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      November 16, 2018

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Prepared Meals

  1. Bistro MD
  2. Veestro
  3. Home Chef
  4. Sunbasket
  5. Hello Fresh
  6. Blue Apron
  7. Diet To Go
  8. Gourmet Station
  9. Harry & David
  10. Magic Kitchen
  11. Personal Chef To Go
  12. Martha & Marley Spoon
  13. Plated
  14. Home Bistro

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Blue Apron vs Diet To Go

Best Prepared Meals

To help you find the Best Prepared Meals, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Blue Apron and Diet To Go.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Prepared Meals, please Click Here

Who has the best Prepared Meals? How many times have you come home after a long day and stared blankly at your refrigerator or pantry, trying to figure out what to eat? Or stopped at the drive-thru for fast food because the thought of coming up with something for dinner was just too much?

You're not alone. For people who'd like the convenience of fast food with the benefits of home cooking, Prepared Meals are the answer. For every imaginable palate and preference, there's a prepared meal service that can help. Several of today's most popular services send you high-quality, often organic ingredients - including fresh produce like shallots and herbs - saving you the hassle of planning your meals and going to the store.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2018

Prepared Meal Reviews

4 stars
Blue Apron

BLUE APRON Visit Site

Cost:

From $47.95 to $119.84 (roughly $7.49 to $9.99 per serving)

Blue Apron wants "to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone." With more than 8 million meals prepared by customers each month, this company's farm-fresh ingredients and unique recipes are definitely making that happen.

As you create your account, you'll begin by selecting your dietary preference: omnivore, pescatarian, or vegetarian. Every Prepared Meal will then be selected to fit your choice. You'll also be able to let Blue Apron know if you don't want a specific meat - fish, beef, shellfish, lamb, pork, or poultry - in any of the recipes they send. Also, all of the ingredients you receive will be pre-measured, whether that's paprika or peppers. All meals are best suited for lunch or dinner, so you won't see any recipes geared towards breakfasts, desserts, or side dishes.

Blue Apron keeps your taste buds guessing by never repeating a recipe within a calendar year. However, other than indicating your preferences like we described, you won't be able to select the recipes they send. Love it or hate it, you'll get it in your delivery. That's a slight disadvantage compared with similar providers of Prepared Meals.

You'll see a similar limitation with Blue Apron's serving sizes: 2 or 4 per meal. This might leave you with leftovers for a smaller family - or still-hungry people at your table if your family is larger.

On a positive note, Blue Apron has addressed what used to be their most commonly-received complaint: their pricing. Since our last review, Blue Apron has dropped their prices to keep up with the competition:

  • Two-Serving Plan: you can choose between two ($47.95) or three ($59.94) 2-serving recipes per week. Shipping is included.
  • Four-Serving Plan: you can choose among two ($71.92), three ($95.88), or four ($119.84) 4-serving recipes per week. Shipping is included.

Sometimes, Blue Apron offers discounts. On our most recent visit, we got a pop-up offer after browsing the site for a while: "Get $50 off your next two orders if you order within the next 30 minutes." While we don't necessarily like that kind of time pressure, we definitely appreciate the savings.

As with most businesses offering Prepared Meals, Blue Apron doesn't require a contract to sign up. You can skip any deliveries you like - maybe you're heading out of town or just want to take a break - and there's no penalty for canceling the service. You can also request a new delivery date at any time.

Blue Apron does a good job of selecting top-notch ingredients and recipes. In our first delivery, we loved the attention to quality: everything we received was high-end, nothing generic or cheap, from the fresh shallots to the canned tomatoes. All of their recipes make the effort to include in-season ingredients, which naturally lead to a better-tasting final product. All of the recipes we got were easy to follow, and every ingredient was clearly labeled (which was helpful for one of our more novice "chefs", who couldn't recognize a few things by sight alone). We liked what we got enough to want to make it a second time!

However, for people who want to choose the Prepared Meals they receive - not just getting whatever is selected according to their dietary preferences - or who don't have access to a full kitchen, Blue Apron isn't going to be their first choice.

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4 stars
Diet To Go

DIET TO GO Visit Site

Cost:

From $121.99 to $204.59 per week (average serving cost of $9.57 to $13)

Delivery fees: $19.98/week

If you want to slim down while still eating food that tastes good, Diet-to-Go could be the best fit. All of the meals prepared by their chef/dietitian team are ready-to-eat and are created "to make losing weight taste great".

