Meal kits are a relatively new kind of subscription service that delivers prepped ingredients for homecooked meals to your door. However, this delivery service is definitely more expensive than buying your own groceries to cook.
In fact, there is quite a bit of controversy regarding meal kits. On one hand, no one can deny the benefits of having a healthy balanced and fresh meal delivered regularly. This is even more important now when due to the COVID-19 pandemic eating out has become a risk.
Simple Budget Planner
Sign up and get instant access to our FREE Simple Monthly Budget Planner!
However, there are also arguments about meal kits being a waste of money as well as them being unsustainable. You’ll need to consider many things to see if you really can save money using meal kits. The answer will largely depend on your lifestyle and eating habits.
A Brief History of Meal Kits in the USA
Meal kits were originally invented in Sweden around 2007. However, now there are over 150 companies providing this service in the USA alone. In a decade, meal kits have become a $2.2 billion industry worldwide. However, the idea of meal kits goes back far beyond the 21st century.
Today this service is growing more popular in urban areas. People are now more health conscious therefore they are more interested in eating healthy and balanced meals. However, they rarely have time to make them.
Of course, there are easy instant-pot dinner recipes you can use sometimes. But those grow old fast. Also, to make meals from those recipes you still need to take time to both shop for and prep the ingredients. That’s not to mention that you need to decide which meals to cook in advance.
Meal kits solve these problems neatly. They deliver prepped ingredients so that the meal only requires about 30 minutes cooking. As the ingredients are mostly prepped, the cooking itself barely takes any work.
However, you get to save time not only on dicing and slicing but also on shopping and planning. Meals from the kit come with a detailed breakdown of their nutritional value.
Therefore, it’s easy to include them in any diet plan. Also, they are guaranteed to be healthy and balanced. And as you are the one cooking, you can be more secure in the knowledge that the meal is indeed healthy. You might not always have the same confidence in takeout.
All in all, it’s not a surprise that meal kits are growing more popular every year. They are also slowly starting to win over non-urbanized parts of the country. Their attractiveness in those areas comes from the fact that people get an easy delivery of exotic meals. Without the kits, some ingredients might be hard to come by there.
Top Meal Kit Companies in the World
HelloFresh is getting very positive reviews and is one of the oldest and most versatile meal kit services. It started from Germany and is now available in many EU countries, as well as the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
This company offers several plans fit for families, single people, and vegetarians. The kits come
highly recommended for their versatility and freshness.
The company is renowned for its sustainability efforts. It’s one of the first to try and minimize the industry’s impact on the environment. Almost all packaging is recyclable and HelloFresh runs a specialized freezer bag recycling program. Note that complaints about freezer packs are the main issue with the meal kit sustainability.
Sun Basket is a San Francisco meal kit startup that’s quite new but already popular. Its main features include delivering meals seasonal ingredients with recipes created by Justine Kelly. Kelly is a talented chef with over a quarter of century’s worth experience in the kitchen.
About 99% of all ingredients in Sun Basket meal kits are organic certified. Users report that even with a family of four the meals usually have leftovers. Therefore, you definitely won’t go hungry with these kits.
Frichti is a meal kit startup from Paris that has grown so fast it raised over $33 million in funding in 2017. Note that it was founded in 2015. The company is not only focusing on meal kits but also provides an online supermarket service.
This company has made a major effort to ensure the safety of its customers during the lockdowns. Delivering healthy meals is the mission of the company, so it’s no surprise they take extra care during the pandemic.
Overall, the company is highly innovative and evolves rapidly. Being the best-funded business in this industry in France definitely helps.
Can You Really Save Money Using Meal Kits?
Meal kits can help you save money if you eat out or order takeout a lot. They also can help cut your grocery costs if you need to go quite far to shop. There are dozens and even hundreds of meal kit companies almost in every country today. This alone should be proof that many people consider this service to be worth the money.
It’s true that meals from the kit are more expensive compared to doing your own groceries and cooking from scratch. However, they are also cheaper compared to eating out and takeout.
You also need to keep in mind that meal kits provide you with healthy and balanced meals. Therefore, they make it easier for you to maintain a healthy diet. And you get to save money on trips to the grocery store. Gas alone doesn’t come cheap for this, especially if you live in rural areas.
As to the cost, the expense of meal kit subscription isn’t all that big. You can fit it even in a small budget using smart expense planning. So it’s mostly a matter of clever money management.
All things considered, meal kits allow you to save time and effort on planning and cooking meals. They also provide you with fresh homecooked food regularly. Finally, they allow you to enjoy balanced meals that you can cook even as a beginner.
Are these advantages worth a bit of extra money for you and your family?
If yes, then finding an affordable meal kit delivery service in your area won’t be an issue. If not, however, you can always try a free meal trial to get some real experience of the service. This should help you decide whether it will work out for you.