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.

Home Chef

Pros:

  • Loved that there were lots of meals to choose from
  • Lots of delivery day options which is always nice
  • Absolutely LOVE that besides the designated meal plans you can add additional meals (so if the plan is 3 meals for a family of 4, if that week you want 4 or 5 of the meals, you can add them on and not change your plan!)
  • One can add on breakfast/fruit/smoothie/premium meals which is nice
  • Food is really tasty – their flatbreads or meatball options, whenever I see them on the menu I order them because they’re so good
  • A binder came with the first order so that one could put all the recipes in the binder
  • Definitely most flexibility if you’re a family of 2, 4 or 6 or if there are vegetarians, you don’t have to completely change plans, you can choose vegetarian options
  • All the ingredients for a recipe were in a bag

Home Chef meal delivery reviewCons:

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

Terras Kitchen home deliveryTerra’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 review

 

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 review

Blue 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)

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, but there’s not a lot of flexibility between plans (if you want a family plan, there are only a few 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
  • There are not a lot of options on some of the plans (for example, if you want a family plan and have 3 meals, there’s only 5 to choose from) versus if you’re on a 2 person plan, there’s like 6+ meals to choose from.

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 and there were SO MANY TASTY options!
  • 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
  • I used ingredients I never would have tried, really unique menu items

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 - ratings, home meal delivery service review

After writing this post, I got a lot of questions about meals that are already made (cooked) or servings for one. I tried a service called The Good Kitchen – they do fully prepared farm to table meals. The meals were really delicious, albeit a little pricey. I emailed them and they’re offering SweetPhi readers 15% off on their first order using code PHI15

The good kitchen - premade healthy meal delivery service
Summary:

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  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 Home Chef and a close second was Plated (they have dessert options)! Both had seemingly the best options and the least amount of dishes! My husband’s favorite was Terra’s Kitchen -not only because of the tasty food, but because of their shipping vessel!

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

Subscribe to the Sweet Phi Newsletter

Join my mailing list to receive a free copy of my eCookbook and stay up to date with the latest on the Sweet Phi blog!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Showing 221 comments
  • Angela
    Reply

    I found this very helpful and informative. I was familiar with some of the options like Blue Apron, and have been weighing the pros and cons of the service, found a few new must-trys. The dessert option on Plated looks amazing! Thanks for the post.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      You’re so welcome, thank YOU for commenting 🙂 I loved the dessert options – and they were quite yummy!

      • Steve
        Reply

        Thanks for your efforts here. I have not tried any of the services, but it looks like one has to sign up and cannot get just one weeks service to try one out? That by signing up, you are are already into the 2nd week and obligated to continue for more than a week. Any thoughts?

        • Sweetphi
          Reply

          Hi there, I think i may have answered this to someone else’s comment, but all the services let you “pause” or “skip” the coming weeks in the calendar function 🙂

    • Mnsotamama
      Reply

      I wonder if they offer a gift card to give someone?

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        They definitely do!

      • Steve
        Reply

        thanks for getting back! I have signed on for Home Chef and look forward to the first delivery this week. My kids have told me about such services and I look forward to some meal variety without any thoughts!

        • Sweetphi
          Reply

          I think you’ll love the different services 🙂 I know for me it’s a great way to try out new foods I would normally never cook.

    • Jimmy
      Reply

      You have home chef winning with 91 but their score should only be 81

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        Hi Jimmy, the score is 91 – the $ equals points too, so because it is only $, that’s 10 points – so 91 is correct 🙂 Thanks for checking the math though.

  • Ruth Williams
    Reply

    Thank you. Looking for a service. Home Chef was on my radar, and I’m happy to see you liked it. However, you’ve pointed out a couple more options I need to look at.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for commenting Ruth, so glad you liked my comparisons 🙂

  • Kelly
    Reply

    HELLO love the comparison thanks so much. I don’t cook, at all 🙁 I am looking for a service that will deliver pre made meals that I can just microwave and enjoy (not Jenny Craig or Lean Cuisine). Do you have any suggestions for services that don’t require any cooking but provide tasty and borderline healthy options?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi Kelly, sometimes I too don’t feel like cooking. So I tried a service called The Good Kitchen which has premade meals delivered to your door. WOWZA, they were super delicious. They were definitely on the more premium side. I had some of the best steak I’ve ever had in one of their meals. If you use code PHI15 you get 15% off your first order!

