I Tried All the Meal Delivery Boxes So You Don’t Have To

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meal delivery box review

I first gave meal delivery services a try way back in 2014 when they were springing up everywhere and only really available in major cities. I started with Blue Apron and while the novelty of the idea was fun and exciting, the cost and need for it just wasn’t there for us at the time. We didn’t have kids (read: we had all the time in the world!), and we loved our weekly runs to Trader Joe’s and Costco.

But curiosity continued to get the best of me, and so I signed up for all the free trials to many of the popular boxes. In most cases, we ended up doing several weeks with each company, so I feel like I can give a proper review based on Difficulty Level (out of 5) and Deliciousness (out of 5).

Blue Apron

The menus offered from Blue Apron seem to be the most complex and we felt like these recipes often required too many steps. The meals were good, but none of them stand out as favorites that we would make again on our own. Back when we used Blue Apron, the options were limited to only four or five choices which didn’t always work out for us, but they’ve since expanded. They now also offer wine! I could see this service being great for a dinner party where you want to wow your guests with a unique meal, wine included.

Difficulty Level: 4

Deliciousness: 3

Hello Fresh

In an effort to find a service with more options and less complex recipes, we tried out Hello Fresh. We really liked many of the meals and the recipes were very quick and easy – sometimes TOO easy, such as grilled chicken and roasted vegetables, which we could have made on our own. We had a few instances where items were missing or produce had gone bad, but the customer service was excellent.

Difficulty Level: 1

Deliciousness: 4

Home Chef

We randomly tried Home Chef on a whim just to see if it was better than Hello Fresh. I don’t think we lasted more than two to three weeks with this service. I remember having a lot of issues with the ingredients being missed or damaged and the meals just weren’t very good.

Difficulty Level: 2

Deliciousness: 2

Terra’s Kitchen

This service is really interesting as everything comes packaged in this amazing reusable cube that you send back to the company. I was intrigued because all the packaging can be a hassle (even though it’s all recyclable). The ingredients also come prepped, as in they are already chopped. However, the meals we got were terrible, like actually inedible. Their customer service was great, and they did credit us for the meals we didn’t like but that meant we ended up ordering another box to use the credit. This box is also a little more expensive than some of the other services. But they do have an extensive menu that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and protein add-ons.

Difficulty Level: 2

Deliciousness: 1

Sun Basket

This one has continued to be our favorite among all the ones we tried. The recipes always turn out great, they have a great selection, and they are quick and easy to prepare. You can now choose to pay a little more for organic protein or add on a protein to a veggie meal and I love that option. They are also now offering wine and snacks – the feta dip is amazing!

Difficulty Level: 2

Deliciousness: 5

Gobble

This service is slightly different than other meal boxes in that the meals only take fifteen minutes to prepare – most of the meal already comes prepped. For example, the rice will already be cooked and you just need to microwave it, or the enchilada filling will already be made and you just need to roll tortillas around it. This service is great if you’re extremely short on time. The meals were pretty good considering they took less than fifteen minutes.

Difficulty Level: 1

Deliciousness: 4

Freshly

Right after we had the twins, I knew that we couldn’t live on takeout, but there was also exactly zero time for cooking. We were gifted several weeks of Freshly meals and considering that they only take a few minutes to microwave, they were pretty good. This would be a great option for someone who doesn’t like packing lunch but doesn’t want to eat out every day. The menu can get repetitive after a while so this wouldn’t be my pick for a long-term dinner option, but it would be great for solo dinners every now and then. They also offer hot breakfast options which is great if you have to be out the door early in the morning.

Difficulty Level: 1

Deliciousness: 3

Thistle

This service delivers healthy, prepared meals that come ready to eat. I tried this out as a lunch option because I despise lunch and often struggle to eat something healthy. I liked that all I had to do was grab a salad or grain bowl from the fridge. However, they do offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with juices and snacks. I wish we would have known about this one when the twins were born because I think I would have chosen Thistle over Freshly – the options are healthier and fresher than Freshly. In fact, I should add this service back into the rotation for when my husband is out of town so that I don’t end up eating 3 boxes of Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

Difficulty Level: 1

Deliciousness: 3

Good Eggs

You might not know but Good Eggs offers meal kits as part of your regular grocery delivery and while the menu isn’t that varied, we LOVE these meals. Our favorites are the carnitas and the chicken with broccoli. They are super easy, and I love that they come with my regular grocery delivery. Good Eggs is hands down our favorite grocery delivery service.

Difficulty Level: 1

Deliciousness: 5

Our routine these days consists of a rotation of Sun Basket meals, Gobble meals, and Good Eggs (meals + grocery). This system works well for us as long as I can remember to skip the correct weeks for Gobble and Sun Basket. I like having the variety of the menu options and tend to schedule Gobble boxes for weeks when we’re really busy and need the fastest meal prep, but there is still one box I can’t wait to try – One Potato. This is a true family box and the meals are designed to serve both adult and kid portions. The recipes are interesting while still appealing to kids. Once the twins start eating with us, I’ll definitely sign up for One Potato.

But tell me, are there any other services I should try?

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Great overview! Thank you!! I do sunbasket and thistle today. We like sunbasket quite a bit, and thistle is convenient for lunches (I order the dinners and eat them for lunch). We haven’t tried the others but am looking for some variety.

    • I really liked Green Chef, I thought the meals are really delicious and easier to make than Blue Apron. Also, love that Green Chef is dairy-free!

  2. Alessandra please try and write your thoughts about Takeout Kit! Their meals are on the more exotic/ethnic side and last for months instead of days

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