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      November 15, 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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Home Chef vs Personal Chef 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 Personal Chef To Go.

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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
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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2.5 stars
Personal Chef To Go

PERSONAL CHEF TO GO Visit Site

Cost:

Weekly cost of $78 to $138

Created in 2003, Personal Chef to Go aims to bring you healthy Prepared Meals that are ready to eat in 3 short microwave minutes - no need to plan menus, spend time at the supermarket, or even slave away in the kitchen.

Over the past few years, though, this provider seems to have reduced the number of available options for delivery. Several years ago, their menus included choices targeted towards individuals, couples, and families. During our most recent ordering experience, however, their Prepared Meals packages were limited to the following:

  • 5 meals per week: $78
  • 8 meals per week: $118
  • 10 meals per week: $138

Doing the math, Personal Chef to Go's cost per serving is much higher than almost every single one of their competitors, at $13.80 to over $15 per meal.

Many customers will be put off by having to enter their email address and zip code to access information about available meal plans and pricing. But, once you've done so, you'll see that your first decision is between the Chef's Choice or Your Choice plans. As you might guess from the names, the Chef's Choice provides you with entrees selected by Personal Chef to Go, while Your Choice gives you the decision-making power according to the meals that fit your preferences in taste. Those are determined by your filter choices; you can ask not to receive any meals that are prepared with tree nuts, dairy, beef, soy, pork, shellfish, fish, or gluten.

The weekly menu consists of a total of 12 options. Depending on the taste preferences you set, your choices could be very limited if you only have a dozen possibilities and you don't want certain ingredients.

The user experience on the Personal Chef to Go site wasn't impressive. The photos for the weekly menu items were unappetizing, and none of the entrees had any customer reviews to give us an idea of how the food tasted. But, we liked that every Prepared Meal showed very detailed nutritional information, from ingredients to calories and sodium content.

All of Personal Chef to Go's Prepared Meals ship on Thursday, with delivery on Thursday or Friday, depending on where you live. Unlike most services, this provider does not allow you to change when your package will arrive. Your meals arrive fresh and are expected to stay unspoiled under refrigeration anywhere from 10 to 12 days.

The most positive aspect of getting your Prepared Meals through this company is that their customers really like them. We didn't find hundreds of reviews to consider, but those we read were almost 100% positive: not only with the food quality but also with the delivery and convenience overall.

But, at the end of the day, you'll pay a higher price for less variety when using Personal Chef to Go. We think you'll probably find a more suitable fit for your wallet and your palate with one of the higher-ranked businesses in our review.

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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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