Meal kit delivery companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Green Chef have been all the rage for years now. There’s a reason that these companies arose and blew up all of a sudden: We all want to eat healthier, cook more, spend time with our friends and families at home, and maybe even save some money. Sure, there are some great advantages to signing up for one of these companies… But do you really know what you’re doing here?
The truth is that, as I’ve recently learned when researching the environmental impacts of meal kit delivery companies (they’re not good), there are pro’s and con’s to using this service. As with anything, you might opt for the convenience or you might think it’s too big of a price to pay. So, when deciding whether you and your family should try a meal kit delivery service, here are the 6 Pros and 4 Cons you need to know.
1. You will probably eat healthier.
One of the big benefits of meal kit delivery services is that most of them are on the healthy side. You can opt for ones that are organic (like Green Chef) or vegan (like Purple Carrot) or simply promise healthy meals (like Hello Fresh) and not be disappointed. Plus, all of them include fresh ingredients so you’re pretty much guaranteed to eat more veggies no matter what.
2. You’ll get to try new recipes.
One of the reasons that I fell in love with these services (like Blue Apron) is because of the really creative, international recipes. I love to try new foods, and you will get to do plenty of it when you invest in these meal kits. There is so much variation and very little repetition, week to week. Who wants to be bored with dinner, after all?
3. You might save money by eating at home.
If your go-to for dinner is going out to eat every single night, then you will for sure be saving money by instead ordering these (like Sun Basket). Most of them have portions that average about $10-12 per person, per meal, which means that you’ll be saving a few bucks if your typical diners previously have been $15 burgers at your local restaurant. And that’s a win-win!
4. It makes cooking really easy.
Want to make dinner in one pot (like Gobble) or have a ton of variety (like Plated)? There’s basically something for everyone with these kind of meals. You will surely learn new skills, and you might even learn them from the experts (like the Martha Stewart meals from Marley Spoon) or learn a new cuisine (like the Southern dishes from Peach Dish).
5. Yes, it’s hella convenient.
Some of these meal kits have some of the simplest packaging (like Terra’s Kitchen) which pretty much double the convenience factor. While some of them pile all of the ingredients in one box, others separate them out and just make it SO easy to cook. Seriously, who wouldn’t want all the food and ingredients you need delivered to you weekly? It makes cooking no sweat.
6. Special diets are pretty easy to try.
If you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or Paleo, you will find a meal kit delivery service to suit your needs. All of these services have many options, so you should make sure to do your research and see what you find. Some services tell you exactly what the potential allergens are (like Home Chef, which alerts you to wheat, dairy, soy, etc) and others allow you to personalize your food quite easily (like Chef’d, which has you take a quiz where you can say if you’re vegetarian, diabetic, pescatarian, and more).
1. It can be pricey.
One of the biggest things that holds people back from trying a meal kit delivery option is the price. Yes, that’s right. It’s cheaper than going out to dinner but it is definitely NOT cheaper than grocery shopping. I personally spend about $81 every week on my vegan Green Chef meals. Some of them are cheaper, but some are pricier too. That can be a pretty big commitment for a family who’s trying to save money.
2. It’s not so great for the environment.
I love the convenience of meal kit delivery companies… but every week, it means getting another box full of little baggies with food. That means adding a lot more plastic to the environment, and we all know that’s not good. Sure, some of these have environmentally-friendly packaging (like Green Chef, which again is why I personally chose it) but it’s still not the same as NOT buying these every week.
3. You’ll still spend 30-40 minutes on making dinner.
While these definitely make cooking more convenient, it doesn’t mean that cooking itself is actually any quicker. Most of the meals you can get delivered still take about half an hour, and some even longer. If you’re not someone who is used to cooking… Well, then you might need even more time. That’s tricky, because the whole “convenience” factor seems like it should also be quicker, amirite?
4. There’s little control of what you’ll get.
Some of the meal kits let you pick ALL of your recipes, but most don’t. Typically, after you select your dietary preference (omnivore or vegetarian, or one of the specialty ones like vegan or gluten-free), you’ll get three meals delivered to you that day… and what if you don’t happen to like one? Or what if you’ve tried a similar one before? Or if you don’t like the flavors or a particular ingredient? It can get tricky and, well, annoying.