Are EveryPlate meal kits cheaper than buying groceries?
When meal kits when they arrived on the scene, they were seen primarily as a – and expensive – dating project. Meal kits have since become more affordable, with top meal delivery brands like Blue Apron and HelloFresh being less of a special event and more of a utilitarian service for busy families and home cooks with limited experience making meals quick. and easy. To our extent, Each plate is the cheapest meal kit service, at around $5 or $6 per serving depending on the plan you choose. It made me wonder if EveryPlate was even more expensive than buying groceries.
To find the cost difference between Each plate and cooking from scratch, I calculated the price of two service meals against the cost of groceries needed to make exactly the same two recipes. The difference was about a dollar, and probably closer to even, considering the gas needed to get to the store.
Here’s how I got those numbers and what I learned about meal kit cost and value in 2023.
Meal kit vs groceries
|EveryPlate (meal for 2)||EveryPlate (meal for 4)||Store-bought groceries|
|Cost per serving||$7.48||$6.50||$5.44|
Are meal kits more expensive than buying groceries?
If you’ve wondered exactly if significantly more expensive meal kits compare to buying all the groceries yourself, I’ve done the math. While some meal kit services are still comfortably in the splurge category – Solar basket And green leader to name just two – the cheapest meal kits clock in at around $5 or $6 per serving.
After calculating the cost difference between grocery shopping and ordering meal kits for two recipes offered by my favorite meal kit service, Each plate, just a measly dollar separates the two dinner approaches. The perception of meal kits as expensive evening splurges may be more myth than reality.
how i did the math
To calculate the cost of meal kits versus buying groceries, I took two EveryPlate recipes and priced the ingredients. To keep things consistent, I used the cheapest results that filled in on FreshDirecta popular online grocery delivery service here in the Northeast.
Since spices are usually sold in 1 or 2 ounce bottles, I divided the cost by 20 since each bottle of spice contains about 20 servings. The same goes for ingredients like sour cream and soy sauce which are also sold in larger quantities. I divided the total cost by the approximate amount you would need to perform each recipe.
How much does a meal kit service like EveryPlate cost?
EveryPlate is one of the cheapest meal kit services, with most plans at around $5 a serving. For a meal plan for two people and three meals a week, it’s a bit more at $5.99 per serving. I used the more expensive two-person plan compare with the cost of buying your own groceries. There is also a fixed shipping cost of $9 which I divided by the three meals. Ultimately, EveryPlate will cost you $7.48 per serving for a two-person plan. Choose meals for four and it’ll only cost you $6.50 per serving.
How much would the meal kits cost if you bought the individual groceries
Below is a breakdown of what two EveryPlate Recipes would cost if you bought the groceries yourself. These prices were calculated from FreshDirect in April 2022. I have not included the delivery charge for a grocery service or the cost of gas needed to get you to and from the store. It’s also worth noting that the grocery store prices listed below are significantly lower than what I find at my local markets in Brooklyn.
Pork chops smothered with home fries and carrots (2 servings)
- Carrots (12 ounces): $1.50
- Five Yukon Gold potatoes: $1.50
- One yellow onion: $0.90
- Two green onions: $0.50
- Two 5-ounce pork chops: $4.93
- One packet of chicken broth concentrate: $0.60
- Cayenne pepper: $0.20
- Sour cream (4 ounces): $1.50
Cost per serving: $5.56
Cherry Meatballs with Zucchini and Garlic Mashed Potatoes (2 servings)
- Five Yukon Gold potatoes: $1.60
- White bread (two slices): $0.50
- A zucchini: $1.50
- Ground beef (8 ounces): $4.30
- Cherry jam (1 ounce): $0.85
- Garlic powder: $0.10
- Sour cream (4 ounces): $1.50
- Soy sauce (1 ounce): $0.50
Cost per serving: $5.42
How much more does a meal kit cost than buying groceries?
Compared to the cost of buying all the groceries needed at the store, EveryPlate saves approximately $2 extra per serving. If you had to choose one of the plans with portions for four, it would rather be $1 more. So that’s pretty much a wash.
In the end, it’s the convenience you pay a little extra for. But if you choose a budget service like EveryPlate or Dinnerly, that little extra turns out to be next to nothing.
What about the environmental cost, packaging and waste?
There’s no doubt that meal kit services use more plastic than buying your own groceries. That said, cheaper services have found ways to cut costs. In many cases, this means using less packaging.
EveryPlate, for example, is one of the greenest services I’ve tried. The company puts all of its products and other ingredients in one cardboard box, while others individually wrap each ingredient, creating more waste. Most of the packaging, including the cooler and ice packs, is curbside recyclable.
On the other hand, since meal kits usually give you exactly what you need for each meal and no more, you are less likely to have food waste. Who hasn’t thrown away the last ounces of a jar of sour cream or a few green onions that you didn’t find a use for before they wilted?
What about other meal kit services?
EveryPlate is the cheapest meal kit service, with Dinner. The most expensive outfits — Solar basket, green leader And Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon — costs closer to $10 or $13 per serving. The extra cost is usually due to premium ingredients like grass-fed beef and organic produce. With these, you’re going to find a bigger delta between the cost of the meal kit and what it would cost to cook the meal at home. Services like HelloFresh, blue apron And home cook fall somewhere in the middle with meal kits ranging from $9 to $10 per serving.
Not at all interested in cooking? I tested all the best players to find the best prepared meal services in 2023.
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