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Is it worth it to sign up for meal kit delivery?

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BOSTON, MA - JUNE 28: In this photo illustration, a Blue Apron customer unpacks a Blue Apron box on a kitchen counter on June 28, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The online meal-kit delivery company is going public and has lowered their upcoming IPO price range from $15 to $17 a share to $10 to $11 a share. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

We all know that cooking meals at home can save you money, and more often than not, it’s better for your health.  But not everyone has the time – or the skills – for all the shopping and chopping required to create a homemade meal.

That’s where meal prep delivery programs like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron come in.  You sign up on the service’s website and order dishes that you would like to try during the week.  On delivery day, a box filled with pre-measured ingredients shows up at your door, along with a recipe card and everything you need to cook the meal.  Prep time is usually about 30 minutes.

But is it worth the cost? Kristine Zewe with Pemco Insurance says, if you're interested in trying some new dishes, a meal prep kit service can be the perfect way to build confidence in the kitchen.

"It can be a little bit more expensive, to have the convenience of the pre-packaged, pre-assembled food. But if you consider the time you spend grocery shopping and potential waste, or ingredients that you may never use again, if you don't like them, it can be kind of a toss-up on the time saved or the cost."  Zewe says the services average $10-$12 per serving, which is more than you might spend on a normal meal at home, but less than you would typically spend on dinner at a restaurant.

If your goal is to eat healthier food by making it at home, be sure to read the fine print on a meal kit delivery service before you sign up so that you know exactly what you are eating.

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