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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.
If you could have delicious meal ingredients delivered, complete with award-winning recipes, for less money than you'd spend at the grocery store, would you do it? That's the question Martha & Marley Spoon wants you to answer, because they claim they can make that happen.
Your options with Martha & Marley Spoon are straightforward: do you want dinners for two or for three to four people? How many meals would you like to receive per week: 2, 3, or 4? And would you like your delivery box to only contain vegetarian meals? If you can answer those questions, you're well on your way to getting meals that come from the 18,000 recipe archive of Martha Stewart herself.
Whichever plan you pick, every meal delivery box from Martha & Marley Spoon comes with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and the 6-steps-or-less recipes you select from the 10 options on each weekly menu. Menus are available up to four weeks in advance; typical entrees include Steak and Almond Romesco, Warm Tortelloni and Bean Salad, and Chili-Lime Shrimp.
Your delivery date depends on where you live; in our area, we could select between Mondays and Tuesdays. Your deliveries are guaranteed to be usable for at least 4 days after delivery (with the exception of fish; you'll need to cook that within 48 hours of arrival). You should also plan on having some pantry basics like sugar, eggs, oil, and salt on hand.
How does Martha & Marley Spoon stack up against similar services? Unfortunately, the answer is "not very well". We found a significant number of customers complaining that orders were delivered days later than expected - with melted ice packs, completely thawed meats, and damaged containers. Where most of the competition would immediately offer a refund or replacement, customer reviews seem to indicate that this company only offers a discount on a future shipment. Martha & Marley Spoon has no refund policy or satisfaction guarantee on their site that says otherwise. We're glad to see that their customer service department responded to the complaints we saw, but we'd like to see a better approach to keeping customers happy - one that their competitors already provide.
We also weren't impressed with the meal delivery plans: with only 10 recipes to choose from each week, and no ability to customize according to dietary needs, Martha & Marley Spoon just doesn't measure up to other services that we reviewed. So, in the end, they might be able to deliver ingredients for meals to your doorstep for less than you'd spend at the store, but your end result could be disappointing.
Best Meal Delivery
To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Home Chef and Martha & Marley Spoon.
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:
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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