Best Meal Delivery Services
As a busy working mom of two I am always looking for ways to save time while still keeping my family healthy with home cooked food. I tried ready-to-eat diet deliveries and right away understood that it’s not for me or my kids. They don’t taste right, are full of chemicals and preservatives, and are definitely not for kids.
My next step was trying meal kit deliveries and I definitely had more luck here. This is something I can do all the time – get fresh ingredients and a step-by-step recipe, which I have to cook at my convenience. I admit that I am not an adventurous cook, so in addition to no need for shopping I get all kinds of ideas for fancy meals with various recipes offered. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with this type of service.
So far I have tried three companies, Hello Fresh, Home Chef, and Blue Apron. While they all are much better than any frozen or dry diet meal, one in particular is better than others. Before I get to that, it’s worth saying that all three companies offer almost identical services and all are very good.
All three companies are flexible with meals and with pausing or cancelling the account. It’s not really a subscription service in a way that you have to select the quantity of meals for each week and choose how many people this will be served to. You can pick whatever meals you like and reduce or increase your order each week. You can substitute ingredients, skip something, and double up on your desired protein.
The price is similar for all the companies and comes to an average of about $8.99 per person. You have to take many variables into account when comparing prices – discounts, special deals, meals per week, meals for single person vs. family of four, and the type of meals. The more you order, the less it costs, which means that ordering for 4 people 4 times per week will be cheaper than ordering for 2 people twice per week.
On average, Hello Fresh costs about $11.50 per person for 2 people and $10.75 for a family plan.
Blue Apron costs $9.99 per portion for 2 people and Home Chef is $9.95 per serving. Home Chef offers free shipping for orders over $45, which is all of their plans, except for the cheapest one - 2 meals for 2 people per week.
My favorite of all was Home Chef and for a few reasons. First, I was always impressed with the quality of products. As many times as I ordered, which was quite many, I have never received anything that was wilting or not fresh. There were times when I couldn’t get to cooking for 3 weeks, and still all the ingredients stayed fresh and crisp. Raw meat had to be frozen, of course, and everything else refrigerated, but still, I was impressed.
Second, the company really cares about the environment and packs everything in as few plastic bags as possible and then everything is inside a fully recyclable insulated box. Another company that does that is Hello Fresh.
Blue Apron has lots of space for improvement – they pack their ingredients in separate plastic bags and bulky egg holders for 2 eggs at a time, even if they all go to one recipe.
Home Chef has the best looking recipes, in my opinion. They all come with three punched holes, so I can easily start a folder and keep them organized.
The pictures look best of all others, step-by-step directions are very clear, and all the needed nutritional information is displayed right there together with prep and cook times and the level of cooking skills required.
Blue Apron, for example, has a separate page with nutritional information, which I find less convenient. All three companies suggest the best wine to go with the meal, which is very nice.
The rest of the stuff is similar – cook time, level of difficulty, vegetarian options, and the list of things that should be on hand, such as pots and pans, oil, salt, and pepper.
One thing they all lack, in my opinion, is organic options. Hopefully that’s coming in the future!
All in all, I would always choose Home Chef, because it’s the best of them all, even if by a small margin. I rely on them for weeks when I am very busy and simply have no time to do grocery runs.
For that I thank you, Home Chef!