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      November 14, 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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Freshly

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Freshly vs Home Chef

Best Prepared Meals

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

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

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.

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4 stars
Home Chef

HOME CHEF Visit Site

Cost:

Prices start at $7.99 per serving

Free shipping on orders over $45

Home Chef has one of the longest histories among businesses that provide customers with regular deliveries of fresh ingredients and simple-to-prepare recipes. They deliver over 10 million meals a year, definitely establishing Home Chef as a recognized service in the Prepared Meals marketplace - and with their growing relationship with the Kroger brand of families, you're likely to see even more of this company in the future.

Every delivery comes with fresh, already-portioned ingredients to be used in recipes that are ready for the table in 30 minutes or less. Feel free to browse their available entrees before signing up for the service; you'll find Creamy Parmesan Steak Penne, Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Korean Fried Chicken among the customer favorites. You will have to enter your email address in order to see your specific choices for Prepared Meals packages.

As you begin that process, keep an eye out for pop-ups; we got an offer of a $30 discount on our first order if we gave them our email address, so you may get a similar promotion. Later, while we were getting our account set up, there was another "flash sale" discount of $10 on a future order.

To get started, you'll need to select how many Prepared Meals you'd like to cook each week, from 3-6. Home Chef is one of the only services that has options for larger families: each of your meals can serve 2, 4, or 6 people, depending on what you choose. Another convenient feature of Home Chef's Prepared Meals is that you can plan your selections as far as five weeks in advance, allowing you to sit down and figure out more than a month's meals in a short time.

Another part of customizing your Prepared Meals is choosing your menu style. Do you like to eat meat? Vegetables? Seafood? You can select any or all of them to be included in the entrees you receive. You'll also be able to specify if you're looking for low-carb or low-calorie options, or if you want certain ingredients to be avoided (like milk, soy, red meat, mushrooms, shellfish, wheat, or pork).

Finally, enter the address where you want your Prepared Meals to be delivered and select the day you prefer. Make sure not to miss that step, because it defaults to Tuesday if you don't choose another day of the week. In our area, available delivery days were Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

In the past, Home Chef was criticized for not making their cancellation and refund policies abundantly clear - but comparing those policies with their competitors', Home Chef's are very similar. Weekly deliveries can be cancelled or paused anytime, with no long-term contracts. If you're not completely satisfied with their Prepared Meals, you can request a refund or credit. Be aware that if only part of your delivery had a problem - like a bruised apple or wilted basil - Home Chef may issue a replacement or a credit only for that part of your shipment, not for the entire package.

It seems that the Better Business Bureau also thinks that Home Chef is doing a good job in responding to customer complaints: at the time of this review, the BBB still rated Home Chef as an "A+". Looking at customer reviews presents a more mixed picture. Several of the more recent comments mentioned issues with the new delivery service chosen by Home Chef; packages were delivered late or to an incorrect address multiple times. Other customers had problems pausing or canceling the service, still receiving shipments even after submitting the request to put it on hold. Even customers who report being very satisfied with Home Chef sometimes mentioned missing ingredients - even essential ones like fish or chicken, and not just smaller components like cinnamon or garlic salt.

Home Chef continues to be a solid option if you like cooking but want the convenience of having ingredients and recipes delivered to your home. They're especially likely to be your Prepared Meals company of choice if you have a big family and don't want to order two packages just to feed everyone at your table. But, we recommend that you inspect every delivery carefully to make sure that all of your ingredients came in the box, and that you get in touch with Home Chef representatives right away if anything comes up short.

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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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