So, you’re thinking about having meals delivered to your home? Where do you start? The number of services ballooned during the pandemic when many of us were stuck at home. Below is a list of the best meal delivery services.
If you’re still on the fence about trying a meal delivery service, not to worry. None of the following options require any type of ongoing commitment. So, you can try it week to week to see if you like it. If you are too busy or out of town, skip a week or two. And, if you want to switch and try another company, you can cancel at any time without penalty.
Another benefit of using this type of service is that it reduces food waste. In many cases, the portions are pre-measured for one or two people. As a result, it reduces food waste by as much as 25% compared to grocery shopping.
Meal Delivery Services
Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe-style meal kit delivery service. The company delivers weekly boxes with the necessary ingredients, pre-sized portions, and recipes to customers across the United States. Their goal is to make cooking fun and help you eat healthy along the way.
- Meal Options: Currently, their menu selection includes well-balanced meal types such as meat, fish, Beyond meat, vegetarian, health-conscious, and even diabetes-friendly. Overall, they offer more than 50 weekly meals.
- Portion Sizes: Designed for portion control and to reduce waste, sizes are set to feed two to four people.
- Packaging: All of the product’s packaging can be recycled and the ice packs are reusable.
- Ingredients: Blue Apron ingredients include fresh produce, sustainable seafood, and exclusive spice blends. However, all of their ingredients are not certified organic.
- Prep-Time: Based on their current menu of plans, the average prep-time range is from 25 minutes to as much as 55 minutes.
Visit the Blue Apron site.
Daily Harvest is a little bit different than the other companies on this list. The company started out as primarily a smoothie company. However, they quickly expanded to offer other types of food options including healthy bowls, flatbread pizza, snack bites, tasty desserts, and more. Their smoothies are filled with a diverse menu of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I’ve been a subscriber for over a year now and I am very satisfied with their products. I buy one of every type of smoothie they offer to ensure that I get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the month.
The only negative is their products sometimes arrive damaged. However, I’m not sure if Daily Harvest is to blame, or UPS.
To sign up, go to the Daily Harvest website and enter the code RE-76HLE6G. You’ll get $35.00 off your first order.
Green Chef allows you to choose from a variety of more than 30 culinary options, curated with organic ingredients. Green Chef is the first USDA-certified organic meal kit company.
- Meal Options: Currently, their menu selection includes meal types such as Keto & Paleo, Balanced Living, and Plant-Powered with veggie and vegan dishes.
- Portion Sizes: Choose from portion sizes designed to feed two to four people.
- Packaging: Everything comes in eco-friendly packaging with recyclable materials. Also, the contents are insulated so they remain fresh during the shipping and delivery process.
- Ingredients: All of the ingredients are organic, which means they don’t have any GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics. In addition, they prep and measure the ingredients, so all you have to do is unpack and cook.
- Prep-Time: On average, you can go from unpacking to eating in less than 30 minutes.
Visit the Green Chef website.
Home Chef is a well-established ingredient and recipe program. You can set it up for weekly delivery, or purchase certain items at your local Kroger grocery store.
- Meal Options: Options include carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and vegetarian. They offer a weekly, rotating menu of more than 30 meals. Plus, Home Chef offers salads!
- Portion Sizes: Designed to feed one to four people.
- Packaging: Packaging is on par with the others.
- Ingredients: Home Chef offers a broad range of menu categories such as meat-based, vegetarian, and carb/calorie-conscious options. Also, they have a somewhat unique “without” selection, which allows members to order dining without certain elements. For example, you can order without nuts, milk, soy, or wheat. Surely, this is a nice option if you have any sensitivities.
- Prep-Time: Prep time ranges from quick and easy 5-minute meals to as many as 60-minute culinary masterpieces.
Notably, Home Chef allows you to customize your box, to a certain extent. For example, you can double-up on protein, or swap the protein for a particular meal. Visit the Home Chef website.
Hungryroot is a grocery delivery service that offers more than 100 products. Based on feedback from members, customers save an average of $22 per order compared to a trip to the supermarket.
- Meal Options: They offer a selection of fresh produce, meat, seafood, plant-based proteins, grains, and pasta. Also, they offer bread and bakery items, dairy, eggs, sauces, dressing, and dips. Plus, they have a selection of beverages, snacks, and sweets.
Visit the Hungryroot website.
Marley Spoon is a meal delivery service offered by Martha Stewart. The service offers a wide variety of meal kits (almost 30) with quality seasonal ingredients curated by actual chefs. Specialty options include family-friendly, vegetarian, and even low-carb. The kits include pre-portioned ingredients that are ready to prepare in 30 minutes or less.
