Ranking the best meal delivery service of 2020

Ranking the best meal delivery service of 2020
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Meal delivery services are a convenient way to get healthy meals delivered straight to your door. They have a variety of price points and offer meals that fit all dietary needs. You can choose everything from prepackaged frozen meals to ingredients that you prep and cook yourself, based on your budget and how much time you want to spend the kitchen.

Here are our top 10 meal delivery service options.

Rankings

1. Metabolic Meals

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The meal delivery offered by Metabolic Meals topped our list because of its convenience and the fact that it does not require a subscription. These healthy, high-quality, and gluten-free meals can be ordered directly from Amazon with no extra sign-up or monthly obligation.

Metabolic Meals uses grass-fed meats and organic produce in their frozen meals, and offers options that are suitable for keto dieters, people with diabetes, and people who are trying to lose weight.

2. HMR Weight Management

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HMR Weight Management is another meal delivery service that doesn’t require a monthly subscription. These frozen meals can be ordered directly from Amazon, and they are specifically formulated for weight loss.

The meals are perfectly portioned for one person, and come in a variety of cuisines to keep your diet interesting. HMR also offers a line of shakes and a diet program, but you don’t have to participate in the program to order their meals.

3. Freshly

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Freshly offers pre-cooked, chef-made frozen meals that only need to be reheated in your oven—which maximizes the convenience factor. All of their meals are gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a great choice for people with these dietary needs.

Freshly is a weekly subscription service, and you’re able to select from 30 menu items each week.

4. Gobble

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Gobble’s meal kits provide a balance between convenience and home cooking. They’re designed to be ready to eat in 15 minutes. Gobble accomplishes this by providing premade sauces, chopped vegetables, and parcooked (partially cooked) grains like rice and quinoa.

They offer a standard plan and a “Lean & Clean” plan, which prioritizes lean meats and minimally processed ingredients.

5. Fresh and Easy

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Fresh and Easy is a service that branched out from Home Chef, a popular meal delivery service that provides family friendly options and large portions. However, Fresh and Easy offers healthier fare that’s ready to eat in no time.

They provide all ingredients that need to be cooked in oven-safe or grill-safe pans, saving you from a messy kitchen.  They also provide microwavable sides, slow-cooker meals, and entree salads that simply need to be mixed together.

6. Sun Basket

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Sun Basket’s main focus is on high-quality, clean ingredients. They try to include all organic produce in their boxes, along with humanely-raised, antibiotic free meats and wild-caught fish. They also cater to a large variety of dietary needs, including paleo, pescatarian, Mediterranean, and gluten-free.

Additionally, they offer a “quick and easy” option that only includes meals that come together in 20 minutes or less.

7. Green Chef

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Green Chef, like Sun Basket, offers high-quality ingredients along with convenient recipes and pre-portioned, pre-prepped ingredients. They understand that meal delivery services can have wasteful and excessive packaging, so they attempt to minimize the packaging they use and send shipments in a recyclable box.

They use organic ingredients, and offer keto, paleo, balanced, plant-based, and family-friendly meal options.

8. Purple Carrot

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Purple Carrot is a great meal delivery service for vegans and vegetarians, as their offerings are 100% plant-based. To make meal planning even more convenient, you can add breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to your deliveries as well.

Although all of their meals are plant-based, they do offer high-protein and gluten-free menus for people with these specific needs.

9. Hello Fresh

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Hello Fresh is the most popular meal delivery service available today. They offer a wide variety of meals, making them a great choice for families. Their plans include standard, plant-based, family-friendly, and low-calorie—so Hello Fresh can accomodate most people who don’t have any specific dietary needs.

They are also one of the most reasonably priced meal kit delivery services, making them a good option for people with a limited grocery budget who still want to try a meal kit.

10. Dinnerly

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Rounding out our rankings of the top 10 meal delivery services is Dinnerly. Dinnerly is a straight-forward and affordable option. They don’t cater to specific dietary needs and instead simply offer a basic menu of crowd-pleasing recipes that include both meat and vegetables.

