Cooking can be a hassle, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to meal delivery services. Brands like HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and Chefs Plate are here to help home cooks handle the stress of the kitchen. But with a huge number of services available, it can be hard to know which delivery kit you should choose. In this review, we break down some of the most popular meal kits available today.
Why Should I Choose a Meal Kit Service?
The biggest perks of using a meal kit service are convenience and deliciousness. Once you sign up with a service, you use their website to select meals for the week and choose a convenient time for the company to drop off the delivery. With that done, your grocery shopping is also magically complete. Even better, many services pre-portion ingredients so that you don’t waste leftovers or have to get out the measuring cups and tablespoons. It saves you time while cooking—but also avoids additional dishes. Win, win.
Meal kit services can be a life-saver for busy families and people trying to eat healthier while juggling a hectic schedule. The services provide nutritious meals with healthy vegetables and grains, plus some come with recipe cards that you can keep and use again, even without a subscription.
What Are the Cons?
Something to consider before ordering meal kits is waste. Eco-conscious consumers note that meal services come in a significant amount of packaging. While most of it is recyclable, a lot of the containers are plastic, instead of biodegradable materials. If you can reuse plastic containers or drop them off at a facility, go for it! But if those options aren’t available to you and you’re concerned about the environment, keep this in mind.
Cost is another factor. While most companies have enticing coupons for first-time customers, after that, meal kits cost about $8-$10 per meal, with “Premium” meals costing more. Using a more expensive service for every dinner of the week, especially for a large family, can add up. However, most services let customers cancel deliveries and skip weeks at any time. You can easily opt out whenever you choose.
Which Meal Kit Should I Purchase?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here are three popular meal kit services to consider:
HelloFresh has made their name in the meal kit service game with inexpensive, delicious dinners. Their website is easy to use, allowing customers to select from a variety of meals, skip weeks whenever necessary, and cancel at any time. One added perk is that HelloFresh includes physical recipe cards that you can stash in a folder and make again and again—even if you end up canceling your subscription.
HelloFresh customers should definitely look for special offers. The brand has a strong record of giving their newly-minted home cooks great deals (introductory promotions, free meals for referring a friend, discounts for signing up for the company newsletter, and more).
With its high-quality ingredients, vast menu, and gourmet recipes, Blue Apron is an excellent option for cooks who want fine dining at home. The brand has a Premium line that includes paella, surf and turf, and more, though Blue Apron also provides a tempting roster of comforting recipes, like pasta and cheeseburgers. There’s truly something for everyone.
Their broad catalog of recipes easily accommodates tricky dietary preferences, in case vegetarians and pescetarians are worried about feeling left out. Plus, like its competitors, Blue Apron has flexible plans that let you skip weeks or cancel the service at any time. Why not give it a shot?
With its Family Friendly line of guaranteed winners, Chefs Plate is the busy parent’s dream come true. This meal kit delivery service focuses on tasty, healthy meals, most of which can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Meals cost about $10 per serving, but introductory offers and discounts can slash that price in half.
Plus, the service happily accommodates vegetarian customers with a wide variety of delicious, meat-free meals. Chefs Plate’s diverse weekly menu features 15 dinners to choose from, with everything from healthy yet delicious salads to decadent pasta. Customers are virtually guaranteed to find options they like.