We outsource cooking all the time — every time you eat at a restaurant or order take out, right?
But what about making the chore of cooking easier when you do it at home. We know it’s generally cheaper, healthier, and probably better for our families to eat together at home, but there’s a lot of effort that goes into putting dinner on the table.
You have to come up with what to cook, find the time to get to the grocery store, and then of course make the meal, serve it, and clean up.
A new crop of companies have popped up to help make life a little easier on that front, ranging from meal planning services to complete done-for-you ready-to-eat meal delivery services. If the nightly question of “what’s for dinner?” is a pain-point in your life, the 26 services below want to help.
Consider them your virtual dinner assistants!
Ready-to-Eat Meal Delivery Services
Vegin’ Out is a Los Angeles-based Vegan meal delivery service that delivers delicious, healthy, organic, well-balanced weekly vegan meals to your home or office at an affordable price.
They deliver throughout Los Angeles and ship via FedEx throughout any area outside of Los Angeles, Southern California, Northern California and Nationwide.
There is 9-10 vegan meals worth of food in a single order. It is $127.99 for a single vegan meal order, which consists of 8 Dishes (3 vegan entree 24 oz dishes, 4 vegan side 16 oz. dishes, 1 soup 32 oz.) and 5 vegan cookies, and $234.99 for a double which is exactly twice as much as a single.
VAA Special: Get $20 off your first order!
Sakara is an organic food service that serves up creative salads. Meals are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, meat, and seafood.
Delivery is available across the continental US. Food will be delivered in two or three deliveries per week.
3-day Taste It plans start at $80 and 5-day Taste It plans start at $125, plus delivery. Or subscribe for $69 a day and receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner five days a week.
VAA Special: Get $50 off your first order!
Paleo on the Go is a Florida-based meal delivery service company that highlights organic, pasture-raised and food cooked in high quality oils.
The proteins found within are all grass-fed, pasture-raised or wild, and they offer nationwide delivery.
They have a Paleo meal subscription plan of $300 and $500. Also, they have a Strict 30 Meal Plan, 30 Day Challenge – 30 Meals and 30 Day Challenge – 60 Meals Provided.
Freshly is a New York-based food company that delivers ready to cook meals and snacks in the United States. Cooking facility and kitchen is located in Arizona.
They have four meal plans:
- Freshly Flex 6 which is $69/week and with 6 gourmet meals
- Freshly Flex 9 which is $99/week with 9 gourmet meals
- Freshly Flex 12 for $129/week with 12 gourmet meals. All delivered once every week.
- The biggest plan they have is the Freshly Fit which is $229/week with 21 meals in total/week with two weekly deliveries. They deliver to 21 states and are still expanding.
Pete’s Paleo is a San Diego-based meal company that delivers nationally. If you’re a San Diego local, you can pick up your order at selected locations.
Meals are delivered weekly or bi-weekly. Purchase a set of five, 10, or 14 meals, or subscribe for weekly deliveries and save.
For example, a 10-meal pack costs $162, or $152 if you subscribe.
Veestro is a plant-based, whole food meal delivery service that ships nationally except for Alaska and Hawaii. All of Veestro’s meals are 100% plant-based and made with organic, non-GMO ingredients—and free of preservatives.
A la carte meals range between $5.99 and $11.99 for salads, soups, entrees, and desserts. They also offers a $99 starter pack (12 meals, one juice, and shipping included) and meal packs. The minimum order is $35, and shipping is free on orders of $199 and above.
Meal Prep Kit Delivery Services
HelloFresh is an online food retailer that delivers meal kits and recipes to subscribers.They deliver a box of fresh, pre-measured ingredients and delicious recipes.
They have three recipe boxes:
Prices range from $8.75 to $9.90/meal. They deliver nationwide except Hawaii and Alaska, and also have a presence in Canada and the UK.
VAA Special: Get $50 to spend at HelloFresh!
GreenChef is the first USDA-certified organic meal kit.
You can choose from five different menu types:
Their weekly menus are available online. They deliver nationwide except Alaska, Hawaii and Washington and to limited areas in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Oregon. Meals ranging in price from $10.49 to $14.99 per person plus $9 shipping and handling per box.
VAA Special: Get 4 free meals!
Gobble is a gourmet dinner service providing company that delivers freshly-prepared dinners from local chefs to professionals and families.
The “hook” is that each meal takes 15 minutes or less to prep.
Each delivery comes with a total of three dinner kits, each with 2 or 4 meals. Gobble boxes are delivered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
They charge an all-inclusive price of $11.95 per meal if you order 6 or more meals and $13.95 per meal if you only order 4 meals. If you’re ordering 6 meals, you’ll pay $71.70 total.
