Retiring in Georgia: 6 tips for picking the best meal plan for you

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Shopping for and preparing a meal can be a chore at any age and can be especially true for seniors. If you’re cooking for just one, you might find it not worth the effort and end up reaching for a frozen meal instead. Or you may not mind cooking but would like some inspiration and direction in knowing what meals to fix while avoiding most trips to the grocery store.

Fortunately, seniors can choose from many meal delivery and meal kit delivery services to make their lives easier and provide them with healthy meals.

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Check out the following six tips to help you choose a meal plan:

Consider your dietary needs.

Many seniors have chronic health issues that require following specific dietary plans in order to best control them. If this applies to you, health considerations can be a big reason to choose meal or meal-kit delivery services since they usually offer a plan that caters to your needs, according to health.usnews.com. You can find reduced-calorie options as well as those that are low-sodium, heart-healthy and more. You’ll also be able to find gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian selections.

Learn what the plan offers and how many meals/snacks you’ll need.

You may decide that you need every meal covered by a service. On the other hand, you may still enjoy cooking some meals or may prefer to go out to eat occasionally. That’s why theseniorlist.com suggests making sure the plan you choose can accommodate the number and frequency of meals and snacks that you’ll need.

Decide whether you want a meal or meal kit delivery.

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If you’d still like to cook your meals, a meal kit delivery service can offer convenience, seniorlink.com says. You can choose the plans and kits you like and will be able to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store and trying to figure out what to fix for dinner. Instead of starting from scratch, you’ll be sent ingredients and recipes.

Figure how the plan works into your budget.

Make sure you understand exactly how the meal plan’s fees work and how much it will cost you, including any delivery fees that may apply. Meals average around $12 each, so if you’re ordering one for one person six days a week, you’ll pay around $72, according to theseniorlist.com. The cost will rise, of course, if you add more meals and snacks to your plan. And you’ll also need to understand if a contract is required, and if so, how long you’ll be committing to the meal plan.

Check to see how others liked the plan.

Look for online reviews for each plan you’re considering and pay attention to the specifics of the positive and negative comments. Ask friends if they have subscribed to any of these services and how they liked them.

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Look at the recipes and instructions for meal kit services.

If you’re considering a meal kit service, pcmag.com recommends looking on the service’s website to see a recipe and instructions. Do they have instructions that line up with the amount of work you’d like to do, and do they just require adding basics that you always have? Or will you find yourself frequently needing a kitchen appliance that you don’t have?