Does it make financial sense to do home meal delivery? HomeChef Review

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Does it make financial sense to do home meal delivery? HomeChef Review

As a consumer expert and general all around frugal guy, I wanted to find out for myself how home meal delivery compares to doing it yourself. Home meal delivery is BIG business. It's a 1.5 BILLION dollar industry and is expected to double in the next few years.

There are a bunch of companies out there, about 150. I chose to try out HomeChef over Blue Apron and Hello Fresh because of the generally lower cost and the food isn't as ‘out there' – so I was pretty sure all my kids will like it. They did.

I thought for sure this was going to be way over expensive. This is what I did. I bought the biggest box from Home Chef in the Orlando area which is 3 meals of 4 servings. With a $30 coupon (SAVING30 is the coupon code), I paid $90 for this box. Then I went to two stores, Publix and Walmart to find the same ingredients that I received in the box.

My methodology:

– I scanned every item trying to find sales, and choosing store brand stuff when available. Even gross-looking boxed Walmart egg whites and their messed-up looking red peppers.

– I wasn't able to get fresh shrimp at the Walmart I went to. So, if I really wanted to compare apples to apples, I'd need to go to another store to get the fresh shrimp at a $5 premium.

My findings:

  • Buying these items at either store would take me an hour or more including driving. Walmart was a pain in the butt! I couldn't find anyone to help me find some of the more specialty ingredients. I would never do that again.
  • In some cases, I would end up having to buy large bottles/packages of food that would almost certainly result in food waste.
  • I was surprised that Publix was cheaper than Walmart. The reason was that they had more options for the ingredients I needed and I was able to find some sale items.
  • The difference between my shopping trip and the big box from Home Chef was approximately $15 with the coupon code that I used. Watch my video for the exact details.

Here is why I would NOT replace every meal – or even most meals.

  • Cost. It's a nice luxury – but if I shop diligently, I can save more money by doing this myself. I'll probably end up eating more packaged foods than if I were to do this every week – but I'm still on a budget. When I do buy more fresh ingredients on my own, sadly, I end up with food waste if I'm not paying close attention.

As the SavingsAngel, here are my reasons FOR getting a box or two each month from a home meal delivery service:

  • Convenience. An hour for every meal or two in running to the store is worth the extra $15 or so. Plus, many of the ingredients are prepared & measured for you. Kinda like having a sous chef in your kitchen to help out. With three kids with crazy busy schedules and mom & dad with crazy busy schedules, this is worth the bit of extra expense.
  • It's healthier than a vast majority of meals we end up making. Our family is eating way more fresh produce with the meal kit meals. It inspires healthier options in creative, delicious ways I wouldn't normally go through the effort to find and make. All the meals are about 700 calories or under.
  • It's fun. Getting the box delivered is a little exciting. Having higher-quality meals at home brings the family together – being able to have higher quality foods at my own dinner table instead of going out to a restaurant for the good stuff. The recipe cards are easy, they all take 30 minutes or under to make – and so far, every member of my family has enjoyed every meal.

Bottom-line recommendation:

If you are super budget-conscious, maybe consider a small box with a big coupon code. Otherwise, keep using high-value coupons and the biggest sales to feed your family.

For those who can make the time to get to the grocery store, I'd recommend you at least try a couple services once to see if this is something you would continue.

For people who have difficulty in getting to the store because of schedule or geography, I would absolutely recommend you start trying some meal delivery services – especially if you have room in your budget to invest in healthier foods.

Written by Josh Elledge - CEO, UpMyInfluence

Josh Elledge is U.S. Navy veteran and launched UpMyInfluence to help entrepreneurs like himself attract the perfect audiences and grow their authority and influence. While growing their better-than-PR agency, UpMyInfluence discovered that building 7-figure B2B Sales Systems (with zero paid advertising) for agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high-ticket B2B service providers is actually what they do better than anyone else on the planet.

UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with zero paid ads. He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.

Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2500 times.

Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.


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