Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Meal Kit Subscription

You’ve got learn sufficient tales about how straightforward meal kits are and the way they’re roughly the identical value as shopping for all of the groceries your self, with out all the hassle of grocery procuring and meal planning. You’ve got heard that meal kits have turn out to be extra sustainable than once they first launched — and the way they’ve a decrease total carbon footprint and create much less meals waste than cooking from scratch. And so you’ve got taken the plunge. Now it is time to optimize your meal equipment expertise with ideas and methods for a seasoned meal equipment maker.

Meal kits, I’ve examined all of them — from budget-friendly choices like Blue Apron and EveryPlate, to extra premium picks reminiscent of Inexperienced Chef and Martha & Marley Spoon. Whatever the specific service you’ve got chosen, there are some methods you need to use to get essentially the most out of your meal equipment subscription. 

As somebody who opinions them professionally and examined each main service (in addition to lots of the extra area of interest choices), I’ve discovered a factor or two. Whether or not it is stretching your meal equipment plan so your cash goes additional or fine-tuning recipes for optimum outcomes, listed below are my important meal equipment ideas and hacks for getting essentially the most out of your subsequent (or first!) supply. 

1. Reap the benefits of meal equipment signup provides

every plate sign up offer

EveryPlate has laughably low cost signup provides to benefit from. You possibly can pause or cancel anytime.

EveryPlate/Screenshot by CNET

At the beginning, you will need to benefit from new buyer signup provides. Most meal equipment providers assist you to attempt their items for deep reductions, as much as 70% off and sometimes for a number of weeks’ value of meals. I’ve rounded up the most effective meal supply offers proper now that will help you decide. And if you happen to’re already a meal equipment subscriber, there isn’t any rule in opposition to pausing it or canceling so you may attempt one other service at a type of dirt-cheap new buyer charges. 

2. Select extra servings for higher worth

blue apron chicken thigh in thai curry dish

Go for the bigger plan and you will have extra meals for a lower cost per serving and attractive meals to final all week. 

David Watsky/CNET

Meal equipment prices range vastly relying on the variety of meals and servings you order per week, and the delta between them could be huge. Blue Apron, as an illustration, breaks down to only $8 a serving if you happen to order the most quantity of meals — 4 recipes with 4 servings every — however jumps to over $12 per serving if you happen to solely get the least — two recipes with two servings per week.

My suggestion is to order a much bigger meal plan than you suppose you will want and select recipes that hold within the fridge or freeze properly. Do that and you will have lunch and dinner all found out for the subsequent day or two. You are already going by way of the hassle to prepare dinner, you would possibly as properly get extra miles out of it, and avoid wasting dough when you’re at it.

blue apron meal plans

Blue Apron plans vary from $8 to $12 a serving. The larger your order, the higher the deal.

Blue Apron/Screenshot by CNET

“Meal equipment meal planning,” you heard it right here first. So what recipes are good for cooking in massive batches and consuming in a while? Just about something aside from seafood and salad recipes, each of which are not nice to freeze after making ready. And uncooked seafood famously does not hold within the fridge for very lengthy. 

Talking of which…

3. Cook dinner recipes with seafood or leafy greens first

fish and broccoli on plate

All the time prepare dinner seafood recipes first. If you cannot get to it inside a day, freeze the uncooked fish for later. 

David Watsky/CNET

Seafood recipes are all the time finest to prepare dinner first since they will additionally spoil first. The identical goes for recipes with different components that may take a flip when left uneaten or raw, together with greens, leafy greens, cheese and contemporary dairy. 

Potatoes and different dense greens are sometimes good between 4 or 5 days to a full week. Steak and rooster are additionally fairly hearty and may final a number of days within the fridge with out having their high quality compromised. 

4. Choose steak and seafood to get extra bang for the buck

steak dinner on table

Blue Apron’s steak recipes are included within the primary meal plan. It is about the most effective meal equipment deal on the town.

David Watsky/CNET

Whenever you peruse a weekly meal equipment menu, you will sometimes have a dozen or so recipes to select from, typically as many as 50 or extra. Whilst you ought to definitely select recipes that sound good to you and suit your diet targets, some recipes offers you extra in your cash. Steak and seafood recipes are on the high of that listing, however something with a protein (rooster, pork, fish) is usually a greater deal. 

I priced out a number of recipes from Blue Apron and EveryPlate to see how a lot they price versus shopping for all of the components your self. Unsurprisingly, the costliest recipes to make from scratch (i.e. the most effective offers for a meal equipment subscriber) had been these that includes steak and seafood. Some meal equipment providers cost a premium for sure recipes, however many embrace steak, shrimp, salmon and different seafood as a part of the usual plan. 

On the flip facet, keep away from recipes with components which might be low cost and simple to seek out on the retailer, reminiscent of easy pasta dishes with no protein or primary soups. When you eat largely vegetarian, I like to recommend Purple Carrot, since this 100% plant-based meal equipment service has essentially the most fascinating meat-free recipes made with high-quality components. 

5. Do not all the time belief the recipe, particularly for salt and spice

hellofresh spice packets

Belief your intuition and err on the facet of much less on the subject of including salt and spices. You possibly can all the time put extra in however you may’t take it out.


Recipes are usually not one-size-fits-all, so belief your instincts. If it appears the recipe requires what looks as if an excessive amount of salt going into the sauce, it most likely is. You possibly can all the time add extra however you may’t take any out, so err on the facet of warning. The identical goes for warmth and spice: If you cannot deal with massive hits of habanero or spicy curries, pull again on these warmth components till you’ve got tasted the completed dish.

6. Belief the fan favorites labels 

Most meal equipment firms will hit sure recipes with a “fan favourite” label. As a rule, I’ve loved these dishes and respect the advice. Providers reminiscent of HelloFresh and House Chef use a great deal of aggregated person opinions and subscriber suggestions, so you may belief there’s some validity to these markers. Hey, they need you to benefit from the meals simply as a lot as you do.

7. Problem your self and have enjoyable

risotto in pan

Meal kits may also help you turn out to be a greater house prepare dinner, so lean into it!


It is true, meal kits are a great way to get you and the household fed for a good value, however they will also be a variety of enjoyable and a great way to sharpen your cooking expertise. By no means made risotto earlier than? Pounce on these recipes when it comes alongside on the menu. You may be shocked at how straightforward it’s.

And if you crack open a meal equipment, crack open a bottle of wine, too, or pour your self a beer, cocktail or mocktail and placed on some music or a podcast. Cooking could be calming if you happen to’re in the appropriate headspace. When you’re not in the appropriate headspace, make the children prepare dinner. 

Bon appétit. 

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