So if you read my last review of the 5 Meal Delivery Kits, you’ll realize I kept the reviews strictly to the each company but I couldn’t help to make other observations from these services as a whole. There were tons of things we loved and other things that I considered setbacks. Here’s what I mean:
Not Meal Planning
Once I have all the ingredients before me, I very much enjoy putting together the meal but good grief do I hate meal planning! Why? I have to consider what’s on sale, who will eat what, what pairs well with what, what’s the temperature this week (for grilling), etc.
Then I have to sit down and actually write down the ingredients I need to put these things together so my trip to the grocery store is more efficient. (Yes, I know I can order online and have them delivered, but I’m very finicky with picking out my own produce and meat) Then I sometimes have to take all 3 kids with me to the grocery store which means someone has to use the restroom when we get there. Did I mention I hate Meal Planning? It’s nice to not have to meal plan so I can reserve my mental energy for something else…like writing a blog post on food delivery kits.
Trying New Recipes and Foods
I know many of us get in a rut of making the same 5 things, so it was such a breath of fresh air to try a greater variety of new recipes. We’ve kept most of the recipe cards and plan on making a lot of them again! If you’re looking to find new favorites and use different ingredients then this definitely will help with that.
I’m the primary cook in our household and Tommy has always expressed an interest in learning, it’s just finding the time. These recipes took the “grocery shopping” out of the equation and most were so well-written, it was easy to follow the instructions. I felt that it gave him the confidence to know that he could put together a delicious meal for us!
If you’ve read my bio, you know that I enjoy eating. It’s the reason I (have to) run a lot. When I cook meals at home, I made a lot so that we have lunch for the next day. The problem with doing so is that I have easy access to a second portion. I felt this helped with portion control- at least for me.
Not Picky-Eater Friendly
Tommy and I aren’t very picky so this was really fun for us to try. Sure there were a few things I bypassed (namely peas and red onions), but I was sure to eat everything else. Suppose you had young children who were picky eaters or even another picky family member. You might end up having to make two dinners- we did!
We ordered the “2-person” meal kits all along because we knew that our children weren’t likely on board. There were some ocassions where they asked to try a bite of what we had, but we didn’t count on it being their main meal.
Because most of these meals are advertised to cook within 30-40 minutes (obviously for convenience) it’s no wonder then that salt and pepper was often used to flavor the dishes. While I love me some salt and pepper, it doesn’t compare to the flavor that comes for overnight marinating in meat and veggies.
No Slow Cooking Method
One of my favorite methods for cooking food is slowly…and I’m not talking about just a slow cooker. I love braising meat, smoking it, and slow-cooking it (last resort) because it provides a deep, rich flavor and tender meat. Some of my most favorite dishes are braised with a red wine (ie bolognese) for hours upon hours. That’s not an option here. It would be great in the future if they could incorporate meals that you can prep in the morning (or night before) to have ready later that evening.
When you compare the effort, time, and cost of creating your own meals, some may think that it is cheaper to go this food route. For someone who’s familiar with where to find grocery sales, price matching, and meal planning I personally didn’t think it was cheaper.
I ordered all of these meal delivery kits with a “first-time user” code which essentially gave me half off and it brought it down to about $5/plate, however, even at that price point, it would be still cheaper (for me) to make it myself and double down on portions as leftovers for the next day.
The problem is the pricing model was created based on the prices where they acquired ingredients. This means we all pay the same, however, when you compare it against grocery store shopping then these meals might be cheaper in New York whereas in Nebraska it might not.
Spilled or Dropped Ingredient
When you buy for a recipe at the store, you rarely buy exactly what you need, down the last tablespoon. The ingredients in all these were perfectly pre-measured to be exactly what you need (there were few cases where they provided excess). Imagine if you dropped or spilled a key ingredient. Do you run to the store to replace it? Do you resort to takeout?
All things considered, I still think you should try one and decide for yourself if the cost is worth the convenience. At the very least, you will walk away with some new meal ideas that you can add to your normal rotation.