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People are ordering kits that teach you how to make gourmet dishes, complete with pre-packaged ingredients sealed for freshness. It's a concept that seems so simple, and yet has revolutionized the way that people do dinner.
Meal prep delivery kits, as they're known, are designed to help people learn to cook, eat better meals, keep portions in control, and also possibly even save you a little bit of money in the long run. There's a meal prep kit for every lifestyle—as long as you look hard enough.
After much debating, I decided to give this meal prep delivery kit a try. Here's what happened when I tried out Home Chef, a popular meal kit that caters to people who want restaurant-quality platters at a fraction of the price.
First, let me start with what made me decide to start using meal prep delivery kits.
I currently live with my husband in a small studio apartment. My husband barely eats anything other than ramen and spaghetti. His diet, if left to his own devices, is not a healthy one.
My diet, on the other hand, involves a lot of fresh meals. I want to cook more food for him, but planning meals that suit us both isn't always that easy. When left to my own devices, I shop on whims and end up wasting money on food that rots before I actually figure out what I want to do with it.
Meal prep delivery kits aren't exactly known for being cheap. A quick trip to the grocery store will get you more fresh food for a lower price, but there's a catch. Since I tend to waste food when I buy groceries for myself, using a delivery kit can actually cut down on costs.
Between the lower food costs and the carefree planning, purchasing meal delivery kits just made the most sense.
I chose Home Chef on a whim.
After poking around on the net, I found a few recommendations of meal delivery services that seemed interesting. Most were very pricey though, had rigid rules that you need to follow to get the recipes just right, or simply didn't seem that appetizing. Among more affordable kits, there seemed to be the trend that very few of them had good ratings.
Home Chef, on the other hand, had great reviews, gave me a cheap discount since I was a first-time buyer, and piqued my curiosity. Since it allows you to start and stop your purchases as you see fit, I saw no harm in giving it a shot.
Signing up was a cinch.
I wasn't shocked to find out that signing up was easy. All you need to do is have a debit card, an address, and an idea of how many meals you want to order every week.
I chose a two meal per week plan for two people. I soon found out that you can add onto your meal plan, so if you want an extra meal or a fruit basket, you can get one sent along with your standard order with extreme ease.
The discount made it easy for me to explore while on Home Chef's website fairly easily, and gave me a budget for a nice, guilt-free indulgence. Steak dinner? Oh my, yes.
This meal delivery kit allows you to plan out your meals weeks in advance.
The way it works is simple. Every week, you get to choose two to four meals from a seasonal selection offered by Home Chef. Some meals give you the chance to customize your meal with cool add-ons and upgrades. Basically, you can put all those meal planning tips that will change how you eat during the week you know back in the cupboard. Home Chef makes everything simple for you.
My meal plan came with a cool bonus. Any time my order exceeded $45, I'd get free shipping. I immediately decided to order one deluxe meal, extra servings, or one upgrade per week. It was like getting a freebie!
Along with my first order, Home Chef offered up a couple of neat promos.
It's always pretty nice to see a program that offers little bonuses for being a member. Home Chef partnered up with a wine delivery service that pairs your personal tastes to world-class bottles of wine. They also offered up some great discounts on cookware.
Personally, I didn't use those discounts, but it was cool to have a nice little perk. I was more impressed, though, by the fact that you can earn free boxes of food to give as gifts!
I got to pick the meals, and they were awesome.
The meals that Home Chef has are pretty epic. They literally have something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Steak lover? Also awesome. I was really impressed by the wide selection of meals Home Chef offered.
You can choose your meals weeks in advance, and if you don't like a meal? Just skip that week! How convenient is that?
When the meals came, everything was fresh.
Each recipe comes with its own ingredient bag. The ingredients were pre-measured and crisp. Meats were vacuum-sealed and looked phenomenal. The veggies were farm picked. The only things not included were salt, pepper, and olive oil, but these are staples everyone should have anyway, right?
The meals came with a binder and recipe cards that can be placed inside it. So, if you love a particular meal, you can recreate it with no problems. The official measurements are also available online, too!
When cooking started, things went just according to plan.
At times, the instructions tripped me up because I didn't have the measurements listed for what and how much goes in there. That being said, the prep did not leave me to do any of my own guesswork, and the supplies were staples found in kitchens across the country.
Preparing the meal took a total of an hour for q steak dinner with roasted veggies. Once it was done, I took a bite, and it was easily one of the best steaks I ever had outside of a restaurant. Color me impressed. That said, we had leftovers! The portion sizes of Home Chef's meals are absolutely perfect (if not generous!).
Home Chef didn't just trim the fat off the wasted groceries we used to have.
The cool thing about Home Chef's meal plans is that they are incredibly convenient. We don't have to go out to eat as often, nor do we have to do grocery store runs in the middle of a week anymore.
With lunch, we usually stick to quick things. My husband has a bite to eat at his workplace. I usually go for a quick microwave meal. Breakfast is equally cheap and simple.
Since it comes with built-in portion control, I've started to notice that I've lost weight. I'm pleased with that as well, to say the least.
Home Chef was a great thing to try out—and I still use them today.
My life is chaotic enough without having to deal with grocery shopping and meal planning. It's also unhealthy when I end up being unable to handle portion control. If you're looking for a food service you need to try, Home Chef solved those problems well. For that, I'm thankful.