With COVID-19 happening right now, there is a fear of going to the grocery store. After all, there are so many worrying thoughts that cross your mind: Am I six feet away from people? Social distancing? What if the cardboard box my crackers are packaged in have traces of the virus?
The solution? Grocery delivery services. What was typically seen as a nice little service to use on days you couldn’t be bothered to leave your home, they are now a very essential service. Grocery stores are using Instacart for orders and deliveries. After all, not leaving your house is the goal right now. If you are afraid of cross-contamination, you can request for your groceries to be left on your front porch, that way they can “breathe” before you bring them in. There is a very small risk of obtaining the virus with these services.
So how about subscription meal box services? Well, those have seen a prominent increase in new memberships, along with members doubling their meals/subscription rates. The concept of getting meal plans – a recipe, all the exact ingredients you need, and conveniently portioned size is making life a bit easier. One less thing to worry about.
The concept is seemingly simple: register for a specific package tailored to your dietary guidelines and number of people and at the start of each week a box full of recipes and the necessary ingredients is delivered right to your door. Most plans serve a minimum of two people, so if you’re ordering for one, you’ll have double the number of meals than originally specified.
Depending on where you live, you can choose from over 15 different meal delivery services, most of which offer a free trial or discount off your first order; this is the key to saving the most money. The four subscription services listed below allow members to cancel their membership at any time, meaning, individuals can apply their discount and then cancel their subscription before registering for the next service or being charged for a second week at full price.
4 Prepared Meal Delivery Services To Consider:
Discover Dinner With Blue Apron: “Our chefs and farmers work together to make food more sustainable and recipes more delicious. We send you higher quality food at a better value by cutting out the middleman and delivering ingredients at their freshest. We cook incredible meals from scratch with perfectly portioned ingredients and step-by-step recipes.”
Pricing Packages: Blue Apron offers three different sized plans, the Two-Serving Signature Plan, the Four-Serving Signature Family Plan, and the Two-Serving Vegetarian Plan. The former includes three meals per person at $9.99 per serving, while the latter includes two to four meals for four people at $8.99 per serving. The Two-Serving Vegetarian Plan costs $9.99 per serving and comes with a $7.99 shipping charge. The menu rotates recipes weekly, so if you decide to make Blue Apron a permanent household staple, you’ll rarely eat the same dish more than twice. With the Two-Serving Plan, you choose three recipes from the six curated options, which differ from the four recipes offered with the Family Plan.
Each prepared meal delivery box includes perfectly pre-portioned ingredients that can be easily combined for a quick and delicious meal.
Sample Menu: Pork Chops & Honey-Mustard Pan Sauce with Creamy Barley Salad, Sesame Soba Noodles with Gai Lan, Mushrooms, & Ginger-Lime Peanuts, Cod & Tomatillo Salsa with Summer Squash & Sweet Potato Hash, Quinoa, Stuffed Poblano peppers and Beyond Meat options.
Make sure to check the BlueApron website for an updated list of meals.
Delivery: Prepared meals are delivered 7 days a week for free for both the regular Tw0-Serving and Four-Serving Plan. They come in insulated containers with frozen gel packs to ensure that every ingredient stays fresh during and after delivery. You choose which day you want to receive your package from the available local delivery days, and will be emailed when the items ship and are in transport.
Mission: “HelloFresh aims to provide each household with the opportunity to enjoy wholesome home-cooked meals with no planning, no shopping and no hassle required. Everything required for weeknight meals, carefully planned, locally sourced and delivered to your door at the most convenient time for each subscriber.”
Discount: Hello Fresh offers discounts but you will have to check their website to see their most current promotions.
Packages: Members can choose from the Classic Plan, Veggie Plan, or the Family Friendly Plan. Pricing runs between $7.49 – $8.99 per serving, serves between two and four people, and includes three to five recipes consisting of an assortment of meat, fish, and produce. What I like about HelloFresh are their meal customization options. You can choose between, meat and veggies, eggy, family-friendly and low-calorie plans.
Sample Menu: Lea Michelle’s Fave Veggy Bowl, Rajaz Quesadillas, Wasabi Lime Salmon over Soy-Simmered Rice with Baby Bok Choy, Pork Luau Burgers with Pineapple Relish and Green Salad, Mushroom Lo Mein with Fresh Udon Noodles, Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine.
Make sure to check the HelloFresh website for an updated list of meals.
Delivery: HelloFresh will deliver your box to your home Monday-Saturday at the time of your choosing for $7.99.
The Sun Basket Mission: “We believe food should taste good first, and do good always from our 100% recyclable box to the pristine organic food inside it, we create each Sun Basket with unbelievable care. Because good food makes life better.”
Discount: SunBasket offers discounts but you will have to check their website to see their most current promotions.
Sun Basket Pricing Packages: With their dinner plans, you may choose between $10.99 and $12.99 (depending on their promos) respectively, and include enough meals for two to four people. Sun Basket meal delivery services maintain relationships with some of the Pacific Coast’s best farmers, fishermen, and ranchers to supply the fresh, sustainable ingredients that comprise their organic and non-GMO meal kits.
Sample Menu: Chicken adobo vermicelli bowls, Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo, Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Panzanella, Miso Ramen Bowls with Braised Tofu and Bok Choy, Seared Steaks with Arugula Pesto and Cucumber-Radish Salad, Turkey tacos, Greek meatballs.
Make sure to check the SunBasket website for an updated list of meals.
Delivery: Meal kits are packaged in 100% compostable, recyclable packaging and are delivered in insulated boxes to maintain their content’s freshness.
Mission: Dinnerly brings recipes and ingredients to your door for unfussy, affordable weeknight meals
How it works: Dinnerly is your typical prepared meal delivery concept. Dinnerly was created for people who like fresh cook meals. It’s a very simple concept wherein customers will pick the recipes that they want and Dinnerly will ship all the ingredients, and the customers will do the cooking from the comfort of their own kitchen.
Pricing: Starts at $4.99
Menu: Crispy Sesame Chicken, Skillet Pesto Tortellini, Philly Cheesesteak Burger, Herbed Chicken, Honey-mustard Pork Tenderloin, Beef and Udon Noodles, Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Japanese BBQ Pork Bowl.
Make sure to check the Dinnerly website for an updated list of meals.
Ordering food is traditionally an occasional luxury reserved for weekend nights or social get-togethers, rarely is it viewed as a method to save money or maintain a healthy diet. But with the introduction of prepared meal delivery services, cooking pre-planned, fresh dishes has completely revolutionized an industry formerly characterized by grease-stained Chinese boxes and cardboard pizza boxes.