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FOX43 Finds Out: pros and cons of meal delivery services

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa --Companies like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and more are becoming increasingly popular because it can be hard to fit grocery shopping and planning meals in during the workweek.

Are these meal kit subscriptions saving you time AND money?

FOX43 Finds Out

"It`s just a matter of knowing how to make the meals and what to shop for. "

Erin Dunleavy is a registered Dietitian as this Weis Markets in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County.

She says meal prepping can be a tedious task sometimes.

So, she understands why more people are trying out meal subscription kits like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.

These food delivery services though, do come at a cost.

Both Hello Fresh and Blue Apron charge about $60 a week, for 3 meals, for two people.

That`s about 20 bucks a meal.

FOX43 Finds Out wanted to see if we could make the same meal for a cheaper price.

We decided to shop for similar meals between the two services.

Spring Tortellini Gratin from Hello Fresh and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta from Blue Apron.

Finding the ingredients for the hello fresh tortellini was pretty simple.

The recipe included things like milk, asparagus and of course tortellini.

Shopping for the Blue Apron ingredients wasn`t as easy.

We couldn't find Orecchiette pasta right away, so we substituted and the same thing with the grated pecorino cheese.

Besides that the rest of the ingredients were readily available.

The total for the Hello Fresh Tortellini meal came to $22.64.

A bit more pricey than what hello fresh charges you, which is about 20 bucks a meal and free delivery to your door with the ingredients.

However, the portions of these products are larger than you would get in your hello fresh kit.

The Blue Apron Cauliflower Pasta cost us $19.36.

A few cents less than what blue apron while charge you, but then again - we did have to substitute some items.

"A lot of the meal kits do seem to have exotic or unique ingredients that might not be found in local supermarkets and you might have to order online or what have you, and people may not be as willing to do that," said Dunleavy.

The dietitian does have another suggestion if you don`t have time to shop for groceries in stores, you can do it online and pick them up or have them delivered!

Dunleavy said, "You can order everything you want online, tell us a time you want to come pick it up and it will be ready for you at that time to pick up."

Some weis stores, giant food stores and even amazon offers this - beware though, there is usually some sort of fee associated with this convenience.
Even with all of this access at our finger tips, Dunleavy says we should still - as adults - learn some meal prepping skills, to save time, money and stop being wasteful.

"Make up large bats of chicken for example and then eat that for dinner, have the leftovers for lunch the next day and use that up. It can help to reduce food waste and you really use up everything of what you are cooking."