Last Updated: November 2, 2020 | Cheryl B.
You've seen the meal prep kits advertised online or on TV and are on the fence about them. On one hand, you would love the convenience of them, but on the other, you're unsure if you can justify the cost. However, when you stop and think about it, meal prep kits can often end up saving you both time and money. Read on to see how this might be the case for you.
1. Portion Control
Most meal prep kits come with just enough ingredients to make the number of servings that you specify while others send you services that are already precooked for you. That means limited meal prep, which saves a lot of time when you have a dish that's more complex.
Regardless of the meal prep kit you choose, you will most likely order it by the serving. Because each portion is fixed and designed to meet your nutritional needs, it's much easier to watch how much you eat, if that's something you like to do. In addition, since you cook only one portion at a time, overcooking is less of a concern.
2. Less Food Waste From Extra Ingredients
When you want to make a certain dish, you often have to buy more of several ingredients than you would realistically use in the dish (or multiple dishes). Unless you have meals perfectly planned out for the week, ingredients such as fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit often go bad before you get to use them. You end up throwing them away, which is money wasted. This is one way meal prep kits will definitely save you money – each meal kit comes with the perfect amount of ingredients to make the recipe you want. No leftover ingredients to go bad. That 30 to 50 percent you thought you were saving by shopping directly from the grocery store just went out to the trash.
Interestingly, the average family in the U.S. ends up throwing away about 40 percent of their food because it’s so difficult to buy the exact amount of ingredients you need for the week. And, if you do use those ingredients up and make more than you need, you end up overeating or throwing away the leftovers.
There's no need to worry about coming up with ideas to use up extra ingredients or throwing away leftovers again since everything in a meal kit is packed in neat portion sizes. Simply take out the ingredients for the recipe you're making, follow the recipe and enjoy!
3. Less Take-Out and Delivery Fees
With our lives getting busier and busier, many people stop and grab a bite to eat at a fast food restaurant, go out to eat at sit-down restaurants, or order take-out or delivery because of the convenience. If convenience is what you're after, then you should consider meal prep kits as an alternative, especially those that have pre-cooked meals. With meal kits, there's much less mess and fuss than cooking from scratch. You'll also find that your food bill will go down significantly. A meal prep serving is typically $5 per serving, versus the $20 or more per serving at a restaurant. Add in the delivery fee, services charges and tip, and you're saving even more.
Furthermore, if you ever wanted to try something new, but have been intimidated by new recipes, meal kits help you broaden your horizons and try new things without wasting a lot of money with straight forward instructions and prepped ingredients.
4. Saving You Time, and Time is Money
Are you always on the go? Are you a busy person who works all hours of the day? You can save meal planning and prep time with meal prep kits. All you do is pull the ingredients out and cook up the recipe – or if you order pre-cooked meal prep kits, just pull the food out and heat it up.
If you prefer cooking the meals yourself, the meal prep kits come with all of the ingredients you need already measured out. Just put everything together and cook your favorite meals.
Lastly, ordering meal kits can save you the trip to the grocery store. Add in the commute, the shopping time, the gas and all of the incremental costs of a grocery store visit (or two) and you'll see the math tip further towards meal kit delivery.
5. Free Entertainment for the Family
Last, and most importantly, moms and dads often find meal kits to be a great way to spend time with the family and make a daily chore a source of fun. With most of the hard work already done for you, it's easy to involve your kids in the cooking process by asking them to unpack the box and help mix together ingredients.
In addition, the time you spent in the grocery store will give you more time back to spend quality time with family, whether you like to do something at home or you want to take everyone on a day-cation.