Meal delivery services are not a new phenomenon here in Australia. Meals on Wheels began in 1957 when they first started delivering meals to the elderly and disadvantaged members of the community. Meals on Wheels still runs today, doing a fantastic job I might say.
However this article is not about the charitable aspects of a meal delivery service. We are going to break down the new age services available to us. The likes of MarleySpoon, Hello Fresh, Dinnerly as well as pre prepared meal providers like Lite n Easy and Chef Good.
What is a meal delivery service?
Otherwise known as a home delivery meal kit provider. We are talking about the businesses that provide you with food delivered to your door. Weather that food be pre prepared or simply the ingredients to create a predetermined meal from said ingredients.
There are 2 types of providers. The first and older type is the pre prepared meals provider like Lite n Easy. The providers send you a meal that is already made. Basically just needing to be heated up. Most of us are familiar with these.
The second type are the meal kit providers like you Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh. The providers send you a ‘meal kit’. In other words, they send you a recipe and the exact ingredients needed for you to cook that recipe.
Benefits of these meal delivery services
The biggest benefit is obviously, convenience! They are extremely convenient. Regardless of which provider you use, they are all in the business of convenience.They make mealtimes easier. Removing the guessing game of what to eat with it already planned and prepared (for the pre prepared providers). It’s all about convenience.
For those who do not know so much about dieting or eating well, these types of services help with that. Supplying customers with meals they can be confident in consuming that are healthier than takeaways.
These services remove the guessing of what’s on the menu. A lot of the time we all get frustrated not knowing what we are going to make for dinner. Having that already predetermined for you removes that annoyance.
They are delicious. We have tried a few meals from a provider and must say, the meals were absolutely delicious and fresh. We had been given a free trial of a week’s worth of dinners and enjoyed every one thoroughly. Cooking the food was fun, trying new recipes made us more excited for dinner time.
Are they worth it?
In short, financially speaking Heck NO! In most cases across the board it is far more expensive utilizing one of these home delivery meal kit services rather than visiting the grocery store yourself.
5 meals for 2 people using HelloFresh will set you back $109.89
Compared to eating takeaways nightly this is still cheaper, yes. But, when it comes to the traditional grocery store visit for yourself this is much, much, MUCH more costly. For example, we spend roughly $75-$85 per week on our regular groceries shop. That $75 is enough to provide us plenty of food to cover breakfast, lunch and dinners for the 7 days. $75 for 21 meals for 2 people works out to be around $1.78 per meal. In comparison, the HelloFresh equivalent costs $10.98 per meal.
Regardless of how much a meal costs, you are not paying for just the ingredients. You are paying for the convenience. Which is the premium you will be penalised for. But I have the solution!
What’s the answer here?
These services provide many Australians with delicious meals, although priced at an extreme premium they do offer unrivalled convenience.
How do we counteract this convenience to keep our expenses low? 3 things. Meal Plan, Recipe Research and Meal Prep.
Always plan your meals ahead of time. You don’t want to end up, 30 minutes before dinner time staring blindly into your freezer searching for something to cook. Create a Meal Plan weekly. This takes the guessing out of what’s on the menu.
To keep that Meal Plan fresh and interesting, do your research regularly. Recipe Research is the underestimated key to keeping the meal plan going. Bookmark websites like allrecipes.com and browse them once it is time to create your next meal plan. This is the best way to keep things exciting in the kitchen. Make it a rule to try something new at least once or twice a week. There is excitement in variety.
Lastly, Meal Prep. Meal prep can be a chore I know, but it is also a massive money saving one. Having meals prepared helps with portion control, hunger, food waste and helps avoid unhealthy options. Cooking in batches will also help you save time by doing it only once a week instead of preparing daily.
At the end of the day it is always cheaper to do it yourself. Expand your expertise and learn to cook. You’re not only improving your own skill set, you are also maximizing the power of your dollar. Meal Plan, Recipe Research and Meal Prepping is how we combat the urge to succumb to the convenience of a home delivery meal kit service. For the average person living in Sydney, these services are extremely attractive however completely unnecessary. People have cooked for themselves for centuries. Don’t be lazy. That’s the short answer to the entire article. Do it yourself, or it will cost you dearly.
Stay Frugal Fam.