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Meal Kit Subscriptions: List and Reviews


Moonhawk
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I've always appreciated the long detailed posts on different topics here, especially when I'm researching for a house purchase. Based off some of the recent dinner meal subscription threads, I've decided to take the plunge and try out some of the options. I had originally started a master list/stats/review for myself in Excel but then realized the Board may find it helpful, too.

I'll keep this master list (first post) updated with new companies, strike out of business, link to any reviews posted in the thread, etc. Any prices and specials I list are as of the day I added it. If you have a review on a company or meal or anything related, I would love to hear about it! I hope others find this helpful and I really hope others contribute here, too. If not, well, welcome to my journal of the search for the perfect box, lol.

Legend: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner, S=Snacks, Sw=Sweets. Gold bullets: mean nothing, idk why it's doing that!

 🥕Vegetarian/Vegan.        🥕🥕Vegetarian/Vegan ONLY.        🥩Keto/Paleo.     🐟Pescatarian.     👨‍👩‍👧‍👦FamilyOptions.        💪Health-focused.      🥡Reheat.       🍳Cooking.       ⏲️15-30minCooking.      🐄Dairy-FREE.      🌾Gluten-FREE       🌿Organic        📢Reviews.     🛒Add-ons          🌅Breakfast      ⚖️Weightloss

Some companies may offer options that I do not include in the writeup or the icons, or may change their offerings

