I tried 6 home meal delivery services…here is my comparison

Lately I feel like there have been an abundance of commercials for home meal delivery services. Services that deliver a box of fresh, pre-portioned food and recipes right to your doorstep. I wanted to try them out, so…I tried 6 home meal delivery services, and I’m sharing what I thought and a comparison of the different services.

Home meal delivery service comparisonsWith life being so busy (you can see what’s been going on in my faves & life lately post) – between work and just life in general, I was starting to really feel like I was in a cooking rut. I didn’t even want to think about what to make for dinner, I had zero inspiration, zero time to go to the grocery store, and zero motivation. When I kept hearing all the commercials for meal delivery services, I thought I’d look into them and give them a try. There are so many different companies out there! I made a list of all the different ones I wanted to try out, and each week tried a different service.

Here are some of the pros and cons, and at the bottom of the post I share a comparison chart to give an overview.

Greenchef meal delivery reviewGreen Chef

Pros:

  • All organic
  • Meals came with sauces that were already made and were really tasty
  • Minimal prep, only had to chop 1 or 2 things per recipe
  • Loved the way the food/recipe cards were labeled and color coded, it made it very easy to know which items to use
  • Meals were done (start to finish including prep) in 30 minutes

Cons:

  • Didn’t like that one couldn’t swap out meals/recipes. You choose a plan and then are just sent the designated meals
  • Online system doesn’t show more than two weeks in advance upcoming meals
  • This could be a pro or con – the portion sizes were huge. Each meal for 2 we ended up having leftovers for a 3rd meal.
  • We waited 4 days to make one of the recipes – veggie burgers- the arugula and kale were rotten. Contacted customer service and they immediately apologized and gave a credit on our account.

Greenchef meal delivery reviewTerra’s Kitchen

Pros:

  • The shipping vessel this comes in is the coolest thing ever, my husband loved that they come and pick up the vessel/box so that it is very recycling friendly and there’s no empty boxes/trash to deal with
  • The organization of the ingredients is amazing
  • Ingredients have expiration dates on them which I really liked
  • One can choose from 30 different recipes, all with varying prices
  • One can add salads/smoothies/proteins/pastas and snacks
  • Meals were very delicious
  • Loved the minimal prep- everything was chopped/ready to go

Terras kitchen meal delivery service reviewCons

  • A little on the pricey side with meals varying from $10.99 per person per meal to $18.99
  • I wish they’d change the recipes/meal options more often

Terras kitchen meal delivery service reviewBlue Apron

Pros:

  • The food tasted really good
  • Appropriate serving sizes, no extra portions
  • Liked that one could choose between a few meals

Blue Apron meal delivery service reviewCons:

  • Very much chopping/prep work
  • Lots of dishes/utensils required
  • Lots of making sauces/different components of the dish
  • Missing key ingredients (emailed their customer service and they immediately apologized and gave me a credit on our account.)
  • Cooking instructions/times were wrong on 2 of the 3 recipes (example 6 minutes to cook an entire chicken breast – it was still raw on the inside)
  • Cooking times varied and the dishes took a lot longer than expected to make, one 30 minute expected time ended up taking close to 50 minutes from start to finish.
  • A lot of leftover ingredients (example: sent whole head of garlic when all one needs is 1 clove)

Home Chef

Pros:

  • Loved that there were lots of meals to choose from
  • Lots of delivery day options which is always nice
  • One can add on breakfast/fruit/smoothie/premium meals which is nice
  • A binder came with the first order so that one could put all the recipes in the binder
  • All the ingredients for a recipe were in a bag

Home Chef meal delivery reviewCons:

  • Their website was difficult to figure out (I had to email them to ask about how to ‘skip/pause’ weeks)

Hello Fresh

Pros:

  • Really liked that all the ingredients for a particular recipe came in a box with all the ingredients for that recipe
  • Unique flavor combinations
  • One can choose different meal options
  • Liked that the meal options include a breakfast one
  • All the food was tasty
  • Easy directions to follow

Hello Fresh meal delivery service reviewCons:

  • The website is as not as easy to use as other ones, but once one knows where everything is it gets easier

Hello Fresh meal delivery reviewPlated

Pros:

  • Loved the flexibility of the plans (you can chose 2-7 meals per person per week)
  • The food was by far my favorite of all the services, I literally kept two of the recipe cards to make again
  • You can add on dessert, I did and we loved it
  • All the ingredients for one recipe were in one bag which was really nice
  • Loved that they sent aluminum/throw away pans for items needing to be baked

Plated meal delivery service reviewCons

  • Didn’t like that you had to use your own eggs (example, if a recipe called for eggs or oil, they do not provide it. Oil is understandable, but I thought they should not assume I have eggs on hand).

Plated meal delivery reviewComparison:

Meal Delivery Comparison chart - ratingsSummary:

If you’re interested in home meal delivery services, the right one is out there for you!

I was pleasantly surprised that each and every one of the services I tried offered a ‘first time customer’ discount of some kind. I do need to mention -this post is not sponsored in any way. I paid for all the services ย myself (some have referral programs where if you order using my code or special link, you’ll get a discount and I’ll get some kind of credit for future orders.) All opinions are mine alone and based on my experience.

