In 2020, meal kit subscriptions were very popular as more people were cooking at home than eating out during the COVID-19 pandemic. HelloFresh and Blue Apron were catering to customers who wanted healthy meals that included more variety. They also offered pre-portioned foods shipped right to their doors.
Some meal kit customers are now wondering if the subscription is worth it, especially since the promotional offers have ended. Many meal kit companies offer significant discounts to new customers. This includes dozens of free meals and more than 50% off for the first-time subscriber.
Meals cost between $6 and $12 per portion, which is comparable to takeout. Customers still need to shop for the two other meals they eat each day, as most meal subscriptions only cover four to six meals per week.
The cost of meal kits is a function of what you value and how much you spend on food. These are the factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to subscribe to a meal-kit subscription.
What would you spend on food if you didn’t have to?
The price is a major factor for some customers when deciding whether or not to purchase a meal plan. Depending on how much you spend on groceries or dining out, a subscription might cost you more than what you would normally spend on ingredients.
Nadia Russell, a health analyst, says that the intro price was comparable to my weekly grocery budget. However, full-price boxes were more affordable. She liked the variety and convenience of her subscription, but she cancelled after the promotional period because the price had increased.
Emily Bird, an administrator at a music distribution firm, says that she could spend the same amount at the supermarket for a week’s worth groceries. She also speaks out about the cost of a weekly meal package. She too took advantage of a popular meal-kit promotional offer, but she decided to cancel her subscription after the first few week.
A meal kit can be cheaper than ordering takeout or dining out. A meal kit could be more attractive for larger households because most services offer discounts for larger quantities.
Madisenne Berry is a massage therapist who subscribed to a meal-based recipe kit to prepare weeknight meals for her three-person family.
She says that it was cheaper than shopping at the grocery store every other week, and she doesn’t regret cancelling because of cost.
What price are you willing to pay?
Meal kits are often more cost-effective than they appear. These kits can be less time-consuming than buying groceries and planning meals. This can make it easier to get creative in the kitchen.
Christina McNichol is a full-time nanny. She says, “I love to cook and try out new recipes.” It’s much more costly to attempt to make complicated recipes when you need to purchase each ingredient separately. With a meal kit, however, I could choose my meals in advance and get exactly what I needed span>
Other people benefit from having pre-portioned foods delivered to their homes, especially when it is difficult to buy groceries in person.
Russell, a health care analyst, says, “I moved to a different city this year but didn’t own a car so I was unable to access groceries easily.” “Using a meal-kit service for the first few week allowed me to prepare a variety meals at home without having to rely on anyone to take me to the grocery span>
A meal kit subscription is a great way to save time and ensure that you don’t sacrifice the nutritional value or variety of your food.
What are you willing and able to pay for variety?
Cooking at home, without a meal plan, is all about finding creative ways of using ingredients. This results in meals that have repeat elements or leftovers. (Think fish and rice dinner followed by fish tacos on the next day). Meal kits allow you to make a greater variety of meals and not have leftovers. Ingredients are also divided in smaller quantities than you would find at a grocery store.
Bird said that it was important to have the right amount of each ingredient. Some items, such as a garnish of herbs or a spoonful yogurt to make a sauce, are not available in one serving at a grocery shop. The perfect portion motivated me to try new .” recipes.
McNichol says that he definitely wasted less food. McNichol says that some of the recipes contained ingredients that I don’t normally cook with. These would usually go bad if they weren’t used for another meal span>
It might not be a good idea to pay more for a variety of dinner options if you are happy with your home-cooked meals and leftovers. It might be worth it if you are eager to try new recipes, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on ingredients that you may not use again.
This article was originally published by The Associated Press and was written by NerdWallet.