Meal Subscriptions, in Alphabetical Order

  • BistroMD bistromd.com 💪 🌅 ⚖️
    • Doctor-designed meal delivery plan, focused on weight loss, offers B, L, D, S options. Programs organized by number of days and women/men options.
    • Programs starting at $98, averaging around $9/serving for the L+D program and $7 for the BLD option.
    • Newsletter signup special: 25% Off plus free shipping. 
  • Blue Apron blueapron.com 🥕👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🛒📢
    • One of the originals, wide variety of dinners, more involved cooking sometimes. Menu options are Signature, Vegetarian, and Signature for 4. Some of their meals are marked WW approved. 2,4 person options. "Market" and wine add-ons available.
    • Starting at $7.50/serving. $10 shipping.
    • Newsletter signup special: $80 off over first 4 boxes, search online for better limited-time deals
    • Reviews: sassenach, HomeAgain
  • Chef’s Plate cook.chefsplate.com  🥕 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 ⏲️
    • 3 meal plans available: Meat & Veg, Family Friendly, Vegetarian. Can choose 2, 4 people, 2-4 meals per week. Some of their meals are flagged as “15-min meal”. Marketing is focused on convenience and family friendly.
    • $9-10/serving, based on number of meals ordered. Free Shipping.
    • $244 off through first 4 boxes (including first two boxes at 55% off), offer on website. 
  • Cookunity cookunity.com   🥡
    • “Signature meals from award-winning chefs, delivered to your door.” These meals are pre-cooked by their chefs, you receive and reheat.
    • Doesn’t deliver to my area so can’t see pricing.
    • Newsletter offer: save 40% on your first order
  • Daily Harvest daily-harvest.com 🥡 🛒 💪
    • Frozen meals to be reheated, offers meals and smoothies and other replacement options (like almond milk). Focus on healthy. All single-serving options, no bulk/family, but you can order however many of one type you want.
    • Average price of $9/serving for meals, $8 for smoothies and soups, some other items at $6, at their “medium” box size.
    • Get up to $35 off your first order (depending on how many items you buy) Code: Welcome2021!
  • Dinnerly dinnerly.com 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🥕 ⏲️ 📢
    • “Fast, easy, tasty meals start at just $4.69 per person.” 2, 4 person options. 3-6 meals per week. Smaller boxes can be made to be vegetarian. They say the recipes are 5 simples steps. They don’t deliver to my location so I can’t more detailed meal options.
    • $5.89/serving for 2 persons @ 3 meals/week. $4.69/serving for 4 persons @ 6 meals/week. $8.99 shipping.
    • Search online for promo codes, they seem to change monthly.
    • Reviews: vonfirmath
  • EveryPlate everyplate.com/  👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🥕 ⏲️ 📢
    • One of the most economical I’ve found, typical American food that sometimes tries for ethnic flare. Most dinners include starches. Options for 2 or 4 people, 3 -5 meals a week. Dinner only.
    • $5.50/serving @ 4 people for 5 dinners/week.
    • Can search online for $1.99/serving on your first box. For $20 off, click my linkor PM me for a free week of meals.
    • Reviews: sassenach, Moonhawk
  • Green Chef greenchef.com 🥩 🥕 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 ⏲️ 📢
    • Bit more pricey, but more interesting meal options. Better options for different diet restrictions, they have menus for Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living, and Plant-Powered. Dinner options for 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 people, 3-4 meals per week. Dinner only.
    • Dinner for 6 @ 4 meals/week = $275 ($11.45/serving), plus 10$ shipping. 2 people @ 3 meals/week (smallest option) is $13/serving.
    • Can search online for 50% off first delivery. Or, click my link for $55 off your first box.
    • Reviews: Moonhawk, GoVanGogh
  • Kencko kencko.com
    • Smoothies. It’s a powder in a pack that you blend in, so it may not be really thick as much as a drink additive. Lots of flavors. They also do snack “gumdrops.”
    • 20 smoothies @ $2.99/ea; 30 @ $2.69/ea; 60 @ $2.49/ea
    • 3 for 2 deal: buy 2 months get 1 free.
  • Factor 75 factor75.com💪🥡 🥩 ⚖️ 
    • “Healthy, chef-prepared meals delivered right to your doorstep.” Precooked healthy meals, all you do is reheat. Chef’s choice, Keto, or calorie-smart meal plans. 4-18 meals per week.
    • $11-15 per serving, depending on how many meals/week.
    • $90 off your first 3 orders newsletter signup
  • Flex Pro Meals flexpromeals.com 💪 ⚖️
    • “The Amazon Prime of Meal Delivery” Order before 3pm EST, and it will ship same day, (Friday-Sunday orders ship on Monday). Two meal plans: Fat trimmer and Lean muscle.
    • $8.50 - $11.50/serving, depending on how many meals per order.
    • Search online for discount code for first order. For 50% off try code NATUREBOY
  • Freshly freshly.com💪 🥡
    • “Chef cooked, healthy meals delivered to you.” Fully cooked, you reheat. Plans range from 4-12 meals per week.
    • $8.50-11.50/serving depending on number of meals/week. Plus shipping.
    • Search online for discount codes.
  • Fresh Meal Plan freshmealplan.com/ 💪🥡 🥩 🥕
    • Offer traditional, paleo, keto, vegan, lean & mean, and a la carte menu options. Meals are ready, you refrigerate and reheat.
    • 6 meals a week @$12/meal, 10 @ $11/meal, 14 $ $10/meal. Plus shipping.
    • Coupons codes online, try FRESH62 for up to $62 off first 2 weeks of meals. -or- FRESH60 for 60% off your first order.
  • Fresh n Lean freshnlean.com 💪🛒 🥡 🥩 🥕 📢 🌅 ⚖️
    • Delivered ready to eat, just reheat. B, L, D, S options. Meal plans include Protein+, Keto, Whole 30 approved, Paleo, Vegan, Vegan Low Carb, and Bulk options.  Can order for 5 or 7 days.
    • Dinner for 5 days is $77.15 (15.43/serving). B+L+D for 7 days is $209.30 ($9.97/serving). (Keto plan example numbers)
    • $20 off if you give your phone number, popup when you try to leave the website.
    • Reviews: zimom
  • Fuel Meals https://www.fuelmeals.com 🛒 🥡 💪 🌅 ⚖️
    • Another one where it is pre-made, just reheat. Fitness-focused marketing. A la carte, Goal specific (choose sex, fitness goal and B/L/D meal types), and bulk plans available. 7 meal minimum per order. Can do a customized meal.
    • Starting at $8.95/serving, like a restaurant menu where it shows dish/price, $13.95 was highest option. Prices do not change with # ordered. Bulk option prices seem pretty reasonable, considering (eg White rice 1 lb @ $3.95, rice pilaf 1 lb @ $4.95).
    • Newsletter signup 20% off first order
  • Gobble gobble.com 🥕⏲️ 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 📢
    • 15 minute dinner kits. 3 menu options: Classic, Vegetarian, Lean & Clean. 2-4 people, 2-3 dinners/week.
    • $12/serving, plus $7 shipping
    • Get you first 6 meals for $36, offer on website. Or click my link for a 2 meals for $18 deal.
    • Reviews: Moonhawk
  • Hello Fresh hellofresh.com 🥕 ⏲️ 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🐟📢 ⚖️🛒
    • “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit”. 6 menu preferences: Meat & Veg, Veggie, Family Friendly, Calorie Smart, Quick & Easy, Pescatarian. 2-4 people and 2-6 recipes per week options. Add-ons available, featuring other brands like Annie's, Sargento, and fresh produce.
    • Starting at $7.50/serving, up to $12.50, depending on how many meals ordered. Plus $9 shipping.
    • Search online, can usually find 14 free meal deals (spread out over a few boxes)
    • Reviews: whitestavernsassenach
  • Home Chef homechef.com👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🥡 🍳 📢
    • These kits also found in select Frys/Kroger stores. 2 options: you prep and cook, or all the prep is done for you. 2, 4, 6 person options, 2-6 recipes per week.