This allows them to reduce food costs, making them one of the most affordable—but still delicious—meal delivery services you can sign up for.

How We Ranked

We ranked these meal delivery services based on five key factors. First of all, we made sure that all of these meal delivery services had nationwide availability. There are several meal delivery services that only operate in certain regions or cities, but we wanted to ensure that the ones in our rankings delivered across the United States. We also chose meal delivery services that prioritized providing healthy meals.

Our two top choices, Metabolic Meals and HMR Weight Management, also are available to order on Amazon and do not require a monthly subscription. If you only need meal delivery occasionally—for example, during periods when you’re particularly busy with work or school—then these options would offer the most flexibility and would likely save you the most money as well.

Next, we ranked based on convenience. Our top three choices—from Metabolic Meals, HMR Weight Management, and Freshly—are all frozen meals that you can simply remove from the packaging and place directly in the oven. This makes them the easiest and the most time-saving options.

Finally, we ranked these options based on the availability of options for special dietary needs. Many of these meal delivery services offer options for people who are doing keto, plant-based, gluten-free, low-calorie or diabetic diets.

Benefits

Meal delivery services can help you eat healthier. These meal delivery services offer an easy way to help you eat healthier. Each option in our rankings provides healthy, balanced meals that are suited to a variety of dietary needs.

These services prioritize the use of fruits and vegetables, ensuring that you get a variety of nutrients in your meals. Many of these services also use high quality ingredients like organic produce and humanely-raised, grass-fed meat.

Replacing some of your typical meals with meals from a meal delivery service is an easy way to add some nutritious meals to your normal routine.

Meal delivery services can help you lose weight. These services provide pre-portioned meals to help you stay on track with your weight loss goals. Often, they include calorie and nutrition information along with the meal or recipe.

Additionally, many of these services offer plans that are specifically geared towards people who are trying to lose weight. These plans include low-calorie meals comprised of more nutrient dense foods, like lean proteins and high-fiber vegetables.

Meal delivery services are convenient. They can help you save time, decrease trips to the grocery store, eat out less, and spare you from the time and hassle of meal planning.

Meal delivery services can provide up to seven days of meals per week, and each day that you have a meal from one of these services is one less day that you have to meal plan and shop for.

If you’re busy, using a meal delivery service is a convenient way to get healthy meals on the table.

Meal delivery services can help you save time. Using a meal delivery services cuts the need for you to meal plan and shop, at least for a few days per week. This can save you loads of time, as the food is delivered straight to your door.

Additionally, most of these services provide every ingredient you’ll need, so you don’t have to worry about being out of something or making a last-minute, unexpected trip to the store.

Meal delivery services can help you learn to cook. If you don’t feel confident in the kitchen, subscribing to a meal kit delivery service is a great way to learn some culinary skills. Not only do these kits come with all the ingredients you need, they also include step-by-step instructions to create healthy and delicious meals.

You can learn kitchen basics like knife skills, preparing sauces, cooking meats, and baking using the instructions provided by these services.

Having this solid base of cooking knowledge and skills you pick up from these meal delivery services can make it easier for you to cook your own dishes in the future.

Meal delivery services are a good way to spend time with your family. If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spend more time with you family, significant other, or children, a meal kit is a great option.

Cooking together is a great way to spend some quality time with your loved ones, and there are roles for family members of all ages. Children can set the table and help with basic things like vegetable prep or gathering the ingredients and supplies you’ll need for the recipe.

Best of all, most of the meals provided by meal delivery services take only 30-45 minutes to prepare, making it a quick and easy way for busy families to spend more time together.

Meal delivery services can help you eat out less. Eating out regularly is not very good for your health. Food from restaurants usually comes in large portions that are up to three times more than what a single serving should be, and foods cooked in restaurants are often made with excessive oil, salt, and sugar to improve the taste.

If you find yourself eating out too much, using a meal delivery service may be a better option. Although there may be slightly more work involved, the food you’ll get from a meal kit will be much healthier than most restaurant fare. Additionally, you could choose premade frozen meals as opposed to a meal kit, which would save time compared to going to a restaurant or calling in an order and waiting for it to be delivered. Frozen meals only require being popped in the oven for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour before they’re ready to eat.

