Meal kit delivery services have been around for a few years. However, they weren’t really succeeding until the pandemic of 2020.
People locked in their homes came to recognize the advantages of meal kits. The awareness of these services has grown, but the question are they worth the money remains.
There is no arguing the fact that a meal kit delivery is more expensive than the same meal cooked by you from scratch. The monetary difference isn’t big, but if you plan your meals on a budget, every dollar matters.
There are also some advantages to meal kits that can help you save money indirectly. Also, they are very convenient to use, which is an essential benefit for some people.
Overall, meal kit delivery services have both pros and cons. Therefore, you will need to consider all of them in order to decide whether your frugal lifestyle should include this expense.
Benefits of Meal Kit Delivery Services
The main reason to invest in meal delivery kits is their convenience. By bringing the food to your home prepped this service allows you to save:
The majority of meal kits will contain prepped ingredients and you’ll be able to cook the meal in about 30 minutes. Today there are also ready-to-eat kits that you only need to heat up in the microwave or oven.
In essence, this is a healthier alternative to microwave dinners from a supermarket. You also get to save time on grocery shopping.
While they aren’t cheap, meal kit delivery services can help you save money on gas when you go shopping. Moreover, you might be able to work during the time you would have otherwise spent cooking and meal planning.
Also, depending on where you live, some fresh ingredients might be hard to come by and expensive. However, if meal kits contain them you will be able to enjoy delicious and exotic foods for an overall lower price.
In addition, there is no food waste with meal kits. So, if that’s a regular issue for you, this method will save money in the long run.
Eating balanced meals full of essential nutrients is a must for maintaining your health. Recent studies show that vitamins and minerals we get from food are more beneficial to our health than whatever our bodies can absorb from supplements.
Therefore, you can’t use taking vitamins as an excuse for an unhealthy diet. Meal kits are designed to be balanced and nutritious. They also contain minimal preservatives so the food is healthier than regular frozen meals.
Money Matters: How Expensive Meal Kits Really Are?
Money-wise meal kits aren’t that expensive compared to eating out or takeout. Depending on the kit, prices start from as little as $5 per meal for two. The average price for a kit is $7-12.
There are also some ways to reduce the cost through discounts, special offers, and tweaking your order.
For example, a vegetarian meal kit delivery subscription is mostly cheaper. As this kit provides only one meal a day, you can use this opportunity to cut down your meat consumption, which should benefit your well-being.
Meanwhile, an average family spends about $550-600 on groceries in a month. Therefore, if you calculate what exactly each meal costs you, including gas and food waste, the difference isn’t that big.
This means that with some clever planning you can easily include meal kit delivery into a frugal budget.
Disadvantages of Meal Kit Delivery Services for a Frugal Life
The cost of meal kit delivery services is the main reason why many people choose not to use them. But other than a higher price compared to cooking from scratch, this food subscription truly has very few disadvantages.
This industry is rather new and at the beginning there were some complaints about its bad influence on the environment. This is because a meal kit contains a lot of different packaging, so it’s hardly eco-friendly.
However, leading meal kit delivery providers recognized this issue. Nowadays, the majority of packaging materials are recyclable. Companies also help the environment in various ways.
In fact, as they source ingredients from local farmers, this industry now has a major positive impact on local economies.
Another concern is the sanitary standards of food preparation. The meal kit delivery industry is not well-regulated yet. Therefore, there is a risk that your meal will be contaminated in some way.
But if you purchase it from a reputed company, you can be reasonably sure in the quality of the food delivered to your door.
Finally, meal kits do contain some processed foods as this is necessary to prevent them from spoiling during delivery. Therefore, these meals cant be considered 100% fresh.
That said, they definitely contain more nutrients than frozen meals, which are processed to the extreme. Any meal kit must provide a detailed nutritional breakdown of the meal. Therefore, you can find out how it fits into your daily calorie and nutrition plan easily.
Bottom Line: Should You Pay for Meal Kit Delivery?
Ultimately, the decision about whether meal kits are worth your hard-earned money depends on your lifestyle and budget. It’s a bigger expense than regular grocery shopping.
However, there are strategies you can use to keep your overall food expenses level. For example, if you go about it wisely, you can stockpile food on a budget.
Then, it will be easier to incorporate slightly expensive meal kits into your expense list. You’ll be able to cover the difference by cooking meals from your more affordable stocks.
You also need to consider your lifestyle. If you don’t have the time to cook balanced nutritious meals regularly, meal kit delivery might be worth it. Think about how much the convenience matters to you and whether you have other ways to ensure your family eats healthy.
If you have time and opportunity to search out the best deals and cook regularly, it makes sense to do it and save money. However, if your situation is different, meal kits might be worth the extra expense because they save you a lot of time and work.
The final decision is always up to you.
This is a collaborative post
Last Updated on 5th April 2023 by Emma