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Freshly Review

Friday, February 3rd

2023 Prepared Meal Reviews

Freshly Review 3.5 Star Rating

Freshly

3.5 Star Rating
  • Menu categories include Signature Collection, Purely Plant, Freshly Fit, Proteins & Sides
  • 45+ meals to choose from
  • Arrives fresh, can be frozen for extended storage
  • Order 4-12 meals per week
  • Certified gluten-free safe service
  • Priced at $8.99+ per serving
  • 24/7 customer service

Freshly packs a lot into their prepared meals so that you can have a hassle-free, healthy dining experience. Their recipes use "simple swaps and sneaky veggies" to boost the nutritional content, lower sugar than a typical meal, and use less-processed ingredients overall. Everything on the menu is gluten-free, but previous Freshly customers should take note that this is no longer a peanut-free service.

3-5 days in the fridge - or put in the freezer

All of your Freshly entrees will arrive fresh, not frozen. Expect them to keep in your refrigerator for 3-5 days; any items that may spoil quickly (and that you should eat sooner rather than later) have a badge on the package as an indicator. Not planning on eating everything that fast? No worries: just stick the containers in the freezer, then add a few minutes to the cooking time (and don't thaw first).

Lots of flexibility in delivery choices

Once you've entered your email address and zip code, Freshly will show you all of the available delivery days in your area. For us, that included Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and we were able to get our first box as quickly as five days from when we placed the order. You can select a future date almost three weeks in advance, if that helps you avoid a time you'll be out of town or get meals ready to go for a busy period in your life.

Order requirements: minimum of 4, maximum of 12

Getting prepared meals here is a little different. You don't have to try and figure out how many servings and how many nights you want them, in order to set up your orders. Instead, you'll choose anywhere from 4-12 entrees in single-serving packages, all with a starting price of $8.99. That's a great perk for one-person households that really don't want leftovers. The more you buy, the bigger the automatic discount: anywhere from $10.80 on six meals, up to $33.60 on an order of 12. We don't think it's smart for Freshly to allow a maximum of 12 meals - what if you'd like lunches and dinners for a whole week? -but it may have to do with shipping efficiency and not Freshly being restrictive just because.

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Up to 45 meals to choose from

If you're a foodie who enjoys browsing interesting meal choices, you've got almost four dozen options in every weekly Freshly menu. Or, save yourself a bit of time and apply the sort and filter options to narrow that down: plant based? Carb-conscious? Dairy-free? Take a look and see which parameters will help you get the prepared meals you want. And, don't forget to use the arrows to scroll to other weeks, if you'd like to get an idea of which entrees might be available regularly vs. which are limited time only.

Customer feedback is puzzling

Freshly's reputation varies widely depending on where you look. The Better Business Bureau dropped this company's rating to an "F" for not responding to nearly a dozen complaints. It bothers us to see people taking the time to file a concern, then updating a month later to say that they still got no response from Freshly. On the other hand, issues brought up outside of the BBB seem to get an appropriate answer every single time - not to mention the 10,000+ five-star reviews from happy customers across the globe. The long and the short seems to be this: Freshly has no excuse (that we're aware of) for leaving the BBB folks in the lurch, but they're definitely present and accounted for elsewhere - and that stops this formerly high-ranking prepared meal company from dropping to the lowest spot in our evaluation.

Could definitely meet a need

It's easy to see how Freshly would be the perfect prepared meal choice for some customers. Stock your fridge and your freezer, have healthy entrees on hand, choose just the recipes that appeal to you. We're still not enamored of Freshly's failure to respond to those BBB complaints, but you could still give Freshly a try and see how it works for you.

Which Prepared Meal Company is the Best?

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.

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Prepared Meal FAQ

Prepared meal subscriptions are popular for the same reason your favorite fast food joint has a long line at the drive-through at dinnertime: they're convenient! Imagine never having to go grocery shopping again! However, most people who subscribe to a prepared meals plan use it to supplement their regular cooking rather than replacing every single meal (e.g. just for a few dinners a week, for all weekend meals, etc.).
That depends on the service you select. Some specialize in reheat-and-eat meals similar to a traditional TV dinner, while others deliver all of the ingredients you need to prepare the recipes they provide. There are also options for holiday meals, special occasion dinners, plus sides and desserts if you want to impress the crowd at your next office potluck - without having to do the work yourself!
Two words: convenience and taste. Would you rather come home to another dinner of ramen or PB&J, or to a box of fresh ingredients that you can pull together into a restaurant-quality meal in just a few minutes? Subscribing to a prepared meals service can help you get out of your fast food rut, spare you the agony of yet another week of meal planning and grocery shopping, or just add some welcome variety to your eating habits.
You might be surprised. Most prepared meal services let you see customer comments on each dish - while some might not have been a huge favorite, most have hundreds (if not thousands) of rave reviews. And, if you're not known for being terribly creative or skilled in the kitchen, prepared meals can help you get out of your comfort zone and expand your taste horizons.
It will definitely cost more than if you bought all of the ingredients and prepared them yourself. But, the per-meal cost is typically less than what you'd spend in a restaurant. Expect a cost-per-serving somewhere between $8 and $12, depending on the plan you select.
Most services offering prepared meals have several options to choose from, either as an overall plan (like vegan or gluten-free) or on a meal-by-meal basis where you choose from a menu of meals for the month and can avoid any ingredients that you prefer not to have.
Unfortunately, most prepared meal plans aren't going to be affordable if you're feeding a crowd every night. There are a few that cater to larger families (or that have more portions per delivery so that you can have leftovers, feed houseguests, etc.). These services even have some menus that are designed to be more kid-friendly.
That depends on the service. If your meals arrive in bad condition - rotten ingredients, thawed meals that were supposed to be frozen at the time of delivery, and so forth - you'll usually get a refund or a replacement. A few providers of prepared meals offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a refund or store credit, regardless of the reason.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Fresh or Frozen. Do you have a preference? Keep in mind that most meals that are delivered fresh can still be put in the freezer for at least a few weeks.
  • Preferred Menu. Are you trying to follow a particular eating plan, like a weight loss diet or a strictly vegan lifestyle? Choose the prepared meal company that has recipes you'll actually want to eat.
  • Flexibility. Will you need to commit to a delivery schedule? If so, how easy is it to change days or skip a shipment? Can the meals be modified to be more to your liking, such as changing fish for chicken or adding more protein? Are there any extras you can add to your box, to save you a trip to the store?
  • Value. How much will you pay per meal, and how does that compare with what you'd normally spend at the store? Is it worth the cost for the convenience you'll get? Are there any discounts or other ways to save money?
  • Customer feedback. What do people say about the prepared meals and the company providing them? Does everything arrive well-chilled or still-frozen, or are there problems with thawed ice packs and other delivery issues? How's the taste? Does the company's customer service team handle problems poorly or professionally?

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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