What’s a Meal Kit?
Meal kits have become a convenient option for busy people who want to eat nutritious and healthy meals but don’t have time to get to the grocery store. Plus, with COVID-19 this year, consumers are choosing to avoid the grocery store in favour of home delivery. I have been a longtime proponent of any life hacks that make balancing busy lives even just a tiny bit easier. When I had my two kids, I started to use Walmart grocery pick-up. It has been a lifesaver, and I am still a customer.
A couple of years ago, I decided to try HelloFresh when I got a coupon and magazine during a streetside promotion. Was HelloFresh going to be my next lifesaver? It turns out, no. I thought the meals were tasty and delivery was certainly convenient, but it was way too expensive (about $15 per serving), so I dropped it. I gave up on the idea of meal kits – until now.
My brother recently told me about goodfood, which he and his family have been using for a while now. He said it wasn’t too expensive and the meals are really delicious. Best of all, my nephew and niece have even been able to cook the meals themselves (they are 10 and 13 years old). He sent me a free week’s trial code, so I decided to give meal kits another try. There are lots of meal kit options on the market including HelloFresh, Chef’s Plate, BlueApron (in the U.S. only), and goodfood.
According to their website, goodfood was founded four years ago by two young men who are passionate about food & technology. The business has quickly grown to become the largest meal kit provider in Canada, delivering 1 million meals per month.
Assuming 3 meals per family per week, this is equivalent to serving over 70,000 households.
The website is attractive and there are a lot of meal choices. I was really impressed by the food preferences, which include choices like Vegetarian, Family, Easy Prep, and Clean15. As we’ve been trying to eat more keto (which became so challenging during COVID-19, not sure why!), I was so excited to see many low-carb choices. Plus a lot of the cooking time is under 30 minutes.
I also really like the fact that there are prepared foods also available, such as quiche and chili.
Meals are delivered weekly, and you can choose the number of meals and servings per meal. I opted for the Family Plan, with 2 meals with 4 servings. This was 100% covered by the free promo code. I chose my delivery date to be the next Friday, and I could make changes up until midnight the prior Saturday. You pay weekly, and you can also choose to skip a week.
Delivery and Packaging
I looked forward to my delivery for the whole week! On Friday at 7:08am, I got a text message saying that my food was on its way, and it was delivered at 7:15am. The food came in an insulated cardboard box and was very well packaged. The meals were in separate plastic bags which were compact enough to fit easily into my fridge.
I actually missed the packed meat since they were tucked in between two freezer packs at the bottom of the box. The good news is that despite my leaving the box out all day, the meat was still icy cold when I finally retrieved them. Phew!
The packaging was 100% recyclable, although there was quite a lot of packaging.
For my first meal, I cooked Pork Tacos with Kale, Pickled Onions & Cotija Cheese. The ingredients were pre-portioned and well-labeled. The vegetables were very fresh and crisp, and the meat was premium quality and vacuum sealed.
Given I had to remove items from packaging, and wash and chop veggies, I’m not sure it saved much time. It took me about 50 minutes instead of the advertised 30 minutes (clearly I am not cut out to be a line cook)!
The pork tacos were really tasty and the portion sizes were decent. My family liked the food, and we had some extra for brunch the next day. I think we probably could have used a few more tortillas. But overall, it was very good.
I was satisfied with the food quality and that there was very little waste. That said, it didn’t really save me much time in terms of food prep, except for the fact that I didn’t need to measure or put away surplus ingredients.
So, is it really worth it? I decided to analyze how much goodfood costs versus buying all the same ingredients with Walmart grocery pick-up.
Goodfood meal kit (4 servings) : $41.36
Walmart grocery ingredients:
- Greenfield ground pork: $4.97
- 1lb organic kale: $5.97
- 320g shredded mozzarella: $5.67
- 156mL tomato paste: $0.87
- 2 x 85g spice packages: $3.96 (to supplement pantry spices)
- lime: $0.67
- red cabbage: $4.32
- 2 x Old El Paso soft tortillas large: $5.94
- Red onion: $1.82
- Red wine vinegar: $0 (use from pantry)
Walmart Total: $34.19
Difference (goodfood versus Walmart): $7.17
If you purchased the ingredients from Walmart, you’d save $7.17 for this meal, plus you would have extra food leftover. For example, you could use the rest of the shredded cheese, kale and cabbage for another meal. But, if you end up throwing out the surplus, then goodfood might be a more sustainable choice.
I could be convinced to subscribe to goodfood on an ongoing basis. I really like the menu, and the fact that the ingredients are assembled and pre-portioned which makes prep a bit quicker. Also, recipe selection is quicker than going through my recipe books and pinterest, and then selecting all the groceries from the Walmart online store. This all saves at least 1 hour each week. That said, it is more expensive than just buying the ingredients from a grocery store. For me, I will still need to buy groceries like milk, snacks, etc. So it doesn’t remove the need to buy groceries altogether. But, it does save time for each meal.
Assuming your time is worth more than $28 per hour, assuming 4 meals delivered per week, then goodfood is actually goodvalue.