Recipe boxes (recipe kits) vs. meal prep companies

Which should I choose, recipe boxes or meal prep companies?

What are recipe box companies?

Recipe boxes (recipe kits) are cooking kits delivered to your door. They contain the raw ingredients and recipes to produce a variety of meals at home. Recipe box companies provide exact weight and measurements for each meal to reduce additional waste, alongside cooking instructions to guide you through the process. On average recipe kits normally contain between 3 and 5 meals per week.


What are meal prep companies?

Meal prep companies, like, go one step further than recipe box companies. Meal prep companies source the raw ingredients, prepare and cook the meals to order. All of which delivered straight to your front door. Meal prep companies can provide anything between 10 and 30 meals per week, or month, at the customer’s discretion.


What’s the difference between recipe boxes and meal prep companies?

The difference in meal preparation

  • If you don’t have the time, are not a fan of cooking, or just want to save time in the kitchen and spend more time doing other things. We’d say a meal prep company of your choice is the best option.
  • If you enjoy cooking, want to spend more time in the kitchen and don’t mind following recipes we’d suggest trying a recipe box company of your choosing.

The difference in the number of meals

  • Generally, meal prep companies tend to provide customers with more meals per box in comparison to recipe box companies. The average meal prep company provides meals between 10 to 30 with a one off purchase. Compared to recipe box that provide between 3 to 5 meals per week on a subscription basis.

The price

Meal prep companies generally are a little more expensive then recipe box companies. This is mainly due to the additional services required and the number of meals received. I.e chef preparation and cooking of food, individual meal packaging and increased number of meals per box.

Which meal delivery service should I use?

If you are looking for quick and easy freshly prepared meals, we’d say a meal prep company is the one for you. But, if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen and like the satisfaction of cooking your meals from scratch then recipe boxes then your way forward.

Both types of company save you time, as well as making mealtime more convenient by removing the need to do the weekly supermarket shop. As many meal prep companies use chefs to prepare your meals, we’d say meal prep companies go one step further than recipe box companies as they provide the ability to “get up and go” whenever and wherever you are ready. Whereas recipe boxes take more of a homely and traditional approach to mealtime, by providing the raw ingredients to prepare and cook your meals from scratch.


To summarise…

Pros of recipe boxes

  • Perfect for those who like to cook but don’t have time to shop from week-to-week
  • Provides you with the exact ingredients which reduces  food waste
  • Can opt to have weekly or monthly deliveries
  • Nationwide delivery
  • Can opt out of having weekly or monthly deliveries
  • You’ll receive raw produce to prepare your meals
  • Cancel anytime subscriptions
  • Meals delivered to your door.
  • Typically nationwide delivery
  • Between 3 and 5 meals per week.

Cons of recipe boxes

  • Washing up of cooking utensils, plates, cutlery etc.
  • Mainly subscription based
  • Value for money? Number of meals vs. cost paid is questionable.
  • Set menu, cant customise
  • If on a weekly subscription, you need to make sure you cook the food as prescribed, otherwise you will have an overflow of foodstuffs.
  • Weigh up the cost vs. convenience of cooking at home.

Pros of meal prep boxes

  • Perfect for those who don’t have time to; or, don’t want to cook everyday.
  • Typically macro and calorie focused for healthy eating, weight loss or bulking.
  • Professional chefs cook meals so you don’t have to.
  • Nationwide delivery
  • You can choose different items of food to customise your meals
  • Meals arrive cooked and ready to be reheated and eaten.
  • Meals can be frozen to be eaten at later date
  • On average you get more meals from meal prep companies weekly, then recipe kit companies
  • No need for a weekly food shop.
  • Can make a single purchase, opt to have one-off, weekly or monthly subscriptions deliveries
  • Meals delivered to your door
  • Minimal washing up (only washing is cutlery)
  • Greater numbers of meals are supplied, on average. Between 10 and 30 meals per order.
  • Weigh up the cost vs. convenience for you.

Cons of meal prep boxes

  • Mainly single purchase based, meaning you need to go online to reorder.
  • Can take time to place your order if customising meals
  • Takes a little longer to arrive (1- 2 days) from date your order is placed because of the need to prep and cook, then your meals compared to recipe box companies.

Know anyone who would use meal preps or recipe boxes?👇

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25 thoughts on “Recipe boxes (recipe kits) vs. meal prep companies”

  1. I have tried recipe boxes before and thought they were over rated for the price I paid. But having seen this I think I’m going to convert to meal prep boxes as the value for money seems a lot better. Also passed this on to my son! He’ll live on meal prep now! haha

  2. Both of these are great ideas and I think I’d use them for times when we were so busy or returning from holidays (but choose the option to make the meal myself)

  3. I am definitely more of a recipe box lover than meal prep, I do love to cook but don’t always have the time and I am not good with portion sizes – so meal prep may be a new try for me for 2018!

  4. I have tried recipe boxes in the past, as I do enjoy cooking but always get stuck in the rut of making the same thing over and over. Recipe boxes are great for getting me to try new recipes out. I have never tried a meal prep company before though, I always think it would be too expensive as a family of five, if I lived alone I would probably try them though x

  5. While Recipe Box is providing you the chance to cook something by your own the meal prep companies are serving cooked meal taking concern of the fact that many people are lacking the time to cook themselves nowadays..

  6. I’ve tried a couple of meal delivery services and loved them but not the immense amount of plastic that they use in the boxes. I do try to meal prep each week so that my mornings are easier and less stressful!

  7. I subscribe to a weekly recipe box and love it! While you are right that it only comes with 3 meals, I do love learning new recipes and cooking techniques. Both have their pros and cons for sure!

  8. Oohh I love cooking but don’t always have time – the recipe box sounds awesome. I like the idea of having everything all ready to go without having it completely all done for me 🙂

  9. This is really useful information. I have heard a lot about recipe kits but not much about meal prep companies so this was very insightful.

  10. I’ve tried the food box delivery where they deliver the food to you and you cook it yourself and honestly, I will probably never do it again! Mainly because, I left the indigents sitting in my fridge and forgot all about them. Also, I’ll rather go with a meal prepping company because I don’t have to worry about cooking when I get home from a long day of work.

  11. Meal prep boxes look like something I need to try! This was a great article on both of them and your review on them. I’ve always wanted to try either one but never knew which one was better.

  12. I must admit I’ve not really looked into either – I guess I tend to assume they wouldn’t provide particularly great value for a large family. That said I do like the sound of meal preps as they save a lot of time and are cheap for the cost.

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