Personal Chef for Meal Prep

chef leslie chartier

Meal prep services allow you to receive packaged ingredients prepared and ready for cooking based on a given recipe. Several companies now offer meal kits – prepped meal packages delivered to your doorstep for weekly meals. Each meal kit costs a set price per serving and will contain all the ingredients you need to cook and enjoy that meal you love without having to go grocery shopping or prepping the ingredients.

If you can afford it, hire a personal chef for in-home cooking instead. In this case, a chef will handle the meal prep and do the cooking for a fee.

Why Hire a Personal Chef for Meal Prep?

If you have a busy schedule and just don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food for you or/and your family, then hiring a personal chef for meal prep could be just what the doctor ordered.  Speaking of doctors, you also may be incapable of preparing a meal because of injury or health issues. This is an opportune time to hire a person chef.

A personal chef will design a perfect menu for your meals after consulting with you on the dietary needs of your family. The chef will even make the necessary grocery store runs to make sure all ingredients have been obtained before beginning to create great meals. Even better still, the personal chef will clean up afterwards if the meal preparation is done in-home.

why hire personal chef for meal prep

So, why hire a personal chef for meal preparation?

  • The personal chef prepares your complete meals
    • Meals prepared by a professional
    • You don’t have to prepare meals
    • Saves you time
  • The chef will consult with you on dietary needs and what you like and dislike
  • The personal chef is responsible for going to the market and buying groceries
    • Chef gets all the ingredients for meal prep
  • Meals will consistently taste good and not just when you’ve done a good job following directions
  • The chef cleans up so no messy kitchen cleanup for you
  • Your family will be happier and eat healthier meals

What does a private chef cost?

A private chef’s costs vary depending on location and type of one-off event for which you hire them. Most private chefs will charge $35 for a meal for a family of four and $85 per person for a buffet.

A private chef for a dinner party will cost you from $125 per person and $250 per person for dinner and wine pairings. A private chef will cost you between $2,500 and $3,150 per month. That is how much it costs to have someone just cook for you. In most cases, the chef will prepare the dinner, plate it and clean the kitchen. Add groceries and other benefits and the cost comes to $60,000-120,000 per year.

How much does a private chef cost for one night?

The cost of a private chef for one night will depend on your guest list. The average costs, as noted above, are $35 to $85, but can rise to $125+ per person. To hire a private chef for a day, you’d pay $500-600 for them to do groceries and prepare two meals, including a cocktail.

personal chef meal prep

Do you tip a private chef?

Yes, you can tip a private chef. However, the chef doesn’t expect to be tipped as they generally cater to that in their overall cost of service.

Do personal chefs need a license?

Yes, a personal chef needs a business license to operate a food business. In some cases, one may also need to have a catering license.


How does a chef get licensed?

Apart from kitchen experience, formal culinary school qualifications can see you get the necessary certifications. Once you have the necessary chef certifications. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the United States Chef Association are two of the bodies you can apply for certification. You should then seek a food handler’s safety permits as well as apply for a chef’s license.

Do personal chefs charge sales tax?

Yes, personal chefs are required by law to charge sales tax. Realize that as a chef you will be dealing with prepared food paid for by clients. This is a taxable event and attracts retail sales tax. Find out from your local tax office what taxes apply to your chef business.

How Do I Make Packed Lunch for a Week?

When meal prepping for a week and want to have packed lunch, you need to pay attention to a few considerations to ensure you get it right. One of the first things to do is to plan for the lunches before you start packing them. While meal prepping and looking to pack lunch for a week, incorporate these tips:

Tips on packing lunch for a week

  • have enough containers
  • use simple recipes
  • choose to repeat a few of the lunch components
  • freeze some of the food items like yogurt, apple sauce, and cooked edamame
  • pack lunch for the day of the week depending on how long it’s likely to last
  • don’t overfill lunch boxes
  • separate wet food items from dry ones

packed lunch for the week

How Do I Make a Family Meal Plan?

meal planning
If you want to make a meal plan for the family, begin by focusing on one meal at a time. For example, instead of three meals a day, choose dinner only.
Follow these steps to help meal prep for a week:

  • Begin by assembling a list of recipes your family loves and trust.
  • Sort and alternate the recipes by food type – ensure no proteins, for example, occur two evenings in a row.
  • Make a list of the ingredients needed for each recipe.
  • Consolidate your requirements so that you have something like “brown rice- 4 cups” or “ground beef: 1 lb.”
  • Find out what you already have in the house and remove or reduce accordingly on the list. You can also substitute ingredients if you have one and not the other.
  • Make a final list of ingredients that need buying at the store
  • Hang the menu plan somewhere every family member can access it.

