discounted meal prep organization solutions

If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind. After extensive testing, EveryPlate, HelloFresh, and Mosaic Foods are among our top picks for the cheapest meal delivery services.

Read on to see the other services that made the cut. Meal delivery services can be a quick and convenient way to enjoy more healthy, home-cooked meals. But these services can range quite a bit in price, with some costing even two or three times as much as others. This can make it particularly challenging for anyone on a tight budget to find an option that works for them.

We included an assortment of both prepared meals — which can typically be heated in the microwave or oven with no meal prep required — and meal kits, which include preportioned ingredients and recipe cards so you can make your own meals at home.

Keep reading for 5 of the best affordable delivery services in , along with our feedback on each service and a closer look at how they compare. As part of our testing, we consider several factors, including the ease of the signup and meal selection process, the variety and nutritional composition of the meals offered, ingredient quality and freshness, ease of cooking, and, of course, the taste.

We score them accordingly. Learn more about how we test meal kits. Each service in this article:. There are a few factors you may want to consider when selecting a meal delivery service to ensure that the company fits your lifestyle and budget:.

Meal delivery prices can range quite a bit. If you regularly dine out or order takeout, a meal delivery service could save you money, depending on the service you choose.

But compared with buying groceries and cooking meals at home, meal delivery services tend to be more expensive. Meal delivery services can range quite a bit in price, making it challenging for people on a budget to find suitable options. But several cost-effective services are available, many of which offer options to fit some dietary restrictions and food preferences.

When deciding which meal delivery service is right for you, consider factors such as variety, quality, cost, availability, and ingredients.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. VIEW ALL HISTORY. These Black-owned companies check all the marks for freshness, flavor, and elevating Blackness in the food industry.

Dinnerly is an affordable meal kit service that provides quick recipes and the ingredients you need to prepare them. We put Dinnerly to the test to…. While they're not typically able to prescribe, nutritionists can still benefits your overall health.

Let's look at benefits, limitations, and more. A new study found that healthy lifestyle choices — including being physically active, eating well, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption —….

Carb counting is complicated. You can check to see what items you'll need to have on hand for each meal and also get full nutrition facts readily available for every recipe on their website, but our registered dietitians do point out that the sodium content is very high on some of the meals.

Great taste! I was very pleased," a tester said. Another commented, "It's always hard to find new dinner ideas; these are a perfect variety to keep everyone in your family happy and full. Those looking for more plant-based fare will appreciate the hearty vegetarian offerings from Mosaic.

You'll find everything from veggies and pizzas to smoothies, soups and oat bowls. The brand uses high-quality ingredients, choosing organic and local options when possible. How it works: Start by selecting your plan, which includes six, 12 or 18 options per box you'll get more savings the more you order.

Then fill your box with a variety of plant-based breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Meal filters include vegetarian, vegan, wheat-free, nut-free and high-protein. Select what you'd like or have Mosaic build a box for you based on customer favorites. You'll then determine how often you'd like to receive deliveries, ranging from weekly to monthly.

All of the meals are delivered frozen with free shipping on 12 and 18 item boxes. Testers were impressed with how tasty the veggie-forward meals were, with one saying, "Delicious! So flavorful for frozen meals. We were impressed. Made eating plant-based so easy. At the Good Housekeeping Institute , we test all types of food products and services, from healthy snacks and supplements to food subscription boxes and meal delivery services.

Our experts are committed to bringing you the best of the best when it comes to quality, performance, flavor, nutrition and more.

In our most recent study of meal delivery services, we recruited more than at-home testers across the nation, while our in-house experts also tested the services in our Labs. All in all, we evaluated over 40 different meal delivery services , ranging from traditional kits that come with pre-measured ingredients and a follow-along recipe card to fully prepared options.

We tested the services over the course of three months. For each service, we tried a total of 15 or more meals across our experts and testers. We are currently and constantly testing new offerings in this category to keep readers up-to-date. In the end, we made our selections based on expert evaluations and tester feedback in the categories of overall satisfaction, food quality, cost, recycling efforts and availability.

Our top picks cater to a wide variety of dietary preferences, including gluten-free, low-carb, high-protein and more. Although taste is subjective, we ultimately chose companies that scored high points overall with testers.

When finding the best meal delivery service to fit into your lifestyle and budget, there are a few key things to consider:. There are also options that fall in between: Food is partially prepped and requires minimal extra work to get a balanced meal on the table quickly.

