Food delivery services such as Hello Fresh, Gousto and Mindful Chef saw a surge in popularity in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
There are many reasons why someone might invest in this type of service. For restaurant-lovers, recipe boxes and meal preps have provided the convenience and professionalism that comes with dining out at a time when it’s never been more important to stay at home.
For those passionate about nutrition and fitness, these services have made it easy to stay on track during periods of inactivity.
And for those tired of the monotony of lockdown, there’s something fun about getting a knock at your door and finding a box filled with surprises on your doorstep – and with so little to do during the age of COVID-19, who can blame us for finding excitement in the most unexpected places?!
If you’re tempted to treat yourself to a meal prep or recipe box service, here are some things to consider before parting with your cash.
Figure out your ‘why’ before making the investment
Before signing up for a meal prep or recipe box service, you need to work out what your main reason is for doing it. Are you trying to eat healthier? Do you want to learn new recipes? Are you tired of cooking? Do you simply want to feel alive again?
Once you’ve figured out your ‘why’, you can work out whether you’re better suited to meals you heat up in the microwave or food delivery boxes you cook yourself. You can also work out whether the cost is worth the benefits and ensure you get the most of it once you’ve signed up.
Could results be delayed due to other factors?
If you’re investing in the food delivery service to either lose or gain wait, have a think about whether the rest of your lifestyle will help or hinder your ability to achieve success. If you invest in a protein-heavy meal plan in an attempt to gain muscle, for example, but you only lift weights once a fortnight, this might not be money well spent.
What will you learn from this?
A good question to ask yourself when deciding whether to invest in a meal prep service is whether you’ll learn anything that’ll improve your life long after your subscription has ended.
Will the service inspire you to recreate the same meals on a budget? Does it come with recipe cards you can save? Will it teach you about nutrition? Will it introduce you to new foods?
How many hours’ work will it take to pay for this?
A smart way of working out whether something’s worth the amount of money you’ll spend on it is to ask yourself how many hours it’ll take to earn it – and whether you’re happy about that. So let’s imagine each meal costs you £5 and you earn £10 an hour in your job. Are you happy to work for 30 minutes to pay for that meal? If not, find an alternative that does work for you.
How easy is it to opt-out if it’s not for me?
Before signing up, make sure you read the terms and conditions to find out how easy it is to unsubscribe and how quickly you can cancel your payments. Some services require a month or two’s notice, meaning you may have to keep paying for the deliveries even if you decide it’s not right for you or you’ve gotten everything you want out of it already.