My insults to the chef
I’ve been working full time and cooking for myself for long enough to be able to tell you that keeping yourself well fed is a lot harder than you think.
For years, I’ve been spending hours each week: planning what I’m going to eat when, getting ingredients and doing the cooking itself.
It’s tough and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.
So, I wanted to take a little break from all that work to focus on activities that make me happy while keeping myself fed and healthy.
That’s why I recently tried out three different meal prep delivery services in my local area so you don’t have to.
What do these services do, exactly?
You order a certain number of meals from them for the week, they deliver all the freshly cooked and individually packaged meals at the same time (usually on a Sunday) and you throw them all into your fridge. Over the course of the week, when you’re hungry, you take a meal out of the fridge, you reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes and then you feast.
What you’re paying for is the convenience of not having to cook for yourself. I would much rather pay a chef to cook for me instead of having to moonlight as a shitty part time chef in my free time.
What makes a meal prep delivery service different from any old food delivery app?
- The meals should be cheaper (for me it was about ~35% cheaper per meal compared to ordering food from an app) because the food is being made in bulk and you’re only paying for 1 delivery instead of 6 or more.
- The meals should be “homemade” and healthier (with more reasonable portion sizes) than what you would normally get from most restaurants.
Here’s some data:
|Service Name||# of meals||Price||Price per meal||Avg Calorie Count per meal|
|La Comida MTL||10||$161.56||$16.16||~350cal|
Some things to note here:
I ordered “Supper” sized meals from Sublime Creations (which is supposed be their heftier meals), so I was surprised by the tiny portions. Are their “Lunch” sized meals meant for birds? I can’t even begin to imagine smaller portions than this.
But, at least the food was decent.
I can’t say the same for La Comida MTL. I’ll avoid commenting on the low calorie counts because I opted for their “Regular” meals (as opposed to their “Large” meals). Although, I’m glad I did because the food was terrible.
The meals arrived warm, indicating that they weren’t refrigerated during transportation which is a big YIKES. The meals began tasting “off” about 3 days after they were delivered (which isn’t ideal for a weekly meal delivery service).
To make matters worse, all the meals were awful from day 1. The vegetables had no flavoring whatsoever. The rice was so bland that applying any kind of descriptor to it is giving it way too much credit.
The meat was decent but that’s about it. It’s not very hard to make meat taste OK.
Thankfully, the folks at FitMenu aren’t running around with their pants on their head.
I ordered the “Supersize” meals from FitMenu so I was glad to see that the per meal calorie counts were actually reasonable this time (which is great for me because I enjoy eating two meals a day supplemented with healthy snacks).
You would expect that this increase in calories (and substantially more protein) would have led to an increase in price, but no. As you can see in the table above, the price per FitMenu meal was a little bit cheaper than the price per La Comida MTL meal.
Unlike the other meal prep delivery services I tested, FitMenu delivers 3 times a week which is great (although they only deliver on weekdays which might be a problem for some people).
The meals have been amazing (full disclosure, at the time of this writing I’ve only eaten 3 of the 12 FitMenu meals I’ve purchased but I’ll update my thoughts here when I’ve eaten them all). The Moroccan salmon, naked (no crust) chicken pot pie and jerk chicken meals I’ve eaten have been tasty and have left me feeling satisfied unlike any of the other meals I’ve had from either Sublime Creations or La Comida MTL.
Given the amount of time I’m saving myself, the relatively low price and the hefty and healthy meals FitMenu is providing, I plan on continuing to purchase meals from them.
Whether you live anywhere near me or not, I hope that I’ve encouraged you try out a local meal prep delivery service near you, if there are any, to give yourself a bit more valuable free time and, maybe even, improve your diet just a little bit.
EDIT 2022-05-14: All the Fitmenu meals were great and I ordered another 6 meals the following week. I didn’t enjoy all of them equally of course (I shouldn’t have ordered chicken tikka masala because I hate coriander, it tastes like soap). I feel comfortable recommending Fitmenu to others.
Unfortunately, I won’t be ordering from them weekly anymore because it kills me to be generating so much cardboard/plastic waste. Technically, the carboard box and the plastic containers the meals come in are supposed to be recyclable but that doesn’t mean that it’s all going to be recycled (especially the plastic). Once in a awhile it’s probably fine, but it makes me feel a little too bad to be ordering from them regularly.
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