Get the Lowdown on How Meal Kits Can Save You This Holiday Season

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerSep. 26, 2019
Cooking For The Holidays
The holidays are a wonderful and stressful time rolled into one. There's so much on your to-do list. Gift shopping and wrapping, if you're traveling, you'll need to make arrangements for your home, update any passports, create an itinerary, shop for travel items, buy new clothes for the occasion, and so much more.

With all of that on your plate (and you have regular life and job to maintain, too), who has time for meal planning, shopping, and cooking? The truth is that most people don't, which is why meal delivery kits are such a popular option around the holidays.

Not sure what a meal-delivery kit is or how it can help? Read on to find your messiah from the holiday madness.

What are Meal Delivery Kits Anyway?

Meal kit delivery services offer pre-packed, pre-portioned ingredients for making an entire meal. Depending on which service you use, they are generally subscription-based, and some come fully or partially prepared. The ingredients come with a detailed recipe on how to make the meal at home. This is not the same thing as a meal delivery service, which delivers fully prepared meals. The good thing about meal kit deliveries is that they tend to be much cheaper than the meal deliveries, making them an affordable option for most people.

How Does That Help Me?

That sounds very nice and all, but how does that help you with your dilemma? Actual meal kit deliveries offer oodles of benefits, and are particularly helpful around the holidays for a few reasons:

Offers you a healthier option

During the holiday crunch, we all get a little stressed. And when we’re stressed, we eat...a lot. And it’s not the good stuff, either. Generally, when people are stressed, they reach for comfort foods that are both bad for your waistline and your overall health. So, meal kits are actually more important around the holidays than during the calmer rest of the year.

Meal kits come in pre-portioned containers, so you don’t end up binging on an entire pot of pasta, and you only eat what’s in front of you. What’s more, many meal kits are balanced for optimal nutrition, providing the right combination of carbs, proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. So, you’re eating and feeling better during this hectic time.

All ingredients are pre-prepped

What could be better than that? The most time-consuming part of cooking is preparing all of the ingredients. It's the dicing, chopping, and measuring that takes so much time (not to mention patience). Meal kits come with all of your ingredients already measured out, and many of them are prepared in full as well, including peeled vegetables or combined sauces. It makes cooking a breeze and actually fun.

You have a total meal plan made for you

Another part of holiday hosting that people despise is making a meal plan. Figuring out which side dish to put with which main. Coming up with interesting and tasty choices for every meal. Making sure the entire meal is well-balanced on not too heavy to one side or another. It’s a nightmare for many people and discourages most from hosting altogether. Meal kits come with everything you need for a delicious and delightful meal with friends and family. Pick a meal, and you’re done!

No shopping, no schlepping!

But the best part of all we saved for last. Shopping for ingredients, waiting in long lines at the supermarket, and trudging home with packages is my idea of fun. Said NO ONE EVER. That’s because grocery shopping isn’t a pleasant experience for most, and it gets even worse with the holiday crowds pushing each other around. The best part of meal kit deliveries is that you don’t have to deal with any of that. Everything gets delivered straight to your door. Easy peasy.

Meal Kit Tips for Happy Holidays

Ready to make your life easier around the holidays? Here are a few useful tips to help you with your first meal kit delivery order:

Plan ahead

Before you place your order, try to figure out how many people you will be feeding this holiday meal. Is it just you and your family, or are you having guests? Also, calculate how many meals you are going to be ordering for. Is this just for the big Thanksgiving dinner, or do you want to keep your family eating regular, healthy meals while you’re too busy to cook? Tally up the numbers to get a total before placing your order.

Consider allergies

Make sure to consider any allergies or dietary restrictions you might encounter. Does Aunt Judy not eat gluten? Are you having your diabetic coworker for Christmas lunch? Take these into account when ordering meal kits. The good news is that most meal kit delivery services today cater to specific dietary needs. Services like Home Chef and Sun Basket have specific menus catering to various eaters like diabetes-friendly, paleo, carb-conscious, gluten-free, vegetarian, and more.

Round up

Teetering between 2 plans? Opt for the larger one. You’d rather have leftovers than have someone walk away from the table hungry. These meals can always be stuck in the freezer and pulled out for a mid-week meal in a pinch.

Read the ingredients

Finally, make sure to read the ingredients and instructions before you purchase. Most meal kit delivery services will show the recipe cards on their website before you place your order. This will ensure that you aren’t stuck without an essential ingredient that isn’t included or missing a utensil that you need to complete the meal. It’s important to note that while meal kit deliveries come with almost everything you need, they won’t include basics like table salt or oil. So, read the cards and be prepared.

Prep Guide

Now, it’s time to get cooking. While every meal kit delivery service has a slightly different procedure, they all share the same basic principles. Here’s how to get started with your meal kit:

Select a good quality company to purchase from

Some brands focus on speed, while others focus on budget. Some uphold high standards of quality ingredients, including only the freshest, most humane practices and produce, while others maintain strict environmentally-friendly packaging materials. Choose a company that upholds your priorities.

Browse menus and select meals

Most meal kit services have tons of options, so you can take your pick from delectable meal choices. You can narrow things down according to dietary needs, food type preferences, and more. Then, choose your meals.

Confirm order, pay, and wait for delivery

Meal kit services have varying delivery schedules, but especially during the holidays, they make an effort to get you your meal kits in a timely fashion. Review the delivery details to make sure you have enough time to cook.

Unbox the goodness!

The moment of truth has arrived. Open your package to see what type of goodies you’ve got waiting for you.

To maximize your cooking time:

  1. Unpack everything.
  2. Review the ingredients.
  3. Pull out the menu cards.
  4. Read through the instructions.
  5. Start cooking!

It’s a simple and fun way to get holiday cooking out of the way without too much hassle.

Cooking for the Holidays, a Breeze!

With meal planning and prep taken care of, you can actually get everything on your to-do list done, and maybe even find time to get in a little relaxation before the holiday crowd rushes in. Most of all, though, this one step will allow you to enjoy your friends and family during this special time of year. Happy holidays!

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerFeb. 27, 2019
Sarah Pritzker is a content writer with years of experience and a keen interest in the vast world of online consumer products. She enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market in financial industries including credit reports, business loans and car loans.