Let's get real. Being a mom, working full time, and then having to rush home to cook dinner every night really blows.
Now that we have discovered meal delivery services, cooking dinners that are flavorful and yet still healthy is something that I now look forward to every night.
Yep. That's right -- I actually enjoy cooking dinner on weeknights.
My family is always on the go. My husband works out of town most of the time, so I am alone taking care of our one year old son and two bulldogs on a weekly basis. (Honestly, our fur babies are more work than our son!) The fact that I no longer have to do a large grocery and plan out meals out ingredient by ingredient has not only saved me a lot of time, but it saves us a lot of money and is way less stressful.
As most of you know from previous blog posts, I do Swagbucks on a regular basis to earn money for our family vacations. Swagbucks occasionally has Discover Offers where you can earn cash back for trying the meal services listed above. My family and I have tried all 3 and one of them we liked so much, we have kept our subscription and still receive meals on a weekly basis.
Let me start off by saying that Home Chef, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron all have websites that are very easy to navigate. Nothing is hidden or hard to find. Want to skip a week? All of these sites have a "skip week" button under their weekly menus. Want to cancel all together? All are easily done through your account information tab. No pesky phone calls or talking to customer service required.
Let's dive in and go from my ratings of "just ok" to "amazing":
Rating: Just ok
Blue Apron was our least favorite meal plan. Don't get me wrong -- the food was good and the ingredients were fresh. The meal choices just didn't work for our family.
We're from Maine. We like basic every day meals. Steak and potatoes are a staple in our house hold.
When I signed up, I found it very difficult to choose 3 meals. A lot of them were things I had never heard of or things we didn't like. Purple Barley fried rice with marinated apples, Salmon and Dukkah-spiced vegetables with orange & endive, and Creamy fusilli bucati pasta with fried rosemary & walnuts are a few examples.
I'm sure they were probably tasty, but my family isn't that adventurous. The most adventurous we ever get is adding a slice of avocado to our burgers on occasion.
All ingredients came in an insulated box with Ice packs. Food was labeled in brown paper bags. They also come with recipe cards & instructions.
Blue apron was also the most expensive meal kit. We did the 2 person plan with 3 meals (the 3 person plan is plenty of food for 2 adults and a small child) and it cost us $65.94 after taxes.
2. Hello Fresh
Rating: Very Good
We really liked Hello Fresh. Like Blue Apron, all ingredients in Hello Fresh were very fresh and tasty. Everything came back in an insulated box and ingredients separated by meals in paper bags.
The meal choices with Hello Fresh were a little more inline with what we like. BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, steak with cranberry glaze, and meatloaf burgers were among our favorite meals.
We actually had Hello Fresh deliveries for three straight weeks. Our only pet peeve with Hello Fresh is a lot of their meals came with some not so common sides like shredded carrot & cabbage slaw or tangy cabbage and Pepita salad.
My husband won't even touch anything with cabbage in it, so i felt like a lot of our money spent on food was being wasted where the sides weren't being eaten.
Hello Fresh was a better deal than Blue Apron. Three meals for two people cost us $59.94 which was about $5 less per week than blue apron.
3. Home Chef
Rating: Freakin' Amazing
Home Chef gets a five star rating from our household!
The meal options just fit our family the best. We actually have a hard time only picking three meals per week and often upgrade to four weekly. Here is a sample of our upcoming menu options:
Are you drooling yet? Because I am! As you can see, most of the meals are tasty yet not too out of the norm. They do have some more eclectic meals to choose from, but most of them are usually not too far our of the box for our liking. Three meals for two people will run you just under $60 which is very comparable to the Hello Fresh meals.
All ingredients were fresh and delivered in an insulated box. What I really liked about Home Chef is their meals came in plastic bags with sliding "zippers" on top. They took up much less space in our fridge. They also send you an adorable recipe binder to keep all of your favorite Home Chef recipes in.
One thing that my family LOVES the most about Home Chef is they have the option to add on smoothies, lunch portion salads, and fruit baskets to your order (and they are really reasonably priced!). Honestly this keeps up from going to the grocery store some weeks and we just grab the necessities from a convenient store (bread, milk, etc.)
So there is my review on the three meal delivery services that we tried. I was not endorsed or paid by any of these companies to give my opinion.