How Do I Plan Meals for the Week on a Budget?

One of the things most people want to master is how they can meal prep cheaply. It doesn’t matter if it’s for an individual or the whole family. You don’t have to incur huge costs when meal prepping for a week. Here are three tips to consider

  • make things simple — do not go for fancy recipes
  • focus on dinners – suppers and dinners usually take most in ingredients and time
  • plan to eat a meal more than once- if it’s chicken, prepare enough to go with veggies, fried rice and so forth. This way you save on groceries and time.

budget meal planning

What is the Difference Between a Personal and Private Chef?

Personal chefs work independently and serve several clients, cooking for and serving them meals on specific days. Private chefs, on the other hand, are employed by one individual or family. The private chef cooks and serves meals for the one family and is paid a salary. The personal chef charges for their services per person or per hour.

What is the cheapest meal prep service?

A factor many people put on the table regarding meal prep services is cost. Deciding on the cheapest meal prep service might depend on what price you are willing to pay for the meal kits. Though relatively a new idea, competition means that most of the subscription options on offer are competitively priced.  Here are three top meal prep services.

  • Home Chef

Home Chef pricing starts at $6.99 per serving. It has both dinner and breakfast offerings and you can choose 10+ meals a week. 

  • HelloFresh

HelloFresh meals start at $8.99. The company offers pre-chopped or pre-cut ingredients.

  • Blue Apron

The charges per serving/person $9.99, but reduce with the number of people and meals per week.  Meals kits cost $8.99 for four people and two meals per week. Four people and three meals a week will be $7.99 and $7.49 if it’s for four people and four meals per week.

The biggest issue with these kinds of meal preparation companies is taste and quality.

Is paying for meal prep worth it?

Paying for a meal kit or meal prep service may be more expensive than when you cook from home using groceries and ingredients readily available. However, if you are to buy every ingredient and prepare the same meal, then having a meal kit becomes cheaper. Meal prep services are worth the cost to you as it makes planning for weekly meals easier and convenient. Services like Home Chef and Blue Apron deliver all the ingredients for the week – measured and readied as per your recipe.

Most of the meal prep companies offer menus that take care of various dietary needs. You can thus choose from recipes that offer diabetes-friendly or gluten-free food.

Other reasons why paying for meal prep services may be worth it:

  • Meal kits make it easy for anyone seeking to explore new food items and recipes
  • Detailed instructions improve your cooking skills
  • Marked reduction in food wastage

Are meal kits cheaper than buying groceries?

The average cost of a meal kit is $10 per serving, though prices may be slightly higher or lower depending on meal plans and recipes. If you have all the ingredients at home, cooking your own meal may appear cheaper than ordering a meal kit. However, if you need to purchase all the groceries needed to make a premium meal, then ordering a meal kit becomes a cheaper option.

Food wastage is another factor that makes meal kits cheaper than buying groceries to cook your own food. On average, people trash 20% of food because it was “too much” according to the USDA. Potential wastage is just 7% for meal kits, with people likely to eat everything they cook using a meal kit.

Considering this factor, you can easily spend more on buying groceries than the average $10 per serving.

Why are meal kits so popular?

Meal kits have become so popular due to the overall benefit of convenience that people get. Meal kits are helping most people save time on meal prepping, removing that hassle of grocery shopping. Other than that, meal kits offer all the right ingredients and cooking instructions to make it easy for people to try out new food items.

Is HelloFresh cheaper than grocery shopping?

If you consider the cost of a meal per person, having a meal prep service from Hello Fresh is cheaper. It costs $9.99 per serving and that would be $19.98 for 1 meal for two people. If you did grocery shopping, you are likely to buy food items worth $50 to prepare a meal for two people or $25 per serving. What this means is that you could save up to $30 when you use HelloFresh.

Is Home Chef cheaper than grocery store?

Meals at Home Chef will start at $6.99 per serving, with most meals priced at $9.99. As with other meal prep services, Home Chef is proving to be cheaper than going to the grocery store for the same ingredients. At Home Chef, costs for a meal for two people would be $19.98. However, you are likely to spend around $49.30 to have the same ingredients at a grocery store. Savings of up to $29 makes Home Chef cheaper than the grocery store.

Personal Chef for Meal Prep: The Bottom Line

weekly mean plan

If you are simply looking for the cheapest way to not cook, any of the in-home meal prep companies may work for you. 

But, if you want delicious and healthy meals made for you by a professional, get your weekly meals prepared by the personal chef for meal prep, Leslie Chartier of The Travelling Cafe.

Meal Prep Service