You'll want to take a look at the plans the different services offer and keep in mind that while some services may start at a low price that is for a large order. You'll typically be able to check the price ahead of ordering, so you can see how much it will cost for your specific needs and servings per week.

If you are cooking for more than four people, check to make sure the service will accommodate your family, as some services only serve a max of four people per meal.

Frozen meals can avoid waste whereas fresh options can spoil if not eaten immediately. Most services allow you to skip a week and adjust your plan along the way, which can be a strategy to help keep costs down if you can't use the food quickly.

Some options, like Dinnerly, have robust vegetarian menus, for example, whereas other services may offer only a handful of vegetarian meals to choose from each week. Certain services will let you customize further and swap out proteins, which can be beneficial. Most services will give you a discount on the first box and additional discounts if you are a first responder or in the military.

And if you know a friend or family member who is using the service, you may both get a discount for the referral. Some meal delivery services can be pricey — and most also involve shipping fees. But it's worth keeping in mind that they also tend to be healthier and less expensive than takeout. There's also the benefit of skipping a trip to the grocery store and not having to spend time coming up with meal ideas and hunting for recipes.

Many meal kits offer assistance with meal prepping, chopping and more , cutting down on prep time too. You'll also get the opportunity to learn new cooking techniques and try new foods that may not be in your regular mealtime rotation.

If you'd rather not bust out all your pots and pans every night, prepared meal delivery services can also offer a smart solution.

While prepared options do come at a premium, you're ultimately paying for the convenience, which may be worth it for you. These types of melas are typically comparable with the cost of takeout but have one standard shipping fee since the meals come together.

This article was originally written by registered dietitian Amy Fischer. It was most recently updated by registered dietitian and Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Director Stefani Sassos. As a dietitian and working mother, Stefani is passionate about putting balanced meals on the table for her family without having to spend a ton of time or money at the grocery store.

She personally uses meal delivery services as a way to change up her family's normal dinnertime routine and to get introduced to a variety of new foods and unique preparation methods. Stefani is dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based content to encourage informed food choices and healthy living.

She is an avid CrossFitter and a passionate home cook who loves spending time with her big fit Greek family. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Miami University of Ohio and a master's degree in clinical nutrition from NYU. Prior to Good Housekeeping , she worked at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City as a cardiac transplant dietitian.

She has authored numerous chapters in clinical nutrition textbooks and has also worked in PR and marketing for food company start-ups. The 9 Best Multivitamins For Men.

The Best Thread Count for Sheets. The Best Japanese Knives. The Best Mattresses for Kids of All Ages. The Best Down Comforters. The Best Comforters. Best Mattresses for Back Pain You can use the list above to choose the best meal delivery service based on your lifestyle and nutritional needs.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. VIEW ALL HISTORY. Many prepared meal delivery services offer meals you can just reheat and enjoy — no cooking, cutting, or cleaning required.

Healthline writers and…. These Black-owned companies check all the marks for freshness, flavor, and elevating Blackness in the food industry. Convenience and weight loss? Here are our dietitians' and testers' picks for 12 of the best weight loss meal delivery services.

Produce delivery services ship fresh fruits and vegetables straight to your home. This article reviews the 8 best produce delivery services. If you're trying to decide between the meal kit delivery services Blue Apron and Sunbasket, you may want to know which is better.

This article offers…. If you prefer a plant-based diet, meal delivery services can offer convenience. See our experts' picks of the 11 best plant-based meal delivery….

You can have organic meals without tons of prep time. Here are the best organic meal delivery services of CookUnity is a chef-collective prepared meal delivery service offering restaurant-quality meals.

However, it isn't cheap. We tried CookUnity for one…. We have tested the most popular meal delivery services on the market to help you decide which ones are worth your money.

Learn how we test each…. A Quiz for Teens Are You a Workaholic? How Well Do You Sleep? Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect. Nutrition Evidence Based 10 Best Meal Delivery Services for , Tested and Dietitian-Approved.

Medically reviewed by Marie Lorraine Johnson MS, RD, CPT — By Kelli McGrane, MS, RD and Rachael Ajmera, MS, RD — Updated on February 6, On this page Our picks Comparison table Honorable mentions Methodology How to choose FAQ Bottom line. How we vet brands and products Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we: Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm? Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?

Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

HelloFresh* These five meal prep companies offer discounts to healthcare workers Our extensive testing revealed HelloFresh, Dinnerly, Gobble, CookUnity, Home Chef, and Purple Carrot as the best meal kit delivery services

Discounted meal prep organization solutions - Gobble* HelloFresh* These five meal prep companies offer discounts to healthcare workers Our extensive testing revealed HelloFresh, Dinnerly, Gobble, CookUnity, Home Chef, and Purple Carrot as the best meal kit delivery services

Home Chef brings the elements of comfort food and home cooking to your doorstep, with recipes tailored to fit your schedule. When curating my own box, I imagined all the types of meals I cook in order to go about my day well-fed and on time. For a taste test, I went with the happy medium of the three, opting for the minute hoisin pulled pork with jasmine rice.

The first note to make is on the notes themselves. The recipe cards were super well-organized, making my type-A personality very happy. After unzipping the correct package for my meal, the cooking process was as easy as promised, clocking in at about 20 minutes due to my slower chopping skills.

The four-part directions were a breeze to read and also featured photos for those who need a photographic confidence boost to compare their cooking to. With new meals offered weekly, choose between regular meal kits, minute meals, easy-prep and oven-ready meals, and extras like a protein pack of meats and fish to supplement a kit or make your own recipes with.

Many meals can also be customized with Impossible Foods products, for those who go meat-free without sacrificing taste. This year, it was my home in Brooklyn that allowed me to try the delicious meals, as they do ship to New York as well as most of the contiguous US states you can check by entering your area code on the site from three warehouses in New Jersey, Texas and California.

You can choose between three and six meals per week, and pick if you want the box to be vegetarian. As a carnivore myself, I left the box unchecked and ordered three meals, trying to see the full range of options when it came time to cook, prep, and clean up.

I loved to see that many meals only required one pot or pan, while others on the weekly menu are listed as minute meals or meals with no knife required — perfect for cooking with the kids and those with no knife skills. A few other things I noticed while cooking up my Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwich was just how fresh the ingredients were, admiring the tiny head of butter lettuce and the soft dinner rolls.

This was a minute meal, and it truly was, as I was able to toss the green beans in the oven and work on the chicken at the same time, without feeling stressed or getting too messy. The plus side is that the recipes live online, so there is no need to store sticky cards on your bookshelf or try and photocopy for later.

How they can make both one-pot pasta and a full steak meal in just six steps is beyond me, but it works and makes meals manageable for all skill levels.

I decided to go big or go home with my test cook, choosing a steak with mushroom cream sauce and roasted potatoes and carrots for a Monday night dinner. HelloFresh packages each set of ingredients conveniently into individual brown paper bags.

Once unpacked, I did a quick wash and dry for the produce, and the rest of the meal was pretty straightforward. I timed the cook, and sure enough, it was pretty close to the estimation on the cards — 47 minutes for me for a slightly more well-done steak and an older oven for the crispy potatoes.

The green cousin of Hello Fresh, Green Chef stands out as a traditional meal kit with better-for-you options.

When researching all the kits on the market, I noticed that Green Chef offered the first Keto options for those following a fad diet trend.

Now, they offer an array of other options, too, from vegetarian to plant-based to paleo. I went with the sesame shrimp noodle bowls from their gluten-free menu, which claimed to take 25 minutes to cook. The kit came with everything I needed, sans salt, pepper and cooking oil, so make sure you have those on hand.

A new sister site to the HelloFresh family, Factor is unlike the rest of its siblings in that no cooking is required — unless you consider using a microwave cooking. I decided to cook my pumpkin pancakes in the microwave, to see if they really stand up to the chewy-making effect a micro can have on some frozen foods.

The cons: even though it was a microwave meal, there were a few sticky steps, such as flipping each hot pancake and then making sure the butter was melted all the way through the stack of three cakes. As for the taste, neither a pro nor a con. They definitely tasted like healthier pancakes — butter and syrup helped — and the addition of the nuts on top was a satisfying touch.

To wash it all down, I also grabbed one of the cold-pressed juices — Factor also offers wellness shots in addition to their four juice flavors. The pineapple turmeric basil juice sounded super interesting, and sure enough, it was as tasty as it was vitamin-packed.

The option to go to my fridge instead of a 9-dollar-a-pop juice shop with a hipster barista is worth it in and of itself for me. There are even dessert options, too — the dark chocolate peppermint keto-friendly cheesecake was my personal favorite. The very best part of this kit for me was the ability to feel like I was having a fancy meal without any of the work.

