It’s that time of year again. Meal kit ubiquity has hit an all time high, and home cooks across the city are seemingly spoiled for choice when it comes to new subscriptions. Meal kits are a great way to get a consistent home-cooked meal. But let’s be honest: these dinners aren’t impressing anyone while you eat in front of the TV waiting for the pandemic to be over.

But more frustratingly it all just seems to be… the same. Same deals. Same recipes. Same ice packs. Same ads of vegetables artfully posed around a cardboard box.

This sea of sameness comes from a cookie-cutter business model, where ingredients are shipped from a factory, repackaged, and then shipped directly to your door. Meal kits all rely on long-term subscriptions to break even, and just like a cable TV provider they are kind of hoping you’ll be too lazy to cancel.

So in order to undo the shortcomings of meal kit homogeneity, it will take an undoing of the core business model itself. And that’s exactly what Housemade has done. A meal kit by the chefs that brought us Just Salad, the service uses the restaurant’s many locations for prep and fulfillment. And that one little change makes a big difference. Here are some of the ways that Housemade is taking the uniformity out of meal kits.

No Commitment

Because Housemade is operated out of Just Salad restaurants, they do not rely on long-term subscriptions or minimum orders. Customers can now choose from single or multiple serving meal options and have it delivered in about an hour. That means no more scheduling meals two weeks in advance, or forgetting to cancel that subscription you haven’t used in weeks. And the one serving option means you’re not committed to leftovers if you’re living alone.

Housemade comes from a restaurant, so you can feel confident knowing you'll be enjoying delicious meals made with fresh, restaurant quality ingredients that are prepared in house every day.

No Prep

Most meal kits make you pay $15 for the privilege of chopping an onion. It’s almost like they’re using “learning to cook” as an excuse not to do the hard part. At Housemade, the line chefs take care of what they do best––slicing and dicing. That way customers can stick to the fun part of putting it all in one pan and making the magic happen. All of their meals can be assembled and ready for Instagram in 10-15 minutes.

No Plastic

One of the biggest complaints of the mail order model is the excessive use of packaging and freezer bags. But because Housemade comes by courrier, they can skip all that literal garbage. In fact, Housemade uses 91% less packaging than the average mail order meal kit, and the minimal packaging they do use is either recyclable or compostable. That means no cardboard clutter, no ice packs, and nothing that goes to the landfill. The company also provides explicit disposal instructions on their recipe cards, and the product labels are water soluble. Seriously, they disappear after 15 seconds in running water.

Housemade is not another meal kit. It’s a meal kit the way it should be. Try it whenever at gethousemade.com.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Just Salad and Gothamist staff.