If you’ve read this blog before, you know I love writing about food. And with March being National Nutrition Month®, I have another reason to talk about one of my favorite topics. This week, I’m excited to have TOPS Outreach Liaison Alyssa McNamee share her experience with a popular food topic – meal kit delivery. We chat about the pros, the cons and if a meal kit delivery service is worth considering for your healthy lifestyle.
MT: What’s been your experience with meal kit delivery services? What made you decide to try this option?
AM: Overall, I’ve had really positive experiences with meal kit delivery services. I’ve tried a few now and they’re pretty simple to use. You can select your delivery day, choose from a variety of recipes and how many recipes you’d like to receive in a week.
I never really felt comfortable in the kitchen. I knew how to cook the basics – spaghetti, tacos and crock pot meals – but I wanted to be able to cook more food and make healthier meals for myself. I didn’t really know where to start until someone suggested I look into meal kit delivery services. Many of the services out there offered a special price for first-time customers that seemed reasonable enough, and I knew I’d be able to cancel whenever I wanted. After a little bit of research on the options available, I selected a delivery service and ordered my first recipes.
MT: Do you have to know how to cook to be able to use these services?
AM: One of the great things about meal kit delivery is you don’t have to know how to cook. The meal kit comes with a recipe card that gives you step-by-step instructions. This was another reason I decided to give these kits a try. I knew I needed specific directions because I had no idea how long to cook chicken or roast carrots, for example. The directions are easy to follow and cover every step, from washing the produce to plating your meal. Each recipe option even tells you the difficulty level of the recipe, so if you’re just starting out you can select the easier options.
MT: What are some pros to these kinds or services? Any cons?
AM: In my opinion, there are numerous pros to these services. First, the service in general is easy to use. You can cancel at any time and skip deliveries whenever you like. There are several recipe options to select from, allowing you to choose meals you enjoy and giving you the choice to try things you maybe wouldn’t normally try. So far, I haven’t found a recipe I didn’t like.
Another big pro is that it saves you time! You don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store and getting all the different items—everything you need is sent to your house. The only items you need at home are olive oil, salt, pepper and cooking tools. And a personal pro of mine is that I now feel a lot more confident in the kitchen!
There are a few cons, like cost, for example. While the pricing is reasonable, it still costs you more per serving than purchasing the items on your own. One way to help offset this is to look for specials and promo codes for new members. Many services offer an additional discount if you refer friends. Or you can limit your deliveries to once or twice a month. Another con is that, on occasion, you might receive a food item that isn’t as fresh. This has happened to me twice, and both times I was able to contact customer service and given a credit on my account.
MT: What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about trying this?
AM: Do your research. There are a lot of meal kit delivery services out there, all slightly different, so it’s a good idea to see what’s being offered and what might work best for you. Most services will show you menus, plan options and how their service works on their website. Again, don’t forget to look for special offers and promo codes when trying a meal kit service for the first time. Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. Meal kits are great for experimenting, not only with different foods but your cooking skills as well!