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

 In Blog Posts

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
  • The food is so good, I got my sister hooked on this service after she tried two other services. They have the most ‘family-friendly’ meals too (meaning menu items that I think the whole family would enjoy!)

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 (the other organic meal service people LOVE is Sun Basket, I’ve gotten so many comments about them!)
  • 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, same with the vegetarian plan, there are only three options, and one can’t get a vegetarian meal with other meat meals)
  • 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.
  • They have the same meals very frequently so it gets difficult to find options you haven’t tried

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!
  • If you’re an adventurous eater, this is the plan for you!
  • 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).
  • Some of the flavor combinations/meal options are a little out there. My sister tried this one and ended up switching to Home Chef because her husband just did not like the menu options.

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. I’ve gotten these meals several times now, and they’re super good!! 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
Also, after writing this post and reading the comments, Sun Basket is really loved by a lot of people. It’s all organic and the meals look super tasty-I have it on my calendar to try next month. Use this link to get $35 off Sun Basket meals!

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 by any of the companies I mentioned 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 or a small amount from your first order.) 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?

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Showing 297 comments
  • B. Anderson
    Reply

    Thanks for this blog post. I have tried Martha Stewart’s Marley Spoon, Plated and Blue Apron – I enjoyed all three, but want to continue trying them all. Marley Spoon had the higher quality flavor profiles of those three. I just tried to order through Home Chef at your recommendation, but unfortunately their deliver day options are only Wed or Friday, so that doesn’t work for my family (I would need Mon or Tue at the latest) to have meals for the work/school week. They did say that this summer they hope to remedy that for those of us on the West Coast.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for commenting! I tried Martha’s Marleys Spoon…I didn’t love the recipes, the portions were really small I found too (that’s probably what I should be eating lol). I do think you’d like Home Chef, so I’m glad they’ll be rolling out more delivery days soon 🙂

    • Crystal
      Reply

      I love using home chef. It’s so easy that my husband, who has not really spent much time in a kitchen can do it. The recipes are delicious and easy as you want them to be.

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        Thank you for your feedback, I just made a home chef meal for dinner which was delicious 🙂

  • CC
    Reply

    Your article an comparing/constrast is very helpful and informative. i had no idea what i needed to purchase a meal delivery, such as packaging. Thanks you

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      So glad you liked the comparison, thank you for commenting!

  • Gramme
    Reply

    So happy that you compiled research for my “homework”. I appreciate your in-depth details & photos. My quest is to gift my grandson with a food service while in his law studies. I did try Blue Apron and another (I thought it had “Sun” in the title.) and learned neither delivered to his undergraduate town. Suffice to say, my plan may not have been a timely idea while he was living in a frat house! Without joining each service to just discover delivery information, is there an expedient way to know which ones deliver to his future area code, 60637 ? While the best product is most desirable, I need to select the best from those actually available for our needs. Thank you.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      What a great gift idea for your grandson. I wish I had an easy way to help with the delivery zip code, but I think you’d just have to look at the different services and see if they deliver. Thanks for commenting.

  • Sheila
    Reply

    Thank you for such a detailed description. I tried Home Chef and liked the many options. I did add more flavor to the dishes, just because it would have been bland to us otherwise. We eat a lot of fish and unfortunately the fish isn’t that great for the price. I found that I could purchase from the market if on sale and feed my family of 4 for the price of one dinner with some of the meals. That being said the convenience of having it all labeled and prepackaged was a big time savor.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      That is great feedback, thank you for commenting. While I do agree that you could probably get some things a little cheaper, the convenience and not having waste always makes me appreciate the home delivery!

  • Prepared Food Delivery
    Reply

    Hi Sweetphi,
    Nice article! Discussed your own experience of home meal services with us.Thanks. Keep it up!

  • Heather Kelly
    Reply

    Hi Sweetphi,
    I started receiving Blue Apron meals a couple months ago, before I read your blog. For the most part I like this service. But, I do agree the options for vegetarians are not great. They only provide 3-veggie options each week, and we get 3-meals a week, so no actual choices. And while there are many steps required to prepare the meal, this is not a negative for me as I truly enjoy cooking.

    Also, one week I received a box and was almost immediately called out of town, didn’t get back home for nearly 14-days. To my surprise, 95-percent of the ingredients were still in good shape. Out of all 3-meals, I only had to toss 3-items (2-from one recipe and 1-item from another). I was able to use all the ingredients for the 3rd recipe. So, their produce lasts a long time.

    My only other complaint is a pattern I’ve discovered. About 85-percent of their vegetarian recipes are a bit heavy on the carbs. A pasta and/or potato dish which also includes bread, pizza, sandwiches, etc. The company appears to believe vegetarians require carbs to get full. While I am not gluten-free, I prefer to have more beans or quinoa as the protein which will fill me up, not wheat flour. But, the flavors are good, I like the zen of cutting, chopping and grating, and not having to spend time shopping for all the ingredients.

  • Lisa McDonald
    Reply

    I was so pleased to find your blog. We started receiving Sun Basket meals about 2 months ago. It was my plan to try them for a coupkle of weeks, then try others to compare for quality, price, and variety. However, I didn’t see anything in your blog that sounded better than Sun Basket! I enjoy having some prep of food before cooking it. Sometimes the clean-up is more than I want to do, with several bowls and a couple of frying pans and baking sheets. But it is worth it because after cooking for more than 40 years, SB has sent food items I have never even heard of before (my favorite is purple sweet potatoes). The Weekly choice of meals is 18 recipes from vegetarian/vegan, seafood, meat, and poultry categories. The recipes are what I would consider to be mostly nouvelle American cuisine. which will take you out of a rut in cooking quickly.

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