The service got off to a rocky start when winter weather disrupted the power grid in Texas. As a result, deliveries were lost, arrived late, and boxes were damaged. The social media backlash was harsh. As a new customer who experienced this first-hand, I have to say that this is not what I expected from Martha Stewart. However, Marley Spoon handled the matter well and the service is now above normal.
- How it Works: Choose from almost 30 different meal options to be delivered to your door on a weekly basis.
- What’s in the box: The chilled box includes all of the ingredients to store and prepare your meals. Also, easy-to-follow instructions (usually six steps) including photos walk you through the preparation of the meals. We keep our favorite recipe cards for future use!
- Packaging: Uses sustainable packaging, so everything is recyclable or reusable. Visit the Marley Spoon website to learn more.
If the most important thing to you is taste, you can’t go wrong here. We tried about half of the selections on the menu and would rate all as good to excellent.
Misfits Markets offer a broad selection of organic produce and sustainable products for regular delivery. The company helps fight food waste by selling food that can’t be sold in grocery stores. Grocery stores reject fruits and veggies that are too big, too small, oddly shaped, or have superficial differences. Misfits Market steps in and purchases that food directly from the source. Then, they resell them to you at a considerable discount.
- Meal Options: Variety.
- Portion Sizes: Variety.
- Packaging: Sustainable.
- Ingredients: Varies based on product.
- Prep-Time: Varies based on product.
If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll receive a code for a $7.50 discount on your first order.
For more information, visit the Misfits Market website.
SunBasket positions itself as a “healthy meal delivery service for any lifestyle”. Overall, the service is just like any of the others. However, several things set SunBasket apart.
- Meal Options: A wide variety of meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts. Notably, they let you swap out the protein on some meals. So, if you’d rather have pork than chicken, you can make the switch during the menu selection process. Of course, you can’t do this in every case, but it is nice to have the flexibility. Also, it is worth noting that SunBasket offers a variety of snacks in individual servings. Honestly, this is a nice extra when you need to quickly piece together a lunch box.
- Portion Sizes: They have portion sizes available to serve either one or two people. It is important to note that many of the others don’t have individual serving options.
- Packaging: All of the packaging materials are sustainable and can either be recycled or reused.
- Ingredients: The majority of the ingredients are organic.
- Prep-Time: Preparation time varies based on the type of meal, but ranges from three to 30 minutes. For example, their Fresh & Ready option comes in microwaveable wooden bowls. They come ready to pop in the microwave and eat in just three minutes. In addition, they have full meal kits that are either “speedy”, “pre-prepped”, or “classic cooking”, which is a full kit.
For more information, visit the SunBasket website (use this link to get a $40 discount).
Thrive Market is a little different than the others. It operates more like an organic grocery store. In fact, their online catalog offers a selection of more than 6,000 products, curated especially for members. And, the products aren’t limited to just food. They also carry supplements, bath and body items, and home stuff. Conveniently, as a member, you can personalize the delivery schedule according to your personal preferences. Plus, you can easily add or remove items, skip a delivery, or pause your subscription at any time.
- Packaging: Offers carbon-neutral shipping.
Visit the Thrive Market site to learn more.
Summary of Ratings
|Menu Selection||Prep Time||Taste||Price||Delivery|
|Blue Apron||Good||30 – 50 nin||Good||Average||Good|
|Green Chef||Good||30 min||Good||Average||Good|
|Daily Harvest||Excellent||<10 min||Excellent||High||OK|
|Home Chef||Good||5 – 30+ min||Good||Average||Good|
Other options I’m considering
I haven’t had a chance to try these yet. I’ll write a review if/when I do:
- Farmbox Direct – Provides all-natural produce.
- Freshly – Another meal-based provider with over 40 dishes to choose from. Freshly meals are sent to you fresh and all you have to do is heat them. The only negative is they are light on vegetarian and plant-based options.
- Hello Fresh – Offers a menu of more than 50 items with pre-measured ingredients. Plans include 15-minute meals and quick lunches.
Discounts, Coupons, and Promo Codes
If you’re looking for a coupon, discount, or promo code, all of the services provide some form of savings offer, especially for first-time customers. In most cases, all you have to do is visit the site and you’ll be prompted to receive the code. Or, all you have to do is provide an email address and they’ll send it to you.
Currently, the most popular offer includes $90 off across your first four boxes. For example, one of the services provides $90 off. This gives you $36 off the first box, a $20 discount on the second, a $15 reduction on the third, and then you save $10 off the fourth. Not a bad way to ease into it!
Food Delivery Services
If you just want to have your groceries picked up and delivered to your home, there are a number of reliable and affordable options.