Is a Meal Kit Subscription the Answer to Your Meal Planning Woes?
Have you been considering signing up for one of the latest meal kit subscriptions that are becoming so popular these days?
They are so tempting aren't they? Especially when you get to try the first one for FREE. Because then they KNOW that you'll be hooked!
When people find out I am a Registered Nutritionist, there is often this immediate misconception that I am an AMAZING chef in the kitchen! People just naturally assume that all of my meals are cooked without any stress, loaded with the best nutrition and fancy ingredients and that my child's lunchbox probably looks like the Garden of Eden!
So I often surprise people when I tell them that dinner time in my household can very easily be a hot mess and we can also easily get caught out with a crazy schedule and end up ordering a takeaway against my better judgement!
Unless I have either taken the time to do my weekly meal planning and meal prep, or have succumbed to the latest and greatest marketing to try a FREE TRIAL of yet another up and coming meal kit delivery service, then next week's dinners and lunches will likely be thought up on the fly....which is NEVER a good thing for ANY busy mum or multi-tasking career woman!
So have you checked out any of these meal kit delivery services yet? I would love to know your thoughts! Here are my two cents.....
1. Meal planning is all done for you with less food waste!
I never get tired of that feeling when I get in the car to head home after work and realise I ALREADY KNOW WHAT WE'RE HAVING FOR DINNER! What a relief! Provided I chose which recipe from the kit I was going to be doing that night and took any meat out of the freezer to begin defrosting, the rest is easy peasy! All my ingredients are right at my fingertips in the perfect quantities for the recipe and all I have to do is follow some quick, simple steps! Voila! Dinner is served!
An added bonus is because your meals are perfectly portioned out for the number of people you are buying for, you will have less food waste. So you can feel good that you are also helping the environment too :)
2. Simple, tasty recipes made from every-day ingredients in no time flat!
The majority of the meal kit delivery services I have tried offer some very tasty recipes that are super quick to pull together, often within 30 minutes! Now that is a timeframe I can work with! Most services have wised up to the fact that most women don't have all the time in the world to be experimenting with gourmet-style recipes so you are likely to have a variety of quick, simple recipes to choose from each week. The ingredients in the recipes tend to be quite common and likely to be found in any standard grocery store.
3. Clean, wholefood-based recipes geared towards healthy eating.
Again, most of these meal kit delivery services are aware that clean, healthy eating is a BIG desire for most women, both for themselves and for their families. As such, you will always have plenty of options to choose from that will ensure you get plenty of healthy vegetables and other nutritious ingredients and the calorie count is also often considered too! If you are determined to stick to clean, healthy eating so you can lose weight, heal your gut or simply to re-energise your body, then most of these delivery services have plenty of options to make sure you can stay on track. Heck, some services even specialise in organic ingredients if you want to go the extra mile in your health journey. uldn't be able to find at the standard grocery store.
4. No more, 2 hour long grocery shopping expeditions!
Now maybe this is just me....although I don't think it is just me! Many of my health-conscious friends and colleagues have admitted to spending far too much time in the grocery store trying to come up with creative meals, all with healthy ingredients. Even if I go prepared with a grocery list, it's so easy to get distracted....especially when you start reading nutrition labels! Knowing all of that thinking is done for me sure take a load off every week!
So plenty of reasons to enjoy these meal kit delivery services, but as is often the case, nothing is ever that simple right? Let's take a look at the not-so-great side of this convenient habit.
1. They're not cheap!
Now these companies do have a very good way of making it sound like these meal kits are not THAT expensive, especially when you consider how much you would spend on a takeaway or eating out otherwise. And for some, if that is ALL they do instead of home cooking, then yes, perhaps it would end up being a money-saver in the long run. But most women I know, myself included, only order a takeaway or go out for dinner on a rare occasion. The rest of the time we are making a valid effort to get some home-cooked meals on the table most evenings.
So you do have to sit down and do some basic calculations. How much do you spend on your typical grocery shop? And don't forget, you still have to cater for breakfast, lunches and snacks too because they won't be in your meal kit! Add in the cost of these items to your meal kit and see what the different is against your normal weekly grocery shop for all meals for your household? Chances are the difference will be quite significant....especially if you have a family with children to feed!
2. Grocery shopping will likely still be necessary!
So yes, you may no longer need to make a marathon out of your next grocery shop if the hard part, your dinners are already taken care of, but you will still have to venture out to get other bits and pieces. Remember, the meal kits will likely only cover your dinners. You will still need ingredients for breakfast, packed lunches and snacks so a weekly grocery shop will still be inevitable. You might even find you end up doing more frequent, albeit smaller shops throughout the week as you realise you are missing important items as the week progresses.
3. No option to choose your own produce!
If you are making a valid attempt to stick to clean, nutritious wholefoods then you have probably begun to pay more attention to the quality of the food you buy. And so you should! When you do your own grocery shop, you are able to check labels for undesirable ingredients, feel your fruit and veg to check for ripeness and find out more about the origin of your produce...where it came from and how far it had to travel.
Unfortunately, you lose all of this control over the quality of your produce when you subscribe to a meal kit delivery. You will likely have no idea where you food came from, how fresh it actually is or how it may have been treated prior to arriving at your door. You will have more assurance of the quality if you go with an organic meal kit company but you will definitely be paying a premium for this added benefit!
4. Excessive Packaging
Of course, it is a necessary evil.....you can't expect to have fresh, wholefoods delivered to your door each week without them being carefully and safely packed and refrigerated/frozen. But unfortunately this also comes at a cost. And not just the hit on your wallet, but on the environment. Above, I mentioned that one of the "pro's" is that there is less food waste. While this is very true, unfortunately, excessive packaging tends to counteract this benefit. Some companies do insist that the packing is returned so it can be recycled and used again, however I have experienced other services that are happy to drop your meals each week in a safe place but then you never see them to give your packaging back! So you might be saving food waste on one hand but creating more general waste on the other!
I have definitely experienced the benefits of meal kit delivery services and at times I have often wondered how I would get through life without them. However, I now prefer to only use them on the rare occasion when I know life is going to be busier than normal or just for the occasional change.
If I take the time to practice what I preach and do my OWN meal planning and meal prep on the weekend, I can reap the benefits of both worlds!
Yes, doing your own meal planning and meal prep may take extra time, however this does become easier (and is certainly cheaper!) the more you practice making it a routine habit.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed about the next best steps to help you reach your health and weight loss goals, CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR FREE STRATEGY SESSION TODAY and walk away with clarity and a plan!