Meal delivery services seem to be the latest craze with everyone from local to national companies jumping onboard. It seems like the perfect option if you want to try new foods or have limited time to cook and prepare a gourmet healthy meal. But before getting started you may have some questions about how the services work and if it’s really worth it. Here’s everything you need to know before getting started.
Most companies that offer a weekly meal delivery service have two options: meat/seafood or vegetarian meal options. Each week, you will receive pre-packaged and pre-measured ingredients and a recipe card with step-by-step instructions on how to make each meal in your delivery box. Typically, you can subscribe for two or four people and the box is usually a set weekly price.
Benefits of a meal delivery service
There are many benefits that I have found in using the meal delivery service. Here are a few:
- Delivery of a healthy and delicious meal to your door. Even though the meals are shipped in a box the ingredients are fresh and in most cases locally sourced.
- You pick the meals that are most appealing to you each week from a master menu of options. This allows you to have variety in your meal planning and choices week after week.
- Meals are balanced and always have a protein, starch, and veggie. Unfortunately dessert is not included.
- Each meal takes on average about 20-30 minutes to prepare and it’s practically error proof because of the step-by-step directions and photos included in the box.
- You get just the right amount of ingredients so there is never any waste. Before trying delivery service I often spent a lot of extra money on ingredients that went to waste. This is now a problem of the past.
- You always get to try new options. Last week I had Moo Shu Pork Tacos, Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken, and Slammin’ Lemon Salmon. All recipes that I never would have tried or thought to try on my own.
There are a few things to consider when trying a meal delivery service. Here’s what I learned:
- When signing up (even if you have a free code), most companies require a credit card to activate your subscription. Once you sign up, you are automatically enrolled in a weekly meal delivery option. You will have to manually “pause” weeks when you don’t want or need a box. If you don’t you will be charged and then have an extra unnecessary delivery.
- With most subscriptions you only get three meals a week. You will need to plan for the other meals not included in your box, which may mean an additional trip to the grocery store.
- Portion sizes are set for either two or four people, but some of the meals have been quite big. Look at the nutrition information and, if necessary, pre-portion out the extras before sitting down to eat.
- It can be hit or miss depending on how adventurous your family is with trying new foods. Most options have interesting recipes that include a variety of spices and ingredients.
If you do choose to try one of these meal services, search online for coupon code. Most companies offer coupons and some even offer free boxes for new customers. Once you make the choice to start the service, write down a few reasons why you’re trying it. After a few deliveries, evaluate if it has met those expectations. For example if you want more variety, need less stress in meal planning, and want to provide nutritious meals for your family, ask yourself if the service has helped you achieve those things. Meal delivery is not for everyone; if it’s not working that’s fine, too. At least you tried another option available on the journey to healthy eating.