If you haven’t heard of meal delivery services yet, you may actually want to check to ensure you’ve not been living under a rock.
Meal delivery boxes started gaining steam on the culinary scene in 2012 and have become “a $400 million market that’s projected to increase tenfold, over the next five years,” says food industry research and consulting firm Techomic. Boxes with all of the ingredients necessary to make a delicious dinner appear on your doorstep every night, but how does it all actually work? And which one should you choose? We’re here to help.
Why should I get one?
Well, they’re amazing time-savers, first and foremost. You don’t have to deal with going to the grocery store nearly as often since they deliver everything you need to make dinner.
These services are ultra-convenient for people with busy work schedules (and busy lives, for that matter). You place your orders online for however many meals you’d like per week, and some outlets even offer options for breakfast and lunch. Then, all you have to do is wait for it to show up at your doorstep and you have everything you need to make a home-cooked meal.
It’s also a great way to practice portion control. There are only as many servings in the box as you buy, so it’s a good tool to utilize if you struggle with overeating. There are also tons of options for healthy boxes that can help you say “no” to ordering pizza.
How much do they cost?
Although these services might seem pricey upfront, many of them are far more reasonably priced than you’d think. Options range between $10 and $15 a meal—certainly a good deal when you consider a Big Mac meal at McDonald’s is around $6, not including taxes. You can also often find coupons and free trials online if you’re on the fence about ordering.
Home Chef, one of the leading brands in the space, clocks in at $9.95 per meal.
The point? Most of the options out there are only marginally more expensive than going to the grocery store. There are also membership options, and you don’t have to order a year’s worth of meals right off the bat.
Which one should I get?
Well, that depends on what you like, how adventurous you are, how much time you have to actually cook and a number of other factors. Most boxes are in the middle ground when it comes to health, but for the calorie counters, there are a lot of lower-cal options. And a minus for the sodium conscious: Some meal delivery dishes can be high in salt if you follow the recipe exactly, so if that’s a concern for you, be sure to change the proportions.
Home Chef offers family-friendly meal delivery and features a huge roster of upgrade comfort foods that can be made in about 30 minutes or less. From pork chops with honey mustard cream to baked ziti, the recipes are easy to follow and packed with flavor. Online recipe guides carefully show possible food allergies such as dairy and gluten.