I have a confession to make:

We’ve been using a meal subscription service for about six months.

I know… It’s pretty risqué.

Ordering food from the internet?! How do we know where it’s coming from? Why don’t we just get creative and plan or own meals? Isn’t it really expensive? Weren’t we taught how to grocery shop?

I guess these are valid questions, but they really aren’t the ones I asked when I made the decision to try it out this summer. I was caught by an Instagram ad one morning in July. It was perfectly targeted at me. We had just opened our business, it was busy season at my day job, and things were moving at the speed of light. Really they were just moving at the speed of regular time, but I’m just starting to fully come to terms with that.

Instead, I asked where it would save me time (and 💰.) Where would it save me brain space? What would be the impacts of the service on me and on the environment?

What I found was that by optimizing my meal process, I checked off multiple boxes I hadn’t even necessarily thought about yet, along with satisfying my need for groceries. Here’s why I’m not turning back, and why I would recommend a meal prep service to pretty much anyone:

1) I saved time and money. Taking care of just three meals each week immediately meant no more dinner time grocery shopping after work when I am most susceptible to chicken fingers and ice cream. I started grocery shopping once a week and I only have to worry about breakfast and lunch with a few fresh items to inject some life into my pantry staples. I rarely if ever fall back on ordering takeout after a long day at work, or at our shop, and I don’t impulse-buy chocolate bars anymore. (At least not very often. 🍫)

2) I stopped wasting fresh produce. Since I’m not impulse buying a bunch of fresh basil without a multi-meal plan to use all of it, 3/4 of said bunch is not going bad in my fridge because I’m not sure what to do with it or am not home to use it. There also isn’t a jar of harissa going bad in my fridge because I used it once trying a new dish last year but haven’t touched it since. I’m getting variety and new skills every night, and it’s based on seasonal staples and useful cooking techniques (hello, homemade gnocchi!)

3) Its taken such a load off my plate. Services like meal subscriptions – or Uber, or Airbnb – that are part of the sharing economy can be seen as unsustainable, unnecessary or luxurious by some. But tonight, as I prepped a well-balanced, 20-minute meal for my partner and I to enjoy before we went back working side-by-side on our computers (Happy Valentine’s Day!) I wanted to be honest about the ways we make things work for ourselves. This ‘gram-worthy meal was brought to you by @chefsplate, feat. Me.