I Tried 5 Meal Delivery Services, and This 1 Was Clearly the Best
When I was a child, I never imagined how much of my life I would eventually spend just trying to feed myself as an adult. It turns out that planning a week of dinners, creating a shopping list, purchasing ingredients, and preparing meals takes a lot of time and energy.
Anticipating the birth of our first child (and thus, the sudden disappearance of our patience and free time), my husband and I decided now would be a good time to check out some meal delivery services. But which one? There are dozens of popular companies out there, all competing to send us prepackaged salmon for two and tiny labeled baggies of seasoning! It can be overwhelming, so I devised a plan to try five of the most popular services, using "first-time customer" discounts where I could, then canceling each plan ASAP after our first shipment. (I don't recommend this approach if you are forgetful — I had to set calendar reminders for myself.)
I settled on Sun Basket, Home Chef, Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. Some services were more focused on providing healthful meals for those with dietary restrictions, while others were more basic, catering to omnivores but providing vegetarian options. My husband and I have no allergies or specialized dietary needs; we just wanted to find a service that would reduce the mental, physical, and monetary load of daily meal prep.
Before I dive into specifics, note that while unique in their own ways, these services were all basically the same in practice. You select three meals per week (companies vary, and some have plans for two or four meals) from a range of options online, then you get a box on the same day each week. The box contains bags with fresh ingredients on top, then proteins separated down below. (Prepare yourself for lots of biodegradable ice packs.) Nearly everything you need is included, but you will need to chop produce and supply your own salt, pepper, and cooking oils.
Ahead, you'll find pricing information, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each service. Take my experience with a grain of salt; what counts as a con to me (too healthy, ew) may be a pro for you! A con all around, though? You'll still need to go to the grocery store every week for milk, eggs, toilet paper, and other basics.