Meal prep subscriptions like Hello Fresh are all the rage right now. They’re convenient, they save money and time, and they can make your life easier. However, these meal kits aren’t as sustainable as they might seem on the surface. Are you ready to sign up for one? Here’s what you need to know before signing up for a meal kit subscription.
Meal prep subscriptions are convenient, but they can also be wasteful.
If you live in a small apartment with limited storage space and are always on the lookout for ways to save time, meal prep subscriptions are an excellent option. But there’s one thing to keep in mind: these services can also lead to food waste. If you don’t use up all of the prepared meals before they go bad, it’ll end up being wasted money and food. When deciding whether or not to sign up for a meal prep service, consider how much space and time you have available in your home as well as whether you’d be able to finish everything before it goes bad.
Choose your plan wisely.
We recommend choosing a plan that is sustainable for you and your lifestyle. If you are on a budget, choose a plan that fits within your budget. If you are an avid meal prepper and have the time to prepare enough meals for the week, then choose a plan with fewer meals per week. If your family is small, then select one that provides fewer meals per week than other plans do.
If you live in an urban area with easy access to grocery stores or specialty food shops, then purchasing fresh ingredients every day may be feasible for you—but if not, consider ordering some of our frozen options instead! Of course, this isn’t always possible (and some people just love their morning smoothies), so if this sounds like something that might work for yoursituation as well as ourshowever please feel free to give us another try later on down the road when things are less busy and stressful than they currently seem now!
Don’t sign up for a meal prep plan on a whim.
Meal prepping is a great way to keep your meals healthy, but it’s not always the right choice for everyone. Before you sign up for a meal prep plan, be sure you’re prepared mentally and physically for what lies ahead.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in then do some research into the different options available in your area. You’ll need to make sure that the cost of delivery is worth it compared with cooking yourself, as well as weighing up whether or not there are any local stores that offer similar services at a cheaper price tag. You should also consider what kind of support system (if any) will be available if any issues arise during or after your subscription period has ended; perhaps even contacting someone who has used one before so they can give their honest opinion on whether it was worthwhile overall!
Is it convenient to you?
In order to determine whether a meal delivery subscription service is the best option for you, ask yourself these questions:
- How far away are my meals delivered? If it’s far away, how much time am I willing to spend traveling there and back multiple times per week?
- How many times per week do I want to receive deliveries? Are two or three days too few for me? Do I need five or six days of food at once to make sure I’m never hungry (or at least not too hungry)?
- Do I have the time and energy to prepare all that food ahead of time and freeze them so they don’t go bad over the course of a few days—or even months? If not, is there someone else in my house who can help with this process—or has someone already volunteered themselves as apprentice chef extraordinaire?
Can you afford it?
Meal prep subscriptions are convenient, but they can also be pricey. For example, Blue Apron offers two weeknight plans at $59 per person per month (that’s less than $4 per serving). If you do the math on how much you save by avoiding takeout and eating at home, it seems like a good deal—and it is! But if you have an extra $60 lying around that you can use to cook your own meals and make healthy food choices, we recommend putting that toward something more impactful like paying down debt or saving for retirement.
If meal prep is really important to you and having fresh ingredients on hand helps keep the motivation to cook strong, there are ways to make it affordable without breaking the bank:
- Buy in bulk when possible—at Costco or other wholesale stores, as well as through online grocery sites such as Amazon Pantry
- Plan ahead so that certain items aren’t wasted before they go bad (i.e., buy fresh produce only when needed)
- Look for deals on seasonal fruits and vegetables
Do you have room in your freezer and refrigerator?
Are you able to store the food in your freezer and refrigerator? If not, it’s time to think about where else you can put that food. There are plenty of options:
- Your pantry
- A friend or family member who lives nearby and has space
- A storage unit (if you can afford one)
You may have to do some of the work.
Meal prep subscriptions may not be for you if:
- You don’t have the time. Cooking, meal planning, and grocery shopping are time-consuming tasks. If you don’t have time to do them yourself then paying someone else for their services isn’t going to work either.
- You’re a foodie and want to try different recipes on a regular basis. If this is the case, then meal delivery services probably won’t fit well into your lifestyle as they tend to offer very similar recipes over and over again (but that’s not necessarily a bad thing).
- You’re not willing or able to commit long term (i.e., month after month). Subscriptions can get expensive quickly if they aren’t canceled before they run out (and often times they’ll auto renew without warning which is frustrating).
Are there enough menu options that really appeal to you?
If you’re a picky eater or have special dietary restrictions, make sure the meal prep plan you choose has enough options that you will actually eat. If there aren’t many options that appeal to you, it can be tempting to abandon the plan and go with your default grocery store routine. If this is going to be an issue for you, consider choosing a program with fewer meals per week (or months) so that there are more variations in each one.
As for those who have a lot of food allergies or sensitivities? I would recommend against buying from most companies because their packages don’t usually include any gluten-free items—and if they do, they may not be labeled as such. The exception here is if you’re looking for vegan options only (as opposed to vegetarian ones). In this case, I’d suggest trying out Plated first since their monthly subscriptions come with at least three different dishes each week—and all three are generally available as vegan meals instead of vegetarian ones like everything else
Meal prep subscriptions can be sustainable if you choose the right one for you.
Meal prep subscriptions can be a great way to get your meals on the table. However, it’s important to make sure that the subscription is right for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering a meal prep subscription:
- What type of meal prep subscription works best for you? Do you want an entire week’s worth of meals cooked and delivered to your door, or would you prefer pre-portioned ingredients so that you can cook the meals yourself?
- How much does the subscription cost? This is an important question because most meal prep services charge per serving instead of per month (e.g., $8 per serving). Make sure that price works with your budget so there isn’t too much pressure when trying out new recipes or eating leftovers from last week’s delivery!
- What types of food do they offer in their menu options? Some services offer vegetarian options while others specialize in gluten-free recipes; take note of what kind of foods will work best with what sorta diet restrictions–it’ll save time later on down the line!”
While it’s easy to get carried away by the hype around meal prep subscriptions, it’s important to remember that they can have drawbacks as well. If you’re considering signing up for one yourself, make sure you do your research first so that you know exactly what kind of plan will work best for you and your family. Don’t forget about convenience either—if this is something that’s not going to fit into your lifestyle, then it’s probably not worth the investment!
Read about eating to lower your carbon footprint here.