The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating hit to many industries. However, it also highlighted the need for change and pushed innovative and progressive services to the surface. One of the changes was a surge in the popularity of meal kits. A few months ago they were a subscription service that seemed to be dying with only some millennials in urbanised areas interested in it. But today, companies are reporting up to 200% growth in customers within the last six months. This pandemic clearly brought the benefits of meal kits to light. And these companies are sweetening the deal by offering some fantastic discounts.
What Are Meal Kits and Why Are They Useful?
Meal kits or recipe boxes, as they are often called in the UK are a type of food delivery service. However, unlike some pizza apps that allows you to order pizzas and collect rewards, this service provides you with subscription boxes full of food. Each box contains specific ingredients for recipes that are also included.
Unlike with delivery meals, you need to cook the food from a meal kit yourself. This requires a bit more time. However, this type of service is also cheaper than your regular takeaway restaurant meals. The food is also much healthier than cheap processed fast food.
Also, recipes are rather simple and some ingredients are prepped. Therefore, you will only need to spend 20-50 minutes to cook the meal, on average.
The biggest advantage of meal kits is, of course, convenience. This is exactly what people came to appreciate during the pandemic. When access to fresh produce was restricted, meal kits made sure that you get to enjoy a varied and balanced diet. Most importantly, you don’t have to risk yourself at all because the box is delivered to your door.
Meals in the kits are extremely versatile today. However, all recipes there are designed to be nutritionally balanced and healthy. The selection of recipes varies greatly depending on the provider. However, leading companies today offer great flexibility. They allow you to replace ingredients and customize recipe boxes to your liking. They also offer several meal kit options, like vegetarian and other suited for specialized diets.
Meal kit subscriptions usually deliver 3-5 meals a week and you can choose between 2-5 servings. The number of ingredients is calculated just right to ensure you enjoy a filling meal. Therefore, meal kits help minimize food waste.
Are Meal Kits Cost-Efficient?
Buying your own groceries and cooking from scratch will give you a lower price per serving compared to a meal kit. However, a meal from a recipe box will be cheaper than eating out or getting healthy takeout.
In fact, you might be saving money overall with meal kits even compared to doing your own grocery shopping. Especially if you are going to use coupons and discounts.
For example, let’s look at how much money you can save on HelloFresh boxes. This company is the biggest in the industry globally and known for offering the best value for money and low prices. HelloFresh offers $80 discounts in Canada, or $20 off on your first and $10 off on your second box in the US, or 50% off on the first and 20% off for the next three orders in the UK. It’s different for every country because of the difference in prices of local ingredients, labour, etc.
Those things considered, (after some research) in Canada, you get to save $80 for your first month. An average, the minimum order is $78 per week. Therefore, you basically get a week of free meals. In the US, the price per serving starts at $8.99. But with the promo code, you get your first box at $5.32 with free shipping on top. And in the UK the average price per serving is £5 but you get to enjoy your first meals at half of that and your next three at 20% OFF with free shipping.
Even at a glance, you can see that using these deals can give you a significant cut to your grocery budget for the month. Of course, those discounts will end. However, these companies often have promotions, special offers, and even loyalty programs. Therefore, there is always a chance to cut the costs for a bit. And you are always sure that your diet will be healthy, varied, and packed with fresh foods.
Bottom Line: Are Meal Kits Worth It?
Meal kits might not be the cheapest way to get a meal. However, they are definitely cost-efficient. Also, the kits deserve some points for the sheer convenience. They help you avoid grocery shopping and allow you to use your grocery budget more efficiently.
Moreover, the kits are very easy to use, even if you are only learning how to cook. Considering their level of versatility and that you get to season and cook the food exactly as you like it, a meal kit subscription seems like a good investment.