Lately I feel like there have been an abundance of commercials for home meal delivery services. Services that deliver a box of fresh, pre-portioned food and recipes right to your doorstep. I wanted to try them out, so…I tried 6 home meal delivery services, and I’m sharing what I thought and a comparison of the different services.
With life being so busy (you can see what’s been going on in my faves & life lately post) – between work and just life in general, I was starting to really feel like I was in a cooking rut. I didn’t even want to think about what to make for dinner, I had zero inspiration, zero time to go to the grocery store, and zero motivation. When I kept hearing all the commercials for meal delivery services, I thought I’d look into them and give them a try. There are so many different companies out there! I made a list of all the different ones I wanted to try out, and each week tried a different service.
Here are some of the pros and cons, and at the bottom of the post I share a comparison chart to give an overview.
- Loved that there were lots of meals to choose from
- Lots of delivery day options which is always nice
- Absolutely LOVE that besides the designated meal plans you can add additional meals (so if the plan is 3 meals for a family of 4, if that week you want 4 or 5 of the meals, you can add them on and not change your plan!)
- One can add on breakfast/fruit/smoothie/premium meals which is nice
- Food is really tasty – their flatbreads or meatball options, whenever I see them on the menu I order them because they’re so good
- A binder came with the first order so that one could put all the recipes in the binder
- Definitely most flexibility if you’re a family of 2, 4 or 6 or if there are vegetarians, you don’t have to completely change plans, you can choose vegetarian options
- All the ingredients for a recipe were in a bag
- The food is so good, I got my sister hooked on this service after she tried two other services. They have the most ‘family-friendly’ meals too (meaning menu items that I think the whole family would enjoy!)
- I wrote another post about Home Chef and meal delivery for special occasions (like for example for Valentines Day!)
- Their website was a little difficult to figure out at first (I had to email them to ask about how to ‘skip/pause’ weeks)
- The shipping vessel this comes in is the coolest thing ever, my husband loved that they come and pick up the vessel/box so that it is very recycling friendly and there’s no empty boxes/trash to deal with
- The organization of the ingredients is amazing
- Ingredients have expiration dates on them which I really liked
- One can choose from 30 different recipes, all with varying prices
- One can add salads/smoothies/proteins/pastas and snacks
- Meals were very delicious
- Loved the minimal prep- everything was chopped/ready to go
- A little on the pricey side with meals varying from $10.99 per person per meal to $18.99
- I wish they’d change the recipes/meal options more often
- All organic (the other organic meal service people LOVE is Sun Basket, I’ve gotten so many comments about them and they’re allergy/diet friendly!)
- Meals came with sauces that were already made and were really tasty
- Minimal prep, only had to chop 1 or 2 things per recipe
- Loved the way the food/recipe cards were labeled and color coded, it made it very easy to know which items to use
- Meals were done (start to finish including prep) in 30 minutes
- Didn’t like that one couldn’t swap out meals/recipes. You choose a plan and then are just sent the designated meals
- Online system doesn’t show more than two weeks in advance upcoming meals
- This could be a pro or con – the portion sizes were huge. Each meal for 2 we ended up having leftovers for a 3rd meal.
- We waited 4 days to make one of the recipes – veggie burgers- the arugula and kale were rotten. Contacted customer service and they immediately apologized and gave a credit on our account.
- The food tasted really good
- Appropriate serving sizes, no extra portions
- Liked that one could choose between a few meals
- Lots of chopping/prep work
- Lots of dishes/utensils required
- Lots of making sauces/different components of the dish
- Missing key ingredients (emailed their customer service and they immediately apologized and gave me a credit on our account.)
- Cooking instructions/times were wrong on 2 of the 3 recipes (example 6 minutes to cook an entire chicken breast – it was still raw on the inside)
- Cooking times varied and the dishes took a lot longer than expected to make, one 30 minute expected time ended up taking close to 50 minutes from start to finish.
- A lot of leftover ingredients (example: sent whole head of garlic when all one needs is 1 clove)
- Really liked that all the ingredients for a particular recipe came in a box with all the ingredients for that recipe
- Unique flavor combinations
- One can choose different meal options, but there’s not a lot of flexibility between plans (if you want a family plan, there are only a few options, same with the vegetarian plan, there are only three options, and one can’t get a vegetarian meal with other meat meals)
- Liked that the meal options include a breakfast one
- All the food was tasty
- Easy directions to follow
- The website is as not as easy to use as other ones, but once one knows where everything is it gets easier
- There are not a lot of options on some of the plans (for example, if you want a family plan and have 3 meals, there’s only 5 to choose from) versus if you’re on a 2 person plan, there’s like 6+ meals to choose from.
- They have the same meals very frequently so it gets difficult to find options you haven’t tried
- Loved the flexibility of the plans (you can chose 2-7 meals per person per week)
- The food was by far my favorite of all the services, I literally kept two of the recipe cards to make again and there were SO MANY TASTY options!
- If you’re an adventurous eater, this is the plan for you!
- You can add on dessert, I did and we loved it
- All the ingredients for one recipe were in one bag which was really nice
- Loved that they sent aluminum/throw away pans for items needing to be baked
- I used ingredients I never would have tried, really unique menu items
- Didn’t like that you had to use your own eggs (example, if a recipe called for eggs or oil, they do not provide it. Oil is understandable, but I thought they should not assume I have eggs on hand).
- Some of the flavor combinations/meal options are a little out there. My sister tried this one and ended up switching to Home Chef because her husband just did not like the menu options.
After writing this post, I got a lot of questions about meals that are already made (cooked) or servings for one. I tried a service called The Good Kitchen – they do fully prepared farm to table meals. They’re fresh meals, but you can put them in the freezer when you get them to extend the shelf life. I’ve gotten these meals several times now, and they’re super good!! The meals were really delicious, albeit a little pricey. I emailed them and they’re offering SweetPhi readers 15% off on their first order using code PHI15.
Also, after writing this post and reading the comments, Sun Basket is really loved by a lot of people. It’s all organic and the meals look super tasty-I have it on my calendar to try next month. Use this link to get $35 off Sun Basket meals!
I also tried Martha & Marley Spoon after writing this review. It is Martha Stewart’s meal delivery program. The food is good, very family friendly. I liked that some of the recipes are from Martha’s cookbooks.
If you’re interested in home meal delivery services, the right one is out there for you!
I was pleasantly surprised that each and every one of the services I tried offered a ‘first time customer’ discount of some kind. I do need to mention -this post is not sponsored by any of the companies I mentioned in any way. I paid for all the services myself (some have referral programs where if you order using my code or special link, you’ll get a discount and I’ll get some kind of credit for future orders or a small amount from your first order.) All opinions are mine alone and based on my experience.
Funny thing is, without even looking at the graph, my favorite service was Home Chef and a close second was Plated (they have dessert options)! Both had seemingly the best options and the least amount of dishes! For healthy, organic and very dietary needs accommodating (if you’re gluten-free/etc.) my favorite was Sun Basket.
Have you ever tried home meal delivery services? What did you think?
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