Meal Delivery Service Comparison | Putting them to the test


Cooking at home has gained more popularity in the past years from Pinterest and an increase of food blogs, but now with companies delivering food to your doorstep it has really taken a twist for the every day person. A subscription (or 3, like I have) helps eliminate the amount of trips you will take to the grocery store and will save you money from buying items you don't need. The other major bonus is that you will eat healthy while learning a few new tricks in the kitchen. After a few boxes, your friends and family will be calling you Chef [insert your name].

With so many companies to chose from, I have done all the research to help you narrow down which choice is best for you. I have my favorites marked in asterisks in the descriptions.

All services include:

  • Fresh food, never frozen

  • Easy to Recycle Packaging

  • Can Pause Subscription Anytime

  • Incentives for reviews and/or social media posts

  • Free meals or boxes for friends after you've established yourself

  • Nutritional Information

Here's a quick comparison chart in case you don't want to read about each service:

FRESHLY:

The perfect option for the person who is on the go or doesn't like to cook but still wants a healthy and fresh meal.

PROS:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  • Plans for 6, 9, 12, or 21 meals per week

  • Delivers up to twice per week depending on meal plan

  • No Cooking required

  • All meals are gluten and peanut free

  • Accepts multiple Dietary Preferences

Freshly referral code: FREE BOX - 6 MEALS

Why Freshly isn't for me: I really enjoy cooking and learning new recipes. I felt that Freshly was like an upscale frozen dinner. I loved the breakfast quinoa porridge but the rest of the meals I felt were lacking in flavor and weren't filling.

*HELLO FRESH*:

Meals come unprepared and in cute boxes that don't clutter my fridge. The recipes are easy to follow with multiple pictures.

PROS:

  • Lunch and Dinner

  • Meal prep and cook time in under 40 mins

  • 3 Meals per box serving 2 people per meal.

  • Family Box option for 4 people

  • Offers FIT plan (all meals under 650 cals per serving)

  • Offers QUICK plan with easiest and quickest recipes

  • 500-800 cals per serving

  • Can see future recipes for 4+ weeks

  • Gift Cards available

HelloFresh referral code: TWO FREE MEALS ($40 OFF) Why I recommend HelloFresh for first-timers: The meals come packed in their individual recipe box, the recipes are easy, and they seem more hip than the other companies. Each menu book includes a recipe for a drink (loved the sangria) or things to pair together (they did a mustard pairing that was so interesting). I also have received excellent customer service, which has really won my heart over.

BLUE APRON:

Meals come unprepared. They have knick-knack bags of random miscellaneous items you will need while cooking.

PROS:

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Offers Vegetarian Plan

  • Family Box option for 4 people

  • 500-800 cals per serving

  • Wine Pairing subscription for additional fee

  • 'Market' to purchase kitchen utensils for cooking

  • Can see future recipes for 4+ weeks

Blue Apron referral code: none :(

Why Blue Apron isn't for me: I felt the meals weren't always healthy, some were very bland, and rarely offered one or more side. For example the Beef Arepas didn't include a side so I felt unsatisfied in my meal even though it was one of the most flavorful ones. The Maryland Crab Cake only offered a cole slaw side but the recipe mentioned you could also put it on the sandwich. I felt that they were trying to keep their meals under 800 cals which meant not offering a side because the main protein was bread heavy.

*SUN BASKET*:

This is the perfect service for someone who is genuinely interested in where their food is coming from. Each box includes information about the farm and its practices. These meals come unprepared and they just started "Meals in under 20 minutes".

PROS:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  • Organic, non-GMO ingredients | USDA Certified Organic

  • Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo Options

  • Farm to Table: Sustainable and responsible sourcing

  • Family Box option for 4 people

  • 20-30 minute recipes

  • Gift Cards available

Sun Basket referral code: FREE BOX - 3 MEAL

A few reasons why Sun Basket isn't my top pick but I still subscribe: Delivery fee is $5.99 after your first order, delivery is only available for Tuesday and Wednesday, you can't see future recipes past 1 week, it is also scary to order the first time because you give your Credit Card before you choose the meals [but after this hump it's smooth sailing].

*PLATED*:

Meals come unprepared. Items in the same recipe come bagged together but if they cannot then there is a sticker stating the item with which recipes it corresponds to. It is extremely easy to organize.

PROS:

Plated referral code: they don't have referral codes but I may have a free box to send so contact me. What I love about Plated: The recipes are always delicious and I highly recommend the Red Fish. It's an Icelandic white fish, super flaky, and easy to cook. I really appreciate that you can add on appetizers and dessert. It's nice to bring a chef-crafted appetizer to parties.

*GREEN CHEF*:

This is a great service for someone who is looking for locally-sourced products and wants a quicker meal option (i.e., omnivore or carnivore, or vegan). If you have a specific diet you can select it from the drop down menu and it will give you a few meal options per week. Other services you have to select your dietary preferences after you select your plan.

PROS:

  • Lunch and Dinner

  • Organic, non-GMO ingredients | USDA Certified Organic

  • Omnivore, Carnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo Options

  • Farm to Table: Sustainable and responsible sourcing

  • 450-750 cals per serving

  • Gift Cards available

Green Chef referral code: 4 FREE MEALS

Side note about Green Chef: We order the paleo box, which costs a bit more and that means we order from Green Chef a little less. When we want to be super strict on eating paleo, we have a reliable go-to. Thanks Green Chef!

#BlueApron #HelloFresh #Plated #SunBasket #Freshly #GreenChef #ReferralCode #DenverFoodie #Foodie #FoodDelivery #GlutenFree #Vegan #Paleo #Vegetarian

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All Photography Provided by Bre Patterson unless otherwise stated.

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