Funny thing is, without even looking at the graph, my favorite service was Hello Fresh! Theirs had seemingly the best options and the least amount of dishes!

Have you ever tried home meal delivery services? What did you think?

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Showing 40 comments
  • Sues
    Reply

    What an awesome post!! I still haven’t tried any meal delivery services (trying to resist!), but I know where to come if I decide to go for it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve heard awesome things about both Hello Fresh and Plated!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much! I was really feeling just low on inspiration and motivation to cook, and I do have to say it was fun trying all the different services and some of the recipes totally inspired me to get cooking again. I really like that one can ‘pause’ or ‘skip’ weeks, so after trying all these different services I can space them out to once in a while ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Buffy Coffey
        Reply

        This post is awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make dinner time easier because we all get home at different times. Meal delivery service is something I’ve considered but, I haven’t had time to do any research. Plated is one I haven’t heard of so I may check that one out this weekend. Everyone I know has raved about Blue Apron but, when I looked on their website, I felt like there weren’t many options and the majority of the meals Phoebe would not eat. Hello Fresh was next on my list but, Plated might be a better option for us. Thanks for sharing your experience with each of them. This was extremely helpful!

        • Sweetphi
          Reply

          Thank you so much for commenting Buffy!! I’m just like that – trying to find ways to make dinner time easier, because it can be so hard to come home at the end of the day and then start the process of thinking of ‘what’s for dinner?’ These services were really helpful. I feel like everyone I know has heard of Blue Apron, and I have to say, I was very surprised by how much I did not like their service. There was SO MUCH prep work and dishes involved (I think I counted and for one meal I used like 5 bowls for mixing, 3 pots, 2 pans, and a bunch of utensils – a whisk, a zester, multiple knives, etc.)…it’s just not the way I cook. The food from Plated was so tasty, I seriously saved 2 of the 3 recipe cards to make on my own again because I liked them so much, and I loved that I could add on dessert, that too was really good. Anyway, thanks again for commenting, makes me so happy to hear this post was helpful.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    Reply

    Woah, this is such a thorough comparison. Thanks so much for all the details! I tried Blue Apron and really enjoyed it and I can totally see the value in ordering meal kits. Life is so crazy – it such a time saver1

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much, so glad you liked the comparison. It was fun to do, but also a lot of work lol. I do like meal delivery services, it was nice not to have to think about what i was going to be making for dinner, and totally inspired me with different flavor combinations I normally wouldn’t have tried!

  • Kay Bastian
    Reply

    Phi, Thank You for this post, I love it! very informative and I love the number rating at the end, I now will try one or some of them based on your post. โค๐Ÿ‘

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’m so glad you liked the post Kay!! Thank you!! I hope you like some of the services – I know they have inspired me to try new things in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Betsey Weaver
    Reply

    Thank you for your wonderful post! My husband and I really loved everything you had to say and how you put it all together. Appreciate the time and effort you put into this! I shared it on my Facebook page because I have lots of friends asking about these meal delivery services. Good work!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment Betsey! And a big thank you for sharing on Facebook, I really appreciate that ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Darcy
    Reply

    Thanks for this post! I had not really paid attention to these; we’re cattle ranchers and all of the commercials I’ve seen are for Blue Apron, and I personally don’t agree with their marketing/portrayal of traditional (vs organic or natural) farm products as “bad”. I just signed up for Hello Fresh with your code, and want to try Plated next. Thanks for the review & for sharing!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment Darcy, I truly appreciate it! I know what you mean – I felt inundated with commercials and do not always like the strong messages. I was surprised by which services I ended up liking vs. not lol. Thanks again for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessiva
    Reply

    This is such an amazing resource! I love the fact that you took the time to review each and every service and break it down with pros and cons! I’ve only tried Hello Fresh and we did like it, but discontinued it the end of last summer when we needed to kind of pull together the budget. I’ll have to remember Plated too, it looks like another great option! Well done!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much, so glad you liked this post! It was a lot of work, but fun to put together. I know what you mean about the budget though, I tried all of them with the first time customer discounts and then after had to skip a bunch of weeks or services because it definitely adds up. It was really nice to get a bunch of different ideas and inspiration though ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mary W
    Reply

    Friends of mine were given one of these meal services as a gift. These are people who think cooking is taking dried food out a well known brand name box and boiling it. They were thrilled with the meal service. It really opened their eyes and taste buds to new possibilities. The gift proved to them that they really can cook from scratch and it’s not as difficult as they thought. They gave their gift very high marks and were raving about it. Consider a week or month of these services as a gift for someone; new Moms and Dads, college students, someone new to the neighborhood – there are endless possibilities. And no – I do not work for any of these companies.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I absolutely love the idea of giving one of these meal services as a gift. I’m totally going to gift my mom and sisters one!!

