Is Meal Delivery Right For You?

by James William

If you want to avoid the stress (and time suck) of grocery shopping and meal prepping or need help leveling up your culinary skills, try signing up for a prepared meal delivery service. SELF’s stalwart home cooks have rounded up the best options to fit your budget and food goals.

1. Convenience

Finding the time to plan, shop for, and cook nutritious meals isn’t always possible when you’re working, caring for kids or a household, or side hustling. That’s why meal delivery services are such a convenient option. When you subscribe to a meal delivery service, your meals will be delivered to your home or office on a regular basis for a set fee. Usually, meals are individually packaged and weighed before shipping.

Meal delivery services can eliminate the stress of grocery shopping and can even reduce food waste. That’s because your meals are already portioned for you and your family so you won’t be left with bags of produce that wilt in the fridge or leftovers that get thrown away. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to make healthy eating habits stick!

2. Variety

Many meal delivery services have a wide range of meals to choose from, including traditional meal kits, semi-prepared options and fully prepared ready-to-eat meals. For people with food allergies or restrictions, there are also meal plans designed by physicians and dietitians to meet specific dietary needs.

Food variety is important to help ensure that our diets are balanced and nutrient-dense. Research has shown that food preferences and nutritional intake are influenced by flavor, palatability and preparation traditions. Additionally, cultural influences may cause individuals to adopt certain eating habits from the foods available in their environment. A lack of food variety may be associated with low intakes of key nutrients such as potassium and fiber. Therefore, it is important to try a variety of meal types from a meal delivery service.

3. Budget

Some meal delivery services are significantly more expensive than grocery shopping, especially if the recipes feature exotic ingredients or high-end cuts of meat. In addition, some brands charge extra for shipping or do not provide enough food for leftovers to last more than a week in the fridge. Fortunately, there are several affordable meal kit services that offer meals starting at $5 per serving. MNT has compiled a list of the best cheap meal delivery services that are sustainable, have passed our medical vetting process and meet nutritional standards.

These affordable services may help people who live in areas with limited access to fresh foods. Known as “food deserts,” these neighborhoods often have higher poverty rates and are at least 1 mile from the nearest supermarket.

4. Health

Healthy meals are essential to your health, but it can be difficult to find the time to shop for fresh ingredients, cook delicious meals, and get enough exercise. Most people juggle full-time jobs, side hustles, kids, and other family commitments which make it hard to maintain a healthy diet. Meal delivery services provide a convenient, delicious way to eat healthy that doesn’t require a lot of planning or cooking. Plus, using a meal delivery service can reduce or even eliminate food waste as most meals are portioned out according to your specifications. You can also choose meals to suit your family’s dietary needs and dietary restrictions.

5. Family

Meal delivery services can work for families, but it may require a bit more planning. Many meal delivery services have plans that allow you to customize portions for your family size and many offer a range of options to suit different eating habits and food preferences. Additionally, using a meal delivery service can reduce or eliminate food waste as meals are portioned specifically for your household. Good Housekeeping testers found meal delivery services encourage them to try new ingredients and cooking techniques that they wouldn’t typically use.


Deciding if meal delivery is right for you depends on your lifestyle, dietary preferences, and budget. If you value convenience, time-saving, and access to diverse and nutritious meals, then meal delivery can be a suitable and beneficial choice.


Can meal delivery services accommodate specific portion sizes for individuals with different appetites?

Yes, many meal delivery services offer options to select portion sizes based on individual appetites. You can choose from regular or large portion sizes to ensure you receive the right amount of food that suits your needs.

Are meal delivery services suitable for individuals with busy schedules or limited cooking skills? Absolutely! Meal delivery services are particularly beneficial for individuals with busy schedules or limited cooking skills. They provide pre-prepared meals or meal kits with simple cooking instructions, making it easy to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals without the hassle of extensive cooking or meal planning.