Meal kits are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re thinking of signing up for one, here’s a few things you’ll want to consider before you commit.
What’s a meal kit service?
A meal kit is a subscription service where a company sends you weekly pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to make home-cooked meals. It can be an easy way to make delicious meals without stepping foot in a grocery store or struggling with indecision around what to cook.
5 things to consider before you sign up
- Will it accommodate your dietary needs? Some of these services offer a variety of meals for all types of dietary needs (gluten free, vegan, vegetarian). Others are more limited. Decide on one that fits best with your preferences or allergies.
- What’s the most cost-effective option? Make sure to browse around and find the service that offers the most affordable plans. What are the portions like? What does each meal end up costing? If you’ve decided on a service, consider choosing the meals with the most valuable ingredients so you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
- When are the deadlines? Many of these services offer flexible subscriptions that allow you to pause the membership and skip whichever weeks you want. These services also offer deadlines for picking out which meals you want delivered – if you miss it, they’ll choose the meals for you. These services will usually send reminder emails for an upcoming deadline, but just in case, you may want to find out when the deadlines are and set a weekly reminder in your calendar.
- Where do you want it delivered? Many of these services provide cooler bags with ice packs to keep the food cool if it’s delivered when you’re not home. However, depending on where you live and your schedule, it may make more sense to get it delivered to your work. Make the decision that makes the most sense for you.
- How does cancellation work? Find out how to cancel your subscription entirely. Make sure you know how much notice you have to give (if any) and make sure you understand how to do it properly.
Do you have any tips when it comes to signing up for a meal kit service? Please share them in the comments below.
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9 thoughts on “5 things to consider before you sign up for a meal kit service”
I will not be signing up for any of these. Just another money making gimmick.
Better to plan meals with an old time recipe book and order groceries online
Good advice. I did a trial with a code from a friend who was a regular customer. Only for one week which amounted to 3 dinners for two people. The portions were okay, the ingredients fresh, recipes easy to follow, and only the odd condiment that I was supposed to add on top of what was included in the ice-packed box. I shared the cooking with a friend at each other’s homes; canceled before the deadline of the following week’s selection cut-off date, and received confirmation of same. It was an enjoyable experiment and a reasonable price with the coupon, but at $70/week for three dinners as the regular price, it was too rich for my budget. If I was a young, single person, or someone with a small family where everyone worked full time, I can see where it would be helpful for menu planning and preparation. Only if you could afford it though as there are no left-overs for lunch the next day!
Hi Barbara! Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s good info for people who have yet to try it out. My boyfriend and I just started one and ordered our meals for a 4 person family so we have enough for leftovers! It has worked out quite well the last couple weeks. Makes it a little easier and I don’t have to cook as often! 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!
In a time when we should all be more environmentally conscious, I find these plans have a lot of packaging that ends up in a landfill.
Hi Michele, good point. I know some of them only use local meat and produce with a limited carbon footprint (in the sense of transporting foods long distances). But I agree, there could definitely be a more thoughtful approach to packaging. Thanks for sharing your input!
I think these are great. If, the persons ordering these kits can figure out what staple ingredients (that come in the small portioned out packs) to keep on hand, and how to put meals together. As well as plan and do a weekly grocery shop. I won’t be buying any because I know how to cook and shop. I find it sad that so many don’t know how to do this today.
We decided to try one and have kept it up. It is about $70 week for 3 meals which often has enough for left overs so we get more that the 3 out of it. We were going out at least once a week and for one meal at a restaurant with tips and tax it was getting close to that, even burger joints are $30 or so.
We found the selection very good and to be honest have loved every meal we’ve tried. It has also got my wife to try things she normally wouldn’t and she has found a liking for Falafal, Tabouli etc. Another bonus is that it gets both of us in the kitchen, one of us preps while the other cooks. Any we like we can now buy the ingrediants and make on our own. You can be a little hesitant to buy a whole box of something and find you don’t like it but this lets you try things.
These may not be for everyone but for the two of us it is working out.
I’m glad to hear you’ve had a positive experience, Larry!