Are Boxed Meal Kits Like HelloFresh Worth It?

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It is hard to avoid the advertisements for boxed meal kits as they grow in popularity. Not only have they become more popular, but multiple companies now are competing in the same market. Just a few meal kit services that are well known are HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Home Chef and Chef’d. As a mom, here is my honest opinion of the one we recently trialed for two weeks.

We frequently received mailed promotional codes from HelloFresh, making it our choice. I was mentally drained during the holidays and did not want to plan meals on top of our hectic schedule, but we also did not want to eat out most meals.

We are a family of five with two younger eaters who eat very small portions, if any, at dinner. We ordered a meal kit that included portions of four servings for two meals per week, making each week cost less than $50.

Pros:

  • No doubt the meals were delicious.                    
  • The recipes were simple with few ingredients. Note: Some washing and chopping of produce is required.
  • They offered gluten free options which applied to our dietary needs.
  • I did not spend any energy or effort meal planning.
  • Because our younger kids eat smaller portions, we had plenty of leftovers. Both meals stretched out to make another meal
  • There was no food waste because I did not have to buy excess ingreidents to use only a small amount in a recipe.
  • The variety of different meals into our normal food routine was refreshing and good. 
  • It was extremely easy to skip a week when we were not home, and to stop the subscription. Too many subscription services make you come close to giving your right kidney to cancel, but HelloFresh was an easy click of the button. 

 Cons:

  • Waste concerns. Each week comes in a cardboard box that requires recycling along with some other packaging necessary for the kit.  
  • Each week came with a large reusable ice pack. While I was able to place both ice packs in my freezer to use at a later date, there is no way I would have room for 52 icepacks if I continued the service for a year. If continued, I would have to research how to recycle the icepack or build use them to build an igloo for my kids.
  • Because we are a family of five who eats at home the majority of the week, the limit of two meals is not enough and cost too much for our needs.

In short, for anyone who can afford the cost, I would recommend trying a boxed meal kit. A kit could be extremely beneficial to anyone who wishes to cook more and eat out less, but is overwhelmed with meal planning. For a family who eats out more than they eat at home, the savings could be significant and healthier. In addition, the simplicity a kit offers could also help a novice cook become more comfortable in the kitchen while cooking delicious meals.

 

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte

 

I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fullfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

 

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