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      May 23, 2019

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Freshly

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Freshly vs Gourmet Station

Best Prepared Meals

To help you find the Best Prepared Meals, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Freshly and Gourmet Station.

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

2019

Prepared Meal Reviews

5 stars
Freshly

FRESHLY Visit Site

Cost:

From $8.99 to $12.50 per serving

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Freshly does it all. Their Prepared Meals consist of fresh, never-frozen ingredients that can be reheated (when needed) in just 3 minutes or less - giving you convenient meals that are also nutritious. Everything shipped by Freshly is gluten- and peanut-free, which is a huge plus for families with those food sensitivities.

Because all deliveries contain fresh food, it's a good idea to keep track of "use by" dates: most of your Prepared Meals should be eaten within 3-4 days of delivery. So, when choosing your plan with Freshly, you'll want to set up a schedule that matches when you'll be eating at home. This provider's delivery calendar depends on your zip code; some places in the US only have options for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday deliveries, so make sure to see what's available in your city, particularly if you're looking for Prepared Meals on weeknights after work.

Even though you won't find any wheat-based items on the menu at Freshly, we doubt you'll miss them. Your menu choices - more than two dozen options each week - include mouth-watering favorites like Shrimp & Andouille Paella and 3-Bean Ancho Turkey Chili. Start by selecting the number of meals you'd like (4, 6, 9, or 12) and then choose from the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are on the weekly menu. Freshly also gives you the option of using their Meal Planner tool to indicate your dietary preferences, if you'd rather not take the time to choose individual entrees each week. Your "preference profile" will also develop over time as Freshly sees your meal history and tweaks your selections accordingly.

Also, you can choose your meals up to three weeks ahead of time. For those who like to have everything figured out in advance, you can do it with Freshly. You've also got the ability to custom-design your Prepared Meals in other ways. For example, if you need 12 meals in a typical week but your spouse is going out of town, you cut your plan in half for the time that you'll be on your own. Or, if you usually have Thursday delivery but won't be back from vacation until Friday, you can change your normal delivery day as needed (as long as those days of the week are available where you live). Best of all, your Freshly plan can follow you to your work conference, quick getaway, or wherever you may roam: just change your delivery address and you're good to go.

So, how about the cost? Depending on what you order, the average Freshly meal has a per-serving price between $8.99 and $12.50. Every Prepared Meal plan includes free shipping/delivery. Those prices and complimentary shipping make Freshly extremely competitive among meal delivery services.

We were thrilled to see lots of positive comments about Freshly's service. Customers rave about how easy it is to create a plan that works for their needs and schedules, how delicious the entrees are, and how friendly and pleasant Freshly's representatives are when handling any issues that arise.

Freshly offers affordable, convenient, and remarkably allergy-friendly Prepared Meals. They earn our highest recommendation.

Visit Site

3.5 stars
Gourmet Station

GOURMET STATION Visit Site

Cost:

From $79.99 and up

For more than 15 years, Gourmet Station's Prepared Meals have been delivered to over 100,000 customers. Their primary focus is gift-giving, especially for employers looking to give incentives to workers or holiday gifts to clients. But, everything that Gourmet Station sells can just as conveniently be purchased for a personal special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday.

To see your options, start by choosing a category: Soup & Appetizers, Monthly Clubs, Gift Certificates, Meal Plans, Occasion Dinners, or Dinner Gifts. Of all the possibilities, the last one has the most impressive options:

  • Occasion Dinners for Two - priced at $109.99, this package comes with a card, white cloth dinner napkins, a floating candle and complimentary gift packaging. Besides your choice of four-course meals (Americana, Parisian, Tuscan), you'll select the bread, soup, entree, and dessert, plus a coffee or tea and candy.
  • Four-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - for $99.99, you can choose among Parisian, Tuscan, or Americana options (just like the previous package, without the extra gift items such as the candle).
  • Three-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - priced at $89.99, you'll decide on an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert.
  • Gourmet Dinners for Two - if you just want entrees, you'll pay $79.99. Choices include Chicken Cordon Bleu, Lemon Dill Salmon, Mushroom Ravioli and more.

Also, in the Dinner Gift category, you'll find Steak Dinner Gifts, Dinner of the Month, and Wagyu (Kobe) Steaks.

The Dinner of the Month option is also found as part of Gourmet Station's Monthly Clubs. If you'd like to spread your gift-giving over several deliveries - for yourself or for a lucky recipient of your generosity - your options include Soup or Dessert of the Month or even full dinners with 2, 3, or 4 courses.

But, most customers looking for Prepared Meals want something they can eat during a typical week. In that case, Gourmet Station's Meal Plans are the best option. Each package provides five meals a week for one person; cuisine choices include Americana, International, Parisian, Cajun, and Tuscan, with five entrees and side vegetables. You'll select Pasta, Beef, Pork, Seafood, and Poultry meals within each of those menu choices; the vegetable is determined automatically by the entree you choose. For example, the Tuscan menu may come with Oven-Roasted Veggies, or the International entree is accompanied by Creamy Spinach & Artichokes.

Every Prepared Meal delivered by Gourmet Station should be refrigerated that day and eaten within 3 days; otherwise, you should freeze it for later reheating. Meals are also expected to be reheated in a traditional oven, not the microwave. This isn't as convenient as some of the TV dinner-style Prepared Meals plans in our review, but it helps your gourmet food stay tasting - well, gourmet!

Your delivery options are limited to arrivals on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Although you can schedule your packages to arrive several months in advance, for a special occasion or other event, you'll still have to choose one of those three days because of UPS' delivery requirements.

Gourmet Station makes it incredibly easy to deliver a five-star restaurant-quality meal to your doorstep (or to someone else's), needing just a 30-minute reheating in the oven for some items. On the other hand, if you're trying to lose weight or you're looking for the most economical Prepared Meals plan on the market, this probably isn't the service you'll choose.

Visit Site

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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