Meal delivery services can decrease stress. If you find meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking to be stressful, then using a meal delivery service can take some of that stress off of your plate. Many busy households find it difficult to shop and cook for seven days of meals each week, and along with the stress of work, school, and other activities, worrying about what to have for dinner every night can be a lot of added pressure.

A meal delivery service can take the thought, effort, and stress out of it, by providing the recipe, all the ingredients you’ll need, and the exact instructions on how to cook it.

Meal delivery services can make it easier to follow a specific diet. If you’re on a certain diet or if you have strict dietary needs, using a meal delivery service can make it much easier to plan and prepare meals that meet your needs. The meal delivery services included in our rankings provide plans for the following dietary needs: gluten-free, keto, diabetic, low-calorie, peanut-free, dairy-free, low-carb, mediterranean, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan and paleo.

Meal delivery services can help you learn proper portion sizes. Your idea of a proper portion size may be distorted by what you’re used to seeing in restaurants and serving yourself. Studies show that most people believe that a proper serving of food is much larger than what it actually is. This “portion distortion” can lead to excessive calorie intake and weight gain (1).

Using a meal delivery service, which only provides enough frozen meals or enough ingredients for a certain number of portions, can help you learn what a normal portion of food looks like. This can help you cut calories and potentially be more successful at losing weight or preventing unwanted weight gain.

Meal delivery services can limit food waste. If you find yourself throwing out spoiled leftovers regularly, or getting rid of fresh produce that went bad before you had a chance to use it, you may find a meal delivery service helpful. These services can cut down on food waste by only providing the number of servings of a meal that you’ll actually need. They also provide the exact ingredients in the right amounts, decreasing the risk of food going bad before you have a chance to use it.

Downsides

Meal delivery services can be expensive. Some of these services can be expensive, especially if you have specific dietary needs. They may not be a budget-friendly option in all cases. Some meal delivery services can charge up to $13.00 per meal per person. Luckily, they often provide new user promo codes to bring the initial cost down, so you can at least try the service and see if you like it.

Meal delivery services may have shipping delays. Sometimes, and often through no fault of their own, a meal delivery service can experience shipping delays in getting your meals and ingredients delivered to you. This can cause multiple problems, like leaving you without a plan for a meal or the ingredients you need to make a meal. Excessive shipping delays can also lead to the problem of food spoilage.

Fortunately, most of these delivery services seem to have great customer service that will happily offer you a refund or replacement on shipments that are lost or delayed, or spoiled as a result of a delay.

Meal delivery services often use excessive plastic and packaging. Unfortunately, many meal kits come with excessive packaging. To prevent cross-contamination, each individual ingredient is packaged separately, and you will receive a shipment in a new box on a weekly basis. This can result in a lot of packaging that you will need to recycle or dispose of. Although many meal delivery services are trying new ways to be more eco-friendly, excessive packaging continues to be an issue.

Meal delivery services may send meals that you dislike. Occasionally, you may receive a meal from a meal delivery service that you or your family dislikes. Unfortunately, because they can’t offer an endless variety with each menu, this is bound to happen every once and while. However, typically, you are able to request that you don’t receive this meal again.

Additionally, many will allow you to note your family’s preferences and dislikes when you sign up, and they will do their best to avoid sending meals that contain foods you dislike.

Meal delivery services are often subscription-based. Most meal delivery services are subscription based, meaning that you are charged a reoccurring fee on a weekly or monthly basis. Luckily, most of these services also make it very easy to cancel or to put your shipments on hold if you don’t need them for a while. They also don’t charge you this, typically.

Meal delivery services often don’t provide a daily option. Most meal kit services will provide anywhere from two to five days of meals per week, but unfortunately very few of them provide seven days of meals per week. Additionally, most will only offer dinner, not breakfast or lunch.

