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  • Erika Dowell

The Cost of Food Boxes


Convenience is almost a necessity in life right now. How can I get something in the easiest, least frustrating way? This happens to me all the time. I order my groceries online and go pick them up (I’m far too cheap to pay for delivery), I order items from Amazon (and send to family), and if I could order clothes online and not have to worry about the fit, I would. Shopping, with a lot of people around, gives me a large amount of anxiety and frustration.

However, the one thing, that I just can’t get on board with is the idea of subscription Food boxes (Good Food, Chefs Table, Hello Fresh, etc). I know that many people may need the support and help to buy and cook healthy food at home so this fills a need; but, when you break down the numbers, it stops making sense if you don’t need the support.

The average cost for a meal with any of the mentioned the boxes, is $8-$10 per meal. This is just for one meal, for one person. Don’t forget you should have at least two other meals a day.

In my home, there are two of us, so this a $20/day expense. Most food boxes are for a max of 4 days a week, so you’re still missing 3 days of planning, which means you either need to go to the store and buy groceries or go find a more expensive option (dining out).

On a given week, our household grocery spend (not budget, SPEND) is $100-$120. We take turns meal planning and cooking on a weekly rotation.

From here, I create a grocery list based on what we have and don’t have. I finesse the plan and list until it’s in the spend that I’m comfortable with. All the recipes are pinned on my Pinterest board (either in ‘Redos’ or the Month Meal Planning).

But, if we bought Good Food for every dinner (not vegetarian):

Cost Per Serving: $10.99

Number of Servings: 2

Number of Days: 7

Total amount: $152 and change.

That’s a total of $609 (assuming 4 weeks) per month for a food subscription box. Maybe you don't use it every night, at that's okay, but you'll still be overpaying instead of doing it the 'hard way' of making your own plan. There's also a few logistics about it; allergies, sensitivities, or diet choices. Do you live in a house, condo, or apartment? What happens if you miss the delivery? I'm also curious about the food waste of these boxes as well as the environmental impact of what happens to the boxes when you recycle them; plastic or paper still makes an impact.

Food subscription boxes are not worth it (for us). I totally understand the need for ease and convenience of boxes like this. However, with the $100 (at least) you’ll save on doing the groceries yourself, you can spend that on those tough days where you don’t feel like cooking - we all have those days.

Are these boxes worth it, for you?


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