Not only for Thanksgiving , Gobble is the meal kit that serves up generous turkey-day-sized portions no matter the season. The first thing I noticed about Gobble was just how much fresh produce I received in my order. For the beautiful Italian flat iron steak meal, which is supposedly two servings, I got a huge bag of ripe cherry tomatoes and an entire bundle of green onions.

For my miso-baked salmon, I got a giant bag of fresh broccoli and a ton of jasmine rice. During the unboxing alone, it was evident that Gobble values quantity and quality. The four balls of cookie dough that came with my meal, not that I had any room left in my stomach after the meal to come.

A second dessert stomach is a thing, right? Another thing to note was the smaller, more compact recipe cards. While they are so much easier to save and store in a kitchen drawer than full-sized pieces of paper, they are also a bit more cramped in terms of directions and information. The total time for my medium-rare meal came out to 29 minutes and 33 seconds, prep work included.

For a full steak dinner that yielded enough for two portions and leftovers of the polenta and veggies, this is the kit for hungry families who want to spend some quality time together in the kitchen. Though I am a carnivore through and through, I found that Purple Carrot is a great introduction to vegan eating.

When choosing a meal to cook, I knew I wanted something that I loved already in its original meaty form, made vegan, to really put the box to the test. After I had chopped everything down to size and foraged for my mushroom heads well, I picked them apart from the woody stems, but it sure felt like foraging , 15 minutes had already ticked by.

The rest of the cook was pretty straightforward, used minimal dishes, and came out almost exactly like the photo, albeit a bit more soupy of a sauce. Did this vegan dupe stand up to comforting chicken and dumplings? Another pro: everything was included in the box except salt, pepper, and oil, as they made sure to package vegan butter, flour, baking soda, and thyme into pre-measured baggies.

For those who do want to eat plant-based for all three meals of the day and then some, the site does offer a lot of different options, changed up every week. On the site now, curate your box with eight different dinner options, two breakfasts, two lunches and six different snacks from an array of vegan companies.

Instead, expect a trifecta of support, with meals, coaching, and tracking, too. Trifecta is indeed a meal kit company, meaning you can simply order the meals to arrive at your home, fresh and pre-packaged, sent to your door on ice to then be reheated in the microwave or oven.

However, for those who want a whole-body and mind experience when it comes to healthy eating and lifestyle, you can add a lot more from Trifecta. Back to the food at hand — and in fridge — there are a variety of options to choose from when selecting your meal plan.

When receiving my box, I loved that all of the items were packaged with the meals clearly labeled, helping me choose which I wanted to eat now and stick in the fridge and which I wanted to freeze for later — you can freeze the meals for up to three months in the freezer, or leave them for up to seven days in the fridge.

To really put the flavors and textures to the test, I used the microwave, and to my delight, the rice was cooked to perfection, the sausages were left juicy, and the packaging was cool enough to touch. One note: since these meals are in sustainable packaging, the bottom may get soggy, so it is advised to use a plate underneath.

Otherwise, the meals provided enough food for a full meal maybe add fresh fruit on the side and made me feel more energized than if I had grabbed a different freezer meal from the grocery store.

Clean eating has never been easier, with Sakara Life calling the shots for every meal of the day. The plant-based and nutrition-focused meal delivery service is one that can really revamp the way you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The meals each come in a take-out style container, with a sticker indicating when I should eat the meal right down to the time and day of the week.

The best part for me was the portability and ease of the whole thing, especially as someone who skips breakfast or opts for a muffin when running late. While heating my dinner bowl, a Sakara burger with chili cashew creme, I decided to browse the site to see what sort of plans they offered.

For those who want to try out a weekly meal plan but are a bit timid, they do have a one-week trial to test the waters. If you like it, you can set up a recurring subscription and have Sakara Life meals all week long. Bonus points for being super customizable, as some may want just a few days a week and others an entire fridge of pre-planned meals for their three squares.

With my burger bowl, after incorporating the cashew creme and the other garlicky dressing, I do have to say that while not a burger in my meat-eating eyes, this was one of the best salads I have had — ever. Even though this bowl was shipped to my door, everything was crunchy and fresh, with no wilted leaves in sight.

As someone who spends far too much money at Sweetgreen only to find myself hungry again, finding filling and yummy salads and bowls that I can bring into the office can be a challenge. This is where I think Territory Foods fits in nicely. They are also all made without gluten or dairy, which is super great for those with allergies in the house.

