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Are Meal Delivery Kits Worth Their Price?

Meal delivery kits are everywhere today: on TV, social media, and even your neighbors’ doorsteps. Touted as a convenient way to get dinner on the table without spending much time, effort, or money, meal delivery has quickly become a popular replacement for grocery shopping.

But are meal delivery kits really better than the old method of grocery shopping, recipe planning, and cooking all on your own? Meal kits can be the perfect solution for busy people – but with so many different options and prices, it’s important to know what you’re signing up for before you say goodbye to grocery stores. Before choosing a meal delivery kit or plan, here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of Meal Delivery Kits

There are countless reasons people are drawn to meal kits. One of the biggest benefits of meal kits is convenience. Instead of looking through recipes, trying to determine what you’ll be making, and grocery shopping for at least an hour each week, you get an entire week’s (or few days) worth of groceries and recipes delivered to your door. Instead of selecting ingredients and measuring them yourself, meal delivery kits also prepare you with exactly what you need.

Another perk meal delivery kits offer is balance. If you’re trying to eat healthy, practice portion control, or stick to a certain type of diet, a meal kit can make the entire process far simpler. There are so many meal kit company choices that you can choose one perfect for your lifestyle – like Green Chef, which offers meals for keto, vegetarian, and paleo individuals, or Sun Basket, which offers “lean and clean” recipes. There’s no need to count calories or worry if your meal meets your dietary needs with the right meal kit delivery service.

Meal Kits vs. Grocery Shopping: Which is Cheaper?

For all of their benefits, meal kits are praised as being cost effective and affordable. But are they truly cheaper than choosing your own groceries at a local store?

Surprisingly, there’s less of a cost difference between traditional grocery shopping and meal delivery services than you might think. In a survey of multiple meal delivery services, The Kitchn found that they kits actually costs almost the exact same as buying your own groceries – the cost difference totals just a few dollars or cents. When comparing the prices of the exact same items at local grocery stores, the very same ingredients can be bought to total similar prices.

Of course, not all meal delivery kits are as affordable as others. The Kitchn found, in a dollar to dollar test, that Hello Fresh tends to cost around $24 more than regular groceries. If you choose a specialty meal kit like Hello Fresh, which places an emphasis on health-conscious meals, or opt for bigger serving sizes (the typical meal delivery kit serves two), you should expect higher costs.

When comparing the cost of meal delivery services versus groceries, there’s another factor you won’t want to forget: your time. Using a meal delivery kit saves you from taking time each week out of your busy schedule to plan meals, shop for ingredients, and prep those ingredients each night you cook. Some meal kit options, like Prep and Gobble, even promise to get dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. While this might not lead to savings in your wallet, it can lead to more free time to enjoy at home rather than cooking or shopping.

The End Result

Ultimately, there’s a pretty even split between meal delivery kits and shopping at the grocery store. While meal delivery kits take the hard work and guessing out of making dinner each night, some kits and services can be much more costly. And every meal delivery kit is different, offering different types of food, recipes, and price ranges for any and every home cook.

If you want to give meal delivery a try, make sure to look into pricing beforehand. Do your research so you understand what you’re getting for each meal – how many servings, or portions, for your money as well as what kinds of foods you’ll be making. And don’t forget to consider your time. If meal delivery can save you significant time each week, it can be worth a little more money.

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