    • Starting at $7/serving, goes up to $9, depends on how many meals ordered. $14 shipping. <— they say $7/serving on the website, but I can’t find an option when I play with the cart that goes under $8.
    • Can find coupon codes for $ off 4 boxes.
    • Reviews: Moonhawk (info post), Moonhawk (customer service only)
  • Hungry Root hungryroot.com 🛒 🐟 🥕 📢 🌅
    • Groceries plus recipes box. You can choose L & D meals, then “other groceries” for B, S, and Sw servings. B, L, D, S, Sw options. Can max out at  recipe 16 servings total/week. Meals seem to have Hungry Root branded ingredients and feature other brands also, such as Beyond Meat and Kite Hill.
    • 4 recipes @ 4 servings each = $8.50/serving. “Other grocery” options vary as add-ons.
    • 40% off + free gift in every delivery popup on website
    • Reviews: Farrar (info post)
  • Just Eat Clean justeatclean.com 💪 🌾
    • Focused on “freshest and best ingredients”, “grass-fed pasture-raised and wild caught whenever possible.” Gluten free, soy free, no refined sugars are how they tag their meals. Chef’s choice and a la carte meal types. 5, 10, 14 meal plans under Chef’s choice (you don’t choose the meals!).
    • Chef’s Choice: 5 meals at $84.75, 10 meals=$165, 14=$223. A la carte options are a little bit more (14=$237). Free shipping.
    • 25% discount on first order, offer on website
  • Marley Spoon marleyspoon.com
    • Martha Stewart affiliated.
    • Plan page wouldn’t load on multiple computers, will come back later.
    • Reviews: Farrar, sassenach
  • One Potato onepotato.com 🌿 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🥕 🌾
    • “Organic, pre-prepped ingredients and family friendly recipes with special child pricing delivered weekly.” D, Sw, and smoothies offered. 2-6 servings per meal, can customize types of people into categories of adults/teens/kids. Omnivore & Vegetarian preferences, Gluten-free and Nut-free options, and vegan options.
    • Average of $12.95/svg for adults, $4.50 for kids. I think teens are $9. I can’t see if this already applied a coupon code.
    • $80 off 4 boxes website offer code Get80. Try BTS50, can't see if this worked or not.
  • Pete's Paleo petespaleo.com 💪 🥡 🛒 🥩 🐄 🌾
    • Chef prepared meal, seasonal ingredients, pre-cooked, you reheat. Gluten, Dairy, Soy free. Paleo, Keto, AIP-friendly, and Low FODMAP meal plans. 5, 10, 14 meals, or 5@4 servings options. Can add extra sides and double protein on smaller meal plans.
    • 5 meals = 89.02 (17.80 serving). 5meals @4 persons = $326 ($16.30 serving).
    • Look online, best I saw was for 35% off.
  • Plated Out of business
  • Purple Carrot purplecarrot.com🥕🥕 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🛒🥡 🍳
    • Vegetarian, has both cooking kits and reheat boxes. 2,4 serving options, 3-4 dinners a week. There are “Pantry Items” you can add to your box if you choose the cooking kit.
    • You cook: $9.99-11.99/serving depending on number of servings in a box. Prepared meals: $12.99/serving regardless of number ordered.
    • $20 off order Purple20
  • Sakara sakara.com🌿 🥕🥕 🥡 ⚖️
    • 100% plant-based, organic. 3 Different box options: Signature program, Detox, and Brides. Detox box is called “Level II” and is offered once a month. Brides box is neutron + fitness experience, a 20 day program. All meals are ready to eat. Can select B, L, D. 2-5 days a week.
    • $329 for BLD @ 5 days. $119 for LD @ 2 days.
    • $50 off your first order code GETTHEGLOW
  • Splendid Spoon splendidspoon.com 🥕🥕 🥡 🌾 🌅
    • Plant-based smoothies, soups, grain bowls and noodles. “Delivered to your door and ready in 5 minutes.” B, L, D options. Gluten free.
    • 4 box options with  different B+L+D combos, prices range from $9-13 per serving. Largest box of BLD+soup for 5 days=$185 ($9/serving)
    • Various coupons online, $20-60 off usually
  • Sunbasket sunbasket.com 💪🌿.🥡 🍳 🛒 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🐟 🌾 🥩 🥕 🌅 ⚖️
    • “Healthy, delicious meals made with farm-fresh ingredients, and ready in as little as 3 minutes.” Organic. Both Cooking Kit (15-40 minute estimated time) and Reheat only kits. Multiple menu options, including Paleo, Diabetes-Friendly, Chefs Choice, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Gluten Free, Mediterranean, etc. B, L, S options available through their “Market” add-ons. Cooking Kits options of 2, 4 persons and 2-5 dinners a week.
    • Ready-made at $9-$11/serving depending on amount ordered. Cooking Kits =$11-13/serving depending on number of meals ordered.
    • Look online, lots of codes $100+ off
  • Suvie suvie.com 🥩
    • Countertop oven + meal system. You buy the oven, order the meals, and the oven heats them up correctly. Oven can double as a fridge and then start to cook meals on a timer. There is also a “Starch Cooker” applicance you can get. Menus for Flex, Weekly, or Protein based.
    • $399 for the mini oven (promotional offer). Meals start at $10/serving. Pricing plans on the appliances are available.
    • the promo off the mini oven on their site
  • Territory Foods https://www.territoryfoods.com/ 🥕💪 🥩 🥡 🐄 🌾 🌅 ⚖️
    • Ready made, just reheat, freshly made every week. B, L, D. Able to customize your menu. Gluten free, non-dairy, no refined sugars.  Starting menus of Paleo, Keto, Mixitarian?, plant-based, vegetarian, Vegan, Whole 30, Low Fat, Low Carb, and Mediterranean, also All. You can customize meal size:  Standard (400-650 cal) or Boost (250-450 cal). Meal plans of 6, 12, or 18 meals per week. If you go with 18, they split the delivery into 2 days of the week (eg Sunday and Wednesday). 
    • $14.20/serving @ 18 meal plan ($257). $14.50 @ 6 meals ($87) , so no real savings based on order size. (Standard portions prices) $8.95 delivery (some areas may offer local pickup).
    • Code 75FREESHIP21 for $75 off your first 3 orders + Free shipping
  • Thistle https://www.thistle.co/menu/ 🥕 🥕 🐄 🌾 🛒 🌅
    • They don't *state* vegetarian but I don't see any meat products offered. Gluten and dairy free. B,L, D, S, juices and "wellness shots". Local zone people can pick and choose your meals; delivery plans are preset and you don't choose meals. Local delivery to much of CA and Las Vegas, shipping to CA, AZ, ID, NV, OR, UT, and WA. 
    • Starts at $11.50/serving
    • $100 off popup on their website
  • Tovala https://www.tovala.com/ 🥕 💪🌾 📢
    • Oven+ meal delivery service. The oven will auto-cook your foods based on scanned packaging code. Not a reheat package, actual cooking by oven involved, fresh ingredients. 3-16 meals per week. Can filter menu by Calorie, Carbs, Gluten free, vegetarian, or customizable.
    • $99 oven offer (promotional). $12/serving regardless of number of meals ordered. $6 shipping, Free Shipping for 6+ meals.
    • Impossible99 for the $99 oven offer. 
    • Reviews: Ailaena
  • Vite Ramen https://www.viteramen.com/ 💪
    • It's ramen kits, but fancy. "All your protein, nutrients, and fiber. So easy it's almost like cheating." Ramen noodles made with healthy grains/options. 
    • Shipping based on location. 6, 9 pack options, diferent flavors available in different packs. They mention a subscription service but I don't see it anywhere.
    • $5.80/serving unless the option you want is on sale. no change based on size of pack. 
    • 10% off code popup on website. Page of special one-time discounts for military, teachers, studets, first responders, medical, etc. 
  • Yumble Kids https://yumblekids.com/ 🥕 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 🥡 🌅
    • "Meals kids love, no cooking required." No cooking, either serve or reheat. B, L, D options, vegetarian options available. 
    • $5.99/serving at 16 meals, $9.99/meal for 4. Free Shipping.
    • Look online for coupons