The coolest part for me, though, was when I took a peek at the packaging and the menu, to find out that my options were actually tailored to my region, partnering with local chefs and restaurants to create the weekly menu of over 35 rotating options.

My Ginger Garlic Chicken Salad was not only ready-to-eat and delicious but was also made by Chef Rachelle Slotnick of Chantilly, VA. Also, a nod to the packaging, the removable slip contains the calories, protein, fat, and carbs of each meal, should you be tracking yours, as well as the eat-by date and the warming instructions if needed on the back.

The last thing that really sets Territory Foods apart is the pricing plan structure. When setting up my account, the first thing to make note of was just how many options for breakfast, lunch and dinner there are. In unboxing, one quick thing to remember is that there is dry ice that comes on top of your order, so make sure to have an adult unpack and dispose of the ice.

As for the meals, the smoothies and wellness shots can be thawed in the fridge or enjoyed as an icy treat. I chose the latter for my mango guava smoothie due to my impatience, and it was a refreshing option that I sipped on during this whole review, and eventually melted into a drinkable smoothie.

The wellness shots are more like a few sips, but great as an ice cube or a liquid — up to you. The soups, however, should be reheated, in my opinion, and can be warmed in the microwave, as the bowls they come in are micro-safe and BPA-free.

Can I hear it for no dishes? Full transparency, we had our very own Matt Levy help with this review, or, more specifically, his toddler did the hard work. While the little one munched, mom and dad also took some bites, deeming the Nurture Life foods parent approved, should there be leftovers when your kiddo is done.

These are chopped up small to prevent choking, and come in a variety of flavors to expose your tike to new flavors and textures. The meal service is great for those parents who are sick of sharing off their own plates as well, as the Nurture Life meals let your kid have their very own plate of yummy food, and a great option for those who need some more variety in their weekly kid-approved cooking rotation.

Starting from the way the package arrived — hand-delivered in a reusable tote, layered with ice to keep the food fresh — the whole CookUnity experience was restaurant-level without ever leaving home.

I was also sent a text to track my order, letting me know an hour in advance so I could be prepared. The food arrived in great shape, with no foggy plastic coverings or soggy cardboard to be found.

The only downside to the meals is that they are single-serve, as I would have loved left overs or to be able to serve to a family or crowd — oh, well, more meals for me! Eat Clean is a prepared meal delivery service, that not only takes the grocery shopping out of the equation like a typical meal kit, but also takes care of most of the prep work, cooking and cleaning.

The meals arrive in a pre-packaged and pre-portioned tray that is microwave safe, or you can opt to open the pack and use an oven-safe dish to reheat the food in minutes. And yes, packaging is recyclable. On to the nutrition aspect, the packaging wrapped around each tray has detailed nutritional information, plus, the website does a great job of describing each menu item, outlining all of the ingredients as well as health information.

For those on a specific diet, you can also choose from plant-based meals, Keto and paleo. I opted for a random selection of meals this go around, but would also like to note that the service does carry a variety of options for breakfast and snacks, in addition to lunch and dinner, should you want to plan for busy mornings or an eventful day with little time to snack.

I went the dinner route, and happily ate BBQ pulled pork with sweet plantain mash off of the traditional menu, as well as Kung Pao chicken with sweet potato noodles from the paleo menu. Both were extremely flavorful, not skimping on seasonings at all. Portion sizes are on the somewhat smaller size, but the meals themselves were filling, each coming with a protein and a veggie for the meals I chose.

Daily Harvest truly means daily, as I happily ate a breakfast, lunch and a dessert in one sitting when diving into my box of frozen meals and snacks. They keep it simple; everything comes frozen on dry ice careful with kids if they help with the unboxing process!

and ready to either reheat, blend, or in the case of ice cream, thaw and enjoy. My sweet potato bowl took about four minutes in the microwave, and I was surprised by how well it turned out.

All in all, Daily Harvest is a great kit to have on-hand and in-freezer at all times, whether it be as part of your daily routine or a great fall back when waking up late and needing a quick smoothie or bowl or a dinner for the family on busy nights.

Mosaic is another frozen meal delivery service that sends breakfast, lunch and dinner to your door and can be reheated in the microwave in five minutes or less for a quick and healthy meal.