Meal delivery services may not accommodate multiple dietary needs within the same household. Although they offer a variety of meal plans to suit all different dietary needs, you may have a hard time accommodating multiple dietary needs with a single meal kit subscription. For example, if one member of the family is doing keto, and another member of the family is a vegetarian, you would likely need two separate accounts or two separate meal delivery services to fit both of these individual’s needs. This can be expensive and complicated.

Recommended Usage

If you dislike meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, then you may benefit from using a meal delivery service. Meal delivery services are also great for people who are busy or people with specific dietary needs or preferences.

Most meal delivery services require you to order at least two meals per week, although they can provide up to seven days of meals per week. While most only provide supper, there are some that also offer breakfasts, lunches, and even snacks.

Depending on how much time you have to cook, your budget, and your dietary needs, you can choose to receive meal kits that contain the ingredients you need to cook your own meal, or precooked frozen meals that only need to be reheated in the oven.

FAQ

Q: Who is a meal delivery service good for?

A: Meal delivery services are a great for a number of people.

If you’re busy and you don’t have time to shop or cook, then you’d benefit from a meal delivery service because they do the meal planning and shopping for you.

People who depend on restaurant food, takeout, and delivery regularly may also benefit from meal delivery services. They are just as quick and convenient as ordering out, but often much healthier.

Additionally, if you have specific dietary needs or preferences, ordering from a meal delivery service can be an easy way to ensure that the meals you eat are compliant with your needs.

Finally, meal delivery services are great for people who want to learn more basic cooking skills.

Q: Who is a meal delivery service not good for?

A: If you’re on a very strict budget, a meal delivery service may not be right for you. Meal delivery services in many instances can be more expensive than doing your own meal planning and shopping.

Additionally, if you have multiple dietary needs in the same household, it may be difficult for you to use a meal delivery service.

Q: Will a meal delivery service save me money?

A: It’s hard to say. If you’re spending a lot of money eating out, then you may very well save money by switching to a meal delivery service. Additionally, if you find meal planning difficult and therefore have a lot of food that goes bad before you’re able to use it, you may find that a meal delivery service saves you money as well.

However, meal delivery services may also be more expensive than your current shopping and cooking routine, especially if you’re already cooking most meals at home. You will have to shop around and do some price comparisons to see if subscribing to a meal delivery service would save you money.

Q: Can a meal delivery service accommodate my special dietary needs and preferences?

A: Yes, meal delivery services can offer options to suit a wide variety of dietary needs, from vegan to gluten-free to keto. Some even offer family friendly or low-calorie options.

Q: What do meal delivery services cost?

A: The cost varies significantly between services. The higher quality ingredients used, the more likely a delivery service is to be on the higher end cost-wise. Additionally, having more meals delivered per week will cost more. You may also find that your meals are more expensive if you have specific dietary needs, like vegan, paleo, keto, or gluten-free.

Q: How do I cancel or pause a subscription meal delivery service?

A: You should be able to cancel or pause a subscription by logging into your account on the meal delivery service website. If you can’t do it online, call the customer service department.

Q: Do I have to know how to cook to use a meal delivery service?

A: No, you can choose to have premade frozen meals delivered—which require no cooking at all. Additionally, meal kit delivery services provide detailed, step-by-step instructions that can help you learn to cook. Using a meal kit delivery service is an excellent way to develop your cooking skills if you don’t feel confident in your abilities or if you’re new to cooking.

Q: Do I need any special cooking tools or appliances to use a meal delivery service?

A: No, you should only need basic kitchen appliances, cookware, and utensils for most recipes that you receive from a meal delivery service. These services are designed to appeal to a wide variety of people, so they typically won’t send recipes that require expensive specialty equipment or cooking tools.

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Recap

Using a meal delivery service is a great way to save time on meal planning and grocery shopping while adding a variety of healthy meals to your diet. These services provide options ranging from pre-cooked frozen meals to boxes of ingredients that you prepare and cook yourself. Additionally, meal delivery services can cater to a wide variety of dietary needs and preferences.

If you’re too busy to meal plan and shop, but you want to eat healthier, you should consider one of these services.

For BodyNutrition’s #1 recommended meal delivery service, click here.





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