Grocery Subscriptions, in Alphabetical Order

  • Belcampo Meat Co
  • Bulkeez
  • Butcherbox
  • Cooksventure
  • Cooking Panda https://www.cookingpanda.com
    • “Foodie box designed for food enthusiasts.” Not really meals, a bunch of snacks and one-serving samples of different items. 4 boxes released throughout the year.
    • $45 per box, or $160 for annual subscription.
  • Farmbox Direct
  • Imperfect Foods
  • Misfits Market
  • Omaha Steaks
  • Rupert Organics
  • Sizzlefish
  • United Harvest
  • Wild Alaskan Company
  • Wildgrain
  • Worthy Flavors

Bonus List: Meal Planners

  • The Dinner Daily
  • eMeals
    • Base subscription B, L, D, Ocassions, Drinks. Can Add-on B, L. Many categories of menus, including 30minute meals, Keto, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, etc. Generates the meal plan + grocery list after you choose the meal.
    • Base subscription: $60/year. Add-on: $30/year.
    • Free 14 day trial, check online for other coupons. 
    • Reviews: TheReader

[Will finish adding company details over the next couple days.]

Edited by Moonhawk
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We did Dinnerly last summer.

The Affordable Meal Delivery Service | Dinnerly

 

You got a LOT of choices each delivery for what you wanted. and you could always skip a delivery. The choices are labelled to help make choices too (Kid Friendly, Gluten Free. Etc)  We liked everything we got and even our picky eater liked it. But you really had to make the meal quickly after the box arrived -- it didn't "wait" for you to be ready much. And there was a LOT of packaging. And of course no leftovers after all the work of making it.

 

It was a nice extra but too expensive to keep going.

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We tried Hello Fresh because I had a coupon for four free meals. The food was pretty good, but there was an insane amount of packaging. I enjoy cooking and planning meals, so I don't have any interest in purchasing one of the plans, but for someone who doesn't like to plan or cook, it was easy prep and tasty. I do think they're expensive though. 

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To the Meal Planners portion, I would add eMeals. 

Base subscription includes D, Sw, Occassions, Drinks. ($60/yr if paid yearly); Add-on includes B, L (I think $30/yr if paid yearly)

MANY categories of menus to choose from (and you have access to all of them, despite setting a main category). Clean Eating, Mediterranean, Quick & Healthy, 30 Minute Meals, Keto, Low Carb, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Kid Friendly, etc.  TONS. 

Also has "Collections" to look through sorted by type (Grilling, Pasta dishes, one pot meals, instant pot recipes, etc.)

Generates the meal plan (you choose your meals, or just select the given weekly menu, generated on Weds) AND the grocery list (fully editable), AND sends the grocery list to your local grocery store for pick-up/delivery (if you want). 

Recipe review:  I've been using it a little over a month, and the food ranges from good to very good; some of the recipes do require a bit of knowledge -- things like it will say "cook chicken 5-6 mins per side until done" but give no instructions for seasoning (because it's going to be topped with a sauce). Now, I know to first season my chicken, and can pick my seasonings w/no issue....but an inexperienced cook, or if you're handing it off to a kid to do dinner by following the recipe, they may not realize. 

A  month in, it's not feeling repetitive yet, which I was worried about.

Planner review:  It gives you the flexibility of how ever little or much control you want; go in, select the full weekly menu w/o previewing, done, OR, sort through all the options released that week, pick the ones you want, etc. No limit to # of meals you can select each week.  Printing the menus is a multi-step process from the app (must first send to email, then print from there) but if you can get into it on the web browser, they print from there. Or the app has a "cooking mode" where it will pull up the recipe and go one step at a time so you can see what to do w/o printing.  

 

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We jump around and do different ones. I'll do it for the deal, keep it for a bit, then get bored with it and stop it.

We're doing Marley and Spoon right now and I actually really like it. The cooking skills involved are a bit more in depth - like, it definitely asks you to do things that the others don't typically, like actually fry something in oil or something like that. The portion sizes have been a bit uneven, but not too bad. The food is just all together in the box, which is annoying. Hello Fresh is the best I've tried about that. Everything but the protein is in one little bag inside the box for each meal.

But otherwise, I like the variety of Marley and Spoon. Different vegetable options. I'm sure I'll get tired of the options eventually though.

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I’ve liked Marley Spoon recently, too. I like the variety in their menu. 
 

Everyplate is inexpensive but I did get very tired of the menu. Hello Fresh and I are also taking a good long break. Those 2 kits are very repetitive with their seasonings so everything starts to feel like slightly different combos of the same 10 ingredients. They’re the same company.

I’m using Blue Apron right now and enjoying their menu. 

Meal kits and Shipt are the MVPs of nursing school. I don’t know how I would have managed otherwise. 

Pro-tip: there is no reason to ever pay full price for these services. The second you cancel, they will send you a “come back” discount. I jump from company to company and just work the discounts. 

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You can add Imperfect Foods to the grocery subscription services. They are similar to Misfits Market although they also include a lot of regular packaged foods which they claim are discounted. I tried it last year and although the food was ok, in reality it wasn't any cheaper than local stores. The deal killer though was the packaging — everything was just loose in a big box, and so much ended up damaged it wasn't worth it. I had bruised fruit and smashed eggs that leaked all over everything in 2 out of 4 boxes, and in a 3rd box a package of organic grass-fed beef split open, leaked on other food, and had to be thrown out.

