Meal kits are the future of grocery shopping – hopefully! The recipe delivery service serves to cater to all your needs, but no more! Essentially, meal kit companies provide a menu of around 20+ recipes, as if you’re in a restaurant, but when you order them (3 or 4 in one go, say), you’ll be presented with the ingredients and some recipe instructions. If the dish requires 2 tablespoons of turmeric – that’s all you’re getting.
The idea behind this is to save on waste, first and foremost. When ordering an ordinary grocery shop online, there’s a worryingly high amount of waste that occurs as a result. You may only get to use 6 of the 12 carrots you’ve got and half the milk before it perishes. Not only this, but the packaging of products in a supermarket is externally produced – supermarkets have little control over what the companies use to package their products. Sure, they can refuse to sell anything with one-use plastic, but to coordinate this throughout the whole store is unmanageable in the current market.
Meal kit companies on the other hand offer very few products, and most of them are fresh. They can decide on how they package, and the exact quantities, as they have full autonomy over the whole process.
So it saves the world, but does it save the customer?
Meal kit services are not here just to save the world, but also to save you time. If you were to go to the supermarket and pick out all of these items yourself, by the time you drive home and unpack you could have wasted a couple of hours of your day.
The resulting “manual” shop may save you a few bucks. Let’s say your food bill is $15 cheaper when going to the supermarket compared to meal kits: that’s $7.5 per hour you’re wasting, which is basically the federal minimum wage. Once you chuck in the cost of gas and the stress of shopping and traffic, the few bucks you save are clearly not worth it. You could spend this time working or doing other, more meaningful things.
A hugely important point though is that when relying on meal kits, you can’t impulse buy. They don’t sell chocolate bars and popcorn. Most of us easily spend an extra $15 when shopping purely on snacks that we will eventually regret having bought. So, it may be that your monthly bill is much less when using meal kits.
It could be argued that some companies are very highly priced compared to supermarkets, and that $15 saving is a conservative estimate. In the cases where this is true, there are some other benefits still to consider.
As mentioned above, you will most certainly be eating less snacks. Food from recipes will be much more organized and structured, meaning you can develop a healthy eating routine as opposed to reaction eating.
More importantly, the food is not as processed. Meal kit companies focus on vegetation and whole foods – most have literally zero processed foods. Furthermore, the recipes clearly denote the macronutrients of the meal. Calorie counting has just become a heck of a lot easier, as they literally do it for you. Now all you need is to add in the wine, which you bought from the store… along with snacks (hopefully not).
Make good use of coupons
Some industries love making use of coupons to get your custom – and some do not. Meal kits are certainly in the former group, as almost any meal kit company will have a signup offer that is along the lines of being half price. This is also because the industry is new, so they’re not just trying to steal customers from each other, but actually grow the market itself.
So, when you find yourself 4 weeks into using a service and are just getting comfortable, you might be tempted to start paying the full price. Don’t settle on the first company you try. Make sure to rinse the meal kit coupons in Canada. Instead, try moving to another company and cycle through them. Not only will this lead to a cheap cheating period that will last the best part of a year, but you will be a complete master when it comes to meal kit service. By the end of this period, you’ll have an incredibly informed decision about where to settle – or, you wait for the returning customer seduction offers.
How to find a good company
Your own evidence should be enough on this one, but it doesn’t hurt to use online reviews. Particularly if you live in a rural area with unreliable deliveries, it may be worth scanning the internet for previous customer experiences in your area. It’s also worth putting factoring in the calories when comparing prices. Clearly, many of us are not the biggest fan of calories, but they can be a great indicator of portion size. If one company is offering meals for $1 more but 300 extra calories, it’s likely better value. Of course, though, personal experiences with the quality will be a key factor in your decision too, which is why it’s so important to cycle through the companies.