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For the last several months my wife and I have been checking out as many of the meal kit delivery services as we could for as little money as possible. I'm sure most people can name some of the more popular ones off the top of their head, but I'm guessing many of these lesser known ones are flying under your radar.
If you aren't familiar with Meal Kit delivery services the basic idea is they ship you a package full of raw ingredients each week with directions on how to cook them. Some are geared towards certain diet types and others aim for a budget buyers. You pay a flat fee each week for your delivery and have the ability to cancel, skip, or pause your subscription anytime with no fees.
For us it has significantly cut down the amount of time we have to put into creating a grocery list, actually go grocery shopping, and worry about what we are going to cook for dinner each night. Plus we get to eat awesome and new food without having to pay to go out! The standard for most of these meal kits is 3 meals with 2 servings in each meal. So these take care of 3 nights of dinners and usually some leftovers for us for the week.
We had used meal kit deliveries in the past, some we kept for several weeks other we cancelled right away. This time we decided to do a sampling of as many programs as possible to see which one(s) we were going to commit to over next few months. It will likely be multiple since we do like the variety of them and they all make it pretty easy to pause your subscription.
Most we were able to find a coupon code online that gave some sort of discount for your first meal, others we used friends referral links. The referral links for these companies are a great benefit. If you are a big social media poster, posting pictures of your cooked dishes along with your referral link could easily add up to a few free weeks of meals. Below is a list of all the meal kit companies we'll be reviewing. They contain our referral links and give a description of what you get by using that link.
Sunbasket.com - $35 off your first meal kit
HomeChef.com - $30 off your first meal kit
Gobble - $50 off your first meal kit
Terras Kitchen - $40 off your first meal kit
Gobble - $50 off your first meal kit
GreenChef.com - 4 Free Meals
HelloFresh.com - $20 off your first meal kit
And a lot more....
You can't use another promo code if you use those links, so if you find a promo code with a better offer than one listed above, definitely use that instead.
We want to try each service before we decide which one to go with so the plan is to sign up for a couple at a time to minimize the amount of time we spend managing these. Most will let you schedule you first delivery for up to a week or two away, so if you sign up for two at a time you could get this week and next.
We always skip the next few weeks after we initially signup for a site to make sure we don't forget to do it later if we don't like the first one. This gives us plenty of time to cancel without getting billed. Keep in mind they usually lock you in the week before so make sure you cancel or skip in advance.
To us this is just as good as eating out or ordering in, so we compare it to what we spend on that as well as what groceries would cost. We also enjoy cooking shows like Iron Chef quite a bit, so this does bring that to life for us a few times a week.
Most of the services have good coupons for your first delivery. Anywhere from completely free to $10 or $20 off your first delivery depending on which service. Most of the kits range in price between $60 and $100 per delivery. So a rough average of about $50 for delivery gives you 3 meals for two people or $16.66 per meal. For us an average takeout meal or about half the cost of a dinner out. Attempting to buy groceries for most of these meals would also be more expensive unless you were going to use all the ingredients for other cooking. Kudos to you if you are, we've found most of them go to waste so we really love these meal kits.
You'll also find that when you sign up for these services and receive a few deliveries, even if you cancel you'll receive a lot of great offers to try them again. We've received offers for whole boxes for free or 50% off for many of these services after cancelling. They may also give you the ability to send free deliveries to friends and family!
We'll breakdown actual spending in each review too, you'll see how some are much more economical than others.
These kits are delivered via normal package delivery so they do show up damaged or with ingredients open occasionally. In our experience nearly every company has pretty good customer service for these issues and will usually send a box for free to you or give you a refund. So while it can be a pain to deal with, as long as they make it right, I can' complain.
As the Meal Kits arrive, we'll cook each week's (or some of each weeks, no guarantees) meals and post our reviews on things like directions, packaging quality, ingredient quality, complexity, and overall score.
Next Week: Sunbasket.com
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