Meal Planning vs Meal Delivery

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When you kick processed foods and start making real food you realize a couple of things:

1) Making food from scratch can take a ton of time 2) Making food from scracth can take a TON of time.

Yes, I meant to say the same thing twice because going from fast food and using microwaves to warm up a tv dinner to cutting up vegatables and making broth from scratch are as different as black and white.

Anyhow, I realized when I went Paleo, it was good thing that I learned to cook and I loved it.

When I started sharing recipes on A Girl Worth Saving, I realized a TON of people have no idea how to cook nor wouldn’t know the value of meal planning so I co-founded 20 Dishes with my friend and business partner Orleatha.

However, even then, in this time strapped time where people are busier than ever before, some people just can’t meal plan but they deserve the health benefits of eating real food so it’s a great that is organic meal delivery available.

So in order to help you decide which is better for your family, I’m going to show the pros and cons of meal planning and meal delivery.

Meal Planning

Meal plans are dime a dozen. Type free meal plan on Google and you’ll find hundreds of free plans.

Heck 20 Dishes even gives away free meal plans for the Paleo Diet, Autoimmune Paleo Diet, Gluten-free Diet, Vegetarian Diet and Real Food diet.

Meal plans have been used for years to do save people money and time. It’s proven that by planning out your meals you eat healthier, save money and time in the kitchen.

20 Dishes goes a step futher giving people a step-by-step guide that tells you exactly what you need to prep each week so that you can easily grab you dinner out of the fridge, throw it in a pan and have dinner whipped up in 30 minutes or less.


  • You have control of your ingredients (want organic local only?).
  • If you deal with allergies, you can completely customize your meals for your family without worry.
  • You will save money.
  • Reduce food waste.  All those spontanous ingredients often get thrown in the trash


  • You have to grocery shopping.
  • You have to figure out food prep (20 Dishes give you your food prep for every recipe on the site)
  • You have to find time to meal plan (again, try out 20 Dishes free trial as you get a meal plan prepared every week)

RECOMMENDED: Try 20 Dishes Free for a Week Here.

Meal Delivery

Meal Delivery is the new kid on the block but it works pretty much like meal planning but you don’t have to do any of the shopping.

For time strapped people and/or people who have no idea how to cook this is a dream come true.

Simply go on the website, select your diet and pick your meals for the week.


  • You have all your ingredients for your meals plus recipes delivered every week
  • Great way to start moving to real food and learning the types of vegetables you can cook with.
  • Makes a great gift for a new mama who can’t leave the house.
  • Great for traveling.  You can order this for your rental home and so you can whip up meals without hauling ingredients.


  • Cost.
  • There is a ton of packaging that goes into shipping meals to you.
  • Delivery issues may cause products to spoil.
  • Picky Eaters might be harder to please


RECOMMENDED: Get 3 FREE Family Menu Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic, non-GMO ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered!

Really you have to look at what’s sustainable for your family and decide.  Do you meal plan? Do you use a meal delivery service? Which do you prefer?



  1. Allison Wojtowecz April 24, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Glad you talked about these two options for prepping healthier meals throughout the week – most people don’t understand the difference and think that one option will work for them when they should actually be using the other!

  2. Renee April 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I have been really wanting to try SunBasket! I do love to cook and I don’t mind meal planning – but gosh what a glorious thing to not have to cook sometimes!! Thank you for the brand recs!

  3. Michele Spring April 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Both of those are great options for saving time, that’s for sure. I love to use a mixture of both – meal planning for regular weeks and meal delivery for special times, like if I’m on an elimination diet or trying to quickly heal an autoimmune flareup and am eating differently than everyone else in my family. I hadn’t thought of using meal delivery for travel though- that’s genius!

  4. Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! April 26, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I’ve never done mail delivery, but I know several friends that love it! I try and menu plan as often as possible and do some make-ahead food just to cut down on the crazy amount of time it takes to make every single meal from scratch!

  5. Katja April 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve never used a meal delivery service. How clever to use it while traveling!!

  6. Georgina Young April 27, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I love that you’ve summed up the pros and cons of both meal prep and meal delivery. And also how to do it in a healthy manner because I think that’s where people struggle the most!

  7. STACEY CRAWFORD April 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Such a great article! I like how you showed the differences in each meal planning service. very helpful for people to know which would work better for their needs.

  8. Cristina Curp April 27, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    All for meal planning! I think cooking your own meals is so important, so if these meal delivery options are getting more folks in the kitchen great! A good place to start before they’re whipping up their own creations!

  9. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish April 28, 2017 at 8:30 am

    This is so helpful. I’m working on getting better at meal planning, it hasn’t been the easiest thing for me but it makes things so much easier when I do it. Both are great options though, I recently tried a meal delivery service and I was really impressed with the quality.

  10. Jessica DeMay April 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I always meal prep and I’ve seen a lot about Sun Basket lately. I think it’s a great option for people too busy to shop or like you said, just learning to cook.

  11. ChihYu April 28, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Both are great options for people with different needs and life style. I’ve never used meal delivery service probably because I live in a big city and there are grocery stores almost every other few blocks to grab last minute dinner ! :))

  12. Vanessa Woozley April 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    A great look at the pros and cons, I guess meal delivery helps those who hate cooking and would otherwise eat ready made food but I think meal planning is a great way to go.

  13. Real Food with Dana April 30, 2017 at 4:29 am

    This is such a great informative post! Love that you gave people all the info for pros and cons about both. It’s so important to weigh those when making food decisions!

  14. Taesha Butler (The Natural Nurturer) April 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I love this read. Making real food happen in real life can be tricky and everyone has a hurdle. Weighing the pros and cons for your unique situation so you can make the most sustainable choices for your family and the choice that is most in-line with your values is key. Great insight!

  15. Carrie Forrest April 30, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Kelly – this post is so full of genius. I have never tried a meal delivery service but I think it is a neat idea. I am all about meal planning.

  16. Amy April 30, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try Sun Basket! I love how you lay our all the options 🙂

  17. Becky Winkler May 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Great breakdown of the pros and cons! I do love Sun Basket for busy weeks.


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