I personally love this style, as it helps to eliminate food waste and saves room in the freezer for exactly what you want. Each category is priced out differently, but you can mix and match to reach your minimum box order. Furthermore, deliveries are super easy to customize, as you can get a recurring box every week, every two weeks or every four weeks, with the option to pause or cancel should you be out of town.

For my trial box, I ordered a few things from each category but decided on soup and some noodles for lunch. The directions were pretty straightforward, as all you need is a microwave and about five minutes of patience before food is served. The soup took an initial five minutes and then an additional two, as per the instructions, so be sure to read the packaging for the exact cooking time.

I actually had leftovers because it was so filling — always a pro when it comes to plant-based foods. Sunbasket is truly a ray of sunshine for those who value organic ingredients and getting a healthy and delicious meal on the table. For my box, I decided to do a mix of everything, getting one oven-ready meal that was gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian and one regular meal kit to be cooked up.

For the instant option, I was sent a shrimp paella with fire-roasted tomatoes and bell peppers, instantly taking me back to Spain where I tried the dish for the first time. Instead of a bulky pan to cook my paella, I was given a microwave safe container, cutting my cook time to just six minutes total.

I was wary of overcooked and rubbery fish with dry rice, but the dish came out moist and delicious, so either I have a magic microwave or the people at Sunbasket knew what they were doing when it comes to microwavable meals. They have a full breakfast menu with options for different types of eggs, oatmeals, breads and spreads, and even juice, smoothies and a coffee-in-a-can that looks awesome.

Moving on to lunch and dinner, they have both the ready-made meals as well as cooking options, a whole section for pastas and sauces, extra protein packs, and of course, snacks. For the traditional meal, I went for their Italian sausage and vegetable skillet with spicy green harissa.

The veggies included all had organic stickers on them, and were fresh and crisp as I was chopping them up. I also noticed that they were full sized, ultimately serving a bit more than the two promised portions. If you find yourself rooting around your kitchen all day for meals and snacks, Hungryroot may be the best choice for you.

Its mix of branded items and other brands is a great way to explore new products. When I first signed up to make my profile, I was taken through a fun, almost Buzzfeed-style quiz that had me pick and choose my favorite types of foods and think about my eating habits.

To be honest with myself, I was sure to check the boxes for liking sweets and snacking, skipping breakfasts, and adding snacks to my dinners. At the end of the quiz, you are presented with a customized plan of meals and servings, as well as the option to add on breakfasts, snacks and sweets.

While some of the food is Hungryroot brand, such as the veggies, pasta, meat, and rice, some of the other items, including snacks, desserts, and even the buns for my burgers, were from other unique brands. This was actually really cool to see, as by ordering one box, I was exposed to new products that I can now go out and buy on their own when I run out — looking at you, Pipcorn cheese balls!

I chose to cook a Hungryroot brand spinach feta turkey burger on an Ozery OneBun multigrain bun with Hungryroot avocado crema.

The burgers came in pre-formed, pre-cooked patties and were super easy to pan-sear while the buns toasted, all in all, totaling about 10 minutes total for a healthy and hearty lunch.

The burger itself was delicious, and something I would seek out in a grocery store to buy again. While this particular meal was on the easy side, while browsing the site, I was happy to see a whole range of options, including groceries to have in the fridge, which I found to be super unique and well-needed in the traditional meal kit space.

This company is great for those who have a culinary mind and like cooking their own recipes but also like trying new ones, especially with healthy ingredients and fun new products.

Plus, it saves a trip to the grocery store and scrambling to plan a weekly menu on the spot. Especially with diets like keto and paleo becoming all the rage, this meal plan is one of the best to cater to those diets while also being surprisingly filling.

I am always a skeptic when it comes to pre-packaged salads and fresh greens, but when my order arrived, I was pleasantly presented with a super fresh and crunchy Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad that I ate a few days after receiving my box.

They last up to 10 days in the refrigerator, so stocking up is definitely an option. I opted for the microwave, and while the bacon was perfectly crispy and the sausage heated all the way through, I should have reheated the eggs differently. Also, note to remove the dressing and sauce containers under the plastic film before microwaving, as I narrowly avoided a very melty and messy situation.

As stated above, I fell in love with the filling and fresh Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad , which also happened to be keto, including the creamy dressing on the side.

I loved how this was a true ready-made meal, with no heating or even re-plating required. If you spend too much time and money on take-out health food or the Whole Foods salad bar, this is the kit for you.

