Meal Kits In Canada: the COVID Alternative To Restaurants?

How much time have you spent at home this year? By this point in 2020, you can safely say it is exponentially more than any other year. The world has changed drastically, and just about every aspect of our lives has been affected.

Most significantly, the way we structure our whole lives has changed. Instead of going to work in the morning, going out to eat at night, and spending time in malls on weekends, we do just about everything from home. While this does decrease the amount of time we spend in traffic and saves energy in that respect, it can cause fatigue in other ways.

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

This is because when you are at home the entire day, it is more difficult to separate your work life from your home life. You may enjoy getting home from work and cooking, but going from your home office to the kitchen feels very much like a continuation of your job.

All of these changes have therefore impacted the way we eat. Since we’re not going out to eat, and cooking can seem exhausting after a long day, we order a lot of takeout which is expensive and unhealthy.

Many people have found a solution to this with meal kits in Canada. Meal kits are an easy way of making home-cooked food in a fraction of the time. They have long been popular among busy people trying to find a healthy work-life balance, but have become more attractive than ever.

What is a meal kit service?

A meal kit subscription service is, essentially, weekly meals in a box. Every week, you are sent a box full of ready-prepared ingredients for specific meals. They come with easy recipes that anyone can follow in order to have a home-cooked meal ready in fifteen to thirty minutes.

Most meal kit subscription services, including from the most well-known companies like HelloFresh and Chefs Plate, will provide a standard package of three meals a week, that serve two people.

Are my dietary preferences covered?

One of the particularly useful features of these meal kit subscription services is that they cater to dietary preferences. If you are vegetarian, you can order vegetarian meals. If you are on a low carb diet, there are meal kits that cater specifically to you.

When ordering fast food on a regular basis, you will struggle to stay healthy. After all, getting a balanced range of meals through takeout is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. A meal kit service, however, takes your diet into account in a holistic way. You don’t have to obsess over trying to eat the right balance of vegetables, protein, carbs, and so on – the service does it for you.

They also provide healthy portion sizes, which are enough to satisfy your hunger without overeating.

How about variety?

You don’t want to be eating the same meals all the time. If that was the case, you could simply go on buying the same takeout from the same local restaurants. Different meal kit companies offer a different amount of variety.

HelloFresh – perhaps the biggest name in the industry – offers a choice between twenty-two meals each week, for example. They also change around their meals so that you do not start feeling confined to the same options.

If you have specific dietary preferences, you will obviously have less choice. However, if you go with a service marketed specifically to people with your preferences, you will find a better range.

Can it save you money?

Meal kits are inevitably more expensive than if you were to buy the individual ingredients yourself. After all, they are providing a service. They are also more expensive than some of the big fast food chains.

However, meal kit subscription services in Canada may be able to save you money. When you go grocery shopping, you are not shopping for individual meals. Rather, you are buying supplies to last you for a couple of weeks. And if you end up with vegetables rotting in your fridge, you are in good company. Canadian households waste tons of food (as do countries around the world).

The money that would be going to waste on rotting groceries ends up paying for your meals instead. This is also good for the environment.

Meal kits do come at varying prices. HelloFresh, with its wider range of complex meals, is significantly more expensive than Chefs Plate – the budget division of the same parent company. If you go with an expensive option, you are probably not going to save money, but you can come close to breaking even in terms of what you would otherwise be spending on food.

There have been a number of meal kits in Canada for years now. COVID-19 has increased demand for them, and shown many people that they are a better solution than putting pressure on yourself to cook from scratch. Consider trying meal kits for a week to see if it saves you time and money without compromising taste.



About Joel Levy 2601 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography