food subscription boxes

Are recipe subscription boxes worth the money?

Spring is a time when many of us feel like a fresh start, and this often includes healthier eating. The problem is that, despite all our good intentions, it can be difficult to think of healthy meals for every day of the week, and also to make sure that you have all the ingredients you need to make them.

One solution that many people are beginning to rely on is recipe subscription boxes. In the UK, the value of food, drink, and recipe subscription boxes is already over £1 billion per year, with growth forecast to continue in the coming years.

The concept behind recipe subscription boxes is that they contain recipe cards and sets of ingredients, individually portioned up and delivered to your door, so that meals can be cooked easily from scratch at home. This can help people to save time on planning and shopping for meals, whilst still eating fresh, healthy food.

This all sounds like a great idea, but are there any snags? What kinds of recipe boxes are available? And how much does it all cost?

In this article we take a look at:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of recipe boxes;
  • Five of the best recipe boxes in the UK;
  • How much do recipe boxes cost?


The advantages and disadvantages of recipe boxes

As with most seemingly great ideas in life, once you start to look into it, you will find both pros and cons. Recipe boxes are no exception to this rule. Here are five advantages and five disadvantages of recipe boxes:



  • Convenience : you can make a nutritious meal without spending time planning and shopping;
  • You have the reassurance of knowing that all your food is fresh and prepared by hand;
  • They build your confidence in your ability to make a good quality meal from scratch;
  • You get the opportunity to try a range of new and different meals;
  • They can be an invaluable source of meals for those on special diets or with food allergies.



  • They can be an expensive way to cook. We will look at costs later in this article;
  • They sometimes have excessive packaging which is not environmentally friendly;
  • The portion control is very precise so there are unlikely to be second helpings or leftovers;
  • Some recipes can take a while to make if you are not an experienced cook;
  • Once you get into a subscription it can feel like too much effort to cancel it.


Five of the best recipe boxes in the UK

There are many different recipe boxes available in the UK. Some are suitable for all kinds of diets, others specialise in a particular kind of diet. Below we list five of the most popular, but there are also many others to choose from. We have listed them in alphabetical order, not in any order of preference.


  • Gousto

Gousto offers weekly deliveries and a choice of 60 recipes which change every week. Many of the recipes are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, and they are usually quick to prepare. Recipe boxes can cater for two to four people, with either two, three or four recipes per box. 

You can skip a week and/or unsubscribe from Gousto at any time. 


  • Green Chef

Green Chef is part of the Hello Fresh group, but caters for six more specialist diets : vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, lower carb, keto and flexitarian. Boxes are delivered weekly and there is a good selection of recipes to choose from, all of which are nutritionist-designed and use seasonal ingredients.

Boxes can be ordered for two or four people, with up to five recipes per box. Deliveries can be skipped for up to four weeks, or cancelled a minimum of five days ahead. 


  • HelloFresh

HelloFresh offers weekly deliveries with over 44 fresh recipes to choose from every week, including adventurous flavour combinations from around the world. Recipes can be customised to your dietary needs and taste, and also include special occasion meals with sides and desserts.

You have the option of three, four or five recipes per week, serving two, three or four people. Deliveries can be skipped or cancelled if you want to. 


  • Mindful Chef

Mindful Chef majors on healthy eating. The innovative recipes are nutritious and low-carb, and all are both gluten and dairy-free. They also use ethically sourced ingredients from small UK businesses. There is a choice of 20 recipes per week, including vegetarian and vegan options, and the weekly deliveries contain two to five recipes for one, two or four people. 

You can skip or cancel at any time. 


  • Simply Cook

Simply Cook runs on a different basis from the other recipe boxes. They do not deliver all the ingredients, but just a package of flavourings for each meal, for example oils, spices, pastes, garnishes, rubs, or stocks, along with recipe cards. There are 140 recipes to choose from. Each meal kit serves 2-4 people, but packages are small enough to be delivered through your letterbox. 

This means that you still need to go out and buy the main ingredients, for example meat, vegetables or rice. But as the sachets have a long shelf-life, they can be stored in a cupboard until you are ready to use them, making Simply Cook a more flexible solution than other recipe boxes with fresh ingredients. 


How much do recipe boxes cost?

A typical cost per meal per person for each of the above five boxes is:

  • Gousto – £2.98 to £6.25
  • Green Chef – £5.50 to £7.88
  • HelloFresh – £3.15 to £4.75
  • Mindful Chef – £4.25 to £8.50
  • Simply Cook – £2.50 (remember that you will need to buy additional ingredients).

However, most recipe boxes have offers for new customers, sometimes including free meals, so it is well worth shopping around to find the best deal for you and your dietary needs.


We hope that the information in this article has helped you to decide whether or not a recipe subscription box would be helpful to you and your family, and if so, that you find the best value for you.

For more lifestyle and financial tips check back here again soon with direct lender Munzee Loans.