This post is written in collaboration with The Kroger Co. All opinions are my own.
There's something so rewarding about cooking a meal that tastes delicious, don't you think? It's even better when you have someone to share a meal with. My husband and I enjoy trying out new recipes and cooking for each other. We both look forward to dinner time because it gives us an opportunity to catch up and hear about each other's day while eating a great meal. From Italian food, to Mexican food and everything in between, we like to switch it up each week and make different recipes that fit with our lifestyle and budget.
The first time I started cooking for myself was when I started living in an apartment during my sophomore year of college. When I was a freshman I lived in the dorms on campus and had a meal plan, but once I was on my own during my second year of college, it was time for me to test my skills in the kitchen. My roommates and I all cooked for ourselves and bought our own groceries, so I mostly stuck to easy or basic recipes that only required a few ingredients and could be made for just one person. Back then, meal delivery services where you can pay a monthly subscription and get food delivered to your door weren't a thing yet. Even so, now that I'm older, I've never enrolled in any because they seem too expensive for my taste.
I did a little research and found that a two-person meal subscription service can cost around $10.99 per serving for three meals a week. That's just over $65 for three meals. I know my grocery shopping habits well enough to know that I can purchase food at the grocery store and cook my own meals for less money than that, so I've always opted to stock up on groceries each weekend versus paying for a meal subscription service.
I know that having a meal subscription service definitely depends on each individual and their own lifestyle. Some people are so busy and simply don't have time to go to the grocery store each week. Or, they're looking for an easy solution when it comes to cooking dinner. Although I work full-time, I'm fortunate enough to have extra time on my hands to cook dinner each night (and on the nights where I don't cook, my husband does).
Depending on how busy our weeks are, sometimes my husband and I are so caught up at work that we don't get home at a decent time to make a normal dinner. On nights like these, we have no choice but to make an easy meal like mac and cheese or hot dogs. Both of us would prefer to make something both easy and delicious on nights where we don't have a lot of time to cook, but we were never able to find a solution that fit our needs (or our appetites).
Back in February I was invited to a blogger/influencer event with Kroger where they introduced their new Prep+Pared Meal Kits. When I initially got the invitation, I was so intrigued. I had never heard of a grocery chain that created their own meal kits, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realized that it was a brilliant idea.
I took my husband with me to the Kroger Prep+Pared event and as soon as we arrived we were greeted and taken to a room with tons of tables, chairs and cooking stations. After a brief presentation from the Kroger team about the Prep+Pared Meal Kits and how they were developed, we were ready to cook our own meal for dinner from start to finish! My husband and I chose to make Carne Asada Steak with Fajita Vegetables and Black Refried Beans. With our meal kit in hand, we made our way to our cooking station. At the event, each influencer had their own cooking area with an electric skillet, cutting board, kitchen utensils, olive oil, salt and pepper and more.
After opening our meal kit and reading our recipe card, we got to work and started preparing our meal. The nice thing about Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits is that all of the ingredients are pre-measured and packaged. You don't need to spend time fumbling around in your kitchen looking for measuring cups and spoons or trying to figure out how much of each ingredient you need to add to the dish you're making. You simply open each package included with the Prep+Pared Meal Kit and add them to the recipe when the instructions say to do so.
As we followed along with the recipe, we had to mix together a marinade for the Carne Asada by using lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. After marinating for five minutes, we were ready to cook the steak and then move on to the vegetables. My husband and I aren't top chefs by any means, but we were able to make our meal in less than 20 minutes which we were really impressed by (all Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits are designed to be made in 20 minutes or less).
We were so excited to try the finished product, so after adding the black refried beans to our plates along with the veggies and sliced Carne Asada Steak, we couldn't wait to dig in! From the first bite to the last, we could taste the delicious marinade on the steak. It was so good and had the perfect amount of kick to it. The veggies and the refried beans really rounded out the dish. We were so glad that we decided to cook this meal during the event. It was extremely easy to make and we couldn't believe how much time we saved by not having to cut, chop or measure the ingredients. Having everything prepped ahead of time was so helpful.
Kroger thought of everything when they were developing these meal kits. Each kit feeds two adults and the recipes are chef-designed, seasonal and rotate each month so there is plenty of variety. Since the meal kits get swapped out each month, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and dietitian's choice kits may be available. Plus, the ingredients are fresh and never frozen.
Remember how I mentioned that other meal kit subscription services charge around $10.99 per serving which is roughly $65 for three meals? Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits start at just $14. When you do the math, that's $7 per serving (about a $4 savings per serving)! To me, Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits are the best option on the market right now. I had a chance to take home two other meal kits - the Crispy Pork Chop with Blistered Tomatoes and Creamed Spinach meal kit and the Truffle Steak with Sweet Potato Fries meal kit (pictured below). Both of them were just as delicious as the Carne Asada Steak that my husband and I cooked up during the influencer event.
If you'd like some additional information on Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits, you can visit www.preppared.com. You'll also find current recipes and locations where meal kits are available by visiting that site.
Do you shop at Kroger? After learning about Kroger Prep+Pared Meal Kits, do you think that you'd ever purchase one and give it a try? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below!