How Do the Local Healthy Meal Options Compare to Cooking at Home?

Let’s acknowledge that if we’re strictly looking at cost, eating at home will almost always win. For many, however, time is money so the effort spent in shopping, preparation, and cleaning would make it “cheaper” to purchase food. (I’m looking at you, Attorneys)

So let’s look at the average cost of groceries for a moderate two-person household consisting of adults between the ages of 19-50: $612.80

That budget, I assume, accounts for all meals and includes snacks but not eating out.

Now let’s compare it with all the eating plans offered at these competitors:

Muscle Maker Grill

They offer plans to purchase meals at approximately $7.99 a meal. So let’s assume you eat 3 meals a day x 30 days in a month at $7.99 which means a single person would spend approximately $719 a month on food.

So if you ate strictly at Muscle Maker Grill for two people you’re looking to spend $1,438, but…that doesn’t include snacks or anything in between.

Eat Fit Go

They offer a plan of 5 meals a day for 5 days which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, 5 snacks, and 5 protein bars for a price of $169. You multiply that times 6 because there are about 30 days in a month making it $1,014. But wait…that’s just for one person.

So if you ate strictly at Eat Fit Go for two people you’re looking to spend approximately $2,028.

Evolve Paleo

They offer a two-person meal plan for 5 days which is really vague about what exactly is included, but it’s “enough for two heavy eaters or three light eaters” for the price of $335. If you multiply that x 6 to account for 30 days in a month you’re looking to spend approximately $2,010 for two people.


Average Monthly Grocery Budget for Two: $612.80

Cost for Two to eat all meals at Muscle Maker Grill: $1,438

Cost for Two to eat all meals at Eat Fit Go: $2,028

Cost for Two to eat all meals at Evolve Paleo: $2,010

Now let’s also say that if it took approximately 1 hour to cook and clean up a meal (that’s a very conservative estimate not counting meal planning and grocery shopping) then at what hourly rate would you be a break even.

30 days x 1 hour a day cooking/cleaning= 30 hours

If you make or charge at least $46/hour then your time is worth $1,380 (30 hours x $46/hr). At that point I would consider it a “break even” ($612.80 + $1,380= $1,992.80). Most people don’t make that much for an hourly or salaried rate so it is more cost effective than purchasing these meals.

These meal options are a great substitution for when you don’t have time or interest to prepare delicious food, but let’s be honest there is hardly a substitution for being able to cook and eat a meal together that is freshly prepared. Not to mention, you get to control exactly what goes into your food for any dietary restrictions.

It’s all about moderation, right?!


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