The ready-to-eat meals come in super easy-to-transport plastic containers, a la a work cafeteria, or a fast-casual restaurant. When it comes to fresh veggies and vegan meals, I can be skeptical that the produce will retain its crunch upon delivery or that the meat or meat alternatives will arrive a soggy mess.

That said, you can see in advance what ingredients they will send and what you'll need to have on hand. Many also noted that they would have preferred printed recipe cards, though Dinnerly does give you the option to print the recipe yourself at home.

You'll also find only basic nutrition information like calories and macronutrients on the recipes. The most inexpensive meal delivery kit out there, EveryPlate was launched by the popular HelloFresh a few years ago as a budget-friendly alternative.

The company is able to keep costs down by using less packaging and simple, accessible ingredients. How it works: Choose from either a two-person or four-person plan with three to six meals per week.

Lab results: Even though EveryPlate was the cheapest meal delivery kit we tested, both our experts and testers gave it top scores across the board. Although the offerings lean more toward the comfort-food side, our dietitians noted that it easy to find the nutrition facts for each meal readily available on the website.

More expensive services will package the food in individual bags or containers, but the food from EveryPlate doesn't come particularly well-organized in the box.

This was one of the few complaints from testers, as some of the items were scattered around the box in transit. Some testers also said that certain meals took longer to prepare than the time stated on the recipe cards.

That being said, the meals are great value for the price, and testers loved how easy they were to prepare. I also found the cooking instructions less complicated," a tester commented. Another said, "I like that EveryPlate has simple directions and comes with everything you need even stock packets to get your meal going.

This delivery service has been popular in the meal kit game since and focuses on easy-to-follow recipes. On its website, HelloFresh shares its own week price comparison study analyzing customers' costs versus the cost of shopping at nationwide grocery stores and found that HelloFresh is significantly cheaper than grocery shopping.

How it works: Choose a plan for two or four people and from two to six meals per week. Upgrades and add-ons are available as well, and there are over weekly menu options. Lab results: HelloFresh provides a solid meal delivery kit, with everything neatly packed into little bags with separators making the experience feel very organized and seamless.

The packaging in general also proved superior to other services we tested in terms of both performance and sustainability. Our experts like that full nutrition information and entire recipes are available on the site so you can get a preview before you commit to a particular meal.

Allergens are listed per meal as well. Testers appreciated the number of recipes, with one saying, "I liked that it seemed to have a lot of variety of meals to choose from. One tester said, "It allowed me to try new foods, minimize food waste and save time planning meals for the week.

Rated as our best overall meal delivery kit , Blue Apron offers high-quality ingredients, inventive recipes and lots of options for different dietary needs, including WW. How it works: Choose to feed two or four people, and select from two to four meals per week.

Their signature chef's faves menu offers a mix of meat, fish and WW-recommended recipes; the vegetarian menu highlights meat-free dishes with seasonal produce and the wellness menu focuses on balanced meals approved by nutritionists and WW-recommended dishes.

Lab results: Everything in the kits came well packaged in little bags to keep things organized. Full nutrition facts labels are available on the site, along with the complete recipes and ingredient lists. Our registered dietitians also loves the variety of WW-recommended meals for those trying to get creative in the kitchen and still manage their dietary goals.

Both our pros and testers agree that the ingredients are fresh and high-quality, with testers giving the service rave reviews and noting that the recipes were creative and full of flavor. The recipe cards offered simple step-by-step instructions, and the meals had substantial portions.

The ingredients are perfectly measured, packaged well and fresh. Home Chef offers boxes that feed up to six people per meal , which is more than other services.

They provide plans that include both pre-portioned ingredients with easy-to-follow cooking instructions, as well as low- or no-prep meals for busy families. How it works: Users begin the process by taking an online quiz to determine which meal plan is the best for them, including answering questions on any dietary preferences and restrictions.

Lab results: Our experts love just how many different meal kit options Home Chef offers, whether you're looking to get something on the table fast for the family or want to indulge in a more special premium cooking experience.

And you don't have to order a crazy number of meals to unlock their lowest pricing. While it may not be the lowest-cost meal delivery kit on the list, it's definitely less than other big names out there, and the quality is top-notch.

You can check to see what items you'll need to have on hand for each meal and also get full nutrition facts readily available for every recipe on their website, but our registered dietitians do point out that the sodium content is very high on some of the meals.

