Your Guide to Meal Delivery Services

Photo: allmyfaves

Meal delivery services are all the rage these days. As Americans get busier, the time to prepare anything resembling a tasty meal at home, let alone shop for ingredients and cleaning up afterwards is fading fast. As such, dozens of start-ups, and a few industry mainstays have been making huge waves in the way millions of us think about dinner.

So, let’s dive deeper and see what some of the more popular meal delivery services really have to offer.

Health & Diet

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While there are a lot of factors that go into a balanced and healthy diet, one that most of the world is overlooking is the importance of portion control. In this sense, these pre-portioned choices are a great idea for those looking to shed a few pounds, or ensure they keep eating healthy portions of truly delicious, and healthy foods.

For most of us, just eating healthy, as opposed to yet another stop at McDonald’s on the way home from a 12-hour day, is proving to be impossible with our dwindling energy levels and increasing work and family obligations.

Dietary Choices

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Photo: offthegridchicago

Most services allow you to substitute items you don’t like for those that do, as well as build a taste profile that allows them to take an educated stab at just what you want on your plate. While this is never perfect, the options available to you are practically endless due to all the meal delivery service offerings available.

Everything from ethnic foods to specific dietary needs, such as: paleo, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free are available. In fact, the sheer number of dietary offerings by these services is quite staggering.

In short, you’re sure to find something you like, and that fits your dietary needs.

Cost

Meal delivery services aren’t ever going to be as cheap as cooking at home, or going to the drive through for yet another Whopper, but let’s be honest; being cheap is only saving us money in the short term. By the time you figure in the cost of obesity, cancer, heart disease or diabetes, these few dollars you save on each meal might just cost you quite a bit more down the road, including your life. 

The package offered, as well as the pricing, varies, but the easiest way to make any sort of comparisons is by per-meal cost. And here, you can find pricing anywhere from $8 a plate to $50+ with an average settling in the $15 range. For most of us, that’s about the cost of a sandwich, chips, drink and (maybe) a dessert at our favorite deli, so it’s actually quite cost-efficient to eat healthier.

Once you figure in time, it’s actually a no-brainer. Planning, shopping and preparation are all minimized, as is clean-up since most of these come pre-packaged, meaning you’ll just throw them away when you’re finished.  

Personally, I think these services are a great choice for anyone that just doesn’t have time to prepare a good meal at home. I made the switch after a complete hatred for all of the fast food and takeout options near my home after years of over-use. Since I was burnt out on all of the available options, and I’m not much of a cook, the choice was simple… I’d move. But, plan B, which was a meal delivery service actually turned out to be a far greater choice, and one that I’m glad I made.

If you’re looking to get started, a few highly rated meal delivery services are Plated, Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Forks Over Knives. Check them out.