There is a subscription box craze happening. If you need any proof, this should suffice. You can get anything delivered to you in a box on a regular basis. Makeup, dog toys, Japanese candy, underwear. Anything.
A few companies will even send you an entire meal. One of them is Plated. I had a chance to try the Plated service a few months ago and their recipe for pork chops with apple salsa and tostones has since become a regular part of my repertoire.
The general idea is this: the nice people at Plated FedEx you a box full of ingredients (also, ice packs) and a recipe card. They change up their menu of recipes every week and most everything on it is looks and sounds delicious. Also, they now ship to 80% of the continental United States. My box included: a pork loin, an apple, an onion, an orange, a plantain, salt, chili powder, and a little bottle of agave syrup. The resulting dish was great. The tostones were especially great.
It’s possible that there’s some way to do the math so that making a few Plated meals each week is budget friendly, but I haven’t done that particular math. Each “plate” is priced at $15 (or $12 if you opt to pay the monthly membership fee), with a mandatory minimum order of 2 plates per recipe. Meaning that the ingredients in my pictures would have cost $30 (or $24) had I not been trying Plated as part of a free promotion. I would guess that you could buy everything you need for these pork chops for less than $20 at the grocery store (unless you’re buying really fancy pork). The markup is the price of not having to grocery shop, of not having to even think about grocery shopping, and of having everything delivered right to your doorstep, in perfect little portions, in a box with a cute logo.
And that’s the other thing. The box. Or not so much the box as the idea of the box. Who has a life that allows them to be home to accept deliveries of boxes full of perishable food? Not I. That said, I can think of lots of people for whom Plated would be perfect. Namely, my mother circa 1993 - 2003 (the bulk of my childhood). If you have a lifestyle that Plated might suit, I recommend you give it a try. It’s a fun change from the normal cooking routine. I’ll be living through you vicariously, until my life settles down.