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Blue Apron vs Personal Chef To Go

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BLUE APRON

With headquarters in New York City, Blue Apron aims "to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone." Their approach to meal delivery is quite different from the reheat-at-home, precooked foods you might see with competitor services. Instead, Blue Apron ships refrigerated boxes of fresh-from-the-farm ingredients so that aspiring home cooks can not only bring healthier, more flavorful food to the table, but also add more recipes and skills to their own repertoires. Given that Blue Apron sends out more than 8 million meals per month, across the nation, they're definitely doing something right.

Right from the start, you'll be able to indicate your dietary preference. Omnivore? Pescatarian? Vegetarian? No problem. All of the meals in your delivery will fit those criteria. You also have the ability to specify if there's a particular meat - lamb, pork, poultry, beef, shellfish, or fish - that you don't want included in your recipes. You'll never get the same recipe twice in a calendar year, and all of Blue Apron's ingredients come to you pre-measured, from the spices to the shallots. This service does focus on lunch- or dinner-type entrees, so you won't find breakfasts, desserts, or sides.

There are two less-than-customizable aspects to Blue Apron's meal delivery: the recipes and the number of servings. Unlike most of their competitors, this service does not allow you to select what recipes you'll receive, so whether you absolutely love or hate a particular meal, you may or may not see it in your delivery. Also, since all of Blue Apron's plans consist of either 2- or 4-serving configurations, you could wind up with a lot of leftovers if your family is small - or not enough to go around if yours is large.

One of the most common complaints about Blue Apron used to be their prices - so we were happy to see that, over the past year, they've worked hard to make their meals more affordable:

  • Two-Serving Plan: you can get two ($47.95) or three ($59.94) 2-serving recipes per week. Both prices include shipping.
  • Four-Serving Plan: you can opt for two ($71.92), three ($95.88), or four ($119.84) 4-serving recipes per week. Those prices also include shipping.

You may also find savings offered via pop-ups; when we visited the Blue Apron site and browsed for a while, we eventually got a discount offer of "$50 off, spread over [our] next two orders, if we ordered within the next 30 minutes.

All of Blue Apron's meal delivery plans are commitment-free: skip any weeks you choose (like when you go on vacation) and cancel your plan at any time. You can also choose the delivery date that works best for you; with all shipping boxes coming with cold packs, you don't even need to be home when your delivery comes.

Blue Apron has some definite positives. When we received our meal delivery, we were impressed with the quality of the ingredients - absolutely nothing generic or cut-rate, from the fresh vegetables to the canned beans. This company emphasizes recipes that use in-season ingredients, making for a fresher, healthier eating experience. Every recipe we received was simple to prepare, with clearly-labeled ingredients and well-written instructions. And, the final products were all winners; we wanted to keep every recipe for future use.

But, for customers who are looking for premade convenience or who don't have access to a traditional kitchen, Blue Apron isn't the right fit. It's definitely a service for people who want to cook, but need some help in the inspiration department without the hassle of selecting recipes and shopping for the ingredients.

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PERSONAL CHEF TO GO

Personal Chef to Go has been a part of the meal delivery marketplace for over 15 years. Their goal is to bring healthy meals to your home that only require three minutes in the microwave, with no need to spend any time shopping, cooking or planning menus.

This company seems to have limited their options over the past few years. Originally, they offered menus for individuals, couples, and families. At the time of our most recent review, this meal delivery service only offered the following options:

  • 5 meals per week: $78
  • 8 meals per week: $118
  • 10 meals per week: $138

The per-serving costs of these plans are much higher than almost all of the meal delivery services we reviewed.

For most addresses east of the Mississippi, delivery is free. Meals ship on Thursday and arrive on Friday or Saturday; there's no opportunity to change your delivery schedule.

All meals are delivered fresh, but Personal Chef to Go says that they'll stay fresh in your refrigerator for 10-12 days.

We don't love that Personal Chef to Go makes prospective customers give them their email address and zip code to find out more about their meal plans and pricing. Once you've done that, you have to decide if you want the Chef's Choice, where they pick their most popular meals for you each week, or Your Choice, which lets you pick which meals match your taste preferences. Those preferences are set using the filter, allowing you to eliminate meals that have fish, gluten, pork, shellfish, beef, soy, dairy, or tree nuts. Each week's menu only has 12 options, so if you are looking for 10 meals a week but you don't eat shellfish or fish, you may not have very much to choose from.

We also were less than impressed with the experience of using the Personal Chef to Go site. The photos of the various meals weren't appetizing, and none of the meals had customer reviews to see what real people have thought of them after they got them home and on their plate. One plus is that each recipe has very clear nutritional information, from calories and sodium to a detailed ingredient list.

The one very positive thing we found about Personal Chef to Go's meal delivery service is that customers like it. Although there aren't hundreds of reviews available, the ones we did find were almost entirely satisfied - with the food quality, with the delivery, and with the convenience of having meals delivered to the home or office.

On the whole, however, Personal Chef to Go gives you fewer options at a higher price. You're likely to find one of our higher-ranked services a better fit for your budget and for your tastes.

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Best Meal Delivery

To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Blue Apron and Personal Chef To Go.

Who is the best Meal Delivery company? Are you looking for a way to simplify dinner after a long day at work? Using a meal delivery service has become an easy way of getting nourishing, flavorful food on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping.

Of course, the most popular reason for using a meal delivery company is the convenience. Customers love being able to order their favorite entrees, side dishes, or even appetizers and desserts, and to choose how much cooking they'd like to do. Some meal delivery services are reheat-and-eat, while others provide you with all of the ingredients you need to create a restaurant-quality meal in your own kitchen.

As these services have grown in popularity, the types of meals and plans has expanded as well. Has your doctor recently put you on a special diet, and you're not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Whether you're adapting to a diet that's low in carbs, diabetic-friendly, or even gluten-free, you'll find a meal delivery program that can help.

Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian but unfamiliar with how to create a balanced meal? Once again, there's a meal delivery service for that - use it for a few weeks to get ideas of lunches and dinners that you can recreate, or for as long as you like as you adapt to your clean, green way of eating.

As you consider which meal delivery service is best for you, you'll quickly see that they vary greatly when it comes to price, preparation, and types of food offered. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which company fits your needs:

  • Reputation. What do past and current customers have to say about the meals they received and the overall experience, from ordering to delivery?
  • Cost. What will you spend for the meal delivery plan you choose, whether you opt for a la carte entrees or regularly-scheduled weekly or monthly shipments?
  • Variety. Does the meal delivery provider have an appetizing range of flavors and cuisines to choose from? Will you be able to select meals that you'll actually want to eat?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with the service, the quality of the food, or the condition of the meals at the time of delivery, can you get a refund or a replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best meal delivery services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the service that puts the food that you're craving on the table right away!



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