I’ve mentioned before that I am easily marketed to. I am the target audience for every infomercial known to man. Perfect Pancake Maker? I got it. Magic Bullet Blender? I use that every day! The Arctic Air thing that goes around your neck and cools you? It’s ca’ fait chaud, cher! You know I bought that!
And, with the number of podcasts that I listen to on the daily, I am getting inundated with advertisements regularly.
But, they have led me to some awesome finds. In particular, meal kits have been my most treasured find.
It’s not that I don’t like going to the grocery. I enjoy it actually. I like making a weekly menu, grocery list, and then leisurely walking up and down each aisle as I peruse the options.
And, I love to cook, but I feel like I’m cooking the same thing over and over. On top of which, going to the grocery takes time that I just don’t have anymore.
And the obscure ingredients in some of these recipes that we lovingly save for later…who needs 20 servings of cilantro and garam masala?
Enter the meal kit.
There are tons to choose from. Menus and prices vary vastly. I have a regimen of meal kits that I cycle through regularly. I have found that they save me time and entertain our taste buds without breaking the bank!
This is probably my favorite meal kit. Not only because the menu options are delish and are things I would never think to cook myself, but because I find that they pack their ingredients with the most care. There is nothing more annoying than to have all of the ingredients for a delicious gourmet dinner, only to have to go to the store for 1 tomato because it arrived smooshed to smithereens.
Our favorite Hello Fresh Dishes so far have been an Old Bay Shrimp and Sausage Boil, Pecan Crusted Trout, and Honey Miso Sweet Potato ‘Shroom Jumble.
They even have the option to buy additional groceries to come in with your meal kit ingredients. I’ve gotten cooked chicken and bagged salad and voila! Lunch for the week!
The only caveat with Hello Fresh is the price point. Each shipment (I choose the family serving of 4 with 2 meals in each shipment) is typically somewhere between $80-$100 per shipment. There are lots of discounts available and extra charges for certain meals. But, I always have leftovers and it is definitely cheaper and healthier than eating out at a restaurant.
And you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting naked in public while you sip your wine with your eyes closed for 5 seconds … ask me how I know.
Dinnerly is the favorite of my husband and 7-year-old son (that baby eats anything that doesn’t eat him first!). The recipes are simpler than Hello Fresh, and they also have dessert options regularly available.
Dinnerly is also significantly cheaper than almost all of the other meal kit boxes available. I order the 3 meal / 4 servings per meal option. One of those meals is typically a dessert because I have now spoiled my family. They think I am making these gourmet desserts from scratch from my head … I hate to destroy the dream!
Our favorite recipes are stir fry anything (my 7-year-old is obsessed with stir fry), variations on the shepherd’s pie theme, party snacks, and alllll the desserts. (I’ve made banana pudding cups, funfetti cookie sandwiches, donuts carrot cake muffins stuffed with homemade cream cheese icing … plus so many other sweet treats!)
I pay around $67 per shipment for 3 meal / 4 servings per meal option. You do have the option of adding additional meals for an additional charge.
I wouldn’t call Daily Harvest a meal kit, per se, but these are my go-to’s for quick, healthy, delicious, and plant-based meals. I have found some absolutely decadent smoothies, soups, and harvest bowls. They are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner and are way healthier than fast food or the frozen dinners in the grocery store (those are fuuuulllll of sodium).
My favorite smoothie so far is the Mint Cacao Smoothie which is jammed packed with banana, spinach, cacao, cashew, chlorella, and peppermint. It tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream! And, I have been obsessed with all of their harvest bowls – every single one I have tried has been a home run, even the broccoli cheese harvest bowl which has cauliflower in it. (If you know anything about me, you know that cauliflower is my arch enemy.)
On top of the smoothies and harvest bowls, they have oat bowls, soups, plant-based ice cream, etc. You name it, they have it. It comes frozen with dry ice in sustainable packaging which is really nice for this tree hugger. Plus, they stay super frozen waiting for you on your doorstep, even on our crisp 83 degree winter days.
The smoothies are around $7.99 each and the harvest bowls are around $8.99 each.
Oats Over Night
I really like overnight oats. They are delicious and great to make ahead of time. But, they do require that you be able to sit down with a spoon to eat. From personal experience, you can try to eat them while driving, but at some point, you will get it all over you.
But, drinkable overnight oats and Oats Over Night takes the guesswork out of the equation. You pour your milk into the shaker they give you free with your first party pack order, pour your packet of ingredients, shake, refrigerate for at least 4 hours and it’s ready to roll. These have been fantastic to put in the fridge after an afternoon of jam-packed school activities. They are ready in the morning so I can have a yummy breakfast that actually holds my appetite at bay until lunchtime.
The party pack has 8 servings and is $32 (cheaper if you subscribe). The party pack has a nice flavor variety so you can decide if you like it or not. Could you make it yourself? Probably. But, just like the meal kits, you are paying for ingredients that may cost more to buy in bigger quantities, plus the ease of just dumping it in and shaking!
There are a ton of other meal kits and grocery delivery services out there. I say that the more we can source out household duties that take away from the time we can spend with our families or just relaxing and living life, the better!