Meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hellofresh have been all the rage, where you get the convenience of having all the groceries you need to make stellar meals delivered to your door.
While meal kit services are often cheaper and healthier than regular delivery, how much money are you really saving and would it still be cheaper to just buy the ingredients and make your food at home?
The results show that you could save substantially by cooking at home compared to the other options.
While this is not necessarily surprising as home cooking is often touted as a budget-friendly option, how the data was reviewed and broken up to show the exact cost per serving could help inform better consumer decisions.
Wellio is a platform that takes recipes and converts them into lists of ingredients that can be found at local stores.
With this data, the researchers were able to calculate the price per serving of 86 recipes and also compare those costs to meal kits and restaurant delivery.
To calculate the cost of restaurant delivery, the research incorporated online menu prices from several different popular national food chains such as Applebees and P.F. Chang’s and added a five dollar delivery fee to the total cost of a meal.
Meal kit services were calculated by averaging the cost of a meal and adding a $2.50 delivery fee per meal. Meal Kits like Blue Apron typically offer packages with a certain number of meals for a pre-selected number of people per week.
After reviewing the data and calculating the costs per meal and servings, the Forbes analysis concluded that it is nearly five times more expensive to get restaurant delivery versus cooking at home and meal kits are about three times more expensive than cooking at home.
This was particularly true for meals that were heavily centered on proteins like beef, pork, and chicken. Cost per serving for home cooking ranged from a little over a dollar for chicken tacos to four and a half dollars for beef wellington.
The average cost of delivery was between 20 and 30 dollars and meal kits were about $13.00 per person.
Cooking at home is the clear winner and not only is it budget friendly, but home cooking can be much healthier because you have more control of the ingredients.
The data break-down presents a convincing argument for why cooking at home, although it may not save you time, seriously cuts costs.