Each week there are meals that are dairy-free, nut-free, or gluten-free or can be prepared as dairy-free, nut-free, or gluten-free. They currently deliver within all of California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah.
I liked Gobble because of the quick prep time. Was it as “gourmet” as Blue Apron? Probably not, but definitely tasty, fast, and easy.
VAA Special: Get a free dinner kit for 2!
Home Chef specializes in delivering delicious healthy recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes or less. Every week, they offer a dozen new meal delivery options, including gluten-free, low carb, vegetarian, soy-free and nut-free meals.
Meals cost $9.95 per serving and can be ordered in 2, 4, or 6 serving offerings. Shipping is free for orders over $45.
Sun Basket is a no-commitment meal delivery service that has Chef-developed and nutritionist-approved recipes. Weekly delivery of fresh pre-measured ingredients and 3 recipes that you can choose from Chef’s Choice, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Rise & Shine (2 dinners + 2 breakfast recipes).
Meals cost $11.49 per person, delivery costs $5.99 per week. Your first week’s delivery for subscriptions is free! They currently ship to 35 states.
Blue Apron is a New York-based weekly meal ingredients delivery service that offers a portion of the ingredients in a box with a recipe. In each box, we enclose detailed recipe cards featuring step-by-step instructions in order to make meal preparation easy and enjoyable. Their ingredients are USDA certified organic.
They also offer a two plan options: 2-person plan and family plan. The 2-person plan consists of 3 meals. Price per serving is $9.99 a meal, or $59.94 for the entire 6-serving delivery. As for the family plan, it can feed a family of 4. Price per serving is $8.74 a meal, or $69.92 for the entire 8-serving delivery. Shipping is always free. With your first order, you get three meals for free.
My wife and I did Blue Apron for a while, and the meals were mostly delicious — except for one chili recipe that was burn-your-face-off-spicy. The drawback was the prep time; it took both of us working in the kitchen in a team effort sometimes for 20-30 minutes to make some of the meals.
Purple Carrot is a Boston-based meal kit delivery service that ships healthy ingredients and delicious recipes to busy, health-conscious people, using only whole food plant-based ingredients.
They deliver to 34 states throughout the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and West Coast. Meals are shipped on Mondays in boxes. For three meals that feed up to two people is $68 and two meals that feed up to four people costs $74.
Marley Spoon is an online platform backed by Martha Stewart that provides cook at home food subscription and delivery service.
They have a flexible subscription plan and has two options for boxes: a 2-person box and a family box. The 2-person box is $61.50 per delivery and includes 3 meals for 2 people. The family box is $106.80 per week and includes 3 meals for 4 people.
You can skip a week or pause your subscription anytime. Their recipes offer a good mix of vegetarian, fish and meat options and ingredients are guaranteed to have the highest quality. Marley Spoon delivers to most of the contiguous US states and some countries internationally. Shipping is always free of charge.
Gousto is an online marketplace that enables users to order and receive delivery of cooking ingredients and recipes in the UK. They have a no-commitment plan for their recipe kits.
Currently, they offer 6 types of weekly boxes: 2 recipes for 2 people – £27.49 per week, 2 recipes for 4 people – £41.99 per week, 3 recipes for 2 people – £34.99 per week, 3 recipes for 4 people – £51.99 per week, 4 recipes for 2 people – £41.99 per week and 4 recipes for 4 people – £59.99 per week.
Their fresh produce came from local farms in Lincolnshire and unsavoury extras are excluded.
Meal Planning Services
5 Dollar Dinners is a meal service that makes dinner for your family for $5 or less. They have a $5 Meal Plan which is a weekly meal plan subscription service where the the company does all the planning for the customers.
Prep Dish is a Paleo and Gluten-free meal preparation service that provides you with a printable grocery list and easy-to follow recipes for you to make. A meal plan consists of 4 meals, 1 breakfast, 1 snack and 1 dessert.
There are three kinds of subscriptions:
- monthly ($14/ month)
- yearly ($99/year)
- premium ($149/year)
Groceries are delivered nationwide and they are currently working with Instacart.
eMeals is a meal planning service that let’s you pick your plan, get the recipes and shop for ingredients. They provide over 50 different meal plan options based on your food style preference, family size and the current sales at several large grocery stores.
A subscription at eMeals is as low as $5 a month for a 12-month subscription. You also have the option of a 3-month subscription for $10 a month. They have a 14-day free trial of people who are not sure if it’s not worth the money.
Cook Smarts is a five meal plan newsletter to help home cooks cook more and stress less. They provide cooking tips and instructional videos for free. They also have an app that is available to Android and iOS users.
Have you ever considered outsourcing some of your home cooking, shopping, or meal prep time? Let me know in the comments below!