Over the last five years, weekly meal kits have become a highly promoted item on social media. Influencers offer you their Home Chef code, telling you how much time and money it saves, and even offer a week of meals free.
In theory, meal-planning kits are a great idea. They should help busy moms with meal plans without the added stress, trip to the grocery store and even save time with cooking dinner each night. However, there are a few things that often get overlooked. It may sound simple, but are they really saving time, money and stress?
Let’s talk about it.
Do Weekly Meal Planning Kits Save Time?
Technically speaking, the answer is yes; they will save you some time. You will most likely need a trip to the grocery store, but it won’t be as long as it would be if you were shopping for four additional meals. They also take the heavy lifting out of finding recipes (another few minutes saved).
However, in my experience (and that of many of my friends), the dinners were more complicated than the recipes we usually would make.
I prefer to keep meals simple; we don’t do extensive recipes in our house, and I usually give up if it has more than five steps. When we did try a weekly meal kit, the dinner prep time was almost doubled.
To answer the question, “Do weekly meal planning kits save time?” Not really.
Do They Save Money?
The answer “it depends” is one you probably don’t want to hear… but truthfully, it depends. At first, using the discounts the influencers are promoting, yes, a weekly meal kit will save you money. Yet, over time, when those discounts wear off, it would be cheaper to buy groceries.
If you are replacing eating out at restaurants every night with a weekly meal kit, it will be a cheaper option regardless of whether you’re using a discount. However, hopefully, at this point on your health journey, you are not eating out many nights a week, so you’ll be here for the discount and cancel your subscription if money is a factor.
Are Meal Kits Healthy?
Around here, how you define healthy matters. You can choose from different dietary options at most meal kit websites. Remember, though, that many of the seasonings and spices are geared toward the tastebuds of the average American. That means more salt or sugar.
In my personal experience, I was unable to use the spices that were sent along with our meal kit. They were so salty it was impossible to eat the first time we tried it. With the rest of the boxes in our kit, we made our own and realized it was much easier and cheaper to buy the ingredients instead.
If you order from a meal prep service, research and read the nutrition involved. It may mean using half of the spices or even making your own. Is it worth ordering something you can only use part of?
How Do I Save Time, Money, and Sanity at Dinnertime?
I’m glad you asked! When saving time, money, and sanity, meal planning shouldn’t be left off the table. In fact, our meal planning method will help you do that… and more. When we teach our meal planning method, we teach you how to make dinnertime work for your family, not against your sanity. Yes, both your family and sanity matter when it comes to what’s for dinner.
Have you tried weekly meal kits before? What was your experience?