GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - You can't open your Facebook feed or surf the net without seeing an ad for one of the popular home-delivery meal kits.
Julie Nelson and Belinda Jensen volunteered to try out a few. With kids, work and all-around busy lives they were the perfect choice. Julie and Bel went to Julie's kitchen to give Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Plated a try.
Let's start with what all three services had in common. They all come with all the ingredients, recipes, step-by-step instructions. They also all say they will take between 30 and 45 minutes. The Plated supplies three servings and both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are four servings. They all cost about $70 for two meals.
The meals that Julie and Bel created are chicken shawarma from Plated, one-pot tortellini from Hello Fresh and paprika and fennel spiced salmon from Blue Apron.
Overall Belinda and Julie did like the kits to help mix up your routines and all delivered on what they promised. It's up to individual families if the price is worth the convenience.
Here's their take on the kits.
I give the whole experience two thumbs up. Don’t be fooled into thinking, however, that dinner is delivered to you.
You are definitely cooking and chopping and dirtying lots of dishes, but I found the end result for all three companies worth it.
If you are stuck in a rut on what to prepare for dinner, like I was, and don’t mind spending extra for some variety and convenience, I would highly recommend meal kits.
I had a co-worker say that “she loves cooking but hates grocery shopping” so she is intrigued with these meal kits. I love cooking as well, and don’t mind grocery shopping, but my issue is meal planning with my busy schedule.
What ends up happening at my house is we have about five to nine meals that we just continue to rotate through and that becomes pretty boring.
I think the advantage of these meal kits is that you are encouraged to try a bunch of new things and they make it really “easy” to put something pretty fancy on the table in around 30-40 minutes.
You then will learn a bunch of new recipes that you could make on your own and possibly make that meal rotation a little less bland and boring. The flavors were great, everything was fresh, and you are cooking. It is not just a meal in a box so be aware.
It would also be great for someone that does not think they “can” cook because they lay it out really well, and virtually anyone could do it.
The one thing that I was surprised by was the amount of packaging and waste that you would have if you got it every week. Lots of packaging of separate ingredients and lots of cold packs. I kept a few and I am reusing them, but if you got it every week that would be a lot.