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I just got my mom Tovala and although it’s fantastic for her - and BIL family uses it - maybe not for most regular families with more than one person.

The oven is $50-$150 depending on current offers and referral bonus and although it makes the food delicious, it is a glorified toaster oven BUT, that’s great for my mom who wants things to be easy and flavorful.  (It’s not technically a steam oven because they steam doesn’t get to a certain temperature, but it makes leftover delicious)  

The meals are not reheated food, they are made from fresh food and they do have a variety of chicken, pork, and beef, but it is chicken-heavy.  The vegetables seem to be mostly broccoli, potatoes, or Brussels, with some occasional random other things.  Meals are $11.99, minimum 3/week. Shipping is $5.99 unless you get 6 meals/week.

The oven holds one serving at a time, so I don’t know how BIL uses it for a family of four.   It is super-easy to use, you just assemble food, scan QR, hit start.

I would recommend for older or single people who just are not cooking for themselves or eating well, can afford $45/week for 3 meals, and can wait 20 minutes for dinner.  
 

DD did imperfect foods for a bit but, like pp said, it doesn’t seem to be much cheaper.  The food is loose in the box, but the eggs and meat were always well packaged and never leaked.  And they got flowers sometimes!

Edited by Ailaena
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We used Blue Apron for two years.

The first year was because dh was living in another state for his job, and when we ran the numbers it was cheaper for him to get a Blue Apron subscription for 2 than it was to constantly hit up 5 Guys on his way home.  He got 3 meals a week, would eat one serving, and put the other one in the fridge as leftovers.  6 dinners, all things he liked.

When I joined him, we stopped the subscription temporarily, but with everyone's schedules it was easier for us to start it back up again.  Ds and I would eat Blue Apron 3 times a week, usually on nights where it was just the two of us.

So, the good:

  • We could pick different recipes based on what we usually ate.
  • There was a lot of attention to spices and flavor.
  • It encouraged us to try different vegetables and prep methods (seriously, I love sweet potato rounds with cheese and jalapenos on top because of them)
  • The recipe cards were easy to duplicate later.  We ended up creating 4 binders: pork, poultry, beef, vegetarian.  When there was a spice blend, it would list the spices in it.  We have only had issues getting some sauces, but Blue Apron sells them on their website if we wanted them.
  • The sides were plentiful.  When oldest ds or dh would join us, I'd just add another protein from the freezer. 

 

The bad:

  • Not BA's fault, but we live in a high tourist area.  We could not continue our subscription in the summers because it would end up in hours of traffic or delayed by a day.
  • There's a lot of packaging, and our recycling plant doesn't take the bags. 
  • During the beginning of the pandemic the shortages affected the recipe selection, it felt like.  It could be that we had just run through the variety, but the options looked worse.
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First box I'm trying is EveryPlate. Started here because they had a great introductory offer and it seemed like a good way to ease into this. 

The food: good standard fare, kids like the flavors, nothing too out there. All of the produce was fresh (asparagus a bit soft but still green and tasted good). All of the proteins have kept well, I was very happy with the quality of the shrimp and the steaks since they are better than I can get locally. 

Portion sizes: I ordered the 4 person option and some of the portions seem a bit small, even before taking into account we are effectively splitting for 5 (2 adults, 7, 10, 12yo, 4 yo has been skipping dinner). The amount of asparagus they gave for 4 is normally what DH would eat himself, lol, but maybe we just like asparagus more than the average bears? Also for the side of rice meal, we just made our own since I knew the 1.5 cups rice sent wouldn't be enough for us. But the protein portions have been good. I don't mind taking out a bag of green beans from the freezer to make on the side just in case someone's still hungry and am trying to give grace, again, for 5 people sharing 4 portions.

The convenience factors: Directions are easy to understand and follow, kids with little kitchen experience are able to help and quasi-take over dinner without too much input from me. If I'm making it, their time estimates are accurate (all meals in under 35 minutes). All the food was in one cardboard box that easily lifted out of the shipping box and could slide into the fridge. You have to sort for each meal, this is fine with me since I'd prefer less packaging. I feel a bit bad for some of the extra packaging but understand why it's done.

I can see that their menus are a bit hit and miss for us; not enough meals over the next 2 weeks are interesting enough for us to justify ordering from them. But with this first box I'm happy with the quality and convenience it offers; it would have been worth it without the intro offer for the convenience of it.

meta eta: I'm going to add more labels to the legend, let me know if you think this helps for finding what you need, or if it clutters up the list too much.

Edited by Moonhawk
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We have used a few different subscription services, with Home Chef being our favorite.   At the beginning of the year our daughter wanted to try Fresh n' Lean as she is an athlete and was preparing for a big competition.  There were several big negatives in how it worked compared to the other services we used (Home Chef, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron.   With Fresh n' Lean you can not chose your meals, there was lots of repetition even within the week, and as you sign up and cancel all via email, when we canceled, we were still committed for 2 more weeks.  For us, this was a problem as our daughter ended up going out of town suddenly and we had 2 weeks of meals delivered to us which did not appeal to anyone else in the house.  

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Dh ordered a box of Hello Fresh for us, and I cooked one of the meals earlier this week. It was really tasty, but I was expecting the ingredients to be prepared. Is there such a thing? Like vegetables ready to use, meatballs already formed. The only convenience was that I didn't have to plan or shop for food. While that is a big convenience, what this first grade teacher needs right now is more prep done for me!!

Which subscription do I need?

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1 hour ago, math teacher said:

Dh ordered a box of Hello Fresh for us, and I cooked one of the meals earlier this week. It was really tasty, but I was expecting the ingredients to be prepared. Is there such a thing? Like vegetables ready to use, meatballs already formed. The only convenience was that I didn't have to plan or shop for food. While that is a big convenience, what this first grade teacher needs right now is more prep done for me!!

