Meal kits are the perfect way to save time and money and, quite honestly, years of your life from stressing about what your next meal is going to be. They can give you the comfort of having beautiful meals and dishes delivered straight to your door--there’s no need to venture out and spend money at a fancy restaurant when there’s already great and fresh food sitting in your kitchen! But if you are still looking for that “fancy” factor in your food, don’t fret! Meal kits range from the more expensive and luxurious side to the cheap, delicious side, so you just have to choose the best one for you.
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Blue Apron offers “chef-designed” recipes with step-by-step directions and ingredients that are “responsibly sourced” in every box. All boxes contain two recipes a week which supply two servings each and a market price of $47.95, Blue Apron offers new customers $20.00 off each of their first three boxes. The options for boxes are signature, signature for four, freestyle, and vegetarian.
The signature box is best for one or two people who enjoy a range of foods, including vegetarian, fish, and meat-based recipes. The signature for four box—starting at $71.92 a week— is for families who enjoy the same meals of the signature box and need more servings or someone who prefers to “knock out multiple meals in a single cooking session” and meal prep. The freestyle box is the lovechild of Blue Apron and WW—the two companies teamed up to make the perfect box for health-conscious customers and provide them with delicious “easy-to-cook” recipes. The vegetarian box contains “meat-free dishes that celebrate the best of seasonal produce” and it is guaranteed to satisfy any veggie-loving customer.
Blue Apron is a pretty expensive meal kit service, but the food is delicious and you know how the ingredients are being sourced. Not to mention, you’re guaranteed to become a better chef after all the cooking you’ll be doing.
Plated has a huge range of options for almost every customer, including those on “vegetarian, gluten-free, low-calorie, and low-carb diets” and the food is sourced “thoughtfully” from “trusted purveyors.” If you’ve got a serious food budget and you’re looking for luxury food dishes delivered straight to your door, Plated is the meal kit you’ve been looking for.
Plated provides three different meal plans based on how many servings per night and how many nights per week you’re looking to get food for, ranging from two to four servings per night and two to four nights per week for each plan. The lowest-priced plan, which is (sadly) only 15¢ cheaper than Blue Apron’s cheapest plan, is $47.80 for two servings per night, two nights per week. The most expensive plan is for four servings a night, four nights a week for $159.20.
Every Plate is the perfect meal box for students, someone in between jobs, or anyone who is finding that they’re spending too much on groceries each week: Every Plate’s slogan is literally “the affordable meal kit for everyone.” The company as two meal plans: the dinner for two box, which goes for $38.93 a week, and the dinner for four box, which goes for $68.87 a week. The meals only average at $4.99 a serving, but the way the service sustains itself is through its fixed $8.99 shipping fee. Additionally, Every Plate does not cater to specific dietary needs, but that is also to keep costs low and it promises that its eight diverse weekly recipes are certainly “well suited to regular diets.”
Every Plate’s aim is to “bring tasty value and convenience, not to make you a chef,” so if you’re looking for a meal kit to teach you how to cook, this isn’t the one for you. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to spending hundreds of dollars at the grocery store each week, or you need to save money by cutting other corners, Every Plate is a great option for you.
Dinnerly claims to be “America’s most affordable meal kit,” and compared to Every Plate, the prices are actually exactly the same, with the same plans (dinner for two and family box), despite its $4.49 price per serving. Dinnerly saves money for customers by sending recipe cards electronically instead of printing them and including them in the boxes, using fewer ingredients per dish, and simple packaging. Unlike Every Plate, Dinnerly does have the means to cater to at least one dietary need: vegetarianism. Any box from Every Plate can be made vegetarian with the click of a button. They also offer 14 weekly recipes to choose from, while Every Plate only offers eight.
Dinnerly’s goal is to help out people with busy lives by delivering “seriously good recipes and fresh ingredients” right to your door. If you’re looking for a cheap meal kit and want a little more to choose from than what Every Plate provides, Dinnerly certainly won’t break the bank.
There are tons of meal kits out there with a range of delicious dishes and plans--you just have to find the one that’ll work best for your financial situation, dietary needs, and, most importantly, your taste buds.
Sarah DeLena is currently studying for her masters in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College. She hopes to become an editor of YA literature, her favorite genre, own at least two golden retrievers, and further the legacy of the Oxford comma.