine out or go at it with a cookbook and a trip to the grocery store?
1. Blue Apron
Blue Apron is one of the most popular meal delivery services out there, with a trusted, longstanding reputation. There are a variety of creative meal options, including a vegetarian choice.
- Average prep time: 25-45 minutes
- Average price per serving: $8.99-$9.99
HelloFresh is also one of the most popular meal kit services available. It offers vegetarian options and a family-friendly choice. The price per meal is also reduced if you are feeding more people.
- Average prep time: 20-40 minutes
- Average price per serving: $7.49-$8.99
3. Green Chef
Green Chef is a 100% organic meal kit delivery service with options such as paleo, keto and plant-based meal plans.
- Average prep time: 30 minutes
- Average price per serving: $6.99-$7.99
4. Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen is a highly customizable meal delivery service, which is perfect for families with different dietary needs. It’s is also a no-prep-required service, with microwavable meals rather than ingredients to prep.
- Average prep time: a few minutes
- Average price per serving: about $11 depending on your location
Cooking at Home
While the average price and prep time of making food at home can vary widely depending on your location, food preferences and choice of grocery store, that’s almost the point of it. You have the power to do your own research on pricing and prep time for your meals. Sometimes, you’ll break even on the cost of ingredients with a subscription box, but you might also have items left over.
You can always use techniques like couponing or finding ingredients that are on sale or in season to inspire you.
Are They Worth It?
In short, if something is worth it to you, it’s worth it. If you’re burned out on cooking, a meal subscription box might give you the boost you need. If you’re short on time, a premade dinner might be the thing for you and your family. If you’re trying out a new diet or cooking for multiple dietary restrictions, a customizable meal prep option could help alleviate the pressure.
One of the best ways to figure out if it’s really worth it to you is to calculate your money at the grocery store and time in the kitchen on average. See where your priorities lie and let them guide you. Whether you choose a meal-delivery kit or stick to your own supplies, the kitchen is what you make it.