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Let’s face it: Getting to the grocery store after work can be a hassle. Not only is it time-consuming, it can be downright annoying — especially when everyone else in the neighborhood has decided to do the same thing, making the seemingly mile-long lines even longer. The solution? Food subscription boxes!
Instead of wasting your night aimlessly wandering down the aisles of your local supermarket, trying to remember what ingredients you’ll need to make an actual meal worth eating, why not save your time (and in some cases, money!) by making delicious, nutritious meals at home with the best food subscription boxes available?
What is a meal kit?
A food subscription box, or “meal kit,” is exactly what it sounds like — a pre-portioned meal, or set of meal ingredients, that are sent directly to your home via a food subscription service. For a weekly fee, these delivery vendors will bring the kits right to your doorstep, saving you the headache that is shopping for food after a long day at the office.
How do food subscription boxes work?
After signing up for the subscription plan of your choice (many of which can be customized to your dietary needs) you can hand-select meals for you and your family to enjoy. Each plan can be tailored to suit your lifestyle, with differing options for the amount of meals you’ll get in each box (generally between three to five per week) to the amount of people each meal will feed (two to four is standard).
Some meals will be pre-portioned out for you, requiring you to put them together for cooking, while others come ready-to-eat with a quick warm-up.
Best Food Subscription Boxes
We know it sounds too good to be true, but meal kits are the real deal. From plans that will help you reach your weight loss goals for 2021 to those full of easy dinners you can pop in the microwave at a moment’s notice, we’ve rounded up the best meal delivery kits around. Heck, we even tried out a few ourselves, saving you the trouble of doing the legwork! Keep scrolling to sign up for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best food subscription boxes of 2021.
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Best Cheap Food Subscription Box
Cost: From $8.98 per meal (serves two) or $28.93 per week
Dinnerly, created by Martha & Marley Spoon, is the first-ever subscription service to offer up meals for $4.49 per serving. They also just so happen to be delicious! Customers can choose between two “picky-eater approved” serving sizes — a box with enough ingredients for a couple, or one that’s large enough to feed a family of four.
Dinnerly changes its menu weekly, so you’ll never have to worry about getting tired of eating the same thing. And you definitely don’t have to be a master chef to cook what they send: The recipes go step-by-step and are very easy to follow.
I’ve tried the four-person box, which included pre-packaged ingredients, plus downloadable recipes for three meals: BBQ beef sandwiches with oven fries, glazed turkey meatloaf with peas and potatoes, and veggie lo mein. Overall, I give Dinnerly an A+ —even for less than $5!
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At Diet-to-Go, there is nothing more important to us than providing our customers with a healthy, delicious and safe food product. Diet-to-Go is a daily-inspected, USDA certified facility, which ensures the highest food safety standards and procedures. We also strictly adhere to HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) food handling procedures. HACCP was developed in the 60s by NASA and Pillsbury to ensure all food on space flights was safe. We use refrigerated trucks for transporting all orders, so you can be confident that temperature & quality is maintained at every step in your meal delivery. #diettogo #weightlossjourney #eatclean #mealdelivery #diet #keto #ketoweightloss #weightloss #loseweight #dietplan #healthyfood
Best Prepared Food Subscription Box
Cost: From $12 per meal or $121.99 per week
Unlike Dinnerly, Diet-to-Go doesn’t send ingredients: The whole meal comes ready to nuke in the microwave! Another major upside is that these convenient meals are designed to help you and your family lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. The downside? DTG is a little bit pricer than Dinnerly — roughly $12 per meal — but after trying the food, we think the extra cost is worth it. Plus, you don’t have to cook anything! Just toss it in the microwave and you’re good to go.
DTG offers customers a variety of menu choices, from a “Balance” option (which includes vegetarian, heart-healthy, calorie-controlled options) to “Keto-Carb 30,” which has tons of carb-restricted meals. I myself have tried this plan, which came with a veggie and cheese omelet, spinach quiche, a chicken pesto cheddar melt, turkey steak in lemon cream sauce, and blackened salmon.
DTG is also super customizable when it comes to choosing meal frequencies. Options include five or seven days a week with options for two or three meals per day.
Best Plant Based Food Subscription Box
Cost: From $23.98 per meal (serves two) or $59.92 per week (Originally $79.92 per week)
Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal-kit service. Now, wait a second — before you exit out of this tab, let us be the first to tell you: Plant-based foods are pretty tasty — especially when you’ve got the recipes and ingredients right in front of you!
