Most moms will tell you, the best way (up until now) to prepare a meal is to first track down a recipe and then trek to the grocery store for the necessary ingredients. Nowadays, you can skip right ahead to the mixing and marinating – as online subscription food services are here.
These services basically offer meals by mail. They’ve become some of the fastest growing and most convenient ways to shop for food. Plus – they can help you stick to your grocery budget, avoid impulse buys, cut back on the expense of eating out all the time – and even save on gas.
How do these services work?
When you register for a subscription service, you can choose from several “meal kit” options. Recipes, along with all the necessary ingredients and detailed instructions, are delivered right to your door. The meal kits allow you to easily make chef-quality meals at home and can be delivered on a weekly, monthly, or less frequent basis.
While signing up for a subscription food service hardly means never setting foot in a supermarket again, it can provide a healthy alternative to eating out, as well as give you the tools and encouragement to experiment with new meals at a reasonable cost. Prices for subscription food services range from about $10 to $15 per serving. The packaging is usually recyclable, so there’s minimal waste.
Below are some of the most popular of these services.
- Blue Apron
- Hello Fresh
Are they worth it?
It depends. Subscription food services are aimed at busy professionals and families who want an easy, healthy meal but don’t want to eat prepackaged fast food or make several trips to the supermarket.
These services will work for you if you don’t mind paying a premium for the convenience of having the planning and shopping done for you – and if you value seasonal, locally grown, and sustainable ingredients.
Hungry yet? Go online and give them a try. Many offer discounts or free trials for first time customers!
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