Best Meal Delivery
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Freshly vs Home Chef
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.
Freshly combines the best of both worlds when it comes to meal delivery: fresh ingredients that are never frozen, with 3-minutes-or-less prep time from package to table with just a reheat in the microwave when needed.
Of course, with all of your food delivered fresh, an important part of loving your Freshly service is keeping an eye on all of your deliveries "use by" dates. Most of them come with the expectation that you'll need to eat them within 3-4 days of reaching your doorstep. As you set up your meal delivery service, make sure you select a plan and delivery schedule that lines up with when you'll want to eat at home. Freshly's meal delivery availability depends on where you live, so some areas may only have Thursday through Saturday options - check out your area, especially if you're thinking of using Freshly for your work nights.
One of the most unique aspects of Freshly is that every item on their menu is 100% gluten- and peanut-free, so that there is zero risk of contamination in their food production facilities. For some customers, this is a literal lifesaver - to be able to trust that they or their loved ones won't have any chance of an allergic reaction to any of their meal deliveries. For others, however, it does limit the menu choices; you won't find any wheat-based pastas or breads among your available options.
However, you might not care about all that when you see the delicious meals on the menu. How about Three Bean Ancho Turkey Chili, or Shrimp & Andouille Paella? Those are just two of Freshly's top-rated menu items, with dozens for you to choose from each week. You just have to decide how many meals you'd like to receive - 4, 6, 9, or 12 - and then select which breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you like from the week's menu. If you'd rather not have to choose individual meal options, Freshly's Meal Planner tool gives you a pre-selected menu based on your dietary preferences and then, after you've been a customer for a while, your meal history as well.
All of Freshly's meal delivery plans include shipping, and the average meal costs between $8.99 and $12.50 per serving.
We love that Freshly lets you select your meals up to three weeks in advance; if you're a planner, you can get it all figured out at once instead of having to decide week by week. You can also customize your delivery in several ways. Maybe you need 6 meals this week, but 12 next week because your friend is coming for a visit - you can shift your plan as needed. Or, if you need to change your regular delivery date from Monday to Thursday, that's no problem either (assuming those days are available in your geographic area). Finally, if you'd like to have your Freshly meals follow you on vacation or your business trip, you can change your delivery address at any time.
Customers have great things to say about the taste of the food, the ease of customizing their meal delivery plan, and the friendly customer reps when any issues have come up. So, if you want to enjoy meals that are as convenient as a TV dinner while being much healthier and flavorful, Freshly is a terrific option. They are our first-place winner among the best meal delivery companies.
Home Chef is one of the original services to help busy people create meals at home with convenient delivery of fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. With more than 10 million meals delivered in a year, this company has definitely made an impact on people's ability to enjoy a home-cooked meal without the stress of planning or shopping. And, with an upcoming partnership with the Kroger family of companies, Home Chef's reach continues to expand.
Your order will include fresh, pre-portioned ingredients for recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. One convenient part of Home Chef's service is the ability to plan your meals up to five weeks in advance. You can take a look at the available entrees without having to sign up for their service; some of their client favorites are Korean Fried Chicken, Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Creamy Parmesan Steak Penne.
To be able to look at Home Chef's options for your meal delivery, you'll need to enter your email address (which we don't love having to do). You may also get offers as you start the process. We got a pop-up offering a savings of $30 on our first order if we entered our email address, so keep an eye out for any extra discounts that might come your way as you browse the site. Just a step or two later as we were setting up our account, we got another "flash sale" discount of $10 to apply to a future order.
As you set up your plan, you'll need to make a few selections, like how many meals you'd like to prepare each week, anywhere from 3-6. One plus of Home Chef's meal delivery options is the ability to order for a larger family. You can choose plans for 2, 4, or 6 people - and, of course, if yours consists of 3 or 5, you can pick a plan that might leave you with some leftovers.
Next, you'll need to select if you prefer to eat meat, seafood, or vegetables; you can select all 3 if you wish. Then, you specify if you want options like low-calorie or low-carb meals, or if you'd like to avoid certain ingredients (for example pork, soy, wheat, milk, nuts, mushrooms, shellfish, soy, or red meat).
From there, you're taken to the delivery address screen. Be sure not to miss the requested delivery date drop-down on that page as well, otherwise you'll get the default of Tuesday. Delivery options are Tuesday through Friday (at least in our area).
Home Chef had received some criticism in the past for not making customers amply aware of their cancellation and refund policies; but, compared with their competitors, Home Chef's approach seems fairly standard. You can cancel or pause your weekly deliveries at any time, and they'll give you a refund or credit if you're not 100% satisfied with your delivery. If only part of your meal shipment is a problem - maybe the cilantro was too wilted to use or a can was dented- Home Chef reserves the right to decide whether they'll issue a credit or a replacement for just that portion of your order.
Evidently, the BBB agrees that Home Chef is responding appropriately to customer concerns, because at the time of our review they had given the meal delivery service a rating of A+. Actual customer experiences are more of a mixed bag. More recent reviews tend to mention poor delivery service, because at least in some areas Home Chef switched from a big-name shipping company to a smaller one that hasn't been as reliable. We also saw continued complaints about pausing or canceling service through the website; some customers kept getting deliveries even after trying to put it on hold or stop the service altogether. Even some of the most positive reviews mention getting a delivery that was missing part of the meal - including main components like salmon or chicken, not just smaller items like spices.
Home Chef is a fantastic choice for people who want to cook and just need the convenience of pre-planned recipes and easy delivery of ingredients. This meal delivery service is likely to be a winner for larger families that might not find options with other services. Just be sure to keep a close watch on your orders, to ensure that everything arrives as expected; don't hesitate to contact Home Chef's customer service to request that they fix anything isn't as it should be.
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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