The First 3 Things Every Person Should Do When Their Meal Kit Arrives

updated Jan 15, 2020
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Maybe you were gifted a meal kit subscription over the holidays — or maybe you simply gifted it to yourself. Whatever the reason, it can be exciting when your first box arrives, whether it’s Blue Apron, Martha & Marley Spoon, Hello Fresh, or another service. Food! Recipes! A delicious meal that you didn’t have to figure out all the ingredients for!

But if you’ve never tried a meal kit before, you don’t want to just toss all the ingredients in the fridge until you’re ready to make your meal. To make sure you have the best meal kit experience, it’s worth taking five minutes as soon as your box is delivered, and doing these three things:

1. Open the box and inspect the packaging.

As soon as your box arrives, or as soon as you get home and see it waiting for you at your front door, bring it in and open it. Then immediately feel any perishable ingredients such as meat, fish, and dairy to be sure they’re cold and still well-insulated in their packaging. Meal kit companies use materials to keep these items cold in transit and through delivery but there’s always a chance the box sat in a hot delivery truck or outside in the sun a bit too long. If any perishable items aren’t cold, call the company for a replacement. Do not cook or eat them.

2. Transfer necessary items to the refrigerator.

That said, if all perishable items check out and arrive cold, immediately transfer them to the refrigerator (or freezer, if required) so they stay cold. Don’t forget about small refrigerated items like tiny containers of mayonnaise or grated cheese, too, which can sometimes get lost among the other items.

Related: The 3 Best Meal Kits for Busy Families, According to Moms

Credit: Kelli Foster

3. Cross-check the ingredients with recipe cards.

While most meal kit companies have their system pretty down pat, we’re all human and mistakes can happen. That’s why it’s worth taking five minutes to double-check that you have all the ingredients for each recipe. On the off chance you don’t, give the company a call. It might be something simple, like a lemon, which you can pick up easily yourself, but it’s still worth notifying them of the error since yours might not be the only box missing the ingredient.

Bonus step: Remove the dry ingredients and recipe cards from the box, transfer them to an organized spot, then break down and recycle the box. If there are other materials, such as insulated packaging or other packing materials, that can be recycled, go ahead and do that too, otherwise considering saving and reusing them. And now you’re ready to get cooking!