7 Meal Kits & Pre-Made Food Providers I Tried, Pros & Cons, Scoring
As someone nearly never cooked and only ate in the restaurant, Covid forced me to change. I started with meal kits, ambitiously, then landed in a combination with pre-made food in freezer. I live in Montreal, Canada.
Below is a summary of pros and cons for both.
Pros for Meal Kits
- Less waste than cooking by yourself, especially for one person
- Less time on grocery shopping, especially for the meals that require a lot of different ingredients and spices
- No need to research recipe
Cons for Meal Kits
- Package wastes — although most of the boxes and packages can be recycled, it’s still a lot of packaging to be recycled, abox, several freezer packs, and many small packages for food, EVERY WEEK
- You thought you skipped or cancelled, but suddenly received a box, because you actually forgot to cancel this week — some meal kit company “lures” customers to “skip” instead of “cancel”, resulting in an unexpected box.
- No egg related recipe. They usually avoid egg related recipes.
Pros for Pre-Made Food
- Quick and fast — usually 3 mins of microwaves to prepare
Cons for Pre-Made Food
- Some companies have bad packaging. After some time in the freezer, the food is partially frozen with ice. After heating up, the food would become watering. And you know about microwaves, it is difficult to have an even heat-up.
- No leafy greens.
- Just not as good as freshly made food.
Now let’s look at the companies I tried, ranked by overall satisfaction from high to low.
Meal Kits first.
The only complaints I have are that Goodfood’s website is quite confusing to navigate and you have to contact a customer support to unsubscribe. I really like the fact that Goodfood sends email reminder if you have a box coming and you can cancel if you don’t want it in advance.
Pricing: starting from $80 per week. Aggressive promotions for new comers.
Tons of choices. The amount of spices/sauces indicated on the recipes can be too much, resulting in strong flavors. Goodfood made some changes since Covid that you can also do grocery shopping and introduced more flexible plans.
The main complaint is that HelloFresh doesn’t send notifications that you have a box coming in advance, resulting unexpected box (I thought I cancelled, obviously I didn’t) and you can’t cancel it.
Pricing: starting from $78 per week
Promotions focus on attracting new customers and re-gaining customers (if you unsubscribe, HelloFresh would try to get you back by offering discounts).
Some vegetables couldn’t last for the whole week.
Nothing too surprising. Good enough for a meal. The instruction is sometimes not clear of the amount of spice to be used in that specific step.
Pricing: starting from $69 per week. Few promotions, only for first comers.
Few choices for recipes. However, the dishes are usually quite creative.
Pre-made Food Providers.
Pricing: starting from $8 per meal without minimum requirement for delivery. The cheapest compared to others. But $75 for free delivery.
Not good for freezer. Food can easily got ice frozen on.
Not the most tasteful food, but not too bad for pre-made food with a variety of choices.
Pricing: starting from $71 for 6 meals. Have promotions from time to time.
The same big container sometimes larger than the meal amount. It is also not well sealed. After some time in the freezer, the food got ice frozen on.
The meals usually have many spices and can be heavy with a lot of cheeses. The amount is also quite unpredictable — sometimes too little, sometimes too much.
Pricing: Starting from $115 for 16 meals. Can also build your own box with minimum amount requirement.
Each meal is well sealed. The meal box is quite compact and can be stored easily in small spaces. However, it would be difficult to eat in that small plate.
The food doesn’t taste very good in general. Everything looks and tasted smashed in small pieces. The amount for each meal can be too small.
Boite du Chef
They also have meal kit, however, I only tried the pre-made food box.
Pricing: Starting from $110 for 5 meals, targeting slightly more high-end customers. Always some kind of promotions going on.
Food with soup is also in a sealed bag. Difficult to use and contain.
Food is tasty, however, quite heavy on butter and cheese.