Meal planning can often feel like a full-time job. If your busy schedule means you're likely to make the same chicken dish over and over again (or just pick something up on the way home), then perhaps a meal subscription service is right for you.
But with over a dozen major subscription services available, it can be overwhelming and confusing to know which one to choose. In truth, we don't believe there is a "best" food delivery service — instead, we think there's a "right" one, depending on your family size, dietary restrictions, and budget. So, to make your lives even easier, we've broken down the best food subscriptions and meal delivery services for every type of person. (You're welcome.)
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Who it's best for: People with kids and busy schedules. The standard Signature plan is customized according to your preferences, and Blue Apron offers both a Weight Watchers-approved plan as well as a vegetarian-only plan, plus the choice to opt into wine pairings if you'd like to have everything sent at once.
How many recipes: The Signature two-serving plan has 14 recipes to choose from each week and the Signature four-serving plan has seven options. The vegetarian plan offers anywhere from three to five recipes each week.
Cost: Anywhere from $7.49 to $9.99 per serving. Most plans serve two people two, three, or four days per week. A family plan features four servings for up to four days per week. Shipping is free if you subscribe for meals three or more days per week; it's $8 for two-day boxes.
Where to find it: Blue Apron
Who it's best for: Budget-minded meal planners. Along with EveryPlate, it's among the most affordable meal subscription services thanks to simpler packaging, fewer ingredients per recipe, and not using paper recipe cards — you need to view recipes on your phone or tablet.
How many recipes: There are 23 recipes to choose from each week.
Cost: Meals cost $5.29 per serving (for two-person boxes three times a week) and drop to as little as $4.69 per serving if you subscribe for six days a week. Dinnerly charges $9 for shipping.
Where to find it: Dinnerly
Who it's best for: Budget-minded meal planners. Along with Dinnerly, it's among the most affordable meal subscription services. EveryPlate offers simpler ingredients and less packaging, though, unlike Dinnerly, you get recipe cards in the box each week.
How many recipes: You can choose from among 14 recipes each week, one of which is a "premium" recipe that costs a few dollars extra.
Cost: EveryPlate costs $4.99 per serving regardless of how many servings or days of the week you subscribe to, with a $9 shipping charge.
Where to find it: EveryPlate
Who it's best for: Those who value a plant-based lifestyle and locally sourced ingredients. Produce is hand-selected from nearby farms and customizable based on your lifestyle and preferences.
How many recipes: Each week, choose between the small, medium, and large boxes with either all-natural produce or strictly organic produce for a small additional fee. You have the option to select from juicing kits and bonus artisanal groceries, and can make up to five box substitutions each week. The website also includes tons of recipe ideas.
Cost: Weekly boxes range from $33 to $68.95 based on size and produce type. There is a $5.98 handling and packing fee.
Where to find it: Farmbox Direct
Who it's best for: People who want to eat healthy, with no cooking required. Freshly is different than most meal subscription boxes in that you get fully cooked meals, ready to heat in the microwave and eat. Plus, all of its meals are gluten-free, all-natural, and free of refined sugars.
How many recipes: You can choose from 30-plus each week.
Cost: Since each meal comes in a ready-to-microwave box, don't think in terms of how many people or how many days you're subscribing for. Just think about how many meals you want to put in the fridge each week. Serving prices range from $8.49 per meal for 12 servings each week to $11.49 per meal for four servings each week.
Where to find it: Freshly
Who it's best for: Eaters looking for GMO-free, all-organic, sustainable, and traceable ingredients (and who want to put meal planning on autopilot). Choose Green Chef if you never want to pick out your own meals. You choose the kind of diet you want to eat — keto, paleo, balanced, or vegetarian — and Green Chef sends you the number of meals you want each week.
How many recipes: You don't get a choice — Green Chef sends you meals based on your preferences.
Cost: Prices range from $9.99 per serving for vegan recipes and up to $12.99 per serving for keto and paleo meals. There's also a shipping fee depending on the quantity of meals you choose to purchase.
Where to find it: Green Chef
Who it's best for: Those who want a wide selection of mainstream dishes with easy-to-follow recipes. In addition to the popular two-person classic plan, there's a Calorie Smart alternative, as well as a family plan that includes quick and easy meals for four people.
How many recipes: Each week, choose from 27-plus recipes with add-ons like bread and dessert. A vegetarian or Calorie Smart plan includes seven choices each.
Cost: HelloFresh ranges from $6.99 to $8.99 per serving depending upon how many servings you order each week. You can order food for two or four people, from two to five days per week. Some "premium" meals (clearly marked on the website) cost a few dollars extra, and HelloFresh charges about $9 for shipping.
Where to find it: HelloFresh
Who it's best for: People who like to cook and want a little more personalization. Home Chef is unique in that it lets you customize most meals by swapping, upgrading, or even doubling up on the protein in the recipe. It also has the most flexible subscription options — up to six servings a day for as many as six days a week.
How many recipes: 30-plus weekly recipes to choose from, plus add-ons like bread, dessert, and extra protein.
Cost: Meals start at $6.99 per serving, with shipping price depending on your meal plan. You can order meals for two, four, or even six people, anywhere from two to six days a week.
Where to find it: Home Chef
Martha & Marley Spoon
Who it's best for: Martha Stewart fans and traditional chefs looking for sophisticated meals from Martha's own archives.
How many recipes: Choose from 29 recipes each week, with options in categories like Health & Diet, Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, Under 30 Minutes, and Family Friendly.
Cost: Serving prices vary from $6.99 for four people, six days per week to $10.99 for two people, two days per week. Every box comes with a $9 shipping fee.
Where to find it: Martha & Marley Spoon
Who it's best for: Vegans. This is the only meal service with a strictly vegan recipe book.
How many recipes: You can choose from eight recipes each week, as well as breakfast and lunch add-ons. If you choose the family-friendly six serving plan, Purple Carrot chooses the meal for you based on your preferences.
Cost: Anywhere from $9.99 per serving to $11.99 per serving, depending on the amount people and days. You can add in extra meals week by week and shipping is always free.
Where to find it: Purple Carrot
Who it's best for: Folks with specific dietary requirements and a desire to eat responsibly sourced food. Sun Basket goes out of its way to cater to eaters outside the mainstream, with a dozen plans including Carb-Conscious, Paleo, Mediterranean, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Diabetes-Friendly, Pescatarian, and more.
How many recipes: You can choose from among 40 recipes each week, half of which are ready to heat and eat. The other half are meal-prep kits.
Cost: Pre-made meals start at $8.99 per serving and meal kits start at $10.99 per serving. There are tons of add-ons for an additional fee and delivery is $5.99.
Where to find it: Sun Basket
Who it's best for: People who feel confident in the kitchen and like to experiment with new ingredients — or those with an emphasis on plant-based eating. Hungryroot is unlike other meal prep services because it sends you a box full of ingredients that can be mixed and matched together to create new recipes. A recipe suggestion card comes with the delivery, so you can get ideas, but for the most part, everything is easy and self-explanatory.
How many recipes: It all depends on how you divvy it up, but the smallest box is said to make three or more two-serving meals and the largest is five or more two-serving meals.
Cost: Plans start at $59 and depend on the quantity you wish to receive. Start by taking a quiz on the site to get an idea of how much you'll need per week.
Where to find it: Hungyroot