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We've all got so many tools at our disposal these days when it comes to mealtime: the traditional drive-thru run on our way home, getting our groceries delivered by Instacart, or even having our favorite take-out brought right to our house by DoorDash or UberEats. But, let's face it: many of those options are unhealthy, expensive, or both. And even with getting our shopping done online and our supermarket hauls delivered, we still have to do the cooking. Ugh!
Fortunately, prepared meal companies can help you eat healthy at the end of a hectic day (or even on the job). These aren't your average grocery store TV dinners, either. Sure, you can opt for frozen meals if you prefer, particularly for longer-term storage, but you've also got the option of having freshly-made, refrigerated meals that only need to be heated for a few minutes in the microwave.
Monday, March 20th
Top Chef Meals puts you in control of your prepared meals. You'll never have to eat a vegetable you hate just to get the chicken you love, with every menu item allowing for swaps and then made to order just for you. There's no required subscription here, and you can order as many or as few prepared meals at a time as you need. Although this isn't one of the biggest names in the industry, Top Chef Meals deserves plenty of respect for how well they deliver. This is our favorite option among companies offering prepared meals.
Not sure if you only want prepared meals? Try Sunbasket. While you'll always have just over a dozen Fresh & Ready heat-and-eat menu choices here, you can add a meal kit and cook for yourself anytime the mood strikes. This company places a lot of emphasis on healthy eating through 100% organic produce (when possible), sustainability in its protein sources, and with add-ons like nourishing breakfasts and nutrient-rich snacks as add-on products. Sunbasket has a lot of customers who have been a part of the family for many years and wouldn't dream of choosing any other prepared meal option. This is one of our favorite choices for prepared meals.
You'll find a great range of eating plans available in the prepared meals delivered by Fresh N' Lean, whether you're a vegan, going paleo, or just want something healthy to eat after a long day. Meals are made fresh and should be refrigerated (up to 10 days) or frozen (up to 6 weeks). People say that these meals are delicious, and that the customer service team at this company provides excellent service. Just be aware that only a la carte orders let you choose specific entrees; otherwise, you'll get preselected meals according to the meal plan you choose.
Seniors looking for prepared meals that are frozen but fully prepared and people on special diets will want to give Magic Kitchen a look. There are options for individuals on dialysis or managing diabetes, and you don't have to sacrifice flavor to get a diet-appropriate entree here. Customers have great things to say about the service, and Magic Kitchen offers even more reassurance with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you're looking for nutritious-and-delicious meals that just require you to reheat-and-eat, this is a great option.
Freshly's prepared meal service is different from most. You won't have to specify the number of servings or nights per week you want ready-made meals. Instead, you'll choose 4-12 individual entrees for your order: have multiples of your favorites, choose up to 12 different ones, whatever you like. They come fresh, not frozen, but you can put them in the freezer if you want to eat them later. This isn't one of our highest-ranking prepared meal companies these days, due in part for Freshly's lack of response to some customer concerns.
If you like the idea of getting your prepared meals from a small business, check out Personal Chef To Go. You'll have about two dozen entrees to choose from, and you either subscribe and save or order whenever you like (from 5-20 servings at a time). PCTG could improve by offering more information about each meal during the ordering process and making more meals for vegetarians. Still, enough customers say good things about these prepared meals that we give them a nod.
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle and looking for prepared meals to make that even easier? Factor would like to be on your radar. Choose entrees that come from menus like Calorie-Smart, Keto, Vegan/Veggie, and more. These meals arrive fresh, never frozen, and should keep for a week or more in the fridge. 10,000+ five-star reviews from Factor customers should be an indicator that this is a solid choice, but the most recent comments frequently mention low-quality packaging, spoiled food, and late deliveries. All of that earns Factor a "just okay" rating here.
Looking for prepared meals that can help you lose weight? Diet To Go is one of the companies in our review with that focus. There are four main menus on offer (such as vegetarian and Keto-Carb 30), and you can specify how many meals you'd like daily and in total for each week. We had some problems on the site when we tried to sign up, and a lack of positive reviews kept us from recommending this company.
bistroMD is a prepared meal service that is meant to help you lose weight. Unfortunately, this company has had a big decline in customer satisfaction - and correspondingly in our rankings. Not only do people say that the food isn't good, but they complain that the customer service is even worse, blaming clients for delivery problems. Could you lose weight with these meals? Probably, but you could do the same with a more customer-centric prepared meal provider.
Home Bistro has brought on some celebrity chefs to expand their lineup of prepared meals. The entrees sound good, but do you want to pay $19 for a microwaveable meal without a satisfaction guarantee? It's also really hard to take out any meals with ingredients you're allergic to or that you don't like. We still can't move this prepared meal company up from the bottom of our rankings.
Prepared meals are especially useful if you're trying to follow a special diet. Getting used to "going keto" , managing diabetes-friendly foods, or knowing what to eat on a renal diet can be frustrating and time-consuming. When you choose a prepared meal company, it relieves some of that burden from your shoulders - until you feel confident doing it on your own, or for as long as you like.
Some customers order prepared meals to help out in a time of need. For families of seniors who are struggling to get adequate nutrition - because they can't get to the store, their mobility or cognition is impaired, or they've got other challenges - these services offer them the peace of mind that their loved ones are consistently getting meals that are well-balanced and easy to prepare.
How does it work? Many companies require you to sign up for a recurring subscription: you choose the number of meals per week and the servings per meal, and they'll be delivered regularly unless you pause the plan, skip a particular delivery, or cancel the service. Others allow you to place orders as needed, but you'll often pay a higher per-serving cost for a la carte prepared meals.
Not sure which provider to pick? Don't worry. Here are a several criteria you can use to narrow down the options for prepared meals:
TopConsumerReviews.com has made it easier for you to find the right prepared meal company for your needs, by evaluating and ranking today's most popular services. We hope that this information will help you spot the perfect menu and take advantage of this fantastic time-saver. Let's eat!
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