Like Dinnerly, Purple Carrot allows customers to choose between different serving sizes with a box that’s made for two ($11.99 per plate) or a box made for four ($9.99 per plate). Each one come with pre-packaged ingredients and easy-to-read recipe cards. (The acorn squash ramen with buckwheat noodles and togarashi is a personal fave.)
Best Food Subscription Box for Singles
Cost: From $49.99 per week
If you live alone, a meal delivery service with boxes for two ain’t gonna cut it. Not only would it be an unnecessary strain on your resources, you’d have so many leftovers, you wouldn’t know what to do with them! Cut your cost (and your waste!) with Freshly. The company has meal plans that are just the right size for one person to enjoy, so you’ll have everything you need for a scrumptious solo dinner.
What’s more, these gluten-free dishes don’t require any work, as they come in pre-prepared, microwavable servings that cook in three minutes or less. Sausage baked penne and steak peppercorn for one? Yes, please! Read our in-depth review here.
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Honey Butter's not just great on Chicken and Waffles – we love it paired with juicy pork chops (and let's face it, pretty much anything else on our plate, too). 🍯 . . . #realhomechef #hookedonhomechef #dinnertonight #nom #eeeeeats #foodpics #easyrecipes #lowcarb #healthyrecipes
Best Low Carb Food Subscription Box
Cost: From $19.90 per meal (serves two) or $39.80 per week
Home Chef popped up more than a few times in our search for low carb meal delivery service options, and it’s no wonder: The brand’s easy-to-find, “carb-conscious” section has enough mouth-watering choices for every day of the week and then some — think apple pecan salad with bleu cheese dressing or chicken breast with lemon aioli.
Home Chef offers more delivery options that most, allowing you to select meal plans for two, four, or six people to be delivered two to six times a week, and your boxes, which are fully recyclable, will be chock full of ingredients and recipes for 30-minute meals. Bon appetit!
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This just in: diabetes-friendly recipes that taste great and fit within the nutritional guidelines of the @amdiabetesassn. We believe everyone’s a chef, no matter what your needs in the kitchen may be. Where others see limitations, we see flavor combinations waiting to be discovered. Link in bio for more info.
Best Weight Watchers Approved Food Subscription
Cost: $19.98 per meal (serves two) or $59.94 per week
You don’t have to forgo meal delivery services if you’re on weight watchers. While plan choices technically consist of a “signature’ or vegetarian option, Blue Apron has plenty WW-approved, diabetes-friendly, and BeyondMeat meals to enjoy two to four times a week.
Ingredients are sustainably-farmed, antibiotic- and hormone-free, and non GMO, and meal times are conveniently listed below food selections.
Best Food Subscription Box for Weight Loss
Cost: From $17.98 per meal (serves two) or $35.96 per week
According to New York-based dietician Leah Kaufman, R.D., C.D.N., HelloFresh is a top contender when it comes to food subscription boxes with weight loss benefits. “Their staff dietitian evaluates the meals before they are put on the menu to ensure they’re both healthy and balanced,” told Women’s Health in 2018.
Those watching their waistlines can select from 19 low calorie pre-portioned ingredient boxes each week (meat and veggies, veggies only, and family plans are also available) for two to four people, two to four times per week. What’s more, nutritional information is listed online next to each farm-sourced, high-quality recipe found on its site, so you’ll know exactly what you’re ingesting. Each dinner takes roughly 30 minutes to cook.
Best Keto Food Subscription Box
Cost: From $23.98 per meal (serves two) or $71.94 per week
Rejoice, keto lovers! Sun Basket has your back in the food subscription department. The company’s carb conscious meal plan consists of three dishes per week developed by award-winning chef Justine Kelly, all of which boast just 25 to 35 grams of net carbs, plus 25 grams of protein per serving (other plan choices include Paleo, Mediterranean, gluten-free, and diabetes-friendly, to name a few). Most ring in at about 500 to 800 calories and serve two to four.
Ingredients are farm-sourced, with organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and wild-caught seafood, to ensure you’ll feel good about your food choices. What’s more, you’ll receive some additional guidance in the nutrition department, with suggested meals to fit your needs (though favorite dishes can also be hand-selected).
