Meals By Mail: Which Meal Kit Delivery Service Is Right for You?

published Feb 4, 2015
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(Image credit: Plated)

It seems like every other day we hear about a new meal kit delivery service. We’ve written in the past about the pros, cons, and ultimately the opportunities of convenient meal kits. With so many good options out there, how do you choose the one that’s right for you?

We took a look at the nuts and bolts of six meal-delivery services to see how they stack up. (There’s even one for smoothies!) The good news is that most of them have no-commitment options, so you can get a box or two and then switch services if it isn’t quite to your liking.

Be sure to tell us which ones you’ve tried and loved in the comments!

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Plated (Image credit: Plated)
(Image credit: Blue Apron)
  • Plated: You’ll get a little bit more flexibility with Plated because you can choose just how many meals you get each week. Plated provides a list of seven meals and you can choose which ones you want to receive each week. The pricing is $12 per serving, so it’s a little bit more expensive than Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but you have the option to order only a few meals if you want to. Plated also has a wide delivery area, claiming they deliver to 95 percent of the country.
  • Blue Apron: It’s likely that you think of Blue Apron first when you think of meal delivery services. They’ve grown quickly and have built a large fan base. Blue Apron offers two different plans: a two-person and a family plan. The two-person plan includes one shipment of three meals tailored to your dietary preferences, and costs $9.99 per serving, or $60 per week. The family plan is a bit more customizable. You can choose between two and four meals per week. Each delivery comes with two meals, so if you choose four meals per week, you’ll end up getting two deliveries. Each delivery of the family size is $8.74 per serving, or $70 for two meals and $140 for four meals. They have a wide delivery area as well, but are missing a big chunk in the middle of the country.

See what our editors thought when we tried out the service in our full review of Blue Apron.

  • Hello Fresh: This service works much the same as Blue Apron, you choose the size and type of box you want (classic or veggie), and you’ll get three meals delivered each week for either two or four people. Hello Fresh now has nationwide delivery, so no matter where you live in the U.S. you can try out the service. The pricing structure is also a little different, with the vegetarian meals at a lower price point. A classic box for two costs $69 and $129 for four servings, while the vegetarian box costs $59 for two people and $109 for four.
  • Forage: This service distinguishes itself from the others in the roundup by sourcing their recipes from restaurant chefs instead of an in-house culinary team. They also take things a step further by prepping some of the ingredients for you. Forage’s goal is to allow you to prep each meal in 20 minutes — just like a restaurant. Each serving is $15, and you can get two meals for two people each for $60 per week. The only downside is that Forage is only available in California and Nevada at this time.
  • Peach Dish: True to its name, Peach Dish is a Southern-inspired meal delivery box. It follows the same format as most of the others, but focuses primarily on Southern cuisine. Subscribers can get two meals per week in either two-serving or four-serving sizes. For two servings, you’ll pay $50 per week, and for four servings, you’ll pay $90. Peach Dish doesn’t give specific delivery zones on their site, but they do give shipping estimates for the Atlanta area and for the rest of the U.S.
  • Green Blender: Lest you think dinner is the only meal you can get delivered in a box, check out Green Blender, which delivers all the ingredients for five different smoothies each week. You’ll actually be able to make 10 smoothies because they give you enough for two servings of each. Each week’s box costs $49, and they deliver to the Northeast United States.

Have you tried any of these?