Have you thought about purchasing a meal kit, but you haven’t quite been able to figure out if it’s worth it? Well, you know what they say: if you can’t make a decision, make a list.
Here are the most common pros and cons of ordering a meal kit delivery service.
The real reason we love meal kits? They save us so much time.
Think about all of the steps that go into creating a meal from scratch:
First, you have to plan the meal, whether you’re searching the web or hunting around your kitchen. Next, you have to go to the grocery store, walk the aisles, pay for your items, load your car, drive home, and unload your groceries. Lastly, you have to cook, which means selecting the proper ingredients, prepping the ingredients, re-packaging the leftover ingredients, completing the meal, and then it’s finally time to eat.
Oh, and we didn’t even mention that you have to clean up afterward.
With meal kits, the “planning” portion takes just five minutes, where you select next week’s meals off your meal delivery company’s rotating menu. A week later, all of your ingredients arrive pre-portioned and bundled in with their appropriate recipe, taking all of the guessing out of the cooking process. Most meal kits can be cooked in 15–30 minutes. Easy.
How about making dinner in three minutes? For the real convenience hunters out there, some meal kits offer pre-made meals. These meals don’t require any cooking: simply toss them in the microwave (or oven), heat, and eat.
Diet- and Allergy-Friendly
Meal kit companies make it super easy to stick to a particular diet. Whether you have allergies, follow a strict diet, or simply don’t like some popular ingredients, most of our top-rated meal kit companies allow you to filter specific ingredients out from your weekly meal choices.
For folks with allergies, many meal kits make it easy to avoid menu items with:
Customers following a specific diet or lifestyle can opt-in to meals that fit their needs, including:
- Weight loss
Meal kit companies even allow you to skip ingredients you don’t like, such as:
Good for the Planet
Meal kits are a more sustainable alternative to the traditional grocery store run because meal kits create less food waste, less need for transportation, and require less packaging.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store to buy one lemon or one onion, but the grocery store only sold them in packs of three? All of those extra ingredients probably went to waste (unless you enjoy eating raw onions and lemons…we’re not judging).
It’s not so easy to waste food with a meal kit. Every meal is packed with its own set of ingredients, carefully portioned for the right number of servings you ordered.
Every ingredient that you see at a grocery store ended up there from a farm, which was transported via refrigerated truck or train. Just like the ingredients, every customer ended up at the grocery store somehow: if you live in a rural or suburban area, most customers probably drove there.
With meal kits, ingredients are sourced from local farms, portioned by the meal delivery company, and shipped directly to you. Fewer steps mean less gasoline, which is a plus for the planet.
Lastly, most articles will tell you that meal delivery kits create excess waste. We disagree: most meal delivery kits are carefully packaged with recyclable and bio-degradable materials. How many grocery store products are entirely recyclable? If most of your meals come from a meal kit, you’re most likely producing less waste than if you had gone to the grocery store.
Pricier than the Grocery Store
Meal kits are a bit pricier than you might expect.
Although every meal kit company has its own prices, the average price per meal hovers around $10. This means meal kits are cheaper than takeout, but probably not quite as cheap as the average grocery store meal.
If you’re on the fence about meal delivery prices, you can start by ordering just a few meal delivery recipes per week. At this lower price point, you can see if the convenience, taste, and diet-friendly features of the meal kit meals are worth the extra price.
Not Every Meal is a Winner
Have you ever paid over $30 for a meal at a restaurant that was only so-so? You probably felt like you just threw your money in the trash. Although meal kit prices only average about $10 a meal, the occasional bad meal can leave you with that same, I-just-got-ripped-off feeling.
Luckily, most meal kit companies make it easy to know exactly what it is you’re ordering for the upcoming week. Most meal kit menus will include the ingredient list, the chef who designed it, cooking instructions, and tons of photos of the meal.
In the field of psychology, there’s this concept called “choice overload,” in which people tend to feel less satisfied with a choice if that choice comes from a long list of options. It sounds kind of bizarre, but whether they're choosing shoes, TV shows, or next week’s meals, people tend to prefer fewer choices.
Meal kit companies are guilty of offering their customers choice overload. Most meal kits offer around 50 rotating meals per week (by rotating, we mean the meals change each week, but eventually are offered again). That’s a lot to choose from.
That said, there will always be meals that stand out to you, whether you go for familiar favorites or want to try something new. And if there’s too many good options to choose from, you’re safe knowing that meal planning for the next order just got easier.
Try a Meal Kit Out, Today
Thinking about ordering a meal kit? You’re in the right place.
On our list, you’ll find the best-rated meal kit companies in the US. From heat-and-eat pre-made meals for busy professionals to 30-minute crowd-pleasers designed for the whole family, you’ll find a kit that fits your tastebuds.