Meal Delivery Services – Are they worth it?

Meal Delivery Services – Are they worth it?

We’ve all been there — coming home tired after a full day just to realize you have to start making dinner. When you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one, the responsibility is that much greater. Enter meal delivery services. For several years, a number of companies have filled the space of meal delivery. Companies like Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Sun Basket have made the claim that they make cooking dinner easier. But are these types of services really worth it? And would they be appropriate to send to an elder loved one who’s living alone? Those are the question we set out to answer in this week’s blog.

For those who haven’t had the opportunity to try a meal delivery service, you start by going online to one of the meal delivery services and selecting a package. You must specify the number of people who will be eating and the number of meals you would like to receive each week. This is a benefit for seniors who live alone and want the option of a fresh meal without purchasing large quantities of perishable foods. Once a package has been selected, you have the opportunity to choose from a variety of recipes for the week. Then just sit back and wait for your first meal to arrive. When the box shows up at your doorstep, you’ll find it includes fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and restaurant-quality recipes to make your delicious meal.

While the ordering process is easy, we couldn’t help but ask ourselves, “Are the services worth it?” We found the answer varies widely based on your perception of value. After trying several of the most popular brands, we found meal delivery services to be helpful but cumbersome. If you’re considering the meal delivery for a senior loved one, you may want to think again. Unless, of course, you’re treating your loved one to an at-home dining experience prepared by you!

Here are the pros and cons:

The Pros:

  • Unique Recipes
  • Perfect Portions
  • Healthy Balance
  • Delicious Food
  • Easy to Follow Instructions

The Cons:

  • Chopping, Chopping, Chopping
  • Pots and Pans Galore
  • Plastic, Plastic Everywhere
  • High Cost for Home Cooking

We believe the meals provided were healthy and provided a wide variety of flavor combinations. We discovered a number of new spices and recipes we would not have otherwise stumbled upon. However, we quickly discovered that the ease of ordering did not translate into the ease of cooking as many of the items required chopping, dicing, sautéing and roasting. And while we found ordering a meal quick and easy, the options may get confusing for a senior who’s not used to shopping online. At the end of each meal, we almost always had a sink full of dishes. All in all, we found the meal delivery service to be a positive experience. If you are up for the challenge and looking for some new recipes, then meal delivery services might be right for you. However, if you like simple meals and are looking for a delivery service for your elderly loved one, you may want to consider other options.