Are Meal Kits Magical?
Are Meal Kits Magical?
Many of you have heard of the meal kit subscription services available for busy people and busy families. But are they as magical as they seem? Here are a few things to consider before giving them a try.
Assess Your family:
Do you like to cook? Even the most basic recipes will require some cooking. Will you have the energy to make the kit after a long work day?
What’s your meal budget? The top three subscription kits, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and Plated, have an average cost (per person) of $8.00-$10.00 for a family of 4 on the weekly-3 meal plan. The cost per meal is $5.37 per person for US families who purchase groceries on their own, or $2.63-$4.63 less per plate.
Are you comfortable with a subscription-based format of meal delivery? If you’re that person who forgets they have products arriving on a schedule—with fees deducted from your account (remember Wen?) this may not be the service for you.
Do you have finicky eaters? Know your family’s threshold for trying something new. If you have kids who are picky eaters, the investment may become wasteful if the fish with miso sauce is left behind on a plate or sent to the garbage.
What’s Your Appetite? A family with toddlers who toy with their food or teenagers who attack it, may not be the best candidates for the portion-controlled nature of the meal kits. You may end up wasting food or running out of it.
How crazy is your family activities schedule? The kits will arrive whether Matthew has an all-day tournament or not. If your week is loaded with games, matches and practices, designating someone to cook the kit might be difficult. Maybe your best friend is a crockpot.
Is your shipping address secure? Those meal kits could be gone from your front steps if they’re left sitting out on their own while you work all day. Be sure you have a secure space for them until you can arrive home.
Does packaging and trash bother you? Due to the nature of individually packaged ingredients, there is a great deal of trash generated by the kits—check your recycling bins before prep! Plus, when it’s all said and done, you still must clean the kitchen!
Here are Positives for Meal Kit Delivery:
Save on Spices and Sauces. With meal kit delivery you are not stuck purchasing costly ingredients that you may never use again. Truthfully, how old is that bottle of Tabasco sauce in your fridge? Almost as old as your eldest child? (Yup, we thought so)
You can begin to collect recipes you can eventually try without the kit service. Long after the kit delivery is gone, you will have the recipe cards and instructions they contain. Hold on to the meal recipes you love!
It’s Healthier! Pre-measured and portioned servings are better for weight loss and management. In addition, kits are available for those who are diabetic or have other health concerns or preferences.
Kits Expand Your Horizons! Exposure to new meals inspired by foreign cultures is always great! Curry is cool and balsamic is blissful…you just have to try them!
Become a More Confident Cook! The use of new ingredients and techniques can be a source of learning for cooks who subscribe to kit delivery.
Instill Lessons and Responsibilities. Because the kits generate just as much kitchen clutter and clean up as a regular meal, delegating clean-up chores is a great way to instill gratitude for the cooks and a sense of responsibility in those who do the dishes and put them away.
Relief for Grocery Store Phobia. Kit delivery is an excellent for those how really hate grocery shopping and the parking lot warfare, claustrophobic crowds, waiting and schlepping that comes with it.
In the end, only you know if meal kit delivery is a good option. The perfect solution for one family may not be the best for another. Maybe cooking together is a bonding (and learning) experience for your kids—but maybe it’s just as much fun to order a pizza and discuss your day over pepperoni.