Meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh have become increasingly popular in recent years. With more people living busy lives and not having enough time to shop for groceries, the more HelloFresh appears to be the better choice economically. But is it actually cheaper?
HelloFresh isn’t cheaper than grocery shopping. However, considering the convenience it provides, the time it could save you, and the reduced food waste, it can still be a good value.
This article will talk about several points related to this question in detail, including why and how HelloFresh isn’t cheaper than grocery shopping and whether it’s worth the purchase.
Why HelloFresh Isn’t Cheaper Than Grocery Shopping
On its website, HelloFresh US boldly claims to be 75% cheaper than grocery shopping. However, with plans starting at $47.96, one can’t help but wonder if this is truly the case.
Let’s discuss two things that can help us determine whether or not HelloFresh is more affordable than grocery shopping.
Cost per Serving Comparison
One way to determine the cheaper option is by comparing the costs per serving.
|HelloFresh (cost per serving)||Grocery Shopping (cost per serving)||Price Difference|
|HelloFresh’s smallest plan size (4 total servings)|
|HelloFresh’s largest plan size (24 total servings)|
The smallest plan size on HelloFresh consists of two meals for two people (a total of four servings) and is priced at $47.96 for the meal kit itself, plus an additional $9.99 for shipping. This means you are paying $11.99 per serving, which seems a little steep for a single portion of food.
However, this number relatively goes down if you order more servings at a time. So for the largest plan size consisting of six meals for four people (a total of 24 servings) at $191.76, you can expect to pay $7.99 per serving, which is HelloFresh’s lowest offering.
Grocery shopping, on the other hand, costs $355.50 a month per person on average. Assuming that there are 30 days in a month and the average person eats three times a day, the cost comes to $3.95 a meal.
Of course, this average cost will vary depending on one’s age, location, and personal eating habits. Although, for the sake of comparison in this article, let’s use this number.
If we compare the average cost of groceries per meal to the cost per serving of HelloFresh’s smallest plan size, grocery shopping comes out to be $8.04 cheaper. Even if we compare it to the lowest cost per serving of the meal kit service, grocery shopping still comes out more affordable with a $4.04 difference.
So, based on costs per serving, we can conclude that grocery shopping is cheaper than HelloFresh.
Cost of Ingredients per Meal Comparison
Another way to determine which option is cheaper is to compare the cost of ingredients per meal. How much would it cost to make the same HelloFresh recipe if you were to buy similar ingredients at the grocery?
HelloFresh meal kits provide pre-measured ingredients needed for a recipe according to the number of portions. This means there will only be enough food for one meal and no leftovers.
However, when you get similar ingredients from the store for the same recipe, you’re presented with multiple options—whether you opt for the most expensive slab of meat or the most affordable one is entirely up to you. This point alone makes grocery shopping the more reasonable route.
Moreover, you’ll likely have leftover ingredients if you grocery shop since they come in bulk. These leftover ingredients can then be used for other meals, saving you more money in the long run. You can even stretch a single recipe over two meals to be more cost-effective.
And on days when you just want a simple meal, grocery shopping for basic ingredients will be cheaper than paying for HelloFresh and its recipes that usually require unique ingredients.
It’s also important to note that HelloFresh doesn’t actually provide all the ingredients. Condiments like salt, sugar, pepper, and cooking oil aren’t included in the meal kit. These are things you most likely already have in your pantry, whose costs you probably won’t even notice.
However, if we truly want to compare HelloFresh and grocery shopping based on the cost of ingredients per meal, we also need to consider this.
So, comparing the prices of similar ingredients bought from the store vs. the ingredients provided in HelloFresh meal kits, we can conclude that the former comes out to be cheaper yet again.
Is It Worth It To Buy HelloFresh?
Although more expensive than grocery shopping, HelloFresh still has a lot of good points that make it worth the purchase.
It is worth it to buy HelloFresh if you value convenience. If you want to save time and prioritize other things over planning meals but still want to try delicious recipes, it’s an expense you might want to consider.
Some reasons that make HelloFresh worth the extra money include:
- Chef-created recipes. Being able to choose from a wide variety of seasonal recipes gives you a chance to try tasty and exciting meals without the hassle of meal planning. Not only are HelloFresh recipes created by talented chefs, but they are also easy to follow. Nutritional information is even listed, which benefits those following a specific diet.
- High-quality ingredients. HelloFresh also claims they source only the best ingredients straight from the farm.
- Less food waste. As mentioned earlier, since HelloFresh gives the exact amount of ingredients needed for the recipe, your overall food waste will be reduced. There’s no need to buy more ingredients than you actually need, especially if you’re trying to be a more conscious consumer.
- Less temptation to eat out. With easy-to-prepare meal kits readily available at home, you’ll be less tempted to dine out or order takeaway. This can also save you money if you tend to overspend on dining out.
- Overall convenience. Having fresh meal kits delivered weekly straight to your door will definitely save you significant time and energy. This also means fewer trips to the grocery store.
The Bottom Line
Generally, most people will spend less on their meals by grocery shopping than using HelloFresh.
Nonetheless, HelloFresh still proves to be worth the few extra dollars for those who want delicious homecooked meals without the hassle of meal prepping and shopping for ingredients themselves. It’s a premium you’re paying for the convenience.
And while HelloFresh isn’t cheaper than grocery shopping, it can be more affordable than going out to eat or ordering takeaway. So if you tend to dine out because of your busy schedule but want to save some money, meal kits could be the way to go.