Meal kit delivery services are having a moment. Competition in the market has driven the diversity of kits to an all-time high. This is good news for consumers since most savvy shoppers have one giant question when it comes to meal kits: are meal kits worth it, or not?
In order to tell if meal kits are worth it for you individually, you’ll have to take a lot of factors into account. While nothing can compare to doing your own research, this blog looks at some of the factors you might want to consider.
Types of Meal Kits Available
Meal kits now come in all shapes and sizes with varying plans targeted at different consumer needs. Some of the different types of kits include:
Kitted Fresh Ingredients
Some meal kits on the market contain pre-portioned individual ingredients that are perfect for aspiring home cooks. Ingredients like vegetables, herbs, spices, meat, grains and/or bread come un-cooked and with a matching recipe card to follow.
Fully Prepared Frozen
Some meal kit services offer fully prepared meals that are flash frozen and shipped to you. Since not all food freezes equally, this might limit the types of food available. However, it is an option that rivals the TV dinners of yesterday on things like taste and nutrition.
Fully Prepared Fresh
Possibly the most “elite” of meal kits (and it’s what Protein Chefs provides), these services offer fresh ingredients that are already cooked and prepared into healthy, ready to eat meals only needing to be heated up before serving.
Specific Food Types
As we mentioned above, the types of kitted food delivery available have come a long way since the onset of the meal kit phenomenon. There are specific food type options for everyone including:
- Gourmet options
- Keto meals
- Paleo meals
- Weight-loss optimized
- Vegan and vegetarian
- Gluten Free
- Kits using produce misfits
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Are Meal Delivery Kits Worth It: Pros and Cons
Knowing if ordering meals to be delivered to you is “worth” the price depends. All things considered, most kit investigators end up saying that meal kits are generally less expensive than eating out based on high restaurant markups.
However, the price of kits varies across brands, and knowing if they are more or less expensive than shopping for ingredients at the grocery store can be tricky.
Some cost comparisons of kitted meals versus shopping have been done, but even these analyses remind the reader that having ingredients like spices already in your cupboard is going to make a big cost difference versus having to buy an entire new jar of spice.
In addition, servings of high-cost items like meat may cost more at the grocery store depending on how they are sold and packaged. Let’s take a look at some personal considerations you may want to weigh.
Benefits – The financial benefits you reap from meal kits is highly dependent on your previous lifestyle choices and begs you ask yourself some questions like:
- Do I eat out at a restaurant every night?
- Do I indulge in expensive take out because I feel I have no other options?
- Do I buy a lot of foods at the grocery store that I don’t really use?
- Am I an impulse purchaser?
Costs – Most meal delivery services are priced out in weekly subscriptions broken down into cost per serving. These vary widely, with some subscription services costing as little as $7 per serving and others climbing towards $20 a serving. The lower priced options appear to require more work on your end, while the higher-priced tend to be fully cooked, fresh prep meals.
Answering these questions may help you determine if the financial benefits of meal delivery are worth the costs incurred.
Benefits – The time benefits of most any type of food delivery are the lack of in-person food shopping. This can save at least an hour if you’re used to shopping weekly. You can also gain time if the meals are partially or fully cooked when you receive them. This can save hours a week and sometimes hours a day if you combine the time you’ll spend doing dishes.
Costs – Some meal kits are going to take more time to prepare than others. If you haven’t already tried a kitted service like HelloFresh or Chefs Plate, just know that while some recipes may claim to only take 30 minutes this is an estimation and may vary based on your cooking skills. We have learned from experience that “easy” doesn’t always translate to “fast” for those who are beginners in the kitchen.
Benefits – Dealing with an online platform and making choices from the comfort of your own home is usually less stressful than planning a week’s worth of meals. Finding recipes, planning time to go shopping, getting in the car and actually going to a store can take a toll.
Meal services can provide you more than just delicious meals as you may benefit:
- Learning a new skill
- Trying new foods
- Cooking as a group activity
- Stressing less over what to eat
- Having more time to relax and unwind
- Knowing you’re eating healthier
- Meeting specific health objectives
Costs – Meal kits may cost you psychologically if you don’t like options. Some people get stressed out when given too many choices, and these days meal delivery is all about options. You’ll also have to deal with a subscription service, going into an app or website to choose your meals and/or decide to skip a week.
Your individual lifestyle and stress level will determine if meal kits can benefit you in these less obvious ways. You’ll have to consider where you’re currently at to know if the unique activity and/or convenience of food prep kits will have stress-reducing benefits.
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Are Meal Prep Kits Worth It in Canada if You Lead a Busy Lifestyle?
People living in big cities like Toronto or the surrounding GTA love meal kits because they can help to supplement the amount of meals per week they need to cook from scratch. The convenience of meal kits saves them time and money in the long run.
Depending on if you live in surrounding areas, cosmopolitan hubs like Toronto may offer Canadians meal kits that are locally-sourced and prepared by actual chefs.
What to Look For in a Meal Kit Delivery Service
When considering a meal kit delivery service it would behoove you not to just search for the cheapest meal kit in Canada. While we’ve discussed costs versus benefits above, it pays to really investigate what you’re getting into when you sign up for subscription food delivery.
Sometimes the time and stress you’ll save can be worth paying a bit more. Look for factors that are important to you, for example:
- Quality of ingredients
- Variety of meal options available
- If the meals are locally sourced
- If the meals are delivered fresh or frozen
- Projected shelf life of meals
- Who prepares the meals
If you’re looking for the healthiest, best meal kits in Canada, you don’t have to look far. Protein Chefs is the go-to meal kit service for athletes, people looking to lose, and live healthily.
We hope this article helped you to answer meal kits are worth it for you individually. And now there’s even more reason to try out our dishes: you’ll get $15 off on your first order.