Sure, we want to do it all. But let’s be real, after working a 10-12 hour day, who can find the time to manage simple tasks like trekking to the grocery store? Thankfully, for busy professionals and families’ on-the-go, there’s a new wave of online companies delivering ready to cook meals to your doorstep. From organized meal plans and ingredients for the entire week to pre-packed dinner kits delivered to your front door, long gone are the days you have to settle for a quick fix at your favorite fast food restaurant.
With most meals on average taking 35 minutes to prepare, it’s certainly worth a try for beginners and experienced home cooks. Of course we know, ordering food at home is nothing new. But this new form of innovative services promises to deliver premium ingredients in a box. And, the ultimate cost is convenience. According to the New York Times, most companies say the kits can save money by reducing food waste, since all ingredients are used up; there is no need, say, to buy a jar of curry powder when only half a teaspoon is called for. Also, given the quality of the ingredients and inventiveness of the recipes, the proper price comparison to make is with a restaurant meal — at the kind of restaurant that their target audience prefers: sophisticated, with a global, seasonal or local spin.
Here’s how it works with most online dinner services such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Plated. Based on your dietary preference, you can choose from several ready-to-cook meals. The average subscription ranges from $8-$15 per plate and comes complete with detailed instructions and no additional shipping fees. A refrigerated box containing everything you need for your meal including pre-measured premium ingredients is delivered weekly via FedEx or a similar shipping company.
Here are some additional details on the most popular subscription services.