  • Karla Carter
    Reply

    Thanks for this amazing comparison! Has anyone tried Purple Carrot? It looks fresh and healthy. I’ve been tempted to try it!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much – so glad you liked the comparison. I heard from one of my friends who tried Purple Carrot, she said she liked it, but it’s all plant based (vegan) and she said that while she’s vegetarian, she’s not vegan. She said the food was good, but that she like some of the other delivery services with vegetarian plans better. Hope that helps – I’ve never tried it personally.

  • Edward
    Reply

    I just signed up with Plated…. I will let you know about my experience!

  • Christina Moehrke
    Reply

    Hello! I absolutely loved your post on meal delivery services and found it to be very insightful. My husband and I just received our very first Hello Fresh box last night and were pleasantly surprised. The organization was great and the first meal was excellent (Juicy Lucy burgers). I like how Hello Fresh allows you to send a $40 coupon to your friends who might be interested and if they sign up you get $20 off your next order. We have also ordered a box from Blue Apron to come at the end of the week to compare. Home Chef and Plated are next on the list to try.
    While I don’t see that it will be a significant savings to our budget, it certainly runs close (some cheaper, others a little more) and it keeps me from having to come up with different meal ideas every week.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment and feedback! I definitely know what you mean, it’s not so much the budget saving, but it’s the ‘mixing it up’ factor and having different meal ideas that i don’t have to think up myself lol! Hope you enjoy the other meal delivery services as you try them. I found it fun to try different ones and compare them to each other!

  • Rita
    Reply

    Dear Phi,
    Love this segment was reading it to Al especially with everything that is going on. Thinking a lot about you this week. Love you, Rita

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much Rita!! We loved trying the different services out, it was a really fun post to do. Thank you so much for your thoughts this week- much appreciated, we’ll keep you posted ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love phi

  • Shaton
    Reply

    Love your post. I’ve used Home Chef on a couple of occasions and really enjoyed the food but most of all I enjoyed not having to plan meals. However, after the 2nd time using them, the food didn’t excite me anymore so I’m currently on pause. I have been looking at Hello Fresh so it was great to see your comparison…… same with Plated. I may consider using several of these services on a rotated basis over a period of time – Maybe 2-3 months and then change. That way the flavors and choices may stay more inspiring.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’m so glad you like this post, thank you for your comment! You know, I was the same way, after trying these services back to back, I needed a little break before using them again. I love that you can just pause your account and come back later – they definitely helped with meal time inspiration.

  • Weiser9
    Reply

    Is there anything out there for singles (that’s not already prepared?)

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      That’s such a great question, I have not come across anything yet…if I do ever find something I’ll let you know- hope a reader can chime in!

    • Rob
      Reply

      Dinner Thyme allowed for this. Awesome service. However, they just suspended service for a few months.

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        I’ll have to check them out when they’re back, thanks Rob

  • Denielle
    Reply

    Hi, thanks for this amazing comparison…it’s what made me want to give meal delivery services a try! I decided to sign up for Plated but sadly my first box never showed up. The tracking shows it was scanned on Sunday evening for delivery on Monday, and here we are a week and a half later with no updated tracking info, and still no box. I’m still very anxious to give Plated a try but I’ve had to skip the next 4 weeks because we’ll be out of town. Plated immediately reimbursed me but the shipping company, LaserShip, has offered no explanation, just an email with the same crummy tracking. Has anyone heard of them or experienced missing/undelivered boxes as well?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      So glad you liked the comparisons. That’s so odd that your box never showed up, that must have been so disappointing, I know I would have been. I’ve never had that happen, thankfully, so hopefully (sadly for you) it was a weird fluke!

  • Ryan Cook
    Reply

    This is a great post… my fiancรฉ and I do Hello Fresh and set it to only ship once a month. It adds variety to our meals and we have enjoyed everything we have made and even made one of the recipes again. We got a discount for Blue Apron and will be giving that a try next week. I will now have to check out some of these other services as well. Thanks for the input and information you have provided.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for commenting. I too think that it adds variety, I just started using the services again after having a baby – definitely makes life a little easier ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoyed reading about the other services, besides Hello Fresh, you might really like Plated – I love their dessert option!

  • Dawn Connor
    Reply

    One of the most thorough and relavant comparisons for actual families. I have tried Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Plated.

    One thing with Blue Apron, after a while, you get similar flavors. Although we like their dishes, you felt like you had something similar the week before. I have an active account and only request a box once a month or every other month. The downfall is you only get 2 meals – for us, the 3 meals is about optimal.

    I have consistently stuck with Plated – their ingredients seem to be fresh and of high quality, which is why we didn’t last with Home Chef (once got 6 rotten potatoes sent to me).

    I might just sample the Hello Fresh, just to compare. Thanks!!!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for the super sweet comment Dawn, I really appreciate that, and so glad you liked the review! It’s the absolute worst when ingredients arrive rotten, isn’t it?
      I like Hello Fresh because it seemed to me that they use the least amount of dishes when cooking their recipes … and I’m all about that lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nathania
    Reply

    Was wondering if you also know off hand, if any of these home delivery services offered diff. types of plans such as; Vegan, low carb, etc… ? Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Yes, I believe some of them do. I believe Green Chef offered a Vegan option ๐Ÿ™‚

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