I’ve tried several different meal kits and delivery services now. HelloFresh, MissFresh, GoodFood, and Eden’s Taste, have all had there shot at trying to sell me on how good they are. A few weeks ago, I noticed that Safeway was selling something called easy meals.
They are packaged in such a way that if you buy a protein, a starch, and a vegetable, you pay $15.00. Judging by the serving size recommendations on the back they are meant to serve two. Or $7.50 a serving. I’ll get more into that, later.
Safeway Easy Meals for Convenience
One thing I like about these meals, is that they are much less time consuming than most of the meal kits. Each package contains cooking instructions on the back. They are generally listed as ideal, microwave, oven or stovetop.
Each of the three parts of the meal comes in it’s own packaging. Each package lists it’s own timings. This makes it easy to start with the longest timed dish, and easily start the shortest time dish in such a fashion that all three finish cooking at the same time.
Easy Meal Quality
Quality is where the Safeway Easy Meals start to fall down. Mainly because they all arrive cooked beyond being firm. The protein dishes are least affected by this. The vegetables the most. All three of the various vegetable dishes I try are past firm before I start cooking.
Visually the dishes are not the most appealing. This relates to the them being on the overcooked side. The flavours are not bad, but there are no stand outs either. This isn’t the worst part of the meals
Confusing nutritional info on Safeway Easy Meals
This picture is a little fuzzy, but what it says is 3 meatballs make 140 grams, or one serving. The Problem is the package contains 6 meatballs and is a total of 420 grams. So either it should be 2 meatballs/140 grams, or their should be 9 meatballs.
This is the one inaccurate example. There are though, other examples of bad labelling. Some of the vegetables portions are 280 grams. However, a serving size is listed as 110 grams. This means the package contains 2.55 servings.
On the whole this makes it difficult to determine calories per serving. Even though I think calories are highly overrated as a mark of nutritional benefit, I would like to be able to figure them out easily.
The lack of accurate nutritional information also makes it hard to determine value for your Safeway Easy Meal. When you are able to buy 3 items for $15.00, it works out to $7.50 a serving. Those servings tend to be small in terms of calories. The biggest is about 600 calories. The smallest not much more than 500 calories. As a result they are generally smaller than the fresh meal kit options.
Your price still works out a little cheaper, but does not make a significant enough trade off versus quality. Finally, despite being on the shelves for a couple of months, there are still on the original 3 each of protein, vegetable, and starch. The Safeway Easy Meal needs a lot of work before I would consider making it a semi-regular purchase.