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Magic Kitchen Review

Tuesday, December 6th

2022 Prepared Meal Reviews

Magic Kitchen Review 3.5 Star Rating

Magic Kitchen

3.5 Star Rating
  • Focused on seniors and special diets
  • Meals delivered frozen
  • A la carte or complete meals available
  • Delivery throughout the continental US
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Rewards program
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2006

Magic Kitchen specializes in prepared meals for seniors and those with particular dietary needs. There's a wide range of choices here: buy complete meals or purchase mains and sides separately, as you prefer. Every meal comes frozen and just requires reheating in the microwave or oven, though some entrees and sides should be reheated on the stove.

Plenty of choices for your special diet

People with dietary restrictions often have a hard time finding decent prepared meals. Magic Kitchen's got your back. Under the Dietary Interest section, you'll see the list of everything that's covered here, from diabetic- and dialysis-friendly, gluten- and dairy-free, and lots of "lows" (like low-fat, low-carb, and low-sodium).

Want to take a trial run?

A great way for giving Magic Kitchen a try is to start with a sample pack. There are four different 15-meal kits you can choose: two for general diet, one for renal, one for dialysis, all for $120 each (and free shipping). Recipes might include Beef Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots, Cheese Omelet with Peppers/Onions/Potatoes and Diced Pears on the side, and so on. Each trial pack shows you what's included, but you can't swap anything out on these pre-selected groupings.

Subscribe or order on demand

You'll never have to commit to a subscription here. Order as much as you want, as often as you want, no problem. On the other hand, if you decide you love these prepared meals and want to simplify your life and save some money, choose Magic Kitchen's Flex Subscription. The more you order and the longer you stay on the plan, the bigger the savings. For instance, an order of $200/month for three months gets you a modest 4% discount and free shipping. Jump up to an order of $400+ for nine months, and your discount jumps to 12%. (And your shipping is still free.)

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Even more ways to save

Magic Kitchen keeps the savings coming, even without a Flex plan. We got a 20% discount that popped up the last time we browsed the site, and all we had to do was click on it to apply the savings to our cart (no email address - and subsequent email newsletters - required). Plus, the Magic Moola rewards program is free to join: why not earn points on the purchases you're already making, and cash them out for discounts on future orders?

Food quality and customer service are first-rate

The Better Business Bureau awards Magic Kitchen its highest accolades: an "A+" rating and accreditation. We were impressed to see that no complaints about this company were filed with the BBB in the last three years. Going beyond that, we spotted 2,300+ reviews from customers who said that this prepared meal company deserves a perfect score. It's one of the best options for meeting special dietary needs in a way that's healthy and convenient, and people describe the customer service as excellent. One customer used this service in a way we'd recommend too: as a sympathy gift for someone whose loved one had died, to make it easier after the loss by having meals on hand for whenever.

Nothing exotic here

It's probably not surprising that these prepared meals aren't going to be your pick if you're looking for amazing new foods to try, or recipes that are super-spicy. Magic Kitchen stays in its lane with reliable meals for seniors and specific diets, so that's not really a criticism. But, it's our main reason for not putting this company higher in our rankings: it's just not for everyone.

Best choice for specific needs

We're thrilled to give Magic Kitchen a very strong recommendation for any customer who needs prepared meals that meet certain criteria - namely, meals that will appeal to seniors or that can fit the requirements of certain dietary restrictions. There's nothing wrong with choosing a niche and doing it well, and Magic Kitchen does. Look elsewhere if you're a foodie looking for the convenience of prepared meals with the thrill of something new every night, though.

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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