Great taste! I was very pleased," a tester said. Another commented, "It's always hard to find new dinner ideas; these are a perfect variety to keep everyone in your family happy and full. Those looking for more plant-based fare will appreciate the hearty vegetarian offerings from Mosaic.

You'll find everything from veggies and pizzas to smoothies, soups and oat bowls. The brand uses high-quality ingredients, choosing organic and local options when possible. How it works: Start by selecting your plan, which includes six, 12 or 18 options per box you'll get more savings the more you order.

Then fill your box with a variety of plant-based breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Meal filters include vegetarian, vegan, wheat-free, nut-free and high-protein. Select what you'd like or have Mosaic build a box for you based on customer favorites. You'll then determine how often you'd like to receive deliveries, ranging from weekly to monthly.

All of the meals are delivered frozen with free shipping on 12 and 18 item boxes. Testers were impressed with how tasty the veggie-forward meals were, with one saying, "Delicious! So flavorful for frozen meals. We were impressed. Made eating plant-based so easy.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute , we test all types of food products and services, from healthy snacks and supplements to food subscription boxes and meal delivery services. Our experts are committed to bringing you the best of the best when it comes to quality, performance, flavor, nutrition and more.

In our most recent study of meal delivery services, we recruited more than at-home testers across the nation, while our in-house experts also tested the services in our Labs. All in all, we evaluated over 40 different meal delivery services , ranging from traditional kits that come with pre-measured ingredients and a follow-along recipe card to fully prepared options.

We tested the services over the course of three months. For each service, we tried a total of 15 or more meals across our experts and testers. We are currently and constantly testing new offerings in this category to keep readers up-to-date.

In the end, we made our selections based on expert evaluations and tester feedback in the categories of overall satisfaction, food quality, cost, recycling efforts and availability. Our top picks cater to a wide variety of dietary preferences, including gluten-free, low-carb, high-protein and more.

Although taste is subjective, we ultimately chose companies that scored high points overall with testers. When finding the best meal delivery service to fit into your lifestyle and budget, there are a few key things to consider:. There are also options that fall in between: Food is partially prepped and requires minimal extra work to get a balanced meal on the table quickly.

You'll want to take a look at the plans the different services offer and keep in mind that while some services may start at a low price that is for a large order. You'll typically be able to check the price ahead of ordering, so you can see how much it will cost for your specific needs and servings per week.

If you are cooking for more than four people, check to make sure the service will accommodate your family, as some services only serve a max of four people per meal. Frozen meals can avoid waste whereas fresh options can spoil if not eaten immediately. Most services allow you to skip a week and adjust your plan along the way, which can be a strategy to help keep costs down if you can't use the food quickly.

Some options, like Dinnerly, have robust vegetarian menus, for example, whereas other services may offer only a handful of vegetarian meals to choose from each week. Certain services will let you customize further and swap out proteins, which can be beneficial.

Most services will give you a discount on the first box and additional discounts if you are a first responder or in the military. And if you know a friend or family member who is using the service, you may both get a discount for the referral.

Some meal delivery services can be pricey — and most also involve shipping fees. But it's worth keeping in mind that they also tend to be healthier and less expensive than takeout. There's also the benefit of skipping a trip to the grocery store and not having to spend time coming up with meal ideas and hunting for recipes.

Many meal kits offer assistance with meal prepping, chopping and more , cutting down on prep time too. You'll also get the opportunity to learn new cooking techniques and try new foods that may not be in your regular mealtime rotation.

If you'd rather not bust out all your pots and pans every night, prepared meal delivery services can also offer a smart solution. While prepared options do come at a premium, you're ultimately paying for the convenience, which may be worth it for you.

These types of melas are typically comparable with the cost of takeout but have one standard shipping fee since the meals come together. This article was originally written by registered dietitian Amy Fischer.

It was most recently updated by registered dietitian and Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Director Stefani Sassos. As a dietitian and working mother, Stefani is passionate about putting balanced meals on the table for her family without having to spend a ton of time or money at the grocery store.

She personally uses meal delivery services as a way to change up her family's normal dinnertime routine and to get introduced to a variety of new foods and unique preparation methods.

Stefani is dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based content to encourage informed food choices and healthy living. She is an avid CrossFitter and a passionate home cook who loves spending time with her big fit Greek family.

She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Miami University of Ohio and a master's degree in clinical nutrition from NYU. Prior to Good Housekeeping , she worked at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City as a cardiac transplant dietitian.

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