    • Jaimie
      Reply

      Kelly, have you looked at Freshly? They are pre-cooked, individual meals. I know they don’t serve every area, but might be worth checking out!

  • Pamela Blizzard
    Reply

    I really appreciate your reviews! It’s saving me lots of time and trouble! Here’s a question – because, as another reader said, you can’t really see ahead to the menus – do any of the services offer a Vegan option?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      You’re so welcome – so glad you liked the review. I believe Green Chef offered a vegan option!

    • Michelle
      Reply

      Sunbasket does as well.

  • Michelle
    Reply

    I use Sun Basket. Only one I’ve tried as I was pointed in that direction by my sister who has been using it for over a year. The meals vary as far as how good they are, but for 2018 they have expanded to 18 menu options each week (which is almost too much choice, lol), and have plenty of options for different dietary requirements and preferences(gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, soy free, etc). With all those options, it’s easy to pick recipes of the complexity you desire. Also to get different levels of value. Some recipes (like soups) provide more servings, whereas more traditional entrees are a pretty good portion for two for one night. Their shipping containers and pretty much all materials are compostable or recyclable. I don’t really have much motivation to try any others… Though I liked the one you mentioned that gave you a binder to collect recipes in =)

    • PAMELA BLIZZARD
      Reply

      Ordered!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’ll definitely have to give that one a try 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting

  • Dana
    Reply

    Lots to think about! Thank you!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  • Kristen
    Reply

    Great information! I am thinking of starting meal service in my area (a rural area in Texas) for busy, working families whose kids are involved in everything and are so tired of fast food, eating out, etc. Would you mind if I used your rating chart for informing my target audience? Many of them have tried the boxes and like them, but do not want the prep, clean up, etc. I would be sure to credit your blog and offer a link. Let me know your thoughts- I completely understand if the answer is no. Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi Kristen, please feel free to email me at sweetphiblog@gmail.com, I’m not entirely sure what your question is. We can talk more via email. Glad you enjoyed the chart 🙂

  • Shelley
    Reply

    I signed up for Hello Fresh and was able to immediately “skip” the next two weeks. I’ll decide after I get my first week if I want to receive more – I have until Friday of that week to change my mind!

    It was the same with Home Chef – there is an option to “skip” the weeks following your first order. I also really liked that Home Chef give you the option of fresh fruit and lunch salads. My only complaint was that for the fruit and lunch salads I can’t change to number of servings – but on their site they say they are working to change that.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’ve found that you can usually “Pause” or “skip” the coming weeks in the calendar function of the services 🙂

  • Kevin
    Reply

    Thank you for your time and effort for providing your personal insight and opinion about each of the companies above. VERY helpful. My wife and I have just started the home delivery service and our first one has been through Hello Fresh. We’ve been very happy with the selections available, quantity and flavor of food. However after giving them a good rating for the above mentioned reasons, I became very upset with them and have put them on hold. The first delivery came fine, a 4 course selection. However the second week we decided to try the 3 course meal and chose accordingly. We ended up getting 7 meals and charged for them! I called and asked why? They explained that when you first set up the order you choose your plan. Then unless you physically go in and either stop/cancel or skip your selection, that it automatically continues. I was under the impression that unless I physically chose the weeks menu, they didn’t send you anything. Well since we had the 4 course initially selected and then chose the 3 course the following week, we ended up with 7 meals! I also couldn’t figure out how to log in and see my history of orders. So they walked me through it. First: You have to select Choose Plan. Then on the top right select Log In. Then I personally used to think that the settings was for altering personal information. I.E. Address, Email information, Phone number etc. Well this is where I learned your Order History is as well and can make the changes to your plans/course/meal selection and is where I saw both my open active orders (one for 3 meals and one for 4 meals). If you make ANY weekly changes to your orders you MUST go in and physically suspend all previous ones. Well now we too are working trough the individual companies available and taking advantage of their initial discounts. Our next will be Blue April and then Home Chef. You went the extra mile which most, like us, do not do by physically going and buying the ingredients of each and doing the purchase comparison which we thank you for and which will assist in our overall final decision of which company we go with. I’ll post our experiences as we try each company moving forward, and share our experiences. Thanks again.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing your feedback! That totally sucks that that happened to you. Hopefully you’ll have all better experiences from here on out 🙂

Leave a Comment