Weeknights are busy. We know this. And while we try to have ingredients on hand and employ a few tips and tricks to speed up the process, sometimes all we want to do is pick up something on our way home, or order in. But for some people, there's a 3rd option: ready-to-cook dinner kits delivered to their door, providing everything but the cook. Have you ever tried a service like this? Would you?
I read an article recently in The New York Times about these dinner delivery services, particularly Plated, Blue Apron, ChefDay!, and HelloFresh. These kits provide all the ingredients needed to make a particular meal, all measured out, chopped, and chilled. All that's required of the cook at that point is to open the box and follow the recipe.
As the Times says, these services promise "to relieve Americans of kitchen drudgery while retaining the flavor and cachet of home cooking." They're aiming for "a sweet spot" somewhere between buying and cooking everything yourself, and ordering restaurant delivery. In other words, when people feel too exhausted to find a recipe and make dinner from scratch, yet they don't want to order takeout or have processed heat-and-eat meals, this is the next best thing.
But is it? Not surprisingly, these kits are more expensive than if you were to buy and assemble the meal yourself. The meals cost $7 to about $17.50 a serving, or "more than it would cost to buy the raw ingredients at FreshDirect or Whole Foods," according to the Times. But the companies maintain that their way saves money in the long run by reducing food waste: "There is no need, say, to buy a jar of curry powder when only half a teaspoon is called for."
What do you think? Is the time and streamlined-process worth it for a home-cooked meal even if it is more expensive? Have you ever used a service like this? Would you?
Read More: Everything But The Cook | The New York Times