Which subscription do I need?

There was another meal kit thread recently and it sounded like Hungry Root was closer to what you're talking about. Their meal kits are convenience foods that you combine into a decent meal. Like precooked chicken strips that you put with a salad and dressing and bread you warm up or a thing of fresh pasta that you stir fry together with some veggies that come precut and a sauce. 

Hello Fresh and a bunch of the others now also offer these premade meals that you pop in the oven or microwave, so you might want that. I haven't tried them from any of the services.

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5 hours ago, math teacher said:

Dh ordered a box of Hello Fresh for us, and I cooked one of the meals earlier this week. It was really tasty, but I was expecting the ingredients to be prepared. Is there such a thing? Like vegetables ready to use, meatballs already formed. The only convenience was that I didn't have to plan or shop for food. While that is a big convenience, what this first grade teacher needs right now is more prep done for me!!

Which subscription do I need?

Home Chef has a "Fast and Easy" option that advertises "Delicious low or no prep meals for those with a busy schedule!"

It looks like they offer 3 levels of prep/easiness. From their website:

  1. Meal Kits: Easy recipes with pre-portioned ingredients ready in about 30 minutes.
  2. 15 Minute Meal Kits: Built for speed! Prepped, pre-portioned ingredients that cook in 15 minutes.
  3. Oven-Ready: Pre-portioned, fresh ingredients arrive with an oven-safe tin. No prep, no mess!

eta: Best codes I can find online are AAA110D ($110 off 4 boxes: $30 off 1st box, $30 off 2nd box, $25 off 3rd box, and $25 off 4th box) and Fall55 (55% off your first box up to $40, and $10 off your second box). Codes verified to work as of 9/4/2021.

Edited by Moonhawk
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What an amazing resource you've put together! 

I am currently subscribing to both Misfits Market and Wild Alaskan Company. 

Misfits Market started as rescued organic produce, but they've been evolving into more of an organic grocery with a limited selection.  You pick and choose the items you want, in the frequency you want.  I get a weekly box that I choose on Friday.  I pick a minimum of $30 worth of items and it ships the following week to be delivered on Thursday.   I order from Misfits for the produce, specfically. 

Things to Consider: Usually the produce is a very good quality, but some things like lettuces and greens only last a day or two before heading visibly south.  (Cucumbers specifically seem to have a hard time making the trip and maintaining quality, so I've stopped ordering them completely. ) They have a nice variety if you order early.  Packaging has been very good- the gel packs have been frozen every time I've received a box. I like how the produce changes with the seasons a bit, but some of the fruit that I've received has been not great.  It's the kind that if I were shopping in person at the grocery store, I would have passed it by.  I don't think it's ideal for families.  4 ounce packages of berries don't go very far, iykwim.  The convenience right now is important to me.  Twice I've had a box get lost or not delivered and the company refunded me immediately once contacted.   I would give Misfits Market a 6/10 for a score.  I like it and continue using it.   I've been contemplating just using grocery pick up for my produce needs, because then I could add produce that they never seem to carry- like bananas.  

Wild Alaskan Company is amazing.  We love seafood and salmon.  The wild caught quality from WAC is legit.  Once a month I get a box that contains frozen fillets of sockeye salmon, coho salmon, pacific halibut, Alaskan cod and rockfish fillets.  Right now I also have ground salmon added to my order and twice I've ordered cold smoked salmon. Oh my gosh, the cold smoked salmon is to die for.   The frozen fillets thaw in cold water in about 20 minutes, and they are a quick cook, so perfect for a weeknight dinner anytime of the week.  I'm really looking forward to soup season and making some chowders with the salmon and the cod.  We're now eating fish about twice a week instead of only having it occasionally.  Each month they also offer other seasonal seafood items.  Recently they had spot prawns, crab legs and sablefish.   They ship the boxes packed with dry ice, and everything has still be frozen solid all summer long.  This homeschool mom still geeks out everytime I unpack that block of dry ice.  🙂   I don't have any cons about my fish box.  We love having the fish in the freezer.   Bonus: WAC has a subscriber only FB community and there are a lot of good cooks out there making meals out of the fish and seafood, so it's easy to find inspiration. 

I have referral codes for both if anyone is interested, but there are definitely coupon codes to be found for each- I'm not sure it's a better deal for you to use a referral code or just look for a best deal online. 

The referral for WAC gets you $25 off your first box- https://wldaskn.com/w/SorjjR . 

Misfits referral is only $10 off. https://www.misfitsmarket.com/?promo=COOKWME-VN1WVX

 

Edited by Lady Marmalade
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  • 3 weeks later...

Green Chef Review

I really liked a couple of the meals in here. It's definitely has a more sophisticated look/taste compared to the more comfort food picks of EveryPlate.

On the whole the family liked these meals, an average score of 4/5 stars for 3 meals, a 2/5 stars for one though. Ingredients arrived fresh* and the quality of meat/seafood was excellent. Directions were easy though they definitely stacked a few steps in the recipes so they could say "easy 4 step recipe!" where step three had 4 different things to do. Prep took a bit longer than promised, even accounting for the fact I had doubled the recipes. Cook time estimates were correct. 

I don't like how the packaging is done. It's nice that each night's meals are put into a separate bag so you just grab out of the fridge and don't have to dig around for the ingredients, BUT each bag (and box) is for 2 people. So, when I ordered for 6 people, that meant 3 identical boxes appeared, including 3 meal cards, etc. So there was a lot of extra waste in terms of that type of packaging. I get why it's done this way from a process standpoint, but I felt bad about all the extra packaging it created. And it took extra fridge space in a small fridge. So yay to the idea of meal-in-a-bag, but it wasn't fine-tuned to my liking (but this would not be an issue if we were ordering for 2 instead of 6).

