Grocery shopping can be a drag — but what if someone else did all the dirty work for you? A slew of new meal delivery services do everything from dropping off ingredients at your front door to offering a chef to whip up an at-home feast in your own kitchen. Promising to help with portion control and eliminate food waste, these companies are expanding nationwide. While many companies started off in large cities, many now deliver (almost) anywhere in the continental U.S. With so many tasty options to choose from, here’s the scoop on how to figure out which plan is right for you.
The 7 Best Subscription Boxes for Wannabe Chefs
Best for: Tree Huggers
Whether you’re a vegetarian or meat eater, a newbie cook or a semi-pro, Plated has plenty of options for every type of food lover out there. Known for their sustainability, the company is aiming to ship all their goods in carbon-neutral packaging in 2015. Plus, their meats are antibiotic and hormone free, and the seafood is 100 percent sustainable. As if you needed anything to make you feel even better about the Mojo Style Fish on their way to your plate.
Pricing: Starts at $12 per plate, with a minimum of four plates per box. Life by DailyBurn readers can click here for a special offer.
2. Hello Fresh
Best for: Picky eaters
Simplicity is key at Hello Fresh, which offers up meals that require “no fancy equipment or techniques, and no obscure ingredients.” Dishes like Pan-Seared Chicken, Oven-Roasted Salmon and Homestyle Meatloaf are the stars of the show. Plus, the company works with an in-house dietician to offer up truly a balanced and nutritious menu every week.
Pricing: Starts at $9.08 per plate, minimum of six plates per box. Life by DailyBurn readers can enter code ‘DailyB50’ for 30 percent off their first week of deliveries.
3. Blue Apron
Best for: Foodies
Gourmands will delight over the chance to whip up dishes like Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles and Hoisin and Ponzu-Glazed Steaks without shelling out money for full-size portions of these unique ingredients. Every meal is between 500 to 700 calories per serving and the company boasts never repeating a recipe within the same year. Need help in the kitchen? Check out the how-to videos on their blog for quick primers on basic skills.
Pricing: Starts at $9.99 per plate, with a minimum of six plates per week per box. Life by DailyBurn readers can click here for two free plates.
Best for: Breakfast lovers
With recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, this service truly eliminates the need for frequent grocery trips. The highly customizable plan creates your meals based around a variety of preferences, from your goals (like weight loss or saving time in the kitchen) to your cooking skill level and allergies. You can also choose how many breakfasts, lunches or dinners you want to receive in your package (no judgments if you order all breakfasts one week!). Options range from Cinnamon Raison Overnight Oats to Black Bean Lettuce Tacos and Plant-Powered Pad Thai.
Pricing: Starts at $65 for up to nine meals and snacks per box.
5. The Purple Carrot
Best for: Vegans
Inspired by Forks Over Knives, a documentary and book advocating plant-based eating, this company makes going vegan seem seriously easy. Their meals have no heavily processed ingredients, and zero animal products like meat, eggs or dairy. Each box also offers a tasty homemade snack (think: Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites) you can keep in your fridge and nosh on all week long. Don’t expect austere salads either. Sinful-sounding (but still healthy) dishes like Creamy Coconut Lentils abound.
Pricing: Starts at $59 per week, for eight plates per box. Life by DailyBurn readers can use the code ‘Burn50’ to get 50 percent off their first order.
6. Peach Dish
Best for: Southern food lovers
Based out of Atlanta, Peach Dish offers Southern-inspired meals for delivery nationwide. Whether you’re chowing down on Chicken with Mushrooms, Peppers and Grits or Popovers with Lamb and Spring Pea Gravy, you’ll dig these healthy down-home meals. Each week, subscribers can choose from two vegetarian and two animal protein options. In a true nod to Southern small town culture (hello, community cookbooks), users can submit their own recipes to be included in future boxes.
Pricing: Starts at $50 for four plates per box.
Best for: People who need a cooking lesson
If your kitchen expertise starts and ends with turning on the microwave, KitchenSurfing might be just what you need. Book a personal chef to cook a meal from the site’s menu for just $25 per person. Use it to make hosting dinner parties way easier, or to simply watch a chef at work. Questions are welcome, so feel free to speak up if you want to know more about chopping, prepping or cooking. You can book your chef up to a week in advance, or same-day (only in parts of NYC) — they’ll cook, serve and even clean your kitchen in 30 minutes.
Pricing: $25 per person, minimum two people. Life by DailyBurn readers can use code ‘ksdailyburn’ for $25 off their first dinner (expires May 31, 2015).