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      July 17, 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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Bistro MD

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Home Chef 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 Home Chef 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.

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Best Reviews

2018

Prepared Meal Reviews

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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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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