While dining out is off the menu at the moment, the popularity of food subscription boxes is on the rise. But are these boxes good value for money?
We've had a look at some of the most popular recipe boxes and to see which one is the best value.
1. Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh is a no-commitment weekly subscription service. You can choose from four food boxes:
- family-oriented with kid-friendly options
- a vegetarian box
- a box for quick meals that can be ready in less than twenty minutes
- an all-rounder with meat, fish and veg.
Each box comes with recipe cards that with step-by-step instructions and photos to make the cooking part easy. Nutritional information can be found on the cards and on their website.
They have decent offers for new customers who want to give it a try. A 50% discount on a box of five recipes for two people (giving you 10 portions) makes the cost £19.49 which is £1.95 per portion.
Gousto has a larger choice of recipes to choose from than Hello Fresh although you can only choose four recipes per week.
Meals include old classics such as cottage pie to delicious plant-based dishes like Thai tofu or butternut curry.
All the recipe cards have photos to help you easily prepare your chosen dishes. Having partnered with Joe Wicks, you’ll also find a choice of The Body Coach approved light and healthy meals.
Discounts are available for new customers, you can order one-off boxes with no commitment, and delivery is available seven days a week.
With their new customer offer you can order eight portions of food for £24.50 instead of £34.99.
Gousto prides itself on its sustainability efforts and they’ve designed an eco-cool box to keep the ingredients fresh, made entirely of recyclable card. The company plans on making 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2022.
All of Riverford’s delivered food is organic, apart from their wild-caught fish. You can have simple fruit and veg boxes delivered or choose one of their recipe boxes.
Recipe choices are categorised as either vegan, vegetarian, meat, prime cuts, or family.
There’s no commitment required, and you can order boxes as one-offs whenever you want. The prices of these boxes are much more expensive, costing up to £8.73 per portion, depending on which recipes you choose.
If you order two recipe boxes, you’ll get a discount of 5%. If you order three or more, you’ll get a 10% discount. You can build your own box of ingredients if you prefer, with a minimum spend of £15.
4. Mindful Chef
With Mindful Chef, you can choose between 2 and 5 recipes a week. There’s no contract so you can skip a box or cancel whenever you like. You can get ingredients for one or two people, or a family.
The price of your box will vary depending on which recipes you choose. The most expensive meal costs £9.00 per person and the cheapest is £5.50 per person. This means the price of the box will fluctuate depending on the recipes and how many people you choose.
Types of recipes include:
They currently have an offer where you can get £10 off your first and second box.
5. Simply Cook
Simply Cook is a slightly different type of food subscription. Instead of getting all the fresh ingredients like their competitors, you’ll receive a box of oils, herbs, rubs and garnishes along with some recipes and a shopping list. What you receive will be based on the recipes you choose.
You can trial the service for £3 and after that it’s £9.99 a box. You’ll receive enough blends for 2-4 people.
The good thing about Simply Cook is that you don’t have to be in to receive it, as it can fit through your letter box.
Recipe types include:
- Family dinners
- Takeaway favourites
- Speedy suppers.
While this option seems considerably cheaper, remember you’ll have to go out and buy the actual food items from the supermarket with the list they provide.
So which is the best value?
Overall, Hello Fresh is the best value service for cheap meals and had the best trial offer too, but Gousto provided the biggest choice of recipes. Simply Cook is considerably cheaper, however the cost of the ingredients can’t be factored in, as you’d have to do the shopping yourself.
The food subscription boxes we looked at required no commitment and you can order just one box if you want to trial the service. If you do sign up for recurring deliveries, there are no cancellation fees.
If you prefer to shop in the supermarket, find out how to shop smarter.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.