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What is a meal kit delivery service?
A meal delivery service offers fresh, wholesome produce prepared, packaged and delivered to your door in ready-made meal form. Some services deliver premade meals that you just need to heat up and enjoy, while others give you all the ingredients you need to cook and eat. But the idea behind all these services is the same: You don’t have to grocery shop or worry about meal prep. All you have to do is enjoy.
Most meal kit delivery services use a subscription-based platform. You’ll start by picking your plan, including what types of food you do and don’t want, how many meals you need and how frequently you’d like them delivered. Most services also give you the option of skipping or pausing shipments. And you can usually cancel at any time without penalty.
Pros and cons
- Save time. Can’t find time to get to the grocery store, chop veggies and cook meals for you and your family? Let a meal delivery service do the shopping and prep work for you. All you have to do is enjoy the art of cooking, then sit down and eat!
- Eat healthier. Most meal kit services take the guesswork out of putting together healthy, nutritious meals — plus, lots of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, low-carb and other special dietary options are now available from many brands.
- Waste less food. Your meal kit will provide the perfect amount of food needed to cook for the number of people in your family. You don’t have to worry about unused produce spoiling in your fridge.
- Learn to cook. Most meal kit services provide easy-to-follow cooking instructions with every meal, giving you the opportunity to cook new dishes or learn basic cooking techniques for the first time.
- Takes up fridge space. Not everyone has extra room in their refrigerator or freezer to store a week’s worth of meals. Your available storage space will dictate which service you pick and how much you can order.
- Cost. While meal kit pricing varies, some people may find that even the most affordable options don’t fit within their grocery budget.
- Feeding large families. Some services may not send enough food to feed large families on a weekly basis — or if they do, this option can be pricey.
What to consider when choosing a meal kit
To help you narrow down your search for the best meal kit option for you and your family, consider these important factors:
- Dietary restrictions. While many meal kit delivery services now cater to a growing number of special dietary needs, make sure the one you choose has options for your specific needs.
- Expense. Does this particular meal kit fit within your budget? Do you still need to spend money on regular groceries to supplement meals? Are there shipping or delivery fees? Factor in all of these variables to figure out the realistic cost per week or month and make sure it’s manageable.
- How many people you’re cooking for. Although convenient, meal kits for large families can be pricey. Make sure the one you choose offers cost-effective subscriptions for your family.
- The fine print. No matter which service you choose, read the fine print before committing to your first box. Some meal delivery services might have a minimum spend amount or ask that you sign up for at least one month. Make sure you understand the cancellation policy and other important information before signing up.
Frequently asked questions
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