At TheBodyKitchen, we know that not everyone has the time to chop up vegetables, batch cook rice, and mix up spices. So it is no wonder that the popularity of meal prep services is on the rise.
Many of our customers opt for our precisely portioned, ready-to-eat meals as they hold a number of benefits. One of the biggest draws for meal prep services has always been convenience. Plus they are a great way to try new dishes, without wasting money on extra ingredients if you end up not wanting to have them again.
We really could go on about the benefits of meal prep but while you may agree with the positives, there is one drawback that customers often come back to. Which is the cost element.
Food for thought: Is meal prep that expensive?
However, it may surprise you that convenient cooking services like The Body Kitchen aren’t quite as pricey as some may think. This is for a number of reasons. It may be worth considering the effects coming from inflation such as rising food and gas costs.
Meal prep services could well be a way to save money if you factor the fuel it takes to get to and from the supermarket. There is also the usage of home energy to cook your meals. Plus, most notably, it is worth factoring in the cost of food waste when making your food.
We compared the price of some of our customer’s favourite dishes, with the cost of buying the ingredients from the supermarket. So you can decide for yourself. Is it more sensible to invest in meal prep, or set aside time every week to plan and cook your own meals?
Meal prep services vs supermarket ingredients: What comes out cheaper?
There are varying factors to consider when comparing The Body Kitchen to a normal supermarket shop, so our conclusion will be subjective. However it can hopefully provide a useful guide to see how expensive supermarket shopping is compared to meal prep in general. We approached this with the following points in mind:
- Full shop with potentially wasted ingredients (Asda)
- Fresh ingredients shop with assumed base ingredients (Sainsbury’s)
- Basic ready meal, pre-prepared (Waitrose)
- Each shop for the varying factors was carried out at different supermarkets, with different price points.
Lamb Rendang, Riced Cabbage, Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes & Sambal: £7.20
If a customer were to go to the supermarket and buy the full list of ingredients used to make our Lamb Rendang dish, the entire shopping list would come to £31.41, but could serve two people at £15.70 per meal. While some of the ingredients can be reused, such as the spices, others could easily go to waste, like the fresh vegetables.
Lemon, Garlic & Parsley Crusted Salmon, Pesto Butterbeans & Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables: £8.80
Based on only using fresh ingredients, and assuming that the shopper already had the spices and extra spices and condiments to hand in their cupboard, a Sainsbury’s shop to imitate this The Body Kitchen Lemon, Garlic & Parsley Crusted Salmon meal came to £8.80.
While the total price matched our The Body Kitchen dish, this supermarket shop should be enough to feed two, so would amount to £4.40 per meal. Therefore this is £4.40 less than our £8.80 gourmet ready meal.
The Body Kitchen Mediterranean Meatless Stuffed Peppers with Roasted Roots. Cost: £7.60
We looked at how much a The Body Kitchen vegan option fared against a pre-prepared veggie-ready meal from Waitrose. Our results show that the convenient supermarket option was 10p more expensive than a similar The Body Kitchen meal. The Waitrose Stuffed Peppers with A Tagine Sauce (£4.75) and Maple Roasted Winter Vegetables (£2.95) ended up costing £7.70.
As well as the Waitrose veggie ready meal being more expensive than a similar The Body Kitchen option, we also believe it to be less fresh and with more preservatives. When considering a meat option, we also found that a ready meal with the additional turkey filling from the upmarket supermarket chain was pricier than The Body Kitchen.
How do we fare?
According to sustainability charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which collects data on food waste and is behind the campaign Love Food Hate Waste, their findings show that:
- Each year British households produce 6.6 million tonnes of food waste.
- From this, around 4.5 million tonnes of this food could have been eaten.
- This is equal to around 8 meals per home, every week.
Meanwhile at The Body Kitchen, your food is precisely portioned which means that you can reduce your food wastage. So as well as saving time spent preparing your meals, you can prevent food waste and potentially save on overall costs.
Waste not, want not
Like many food businesses, from time to time we find ourselves with excess ingredients that we do not want to waste. Which is why our chefs create delicious meals from our leftover ingredients, and donate them to a local food bank, The Havering Islamic Cultural Centre (HICC) in Romford. These meals will provide much needed support for local residents and also show our commitment to preventing food wastage.
Have you tried our meals yet? Have a look at what we have to offer in our new menu here. Our entire menu range changes every week so you’ll have a new set of meals to choose from in each delivery.