Every plan they offer includes free access to a fantastic array of resources, from registered dietitians and nutritionists to certified health coaches who are available to help you set and reach your goals. They also offer an online community of fellow members, giving you programs and resources to keep up your motivation and inspiration while pursuing better health.

Are you thinking that "diet food" can't possibly taste good? Think again: Diet-to-Go's Prepared Meals won a first-place award from Epicurious, a distinction not earned by a number of well-known brands in the weight loss marketplace. Some of their most popular entrees, as rated by their customers, are the Blackened Salmon, Eggplant Parmesan, and Chicken Marsala, if you're looking for some tried-and-true meals to start with.

When creating your plan with Diet-to-Go, you'll choose among four main menus, which have recipes in a five-week rotation. And, if there are meals in your plan that you would rather not receive, you can swap them out for more appealing entrees.

Every Prepared Meals package is priced based on the options you select:

  • Menu Style: Balance (no red meat or pork), Balance-D (focused on those with Type 2 Diabetes), Keto-Carb30 (carb-restricted), or Vegetarian
  • Original or No Seafood
  • 5 or 7 days per week
  • 2 or 3 meals per day? (2-meal plans do not include breakfast)
  • Women's (1200 calories per day) or Men's (1600 calories per day) - only required for the Balance menu plan.

Going through all of the plans, the lowest option seems to be the Balance package for women (or for those who want a limit of 1200 calories/day), with 2 meals per day, 5 days a week. This was priced at $122/week, and an additional $19.98 for shipping. Certain areas in the US - greater LA, Baltimore, NJ, or metro DC - have pick-up options available if you'd like to save money on delivery.

To save a little more, look for discount options; we saved 15% on our first order when we subscribed to Diet-to-Go's email newsletter. You may see this pop up while browsing the site, or look for it as a promotion.

All of your Prepared Meals need to be refrigerated or frozen once you've received them, because they are flash-frozen and shipped in coolers packed with dry ice. If there are any entrees that don't need refrigeration, you'll find them in a separate box included with your delivery. Unless you freeze your meals (for up to 30 days after delivery), expect that they'll have a 7-day shelf life in the refrigerator.

Diet-to-Go is comparable with top-ranked Prepared Meals providers when it comes to customer-friendly policies. There are no long-term commitments. Plans can be placed on hold or cancelled anytime. You can request a credit, refund, or replacement if you're unsatisfied with their service, no questions asked. Customer comments show that the business is doing a great job of responding promptly when any problems come up. We also saw a pleasantly-surprising number of compliments about the food quality: even though all of the meals are prepared by reheating in the microwave, people say that the food keeps its flavor and doesn't get watery.

Diet-to-Go isn't the service of choice for customers who want to spend time in the kitchen, making recipes from delivered boxes of ingredients. It's also not going to be the first-place winner for those who don't want a calorie-restricted diet. But, for people struggling to lose weight that want to enjoy what they eat - and who prefer not to do the cooking - the Prepared Meals from Diet-to-Go will fit the bill.

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Continued from above

If you have a loved one that needs to start eating a special diet for diabetes or other medical issues, you can choose a prepared meals company that offers ready-to-reheat meals packaged similarly to a TV dinner and that have been carefully created by nutritionists specifically for that condition.

On the other hand, maybe you've been tasked with bringing a mind-blowing main course to an important company function, but your skills in the kitchen are limited to boiling water and burning toast. No problem: just choose a Prepared Meals service that focuses on gourmet-level, special occasion entrees like chicken cordon bleu or even surf-and-turf.

When deciding which company is a good fit for your delivery of Prepared Meals, you'll soon notice that there's a wide variety to choose from. How do you select the one that's best for you? Here are some things to consider as you look at each service:

  • Menu. What does the provider offer? Can you choose from many different plans, like Vegetarian or Mediterranean? If you're trying to meet a special dietary need, like gluten-free or keto-friendly, will there be options for you? Does the type of Prepared Meals they send - reheat-and-eat vs. some cooking required - work for your situation?
  • Price. What will it cost to get your Prepared Meals? Can you choose to buy specific entrees a la carte, or do you have to buy a package?
  • Amount of Food. If you have a large family, is there a plan that will satisfy everyone? Are the serving sizes enough to fill you up?
  • Customer Service and Reputation. What have other people said about the experience of buying Prepared Meals from this business? Are packages delivered on time, with ingredients that are still fresh and properly refrigerated? If not, does the company's customer service department respond appropriately with a refund or credit?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Prepared Meals Delivery Companies available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right company to deliver the kind of meals you want, directly to your doorstep!

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