Grocery stores are dying.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but we’re at least at the point where we can compare and contrast good ol’ brick-and-mortar supermarkets with new-fangled meal delivery services.
There are plenty of pros and cons for both options, and there are several elements that are difficult to define. A full comparison can be found on this website. While using a meal delivery service will absolutely help you save time – on travel, time spent shopping, building a list, and actual cooking – it’s hard to quantify that in terms of money.
There’s also the issue of convenience and how much said ease of use is actually worth.
But there’s also the actual hard cost of ingredients, too. That’s a much easier apples-to-apples comparison, so to speak.
Let’s take a look at each of those layers and try to form a true comparison between meal delivery services versus grocery shopping.
Time is Money
Time is valuable, after all, and if you’re a traditional grocery shopper, you’ve probably realized just how time-consuming the whole process of grocery shopping truly is.
It all starts with deciding what you want to cook. Then, figuring out what ingredients you might need for the week and how much of each ingredient you’ll be required to purchase.
Once that’s done, then you’ll drive to the store. Hopefully, it isn’t that long of a drive, but it’s still time, energy, and money spent on gas and mileage. Then, there are the horrors of the store itself: navigating crowded aisles, waiting in long lines, and then moseying back out to the parking lot.
You’ll have to load your groceries into your vehicle, drive back home, and unload them and put them away.
Just think, in that same amount of time, you could have simply gone online and selected the tastiest-sounding recipes and waited for the box to arrive at your door.
Remember, one of the best things about meal delivery services is that each of the ingredients is rationed out perfectly. This is most significant when it comes to spices and herbs, which you otherwise may buy a bunch of but only use every few months at best.
Then, there’s also the quality of the ingredients. For the most part, meal delivery services are going to offer up high-quality options, with some services even priding themselves on the origin of their ingredients. It’s an element to pay close attention to when you’re selecting the service that’s best for you.
The biggest saving here is going to be that you aren’t purchasing an excess of relatively obscure ingredients.
In the grand scheme of things, your cost is likely to be in the same neighborhood for both meal delivery services and simply going grocery shopping.
The differentiating factor will be the quality of the ingredients you buy. If you’re sticking to store-brand or generic ingredients, you may save money (and have some leftovers) if you just go grocery shopping. But if you’re ponying up for top-shelf spices, then you may as well sign up for a meal delivery service.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to be sure to find what works best for you and your family depending on your needs. Each individual service is different, so be sure to do your research before making a final decision.
And if you choose to simply go grocery shopping, well, you can absolutely save money if you plan out your trips ahead of time.