Best Healthy Food Subscription Service
Cost: From $117 for 10 meals
In addition to being plant-based, organic, and preservative-free, Veestro’s meals, which come fully prepared and ready to eat, can be selected by dietary preferences, such as high-protein, calorie-free, and gluten-free. They can also be chosen for you with the brand’s “Chef’s Choice” option. Uniquely, you can purchase them à la carte in packs of 10, 20, or 30, or for repeat delivery weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Those looking to lose weight with Veestro will want to select the weight loss plan, however, which delivers 15 meals per week of 1,200 calories each.
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Sweet dreams are made of cheese…and veggies! When you mix fresh veggies into your cheese sauce, you can feel great about serving your kids pasta multiple times a week – especially on #NationalPastaDay. Yumble pasta dishes are made with gluten free pasta to help with digestion, and the sauces are boosted with vitamins, minerals, and fiber from the added cauliflower. What's your favorite #pasta dish?
Best Kid Friendly Meal Delivery Service
Cost: From $3.49 per meal or $23.94 per week
We get it: While roasted veggie paella might be right up your alley, getting the little ones to eat such a dish might be another story entirely. Allow us to turn your attention to Yumble. Geared specifically toward children, these balanced, sustainable recipes, developed with the help of a nutritionist, will not only make mealtime easier for you, they’ll effortlessly pique your child’s interest — after all, who could resist a little “Say Cheese!” nuggets and veggies? Another cool feature? The packaging is 100 percent recyclable.
These meals can be eaten them right out of the box at room temperature, or warmed up in the microwave for one to two minutes or oven in an oven-safe dish for eight to 15 minutes.
Best Simple Meal Delivery Service
Cost: $9.98 per meal (serves two) or $29.94 per week
If you’re looking for a no-muss, no-fuss meal delivery service at an affordable price, EveryPlate is just what the doctor ordered. Rather than scrolling through page upon page of meals that will leave you feeling overwhelmed, this service keeps things simple, offering just eight meals to choose from per week. The payoff for the slim selection is that overhead for the company stays low, allowing it to sell high-quality food for just $4.99 per serving — that’s less than you’d pay for lunch at Jimmy John’s!
Three to five nights per week, you’ll get ingredients to whip up dinner for two to four people in 30 minutes or less, plus recipe cards with instructions. What could be better?
Best Organic Meal Delivery Service
Cost: From $19.98 per meal (serves two) or $59.94 per week
As the first meal delivery service to be USDA-certified organic, Green Chef takes the cake as far as top-notch ingredients are concerned: That means no GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or steroids. Beyond feeling great about the things you’re putting into your body, however, Green Chef is one of the more dietary-friendly plans on our list. There are options for keto, paleo, vegetarians and vegans, plus a “balanced living” plan (a healthy mix of meat, seafood, and veggies), ensuring you’ll find one that’s right for you.
Available as a two-person or family-sized (four-person) subscription, you’ll get all the fixings for a home-cooked, 30-minute meal (sauce included!), plus step-by-step directions with helpful photos and tips from chefs. You can also skip meals if you so choose.
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The weekly warrior 💪 Salmon offers a variety of health benefits like fatty acids that can protect brain health, high protein that can increase metabolism, and a good source of potassium. Our crispy salmon is almond-crusted and cooked to perfection. Paired with roasted carrots & zucchini for a gluten-free, nutrient-dense meal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Share your snap code with a friend and they'll get $45 off their first lifestyle plan or $15 off their first digital order, and you get the same amount in snapfunds! ✨#snapkitchen
Best Gluten Free Meal Delivery Service
Cost: From $5.99 per meal or $23.75 per week
Snap Kitchen meal plans are a lot of things (healthy, delectable, and dietician-curated come to mind), but the one thing they’re not? Full of gluten. In fact, they don’t contain any gluten at all! There’s a bevy of lifestyle plans to choose from, including Whole30, paleo, keto-friendly, vegetarian, plus an option to build your own if you have special dietary needs.
You can choose how many meals you receive per per week (three, five, or seven). One of the coolest parts of this service, however, is that rather than sticking to dinner, you can customize your meal plan day-to-day to include breakfast, a.m. snacks, lunch, p.m. snacks, dinner, and drinks. Talk about personalized!
Nicole Briese contributed to this story.
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