Is Meal Delivery Worth It? 5 Things to Consider Before Signing Up

Written by on July 14, 2021 in Food, Drink & Nutrition with 0 Comments

In the past, when talking about meal delivery services, most people would be referring to fast food take-out, ordered over the phone and delivered to your doorstep in all its unhealthy glory.

Today, things have changed significantly, and a new era of health-conscious companies have arisen to cater to Millennials and Gen Z-ers with ingredient boxes that allow you to prepare meals at home without needing to face the hassle of a grocery store visit.

There are tons of subscription-based meal delivery brands out there for people who want that ideal combo of convenience, sustainability and calorie-considerate recipes, so what do you need to know prior to committing to a particular service?

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Price is important

When comparing meal delivery services, the first thing to think about is pricing. This is best calculated on a per-meal basis, as obviously you need to match this to your allotted budget and make sure that you are comfortable with the costs involved.

You will of course be paying more than if you simply purchased the ingredients yourself, but there are some advantages that fall in favor of meal delivery providers; namely that the exact amounts of items that you need will be supplied, so you will not be left with an excess of anything. This reduces waste and means that the additional expense could be justified.

Commitment terms are varied

Another crucial talking point of any meal delivery service is the kind of commitment you are expected to make when you sign up.

The best of the bunch will let you either pause your subscription and skip over certain weeks, or even cancel outright without having to pay anything extra. This is not universally the case, so always read the small print to avoid ending up trapped by a service that you no longer enjoy.

The free trials and offers for new customers are a good way of taking services for a test drive without needing to commit, so also keep an eye out for introductory deals.

Sustainability is a concern

There are all sorts of caveats that come with using meal delivery services from the perspective of sustainability. From the sourcing of the ingredients to the recyclability of the packaging to the carbon footprint of the delivery, these are all aspects which might sway you one way or the other.

Luckily the top rated services are pretty transparent about their efforts to improve sustainability, with some being explicitly ethical, ensuring that all ingredients are organic and sourced as sensitively as possible. If this is high on your wishlist of features, look out for it.

Choice is key

You might be worried that meal delivery services will end up sending you the same handful of recipes and ingredients week after week, but this is another area in which the major players have thankfully managed to innovate as the industry has evolved.

Most will allow you to select from a range of different menus, not only according to your own tastes and preferences, but also along the lines of any dietary requirements you might have. Getting dairy-free and gluten-free meal kits delivered is straightforward in a lot of cases, for example.

Complexity is relevant

Last on the list of things to look out for when dipping your toe into the world of meal delivery services is the complexity of the recipes and menus that they supply.

Some will be designed for home chefs who have a flair for cooking and do not mind getting their hands dirty or spending more time in the kitchen, while others are aimed at those who put speed and convenience first.

If in doubt, check out independent reviews and get word of mouth recommendations to narrow down your options.

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