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Delivered DIY Dinners: Are they Worth the Price?

Delivered DIY Dinners: Are they Worth the Price?

By Maddie McCarthy

Services such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Purple Carrot are able to deliver recipe kits right to your door. They have options catering to your preferences, such as family friendly, calorie conscious, omnivorous, or plant based. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have vegetarian options, while Purple Carrot is completely vegan. You can choose between two and four servings, as well as two to five recipes per week (although this does vary per brand).

Recipe kits are great for many reasons. They seem like a useful service for everyone in quarantine because you don’t have to go out for the ingredients yourself. If you’re not the best at cooking, this can help you improve your skills. If you already have chef skills, these services can introduce you to new foods you may have never thought of trying before. 

Now, I was originally interested in trying one of these out for myself. Unfortunately the price is astronomical and as a broke college student, I simply cannot afford to spend $50 or more on a couple of meals. It appears that during the first week, you can receive a discount. After that, the price skyrockets. It would be nice if you could purchase one meal kit, rather than the subscription.

Hello Fresh, for example, says to be $11.99 per serving if you order two meals per week with two servings each. Based on my own math, that is $47.96 for just two meals for two people. Purple Carrot costs even more than that, as you must choose at least three meals minimum per week. Personally, I could buy all my groceries for a single week with that money. 

Since I really couldn’t afford to try this out myself, I wanted to see what others thought. I decided my best course of action was to watch some unsponsored videos of people unboxing the recipe kits that they decided to try.

From the looks of it, these recipe delivering services do a good job of delivering fresh and adequately packed food; the food is kept in coolers so it’s at a safe temperature. The ingredients come measured out with very clear instructions that include pictures, so it looks easy to follow.

It was a little concerning to see the amount of packaging that was used for the ingredients. There were tiny plastic packets of sauce, plastic around produce — I even saw two peeled cloves of garlic that got their own plastic bag. Hello Fresh looks as though it does a slightly better job at this than Blue Apron and Purple Carrot. On the other hand, food waste with these services is minimal because they send the amount of ingredients needed for the servings requested.

The general consensus of these delivery services is that the food tastes pretty good. Each review I watched did a taste test and they were satisfied by the results. 

I understand the desire for easy, delivered-to-your-door recipes. I, too, sometimes tire from trying to grocery shop and plan out meals for the week. I also see that when buying a delivery service like this, you are paying for more than just the price of the groceries. 

Personally, I don’t think it is worth spending $50 dollars a week for two dinners that come packaged to the max. Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and others like it are a great luxury. I think that anyone can learn to cook without the help of one of these by searching on the internet. If you can afford it however, it could be interesting to try one of these out.

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