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      November 15, 2018

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Blue Apron vs Home Bistro

Best Prepared Meals

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

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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1 star
Home Bistro

HOME BISTRO Visit Site

Cost:

Up to $23.99 per serving

Home Bistro specializes in prepared-from-fresh, delivered frozen meals. They offer a decent variety of menus, such as Individual Meals, Chef's Choice, Meal Combos, and SUPERBowls.

All of the Prepared Meals delivered by Home Bistro can either be boiled-in-bag or prepared in the microwave. Either method has your food ready to eat in 10 minutes or less. Some of the entrees created by Home Bistro are Mediterranean Tapenade Salmon, Artichoke-Lemon Steak with Vegetables, and Roasted Harissa Shrimp with Gratin.

What you pay depends on the plan you choose. The Chef's Choice Plan includes 10 meals for $134.99, for instance. Or, you can select the Table for Two collection and get 20 meals for $259.99. Many individual entrees are available; these start at $16.29.

It's not easy to locate, but there is a filter function that allows you to sort through what Home Bistro sells according to your dietary needs, like gluten-free, paleo, or diabetic-friendly. You'll see that dropdown box on the top left part of the screen after you've selected the meal category you want, such as Combos or Individual.

That's not the only thing that's hard to find with Home Bistro. You also won't find a refund policy - because they specifically don't offer one, "due to the nature of shipping perishable meals". Most competitor services enthusiastically promise that they'll replace or refund any ingredients or entire shipments that don't arrive intact and edible. In comparison, Home Bistro says that customers can email them at their support account within 24 hours if their package has any issues. Especially due to the nature of perishable ingredients, Home Bistro has taken an unacceptable approach to customer satisfaction.

In fact, you should expect to be unsatisfied with this service. Almost every single one of their customer reviews include phrases like "disappointing", "poor customer service", and "horrible food". Is it any surprise that Home Bistro says that "all sales are final"?

In checking out Home Bistro's contact information, we discovered that they operate another Prepared Meals service under the name of Dinewise. Unfortunately, that brand has similarly lackluster customer reviews.

Even though they've been selling Prepared Meals for many years, Home Bistro doesn't deliver in any respect: bad-tasting food and zero customer satisfaction efforts are just two of the reasons you'll be choosing another service.

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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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