Meal Kits – an Easy Way for Novice Cooks to get Stunning Results

Ingredients including oil, tomatoes, mushrooms, seasoning and basil - meal kits
Image by Anelka from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

It may not surprise you to learn that in 2020, food deliveries overtook ‘sit-out restaurant dining experiences for the first time since the food-delivery-data-people began collecting data. I know what you’re thinking, considering that the western world spent much of 2020 in various states of enforced lockdown it was a pretty inevitable outcome.

Still, it’s worth a closer look. Some estimates suggest that the food delivery sector quadrupled in size. Whilst the lockdowns were bad news wrapped inside a heartbreak for most of us, it was a bonanza sprinkled on top of a bonus for the likes of Uber Eats and GoJek as even traditional restaurants were forced to reinvent themselves and begin operating as proxy takeaways. One food delivery company, Deliveroo, reported a 59% growth in 2020 and was even struggling to source enough drivers in some global locations.

What is very interesting to note is that even though most restaurants are now open as usual (unless they are in Melbourne of course) the mania for home delivery does not seem to be relenting. It seems that the world’s diners have kinda gotten used to having food delivered to their doorstep. Whilst some people are still avoiding crowded, indoor public spaces for fear of COVID-19, others may simply enjoy eating in their sweat-pants whilst reading this (if you are reading this whilst eating in your sweat pants, I salute you!).

But It’s Not Just The Hot Stuff

Now here is something that you may not have appreciated. It wasn’t just food, ready to eat food delivery that soared during the last 12 – 18 months. Nope, Supermarket deliveries (which were already high) went stratospheric and even the likes of Amazon entered the grocery delivery market. Another beneficiary of the increased demand for fresh food deliveries though, were the world’s meal kit providers.

What Is A Meal Kit?

If you have not yet come across meal kits or meal subscription boxes, then it’s ok boomer, nobody is judging you – I mean, I’m technically a millennial and they came onto my radar this year. SO, Meal Kits are packed bundles of fresh ingredients that come delivered to your door along with a recipe for you to follow. Meal Kits include everything you need to make a meal including perfectly measured and packed amounts of all ingredients, and easy to follow instructions.

Meal Kits are ideal for busy professionals and working families who struggle to find the time to shop for fresh ingredients. They are also great for people like me who have just kinda run out of recipe ideas and are especially useful for bad cooks who need step by step, easy to follow instructions.

There are all number of meal kit options and subcategories out there including meal kits for specialized diets like vegan and keto and also meat-heavy meal kits that are great for bodybuilders or crocodiles.

You can order meal kits for one person, or for whole families and can get 2 meals a week sent, or 7.

What I really like about meal kits is that they place a heavy emphasis on healthy and nutritious ingredients and recipes. Further, if you have a specialised dietary requirement or want to lose weight, you can generally cater your subscription to reflect this (although this varies quite a lot between providers).

Pros and Cons of Meals Kits

There really is a lot to be said for this concept. I tried it myself for a while and I may well use it again once winter kicks in (walking to the supermarket twice a week in December rain? No thanks.) and several of my friends are utterly hooked. However, like any product or service, there are some negatives too. Let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of meal kits.

  • Waste and Ecology

Ok, so meal kits are individually packed. When they arrive at your doorstep, you get a big box that contains your meals for the week (be it 2 or 20). Inside the box is a lot of padding and then a lot of items are packaged into smaller boxes and packets again creating a lot of waste. For example, a spoon’s worth of paprika packed inside a little packet is not a great use of plastic. Much of the packaging is recyclable but some of it is not and the deliveries quickly filled up our recycling bag.

That said, they may well help to reduce food waste as you don’t end up having to buy a whole pot of curry paste, use one dollop, and throw the rest away after it goes bad.

  • Price

Obviously, meal kit providers are not a charity and they charge for their service. You will generally find that if you priced it up and did the shopping yourself, you could make each meal for a fraction of what the subscription charges for it.

However, you are of course paying for a service and paying somebody else to do the hard work and thinking for you. Ultimately it comes to whether you can spare more time or money more and for me, it turns out I have enough time to shop myself!

  • Meal Kit Delivery

You can pick a delivery day but won’t get a time window until on the day which, if you’re a busy person, is not ideal. I also missed my delivery one time and the driver just left it on my doorstep which is straight on a street. Fortunately, my neighbour came out and took it to her house for us.

  • Repetition

After a month of a meal kit sub, I kind of started to get a bit of deja-vu. Whilst no recipe was ever actually repeated, it just felt like variations on a similar theme. Still, for the month we had it we did enjoy every meal and I guess the simplicity of meal kits is both their strength and their weakness. I must also add that we were somewhat limited by a vegetarian plan (yeah I’m one of those crazy hippies).

In summary, I can recommend meal kits to anybody who is thinking about trying the concept. The introductory offers are pretty generous and it is easy to cancel at any time so you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.

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