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Grocery store meal kits put to the test

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HOUSTON – From Hello Fresh to Blue Apron, you’ve probably heard of the meal kits you can have delivered to your door to help you prepare fresh, gourmet meals. Now grocery stores are offering meal kits too. Consumer expert Amy Davis shopped H-E-B and Kroger to show ou what you get for your money. 

Kung Pao shrimp stir fry is not a typical week night meal Davis make for her family; but the H-E-B Meal Simple kit made it, well, simple. For $16, the kit included the recipe and 5 ingredients, all pre-measured: shrimp, jasmine rice, vegetables, kung pao sauce and special seasoning. 

Even though Davis saved time on meal prep, she paid a lot of money than she would have just buying the ingredients herself. 

She priced the same five ingredients at H-E-B and found she could buy everything in the kit to make Kung Pao shrimp for 6 instead of 2 for only $2.21 more. 

Kroger’s Prep + Pared meals are similarly priced. Davis picked Latin-inspired Pork Tacos for 2 for $16. The kit came with a total of 12 ingredients. Everything was pre-sliced and diced. 

The recipe claims the meal will take you just 20 minutes to cook. It was right on. Shopping for the ingredients to make this meal the old-fashioned way cost Davis $9.58 more, but she also had enough to make 6 servings instead of 2. 

One of the advantages to the meal kits is that you waste less food and you have less mess to clean up since the ingredients are already measured and cut up. We checked. The grocery store meal kits are between $4 and $5 dollars less expensive than meal kits that are just mailed to your home from Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.