If you utilize any sort of social media platform, you have probably seen tempting meal-box subscriptions. Ads and discounts for companies such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh are constant. Both supply users with quality ingredients and recipes as part of their subscription. The recipes sound very tempting and easy-to-make. But do the costs of these subscriptions work for the average millennial budget?
Two of the most popular meal-making subscriptions are HelloFresh and Blue Apron. Both offer weekly subscription plans for two people or families and include properly portioned ingredients and recipe cards. They also make sure ingredients are fresh and come from local sources when possible. All of this sounds really tempting to cooks like me who recycle the same four recipes.
Let’s price out Blue Apron. If my three roommates and I utilized their three-person plan, it would be $65.94. That’s $10.99 a serving and $21.98 per person per week. Breaking it down and splitting this sounds a lot better than paying for the subscription alone. The cost would get you three meals per week with enough for three people. It is not a complete substitute for grocery shopping, but if you spend a lot of money out on meals, the cost can be justified. HelloFresh has similar costs and plans, also offering meals at $10 a serving and catering to different amounts of meals and people.
The cost of a meal-making subscription can potentially save millennial budgets. Paying $10 a serving is cheaper than an average meal out, on which the average millennial spends 44 percent of their food dollars. I myself am guilty of this bad habit. Between graduate school, work, working out and rehearsals, I often eat on the go, mostly because I do not have a lot of time to grocery shop and plan meals. But if a service dropped food off at my house, cooking at home seems much more doable, especially when the cost of the service is cheaper than most meals out.
Who would this not work for?
Meal-making subscriptions may differ in outcomes, especially for families on an already tight budget. For a family of four, three meals with Blue Apron a week would come to $143.84 a week. HelloFresh is slightly cheaper for families — they offer three meals for a family of four at $104.88.
However, the average American family spends about $731.20 on food and groceries monthly. So the meal plans may not be viable, especially when they only provide enough food for three meals. Families have to buy food for three meals a day including snacks. So for them, this may not be a viable option within their budget.
Meal-making delivery kits at first glance can seem expensive. But if you’re working with a millennial budget, the cost can be justified, especially if you’re like me and spend money too often on eating out. These services can be split among roommates or partners and utilized as a cheaper alternative to meals out. However, for families working on a tight budget, it may not be as reasonable. Blue Apron or HelloFresh products are worth it if you can utilize the service to cook at home and save dining-out dollars.
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