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Tuesday, March 28th
Chef Gene and Chef Blair are the driving force behind Personal Chef To Go. Their accolades and experience include the Virginia State Championship Competition and working at The Mirage in Vegas. If you like supporting small businesses over big corporations, this prepared meal company should get your consideration.
No commitment needed - but it'll save you money
Let's be honest: not everyone wants to make a commitment to a meal plan before they actually try the food for the first time. Right? Personal Chef To Go understands this, and they let customers buy meals in sets of 5, 10, 15 or 20 whenever they like: weekly, monthly, once a year, you get the idea. It puts your per-serving price at $13.50, but you can always subscribe to an every-week or every-other-week plan later if you like what you get and want to save money (going down to $10.50 per serving). By the way, you'll also pay a fee of $6.95 for "eco friendly packaging" : a shipping fee under another name, that's all.
Limited choices the more you order
One tricky aspect of getting prepared meals from Personal Chef To Go is the menu selection. 24 choices sounds pretty broad - and when you're only ordering five entrees, it is. But, if you're jumping up to a 20-meal package, that only leaves four for you to leave aside. Otherwise, you'll have to double up on a few of your favorites - which is fine too. Also, there are no breakfasts here, so if you're choosing 20 meals to cover a week, that's a lot of savory foods first thing in the day.
Where are the details?
We were a little frustrated by the lack of information about each prepared meal here. Nutritional info? Ingredients? Included sides? All you get in advance is a photo. Does the Omega-Rich Pecan Salmon come with the lemon slice in the photo, or was that just for the presentation? Is that rice but no veggies in the background of the Saute Chinese Beef? Every meal has that labeled on the package itself, but lots of customers expect to have that information beforehand. This is especially important for people with food sensitivities (or who hate things like edamame or brussels sprouts and avoid them at all costs).
Not many prepared meals for vegetarians
Many prepared meal companies make it a point to include ample entrees for vegetarians. With Personal Chef To Go, you can check the boxes to exclude pork, shellfish, fin fish, or beef (as well as soy, gluten, dairy, and tree nuts, if needed). That's nice, but from what we could see, that only left the Veggie Pasta Bake as an option.
Few reviews but good reputation
All issues aside, this is a reliable company. The Better Business Bureau has received zero complaints about Personal Chef To Go and gives them an "A+" rating. There isn't a ton of customer feedback to mention, but across 100 or so reviews (both on the PCTG site and in other places), almost all of them are four or five stars. People say these prepared meals are tasty and fresh, and they love that the menu changes over the weeks while still leaving plenty of tried-and-true favorites.
A decent option with room for improvement
We enjoy lending our support to small businesses, and Personal Chef To Go has a long-enough history and clientele to reach the middle of our rankings. We'd like to see them make some changes to be on par with other prepared meal providers, especially by providing information about ingredients and nutrition, giving greater meal choices to vegetarians, and expanding the menu to include traditional breakfast foods. We don't think there's any reason to avoid getting prepared meals from Personal Chef To Go, but there's a good chance you'll find higher-ranking options more appealing.
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.
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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Tue, 28 Mar 2023