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Meal delivery services have exploded in popularity in just the last five years, and it’s easy to see why.
We live busier and busier lives than ever before, and the truth of the matter is most of us just don’t have time to prepare nutritious meals at home. We have longer commutes, longer working hours, and less time to ourselves.
As a result, the last thing most people want to do after they come home from a long day is to spend another hour or more over a hot stove. Cutting, preparing, and cooking food seems so daunting when you could simply grab something on the way home.
Thankfully though, with the proliferation of meal delivery services – especially those that revolve around healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal options – we no longer have to be a slave to our bad habits.
Instead, we get fantastic meals that are just about ready to go right out of the box and require very minimal work to get on our plates. This opens up a world of culinary opportunities that most of us wouldn’t enjoy otherwise. They also can help us lead happier and healthier lifestyles at the same time.
To learn a little bit more about why so many people are taking advantage of meal delivery options, and the big benefits that they have to offer, we encourage you to pay close attention to the inside info we break down below.
Let’s dive right in!
How Meal Delivery Can Improve Your Health
Right out of the box, meal delivery services can be selected to help you hit specific nutritional goals. They can also help you follow specific dietary guidelines.
The services go well above and beyond “take away” hot meals that you can pick up at your local grocery store. They instead allow you to completely configure nutritional options of the ingredients and meals that are sent to you. This gives you a high level of control over the food you're putting into your body.
Many of these services are tailored to very specific dietary guidelines. Some focus on low fat/low carb efforts, some gluten free, and some offer all vegan. You will have a seemingly endless amount of options to choose from. Finding the right meal delivery service that allows you to dial in your nutritional requirements is pretty easy.
On top of that, the majority of meals that are delivered to you are individually portioned. Some companies will provide heartier portions than others, but all will include detailed nutritional breakdowns. This means you know EXACTLY what you are eating and what the nutrients in each serving really are.
Anyone that has tried to improve their diet understands the value of focusing on your macronutrients and getting these ratios just right. The amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates you eat every day have a big impact on not just your overall body composition as well.
These meal delivery services let you dial in your macros perfectly so that every meal is ready to go. No more worrying about individual calculations! You’ll know that what you have delivered is already in line with your nutritional guidelines.
What Are the Best Meal Delivery Services?
There are literally dozens and dozens of healthy meal delivery services out there to choose from.
The question is…
What are your nutritional needs?
With so many different options to pick from, you'll be able to find a service that fits your guidelines perfectly. There are tons of affordable options, too.
Sun Basket is one of the better services for those with specific dietary restrictions.
This service allows for a high level of nutritional customization, perfect for:
- Those managing diabetes
- Paleo diets
- Gluten-free lifestyles
Filled with organic options that are antibiotic and hormone free, this is certainly one of the top-tier meal delivery services you can choose to go with.
Home Chef is another great service for those serious about improving their health and wellness while eating delicious meals.
13 different meal options are available every single week, all of them healthy and nutritious. Their meals tend to appeal to “foodies” that want to indulge in delicious food without tanking their nutritional goals.
Affordable, convenient, and easy to prepare; the heavy lifting has been done for you! This company helps you put out some pretty spectacular dishes.
Hello Fresh is maybe the most well-known of all the meal services out there.
They tend to cater specifically to newbie cooks and home chefs without a wealth of experience under their belts.
10 different healthy meal recipes are available each week (available in either two-person or four-person serving sizes.) Every single meal comes with complete directions for preparation so you can be confident in your dish.
Best of all, Hello Fresh is also including a couple of additional ingredients in every box. This bonus will help spice up any leftovers so that you can enjoy it even more the second time around!
Blue Apron is another of the top-tier options.
They are one of the first meal delivery solution to hit the market. Launching in 2012, they have since shipped over 8 million meal preparation kits around the world and are (by many counts) the gold standard in the industry.
The options you’ll have to choose from when you go with Blue Apron are second to none. Every single individual ingredient is carefully measured, portioned and packaged. Their instructions for preparation are about as simple and straightforward as it gets.
Some meals will take longer than others to prepare, but the sheer volume of meal choices is spectacular. The wide selection gives everyone – regardless of their specific nutritional requirements – the opportunity to really personalize their Blue Apron delivery.
How Much Are Meal Delivery Services?
We highlighted a handful of the very best meal delivery services available on the market today. Most kits range in price between $30 per delivery and $60 or so. There are meal delivery services that come in at slightly lower price points and a whole host of delivery services that can get much (MUCH) more expensive.
On average, you can expect to spend right around $50 or so each week for these individual meal delivery services. Sometimes you’ll be able to get away with spending a little bit less than that. As a general rule, meal delivery services are going to be more expensive than heading to the grocery store and sourcing these ingredients locally.
But you have to account for purchasing a lot more ingredients than you might actually need, handling all of the prep work yourself, measuring out and portioning your meals, etc.
All of which adds up to quite a bit more time, energy, and money than most people think.
The services that we highlighted above all have pretty standard pricing tiers; they are as follows:
- Sun Basket – $36.95 for your first box
- Home Chef – $59 for your first box
- Hello Fresh – $55 for a basic box
- Blue Apron – $60 for a week
Most find that the convenience and nutritional values of delivery service meals are well worth the price tag.
Still think the price is too high?
Keep an eye out for seasonal promotions and other deals; meal services often offer discounts to first time buyers.
3 Ways You’ll Save Money Using Meal Delivery Services
There are a couple of ways you can save money by taking advantage of these meal delivery services, without compromising quality.
You’ll want to look at just how much money you’re able to save compared to dining out all the time. Grabbing fast food whenever you are hungry can really add up.
Meal delivery services routinely come in at a per meal price of $10.
It's almost impossible to get the same caliber of food and nutrition for that amount of money at a fast food joint or local restaurant.
Secondly, you could sign up for a month or two of these premium meal delivery services. Use your subscription to learn how to:
- Shop for healthy ingredients
- Improve your chopping/preparation skills
- Learn and practice new recipes
Once you feel confident cooking delicious and nutritious meals, discontinue your meal service and stroll the grocery aisles fearlessly.
In this way they can be used as a “head start” on new healthy eating habits. Meal delivery services can help you learn how to create better quality meals. Expose your palate to new flavors and head to your local grocery store to recreate them.
Finally, you have to figure in the amount of time savings you are getting when you take advantage of meal delivery services.
Because these meals are prepackaged, shipped directly to your door, and ready to be prepared right out of the box, they are saving you a tremendous amount of time. You don’t have to go to the grocery store, you don’t have to drive down to a restaurant or fast food place, and you don’t have to worry about all that meal prep time, either.
If your time is incredibly valuable – or if you’d rather spend your free time doing anything but cooking meals for hours and hours each week – these kinds of delivery services become a no-brainer.
Do you love meal deliveries or prefer to do it all yourself? Let us know your favorite meal delivery service in the comments below!