*1 of the 3 boxes arrived 2 days late. This was on the carrier, not Green Chef, since all boxes shipped at the same time, but it was difficult to make the 4 meals stretch to cover 6 people; the portion sizes seemed right for 4 but with no wiggle room or leftovers. Customer service was very helpful and gave an agreeably generous credit to my account for the missing box. 

It bills a lot of its food as organic but there was at least 1 non-organic ingredient in each meal, fyi to those who would care about this.

Overall a good service, a bit pricey even taking into account the organic status, but with the discount it was well worth it to us. I'll try it again and see if I continue to like the recipes; the next few weeks on the menu did not have enough interesting meals to bother with an order. 

Edited by Moonhawk
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Home Chef Review

So, for reasons that will soon become apparent, I can only review their customer service, not the food.

Ordered 4 meals for while I was gone, so that DH and kids would have easy dinners. On Thursday (day I leave) I get an email saying my order may be delayed due to their availability but that for sure it will leave on Friday for Saturday delivery. This stinks, but I let DH know and tell him what he can make from the freezer. However, by Saturday, the box hasn't arrived. Sunday, no show. Finally on Tuesday it comes (same day I come home) and looks like it has been through the wars. It is inedible at this point. But!, when I look at the label, it says it was shipped on last Wednesday. So idk why I got the Thursday email.

I contacted customer service on Sunday; they were closed. I sent an email. No response. They sent me a survey on Tuesday asking about my experience and I answered truthfully. This got a quick response saying to please reach out to their customer service. I finally got a real reply this morning (Wed) just shortly saying the courier contacted them this morning letting them know there may be a delay, and so there will be a credit to my account. Which is what I wanted but felt a bit weird considering it all. 

I can't get too upset because I know it's a carrier problem, not a Home Chef problem, but their customer service was less than responsive compared to both EveryPlate and GreenChef, which had more options for contact and were responded/resolved within 24 hours (and usually only maybe after a 5 minute chat). 

Anyway we are getting another box this week so hopefully my next review will be about the food and nothing else, lol. 

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Awesome list!
 

As part of my young onset Parkinson’s package, i got incredible nausea and every little smell sent me gagging. I didn’t step inside a grocery store for almost a year and basically lived on white rice and gluten free bread. My neighbor gave us a coupon of Home Chef, so we tried it out. It was so helpful. We liked the meals, though I found their gluten free options lacking and the amount of packaging drove me nuts. I switched to Green Chef after several months. I was able to get through my food aversions with GC and found their spice mixes intriguing… and it finally forced me to try and get some healthier vegetables into my body. We stopped getting GC fir the summer bc DS was home from college and they didn’t have a 3 person meal option. I would go back to GC in a heartbeat. Their meals were really good. 

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26 minutes ago, GoVanGogh said:

Awesome list!
 

As part of my young onset Parkinson’s package, i got incredible nausea and every little smell sent me gagging. I didn’t step inside a grocery store for almost a year and basically lived on white rice and gluten free bread. My neighbor gave us a coupon of Home Chef, so we tried it out. It was so helpful. We liked the meals, though I found their gluten free options lacking and the amount of packaging drove me nuts. I switched to Green Chef after several months. I was able to get through my food aversions with GC and found their spice mixes intriguing… and it finally forced me to try and get some healthier vegetables into my body. We stopped getting GC fir the summer bc DS was home from college and they didn’t have a 3 person meal option. I would go back to GC in a heartbeat. Their meals were really good. 

Wait, is this part of Parkinson’s?

(off to Google)

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Gobble Review

Only got 1 meal from them as part of their promo deal. Unfortunately it arrived a day late and the shrimp was too chancy to use, but it looked like amazing shrimp, the pink raw expensive kind (also, a few of the veggies had gone bad). I went to the store to buy replacement ingredients so I could make an approximation of the dish. 

Packaging: looked well packaged, ingredients were portioned out in clear bags with the recipe card inside with the foods so it was easy to see what goes with what. Since I bought 1 meal/6 servings, there were 3 identical bags in the box. 

Prep: prep was fast and easy, they didn't give an approximate prep time.

Cooking: easy instructions, nothing difficult. A kid with moderate kitchen experience could make this on their own. 

Taste: great! We got "Lime coconut broth with shrimp, shitakes, and bok choy". The flavors were very delicately done and blended well, didn't overpower the shrimp. Shitakes were excellent quality, we can't find fresh shiitakes out here so that was a treat. Everyone was very happy. 

Portion size: I bought for 6 people, I'm assuming they mean 6 adults. The 4yo didn't want any so it was split between 5. I added extra shrimp than they sent since I had to buy a bag at the store, so it was a bit more filling than it would have been. All of the soup was completely gone and I could have had a little more. So could the kids. I was satisfied enough, just not full, and the kids were looking for pre-bed snacks that night, which is not their typical routine. Definitely got up and ate breakfast the first thing the next morning.

Overall: You can tell this box is trying for a little bit of a more upscale feel/taste, probably geared more for an adult-only household than kids. Budget wise their normal prices support this idea. Little details like calling green beans "haricots verts" on the recipe card and just cooking with fresh shitakes is just a different approach than, say, EveryPlate. If the portion sizes were a little bigger, I think this would be a "treat" box for when there's a birthday or anniversary or something like that where we wanted to try something new. At the regular price for portion sizes, idk if I'd buy again, but I have a credit on my account because of the shrimp spoilage, so we will see in a few weeks if the second box has the same problem

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We did EveryPlate maybe a year ago and liked it at first, but the protein sizes were super small (I can eat half a chicken breast and be full, so I think I’m reasonable on portion sizes) and we had leaky chicken twice from different boxes.  We took a break.  
 

