We Tried Meal Kits and Took All the Stress Out of Nightly Dinner

We Tried Meal Kits and Took All the Stress Out of Nightly Dinner

I really do not like to cook. It’s not that I can’t do it – I’m perfectly capable, having grown up in the kitchens of my Sicilian grandmothers. But I find deciding what to eat, mixing it up, buying ingredients and using them in a timely manner to be mind-numbingly boring and nearly impossible to keep interesting. Between my son’s three basketball teams, middle school homework, our busy jobs, work travel, social events, etc., planning dinners ahead of time just doesn’t happen. Then I’m scrambling to throw something together in between basketball games. 

After much skepticism, I decided to try one of those meal kits that send all the ingredients to your house on a weekly schedule. All I can is: Life. Changing. 

Using a meal kit delivery service has not only revolutionized the way we eat but has also turned dinner prep into an enjoyable family activity. I dread it much less than I used to. As my son tells me, it’s like Legos for food! 

Stress-Free Meal Prep

One of the primary benefits of using this service is the elimination of the aforementioned meal planning stress. With a wide variety of recipes to choose from, we sit together on Wednesdays and choose our options for the next week. There are only three of us, but we get four servings and I save one for my work-from-home lunch the following day. 

Reducing Food Waste

Waste in general bothers me, but food waste is the absolute worst. How lucky we are to live in a place where food is so plentiful, we can let it rot in our refrigerator just to throw it away without ever using it. Meal kits address this issue by providing pre-portioned ingredients, there is hardly ever any excess, and, for the most part, we use all the items (unless a bell pepper sneaks in there because I can’t). 

Creating New Family Activities 

Since all the meals have a very clear, step by step process laid out, involving the whole family in the cooking process has lightened my load significantly. It is now a shared experience, not just a chore to complete to move on to the next thing. And, since we are all together in the kitchen, we are able to catch up on each other’s days before running off to the next thing. Once, when I was traveling for work, my 12-year-old made an entire meal from a kit himself, enlisting my husband as his sous chef.

Cost Savings 

Right now, we order 3-4 meals a week with 4 servings each. I’ve never paid over $150/box and I was spending way, way more than that on groceries. And wasting a lot of it. I have found meal kits to be a much more cost-effective way to get dinner on the table. We can’t even feed our family Chick-fil-A for only $9/serving! And these kits include fresh protein and vegetables. Not to mention the money we are saving when I’m not Door Dashing my lunch half the week. 

We have used both Hello Fresh and Home Chef, and we each have our favorite, but no matter which box arrives at our door, dinner prep is now a simplified, almost an enjoyable, and definitely an educational family activity. By reducing my stress, minimizing household waste, and fostering a shared love (ok, like) for cooking, these meal kits have really become a game-changer for us.

10/10 recommend this option as a way to prioritize healthy, homemade meals without sacrificing precious time or compromising on taste.


Stephanie Davi-McNeely
Stephanie Davi McNeely has been in and around the nonprofit fundraising space for nearly twenty years. She oversees development and strategic partnerships, for the ACE Mentor Program of America, a national nonprofit mentoring program based in Philadelphia. There she is responsible for corporate and individual fundraising initiatives, as well as the growth and development of national partnerships with design and construction firms. In her spare time, she plays mom’s league softball, watches her son play soccer, takes French class through the Alliance, and serves as the First Lady of the University of Holy Cross in Algiers. She resides in New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband and 11-year-old son.


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