Should You Try A Meal Prep Services? - Rhineland Cutlery

Should You Try A Meal Prep Services?

What is are Meal Prep Services?

Meal prep services are food services that delivers meal kits to subscribers. They consist of meat, vegetables, fruit, sauces, and spices with instructions on how to prepare the meals. These services can vary by the types of meals that they offer, how they are portioned out, and how often they are sent out to subscribers. Built for easy preparation and convenience for the subscriber, meal kit services take the stress out of making a decision about dinner every night.

Despite the convenience of a meal delivery service, there are some downsides to subscribing to one. A subscription is limited to the types of meals that they provide and can often be pricier than regular grocery shopping. The packaging can also be a hassle to take care of.

According to research by Packaged Facts in Maryland, the meal-kit service market is estimated to grow by double digits within the next several years and then trend downward by 2023. Meal kit services are still popular today, even with some of the cons that come with them. If you are weighing out the pros and cons of meal kit services, this is the right article for you!

Pros of Meal Prep Services

1. Convenient and Easy Meal Prep

For many consumers, this is the ultimate reason for subscribing to meal prep services. Meal kits deliver most or all of the ingredients needed to craft a home-cooked meal without the hassle of going to the grocery store. Many of the meals delivered can take as little as 15 minutes to prepare. Instead of having to scavenge your pantry for ingredients for your next dish, meal prep services lay out all of the ingredients needed to make a hot, delicious meal. By subscribing to one, your dinner plans are already secure.

2. Portion Control

Although a nice home-cooked meal from grandma is nice, it is very hard to tell how many calories you consume or what a serving size of that apple pie really looks like. By purchasing a meal delivery service, all of the portion sizes are tailored to you. All of the ingredients for meals are exact and there is often no need to find a measuring cup. Instead of buying take-out food with oversized portions, a meal kit prep service can give you a meal that will keep you full without having to buy an extra large combo.

3. Nutritional Ingredients

Speaking of take-out, much of the food ordered for delivery to your home is filled with empty calories. Pizza, french fries, chicken nuggets, and burgers are great to have on occasion, but they can be extremely unhealthy if ordered every day. A New York study found that almost 43% of Americans are on the lookout for healthy food options. Many meal prep services supply meals with nutritional ingredients. Some of them can even offer healthy alternatives to your fast food favorites. Instead of french fries, a meal prep service might offer tasty roasted potatoes. Instead of angus beef burgers, the service could offer a veggie burger or turkey burger. Meal prep kit services can make cooking healthy meals for yourself fun.

4. Less Food Waste

One of the struggles of grocery shopping is trying to figure out how much produce to buy. Grocery stores often offer bags of potatoes, apples, and other produce for a deal, but they can become rotten if not used in a certain amount of time. For people living alone, a meal kit service is a great way to reduce food waste. Since all of the meals are portioned out, you only need to cook what you want to eat whenever you want to eat it. Instead of constantly throwing out unused produce, meal prep services only supply what you need for a meal.

Cons of Meal Prep Services

1. Meal Kits Come At A Higher Price Than Groceries

Even with all of the convenience of meal prep kit services, it can be costly to maintain a subscription for them. They cost more than going to buy groceries for yourself. In some cases, you can buy twice as many ingredients while grocery shopping than buying the meal kit. With the extra ingredients, you could take the time to buy good tupperware and freeze your extra ingredients for new meals later. If you are worried about cutting up the produce for smaller portion sizes, Rhineland Cutlery offers a wide-range of knives to make cutting produce easy to do. Between the two options, investing in tupperware will save you extra money in the long-run than subscribing to a meal prep kit service.

2. Serving Sizes vs. Appetite

One of the biggest features of meal prep kit services is that they portion out their meals. Although this can be great nutrition-wise, not everyone has the same body make-up. Depending on how active you are, your age, your gender, and other factors, you may need more or less calories than the meals being offered. You might not feel full from one of the prepared meals in the service, so you might have to go to the store to buy extra ingredients or snacks to keep you full. This would eliminate the convenience of having the meal-prep service because you would have to buy groceries regardless of whether or not your meal was prepared for you.

3. Ingredients

The ingredients packaged inside of meal prep kit services are perishable and must be cooked or refrigerated immediately. If you decide not to eat one of the meals provided by the service, then it would simply go to waste. Since the meals are not prepared specifically for you, you may run into some ingredients that you dislike. If you are a picky eater, the best meal kit service for you should offer many alternatives for meals. Worst-case scenario, all of the meals you acquire might have ingredients that you don’t like. It might be safer to just buy your own groceries instead of relying on mass meal prep services.

4. Meal Prep Services Come With Excess packaging

Although having the ingredients individually packaged is convenient for following recipes, after cooking, you will be left with excess packaging. This may be a small problem in the beginning, but being subscribed to a meal prep kit service for months can leave the consumer with tons of wrappers, boxes, and plastic bags. Grocery shopping for ingredients would be better not only for your trash can, but also for the environment as a whole. You can reuse bags at the grocery store and buy whole produce without packaging.

To Each Their Own

In the end, purchasing a meal kit service is up to you. Even with meal kits costing more than buying groceries, they still cost less than ordering food out to eat every day. Depending on your schedule, you may or may not have the time to go grocery shopping and plan out your meals. The best meal kit service for you should offer foods that you enjoy cooking and eating. If you choose not to, you will save money, but you will not have the same convenience of having your meals prepped for you.