Are Meal Kits Overrated?

To meal kit or not to meal kit? Tis' the question of our age. We're here to help you decide whether or not one is right for you and share what you need to know to get started!

By: Anna Becker / 06/03/2021

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What Is a Meal Kit?

If you've been off the grid for a minute and missed it, meal kits are the new way to cook. Instead of spending time shopping and planning for the week's dinners, meal kit services, like Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, send a box of fresh, pre-portioned produce and recipes directly to your door so you can start cooking without ever having to plan a recipe or go to the store. Why? To make life more convenient and cooking more enjoyable!

3 Reasons Meal Kits Are So Popular

The shift from standard cooking to meal boxes has been quite dramatic since their arrival in 2008. The reason? Meal kits allow people who love cooking (or eating) a faster, more convenient way to enjoy delicious dinners throughout the stressful work week. Given the amount of time we spend eating throughout our lives, it's not so surprising that more people are looking for new ways to enhance this daily need. Food delivery companies offer a unique way to enjoy new culinary experiences without needing too much cooking knowledge to get started.

  1. Ease. The most obvious reason people subscribe to meal prep companies is for simplicity. Cutting out a trip to the grocery store with meals delivered to your door and a few hours a week planning ones recipes goes a long way. Meal kits also make using one-off ingredients much more sustainable, so you don't have to throw a whole head of lettuce when you only needed a leaf.
  2. Flavor. It's no question that cooking with a meal kit takes one's cooking game up a few notches. With step-by-step instructions from experienced chefs, you're able to really get into the process of cooking and learn tricks you can always use again the kitchen.
  3. Variety. We all love our staple recipes—they're easy to plan for, but sometimes it's nice to add some new dishes to the repertoire or simply try a recipe we wouldn't normally think to try. Meal kits are great for sampling vegetarian & vegan dishes or other cuisines without ever leaving your kitchen.

Are Meal Kits Cost-Effective?

At a glance, it's rather obvious why more people are choosing to cook with meal kits. Meal boxes offer a more convenient, more sustainable and more pleasant way to approach dinnertime than traditional grocery store cooking. But are meal kits worth it? Sure it's easy to enjoy convenience if you have endless piles of money lying around, but what about for people on a budget?

The answer is: it depends. If you're on an only-can-afford-a-bag-of-rice food budget, then cooking with a meal kit isn't going to be cost-effective for you. If you don't mind eating the same meals every week and are perfectly content with your dinner routine, then a meal kit probably isn't going to be worth having. If you're someone who loves to try new recipes with several ingredients, the cost will be similar to going to the store if not a little less. If having new dinner ideas and trying a variety of seasonal or exotic ingredients is important to you, some of the hard-to-find ingredients that come in meal kits will be cheaper than going to the store and will make having a meal kit more cost-effective than shopping for you.

One criticism of meal kits is that they only cater to couples or families of four, but many customers do indeed find their own ways around this. For example, ordering meal kits just for one, some Marley Spoon customers still do benefit from lower food waste and the recipe inspiration - and get some tasty leftovers for lunch as a bonus, too!

Ingredients & Food Waste: Consider, for example, if you wanted to try cooking a basic Pad Thai recipe. To make Pad Thai you need fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, tamarind concentrate, soy sauce, limes, noodles, chilli, bean sprouts, roasted peanuts and more. Acquiring all of these ingredients could easily cost you close to $20, and there's the potential you will never use them again after you've made the one dish. With a meal kit, you can try whatever you want once and if it's something you know you want to make again, purchase the larger portions like the bottle of fish sauce.

3 Reasons Why Meal Kits Are Worth It

  1. Time: When it comes to time, meal kits don't just save you time by delivering your groceries, they also save you hours from browsing the web looking up recipes. While many of us enjoy finding new things to cook online, sometimes searching can be quite tedious. The worst part is not being sure the recipe you've found will be any good. With a meal kit, you're able to try delicious new recipes without ever spending more than 30-40 minutes.
  2. Overall Nutrition: Nutritional value is another overlooked consideration. If you're pressed for time, planning your meals around the food pyramid or any diet can be tricky. Meal kits are a really simple fix for ensuring that you are eating healthy, balanced meals—just leave it to a team of chefs and nutritionists to figure out.
  3. Healthy Habits: Meal kits help you to create a habit of eating healthy meals, which is sometimes the most difficult part of trying to improve ones diet. Learn how to cook more healthily and keep up the habit with weekly delivery.

The bottom line is when you are trying to decide on the value of a meal kit, it is super important to keep in mind the cost of your time and energy. If you're limited on both like most of us, then it could be a worth-while and not too pricey of a purchase that will go a long way in making your life a little closer to hassle-free.

What is the Best Meal Kit Service?

Claiming which meal kit service is the best is a lot like saying which shoe size is the best. Similar to there being no one-size-fits-all shoe, it's impossible to find a meal kit service that matches everyone's preference exactly. If you want to cook tasty, chef-designed dishes, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon is the perfect meal kit for you.

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon food boxes come with premium, locally-sourced ingredients, and the recipes are designed by Martha Stewart herself! Who better to trust for a meal kit than one brought to you from one of America's most adored home-chefs?

We recommend trying a meal kit that offers a lot of variety, like Martha Stewart's meal kit, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon. Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon food boxes come with premium, locally-sourced ingredients and the recipes are designed by Martha Stewart herself! Who better to trust for a meal kit than one brought to you from one of America's most adored home-chefs?

Martha's meal kit is perfect if you want to eat a deliciously balanced diet. With 29 new recipes each week, you can try meals that are keto, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb and more without being locked into any specific diet. If you are less flexible on your diet or are a vegetarian, for example, you can easily make your box vegetarian or browse recipes based off of the 5 menu categories: Vegetarian, Kid-Friendly, Low-carb, Fast and Meat & Fish.

Martha approaches her meal kit different than other meal kit services. Instead of simply providing fast, one-off meals, she brings her years of diverse cooking experience right to your kitchen so you can learn ways to cook that you can always reuse. Plus, she includes holiday dessert recipes as well as her best summer grilling recipes!

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon is also super flexible. So you don't have to worry about having to cook every single week. Easily pause your account or skip weeks if things get busy. It's a meal kit, not a marriage!

So go ahead and try cooking with Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon and find your new favorite recipes!

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