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Diet To Go vs Magic Kitchen
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.
Diet-to-Go wants to help you lose weight while still enjoying your food. All of their ready-to-eat meals are created by a team of chefs and dietitians "to make losing weight taste great". As a part of their meal delivery service, you get complimentary access to a team of health professionals, such as a Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, and a Certified Health Coach who can help you meet your goals. You'll also have the opportunity to participate in the Diet-to-Go community, which offers resources and programs to keep you inspired and motivated on your weight loss journey.
You may be surprised at how tasty your delivered meals are: Diet-to-Go actually earned a first-place rating for taste from Epicurious, beating out several other well-known names in the weight-loss food industry. The service offers four main meal plans, with recipes typically served in a five-week rotation. Some meals that got high marks from customers are the Eggplant Parmesan, Blackened Salmon, and Chicken Marsala. Diet-to-Go does allow you to swap out meals in your delivery if there's something you don't like.
You'll need to go through all of Diet-to-Go's plan options in order to determine your weekly pricing:
The lowest priced plan we could find was the Balance 2 meals per day, 5 days per week plan for women (or anyone else who wants a 1200 calorie per day limit): $122 per week, plus $19.98 for shipping. If you happen to live in the areas of Washington DC (including suburban Maryland and northern Virginia), Baltimore, New Jersey, or the greater Los Angeles Area, you can opt to pick up your orders and eliminate the shipping costs.
You'll want to refrigerate or freeze your meals after delivery, since they are flash-frozen, packed on dry ice, and shipped in large styrofoam coolers. Any items that don't need to be refrigerated will be in a box that is shipped along with the cooler. All of the meals in your delivery have a shelf life of 7 days in the fridge; you can safely freeze them for up to 30 days after that, or when you receive them - your choice.
If you think that Diet-to-Go might be the plan, you might be able to save money by looking for a pop-up offer. We were given a discount of 15% by subscribing to their email newsletter.
You'll find the same commitment to customer satisfaction at Diet-to-Go that you'd see with our highest-ranked meal delivery services: place your plan on hold anytime you like, cancel whenever you want, and get a replacement, credit, or refund if you're unhappy with your order or their service for any reason. We were glad to see so many customers praising the reps at Diet-to-Go for quick responses to any issues that arose. People have great things to say about the quality of the food also; even though they're microwave-reheated, the meals retain their flavor and don't tend to get watery after being warmed up.
Diet-to-Go isn't going to be the first choice of people who want to get a box of ingredients and recipes that they can make at home, or who aren't looking for a calorie-restricted meal plan. On the other hand, for those who want to lose weight and not feel like they're starving because they're eating appetizing, filling, healthy meals, this meal delivery service won't disappoint.
Created in 2005 with a focus on providing restaurant-quality, healthy meals for seniors and others, Magic Kitchen strives to cover a wide variety of dietary needs. All meals are prepared, flash-frozen, and ready to be reheated. You won't need any extra dishes, pots and pans, or kitchen tools - making this a convenient option for people who don't like to cook or who don't have access to a full kitchen.
Each meal usually has an entree with two sides. Some of their more popular selections include Basil Chicken with Rice & Zucchini Saute, Eggplant Parmigiana with Polenta & Spinach, and Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach.
We were impressed with the wide range of dietary needs that Magic Kitchen addresses. You can find them listed under the "Dietary Interest" section:
Depending on your needs, you can choose to order a la carte or through a meal program. A la carte options are broken down by Mains, Soups, Sides, Desserts and Snacks. While most of these choices come in either complete meal packages or in two-serving sizes, you can find some options designated as "family size" - ideal for those times when Grandma might be having company over for a meal or when friends stop by for dessert.
In order to sign up for a meal program, you'll have to contact Magic Kitchen via phone or email - you can't place your order online. While that is less convenient than most of the meal delivery services in our review, it gives you the opportunity to custom-design the exact package that meets your needs. Your cost will depend on the specific plan you create, but Magic Kitchen offers an example program for your reference:
These programs don't require you to sign a contract or make any other long-term commitments; you can have them shipped automatically and have meals sent weekly, every two weeks, or monthly. You can choose your own meals, or have the Magic Kitchen staff select for you within the parameters you select.
If you sign up for Magic Kitchen's email newsletter, you may be able to save money: we got a pop-up offering a discount of 10% off our next purchase. Those newsletters give you access to inside deals, so it's definitely worth it if you plan on being a long-term customer.
We like Magic Kitchen's 100% satisfaction guarantee. If anything arrives in damaged or spoiled condition, they will replace it at no cost to you. Similarly, if any of the foods you try don't meet your satisfaction, Magic Kitchen will either replace it in your next order or give you a credit. The company strives to have 24/7 phone coverage, with core hours of operation from 7:30A-11:30P Central, 7 days a week.
All orders are shipped from Magic Kitchen's warehouse in Kansas City, KS, using dry ice in a reusable, recyclable Styrofoam container. Expect to pay a minimum of $18-$20 for delivery; costs depend on the actual weight of your order and the shipping distance.
So, how do the actual meals measure up? On the one hand, many of the customers who match Magic Kitchen's targeted audience - senior citizens looking for healthy, easy to prepare/reheat meal options - say that it's been a great choice. We were glad to see some caregivers and loved ones saying that their 80-something mother is a picky eater that actually loved what she got with no exceptions. On the other hand, what they have to offer may not be a great fit for most people looking for meal delivery. Some reviews said that the food was watery after being reheated, and even the photos of the entree-plus-two-sides meals were unappetizing in a lot of cases. And, with an average serving cost of $12 and up for most foods, we think many customers will be looking for more than just a TV dinner-style meal delivery plan.
Magic Kitchen does a good job of giving options for seniors and others with strict dietary needs who might only have access to a microwave. But, their pricing is expensive, and their options might not appeal to younger customers who don't mind spending a little time in the kitchen to create a more restaurant-quality meal.
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:
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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