We liked Hello Fresh, felt Blue Apron was too salty no matter how much we tried to adjust seasonings. 
 

thank you for putting together an amazing list! I’ve been tempted to do a local meal delivery service but maybe I will try one or two more on your list first 😀

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On 9/22/2021 at 2:04 PM, Moonhawk said:

Home Chef Review

So, for reasons that will soon become apparent, I can only review their customer service, not the food.

Ordered 4 meals for while I was gone, so that DH and kids would have easy dinners. On Thursday (day I leave) I get an email saying my order may be delayed due to their availability but that for sure it will leave on Friday for Saturday delivery. This stinks, but I let DH know and tell him what he can make from the freezer. However, by Saturday, the box hasn't arrived. Sunday, no show. Finally on Tuesday it comes (same day I come home) and looks like it has been through the wars. It is inedible at this point. But!, when I look at the label, it says it was shipped on last Wednesday. So idk why I got the Thursday email.

I contacted customer service on Sunday; they were closed. I sent an email. No response. They sent me a survey on Tuesday asking about my experience and I answered truthfully. This got a quick response saying to please reach out to their customer service. I finally got a real reply this morning (Wed) just shortly saying the courier contacted them this morning letting them know there may be a delay, and so there will be a credit to my account. Which is what I wanted but felt a bit weird considering it all. 

I can't get too upset because I know it's a carrier problem, not a Home Chef problem, but their customer service was less than responsive compared to both EveryPlate and GreenChef, which had more options for contact and were responded/resolved within 24 hours (and usually only maybe after a 5 minute chat). 

Anyway we are getting another box this week so hopefully my next review will be about the food and nothing else, lol. 

The one time I ordered Home Chef, the ice packs were nearly melted down and the meat didn't feel cold enough at delivery. That was it for me.

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I would add Schwan's home delivery to the list. It's not a meal planning service, but they deliver quality frozen protein and vegetables to your door.  You can order the proteins and vegetables separately or as combined kits. We do appreciate their convenience items like the 5" pizzas and chicken bites which we cook in the air fryer. 

Schwan's (schwans.com)

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  • 3 weeks later...

After getting yet another coupon offer in the mail, I decided to try Hello Fresh.  I've really been struggling with wanting to prepare any meals or put thought into meals after putting in full days at the restaurant these days.  It's been a lot of junk and a lot of eating out/take out. 

I chose the Meat & Veggie option for Hello Fresh and looked at the selections for my first week.  I don't really want to order much in the way of chicken dishes, since I eat chicken pretty much every day at work.  So I took a meal off and added something else, and then I was asked if I wanted to add a fourth meal for a discount, so I did that, and then for fun I decided to add one appetizer kit.   I decided on meals for 4 people.  (Option is for 2 or 4 people.) Right now 3 of us live here, but DS is seldom here for dinner. DD comes home occasionally from college, and DS's girlfriend also may be over at meal time.  If just DH and I were here, we'd end up with leftovers for someone to warm up later.   Total cost is $95 plus shipping for 3 meals for 4 people.  

My initial delivery day was Friday, which I decided I wanted to move to Tuesday, but I didn't decide that until after my first box shipped.  My first box actually got here a day early- the ice packs were still frozen solid and everything was nicely packed and intact. 

Each meal kit comes wrapped in a recyclable brown paper bag, and then the meat products were at the bottom of the box with an extra ice pack.  The meal kits also come with full size recipe cards- complete with pictures and directions.  I chose one meal kit to make for dinner right away and put the rest into the fridge still wrapped in the individual paper bags.

My first meal kit was a Bulgogi meatball dish with ginger rice and roasted carrots.  The meal card said the total time to prepare would be 45 minutes, and all told it took me 54.  I started a timer when I began to kind of keep track for future reference.  The directions were very easy to follow, but I think if someone didn't have basic cooking knowledge, they might struggle a bit.  My plated meal looked exactly like the meal on the recipe card and it tasted great too.  

The second night I made another dinner kit for a ravioli pasta in a cream sauce plus my appetizer kit for ricotta toasts.  Both were delicious.  All told they took me 55 minutes to put together, but that was TWO kits at the same time, seperately they would have taken 65 minutes, but I got them both done in 55.  Did I mention they were delicious?! 

I'm excited to have these meal kits in the fridge. It will be super convenient to have them for this time in our lives where it might just be the first person home who makes dinner.  Having all the ingredients right there is a huge asset.  We have plenty of staples on hand at all times.   I will say that even though the kit is packaged in recyclable brown paper, overall there is a lot of waste with each meal.  Lots of little plastic bags and small packages that just go in the trash.  I also like the giant recipe cards that I can keep and reuse at a later time if I want to.  The produce that was in the kits was fresh and had no sign of spoilage.  I think the portions are pretty spot on.  With the meatball dish we thought there was a little more rice than necessary and not quite enough of the carrots.  But if I had intentionally plated it over four plates it would have been 4 perfectly portioned meals. 

I still have two meals in the fridge to prepare over the next few days, and we get the next box right away on Tuesday.  I think 3 meals a week is enough for us- we can fill in with meals made from my WAC fish box and then the occasional breakfast for dinner or dinner out.  It might seem a touch pricey, but I don't have to grocery shop at all to have dinner at home a few nights a week and that is worth every penny right now.  I almost cried tears of joy today when I realized that I didn't need to come up with something for dinner tonight.   

I'm sure I have a coupon code that I could share if someone wants it, but there are SO many offers floating around out there, it's probably worth searching for the best one.  I ended up with a plan that gave me 16 meals for free over the course of a month.    I think I will enjoy Hello Fresh while we have it.  I'm not sure how long we'll get it, but at least the month until I've used up my free meals.  I really, really needed to take something off my plate right now and taking deciding (and shopping for) dinner off a few nights a week is an amazing feeling. 

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