We decided to try a meal delivery service a few months ago, and it’s been a game changer for us. I have enjoyed meal planning for a long time, but with our schedule getting busier in recent years, it has been a bit of a relief to delegate part of meal planning to a service.
We have tried two delivery services, and I’ve broken down my observations into three main categories, and then offered my general thoughts.
Quality (Service/Ingredients/Customer Touchpoints)
When I first considered a meal service, I wondered about the product quality. I would lose the ability to choose the produce and meats, and that had me concerned. This has not been an issue. Produce is fresh, packaged, and sourced from local farms where possible. Occasionally produce gets slightly damaged in shipping, but that has been a one-off, and not a regular occurrence. The damage was slight, and the produce was useable.
Speaking of packaging, let’s touch on this a moment. Meals are packaged in insulated packaging with frozen cooler inserts. The meals come in one box separated by smaller produce bags and boxes labeled by meal. It’s easy, and it’s not a jumbled mess of produce and meats.
I have had one issue with a delivery, and a quick call to customer servicing had it all sorted, and I was compensated the weekly charge for our meal plan. Easy peasy!
Budget and Time Savings
There are several options of meal plans available so there is an option for most families. When I first looked at these services a couple of years ago, I was concerned about the cost. What I found to be true is that we are getting a lot of value for the money, and I am spending less time planning, prepping, and shopping. My husband and I both have careers, and our daughter’s schedule has gotten busier as she has gotten older. Taking advantage of additional services like meal delivery has reduced the stress on our time on the weekends, and allowed us to spend more time doing what is most important to us.
Meal delivery services have many options available. You can choose how many meals, delivery timing, the types of meats, vegetarian, number of family members, and if you need to, you can skip weeks. Also, you can cancel at any time. All of that adds up to you being in control of the process.
The services we have tried (Blue Apron and Hello Fresh) offer up to 6 meal options per week for the family plans. Each of the services have apps available making it super easy to update your meal plans, choices, and timing.
- I read a tidbit recently that one way to help busy people and families is to reduce the amount of decision making one is doing. Yes, you do have some decisions to make when engaging a meal delivery service, but not quite so many. Plus, you know you have meals planned for at least the number of the meals you have chosen for the week. That takes a load off, and gets people back to business of living life rather than planning it.
- We are eating a wider variety of vegetables than we were previously, and that has been great. Our daughter is more willing to try new things, and we are all engaged in choosing the meals.
- I’ve been cooking for quite a few years, but if folks are new to cooking, this is a great way to get started. One piece of advice I will offer, is that you can adjust the recipes as you need once you get comfortable with cooking. The meals are designed to be quick, easy, and healthy, and some recipes call for cooking meats on the stovetop – not my favorite way to cook meats. I review the recipes, and adjust the cooking style to suit our tastes and preferences.
- There is packaging, and that bothers me a bit. Luckily, recycling is available for us, so we can recycle most of the packaging. If recycling is not available to you, the service could be problematic.
If you are looking for a service to take the load off of meal planning, try a meal delivery service. They keep the meals organized, easy to fix, and get families back to the business of living.
Let me know how it goes!