We all know how important nutrition is to our health and happiness, but when we’re busy working full time, ferrying kids around town, or trying to squeeze in social time, a homecooked meal might seem too time-consuming to prepare. Planning your meals for the week, shopping at the grocery store, then spending hours in the kitchen cooking can be a daunting task. If you’ve ever considered cutting down on time spent preparing your meals, you might be curious about using a professional meal prep company. So, what are the advantages of meal preparation versus visiting the grocery store?

Choosing Meal Prep vs Grocery Stores

If you’re considering having your meals prepared for you, you might wonder how much it will benefit you. Let us share the pros and cons of grocery shopping and cooking for yourself, versus having your meals prepared by professional chefs!

  • Only get what you need

It can be a challenge to know how many servings to cook when preparing food for your family. Plus, you have to factor in how much of each ingredient to buy at the grocery store. This aspect of cooking at home can lead to a lot of food waste. In fact, on average American households waste almost a third of the food they buy. That’s estimated to be around $1,800 of wasted groceries for one household in a year! When you choose a meal prep service, you customize your meal sizes so that you receive exactly how much you and your family need.

  • Eat healthy, nutritious meals

If you don’t have time to cook dinner, you might end up eating out at restaurants frequently. Or, perhaps you buy meals from the grocery store that just need to be heated up in the oven. While these are quick answers to the questions ‘What’s for dinner?’ they’re not always the healthiest choices. Restaurants, especially fast-food chains, often use extra salt and sugar in your meals. The same is true of pre-made meals from the grocery store, and these often include preservatives. Plus, you may find yourself eating less of the healthy fruits and veggies your family needs. By choosing meals prepped especially for you, you’ll eat a homemade meal without having to spend the time making it. Chefs can prepare meals with low sodium, low sugar, tons of healthy vegetables, and whatever other nutrition choices you want to make for your family! You’ll also be eating freshly cooked food, with no preservatives needed.

  • Get time back

If having to cook meals every night adds stress to your week, you might want to consider freeing up your schedule with meal prep services. The convenience of having healthy meals delivered to your doorstep can give you hours back in your day. Instead of shopping, chopping, steaming, and baking, you can simply heat up a dish in minutes. You don’t even have to spend time planning out meals for the week ahead or making a grocery list. This gives you time to relax in the evening, spend quality time with friends and family, get outdoors before the sun goes down, or enjoy whatever activities you haven’t had time for! 

  • Cooked specifically for your needs

Meal prep vs grocery stores and your health; if you’re not a trained chef, it can be hard to make delicious food within dietary restrictions. If you’re not sure how to prepare it, gluten-free pasta from the grocery store can turn into a soggy mess! If you’re following a certain diet, professional chefs can prepare delicious meals that fit your needs. If you are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, etc. make sure your selected meal prep services are familiar with that diet. Then enjoy specialty meals prepared for you!

  • No pre-made ingredients

A time-saver when cooking from home is to pick up stocks and sauces from the grocery store. Making sauces from scratch can be very time-consuming! While these pre-made ingredients are quick and easy, they are also typically full of sugars and extra salt. With prepared meals, you’ll receive homemade stocks, sauces, and more, prepared with fresh, healthy ingredients, and without preservatives.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Meal preparation services are typically more expensive than cooking for yourself at home. However, having delicious restaurant-quality meals delivered to your door will likely cut out the desire to eat out as often, which can save a significant amount. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends more than $3,000 eating out each year! Add to that the savings on food waste we mentioned above, less gas money spent on trips to the grocery store, and (most importantly) the time you’ll save. When you tally it all up, you may find that meal prep is worth it!

  • Less exposure 

Meal prep vs grocery stores; what we learned during the past year is that going to the grocery store has added an extra layer of complication to food preparation. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people haven’t felt comfortable shopping in public. If going to the grocery store exposes you to more people than you would prefer, meal prep can be a great option. Many companies offer contactless delivery, so you receive meals for the week without needing to visit a busy store.

dinner delivery

How does meal prep work?

Once you’ve found a meal prep company that services the area you live in, most meal prep companies will work in five simple steps!

Step 1: Select your delivery date

Choose when you’d like to receive your meals. Depending on the company, there may be a specific day of the week when they deliver, or they may be flexible depending on what works best for you.

Step 2: Customize your healthy meals

Next, customize your meals based on allergies, dietary restrictions, or taste! Make sure this is an option with the company you choose, so you can get exactly what you need from your meal prep company. You’ll also want to customize your delivery to the number of portions you’ll need, depending on who the meals will be serving.

Step 3: Meals are cooked

After you place your order, the meal prep company will make your meals from scratch! No action needed on your part, so enjoy all the time you just freed up!

 Step 4: Delivery

On the designated day, the fresh meals will be delivered to your home, office, or whatever address you provide where you can accept the delivery. Look for a company that delivers fresh, rather than frozen for the best experience.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Depending on the recipe that’s delivered, when you’re ready to eat you’ll likely need to warm the meals up for a few minutes. Then, simply serve up a fresh, healthy homemade meal. Enjoy a delicious dinner with your friends or family without spending hours in the kitchen!

If you’re convinced that skipping the grocery store for a professionally prepared meal is right for you, consider Dinner Delivery! Enjoy zero-effort meals, prepared intentionally for you and your family.