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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.
Where else but California would you expect to find the headquarters of a company that has "sun" in the name and focuses on healthy eating? Sun Basket features nutrient-dense produce, whole grains, high-quality protein and "good fats", with as little added sugar and processed ingredients as possible in their meal delivery programs.
As with some of the services we reviewed, Sun Basket assumes that you would like to spend a little time in the kitchen; their deliveries all come with ingredients and recipes for you to prepare, not a TV dinner-type reheat-and-eat meal. They also expect that your kitchen has the following:
Sun Basket breaks their meal delivery plans down into two main choices: the best value Family Menu, or the Classic Menu with more choices. Sun Basket is one of the few services that offers a menu plan geared towards kid-friendly favorites that include the children in the meal-making process. And, if your little ones are vegetarian, there's a plan for them too.
But, if you want more meal choices, the most robust menu is the Classic. Sun Basket does an incredible job of offering variety, with these plans:
With the Classic Plan, you can mix and match recipes across cuisines - so if two of you are gluten-free and the rest of the family goes paleo, your delivery can include meals that meet all of those preferences.
The pricing is straightforward: you'll pay $10.99 per serving with the Family Menu; you decide if you want 2, 3, or 4 recipes each week, and all recipes make a total of four adult-sized portions. Otherwise, you'll pay $11.99 on the Classic plan, which gives you 3 recipes per week and your choice of 2 or 4 servings per recipe.
Although all Sun Basket meals are carefully packaged to ensure freshness after delivery, you'll want to get them into the refrigerator as soon as you take them out of the box. They recommend that you eat any meals with seafood or shellfish within 3 days, and meat/poultry/delicate greens/mushrooms within 5 days of delivery. Sun Basket does not deliver to Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and some parts of New Mexico.
When it comes to customer experiences, Sun Basket's reviews are a mixed bag. We found praise from long-term clients who say that 95% of what they've gotten has been an absolute hit, and that the customer representatives were very responsive with getting replacements for any less-than-awesome ingredients or recipes. That's in line with Sun Basket's 100% guarantee, with a no-questions-asked refund if you're not completely satisfied. But, we also found customers who didn't have an easy time getting a replacement, credit, or refund when ingredients were wilted or spoiled. Also, some customers said that, in comparison with other meal delivery services they tried, Sun Basket was more money for smaller servings.
We give Sun Basket high marks for having such a wide variety of menu options, and for including kids in their meal plans. Just be prepared to spend time in the kitchen actually making the recipes and know that you might come away not feeling completely full (which could be an advantage, if weight loss through healthy eating is your goal!).
Best Meal Delivery
To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Home Chef and Sunbasket.
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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