I know a lot of people have the New Year’s resolution to eat at home more or to eat healthier. Those meal subscription boxes you’ve been hearing so much about CAN help steer you in the right direction! Last year, my boyfriend and I tried 5 different meal subscription boxes. First, we tried grocery shopping on our own but we wasted so much food and none of the recipes we found online were really that good. We decided to order a meal subscription box or
2 5 to try out. The boxes were actually very helpful for us. If you are new in the kitchen, they will be for you, too! You get everything you need for dinner in a box, on your front step.
We don’t order any of these boxes any more because they’ve taught us how to shop on our own, how to portion food correctly, how to make complete meals, and they’ve also helped us learn what goes well with what so we know how to choose better recipes online now. Also, there aren’t really any great dairy-free recipes in any of the boxes. (If you didn’t already know; I eat dairy-free now but I didn’t back then.)
(This is in order with the box we liked most at #1)
1. Home Chef
Price: $9.95 per meal
We ordered this box every week for around 2 months. We liked this box the best because it had the most meal options to choose from every week. They also had the biggest portions and got us pretty close to full every night. Their recipes do repeat often, though, and have a lot of sodium in them. You can choose between the two-people or four-people meal plan and you can choose how many days of the week you’d like to receive a meal for. All of the food was always packaged nicely and nothing was leaking, ever. All of the veggies were fresh and so was the meat. They stayed that way in my fridge for the whole week, too. There was a little chopping here and there but a lot the times, the ingredients would come pre-chopped. Everything was always measured to the right amount so you don’t need to worry about measuring cups or spoons if you don’t have those.
BONUS: They send you a free Home Chef binder to keep all your recipe cards in!
We ordered 4 meals for two-people at $79.60 per week. Shipping is free with $40+ orders.
2. Green Chef
The best thing about GreenChef is that all of their ingredients are organic. They do not let you choose your meals, they surprise you with 3 meals of their choice. You only choose what kind of meal plan you want and if you have two people or four people in your household.
- Vegetarian – $10.49 per meal
- Omnivore – $11.99 per meal
- Vegan – $11.99 per meal
- Carnivore – $13.49 per meal
- Gluten-Free – $13.49 per meal
- Paleo – $14.99 per meal
- Keto – $14.99 per meal
Green Chef only sends you 3 meals a week, you can’t ask for more or less. I really liked this box because the recipes were always so unique and it made us try a lot of the health foods that people rave about. We learned that we hate hate hate cous cous though and they repeatedly sent us dishes with that in it.
We chose the Carnivore Plan at $89.94 a week. There is always a $9 shipping fee.
3. Sun Basket
Sun Basket’s ingredients are also all organic like Green Chef but you get to choose your meals for each week. The food in this box was really the most delicious but the portions were so tiny. There was also a lot of chopping and prepping on our own involved and the recipes took more time. We only ordered this box once. This box only sends 3 meals per box same as Green Chef, you can’t choose more or less and they have a 2-people or 4-people plan same as the first two boxes.
Price: $11.99 per meal
We chose the 2-people meal plan with 3 recipes at $71.94.
4. Hello Fresh
Price: $9.99 per meal
This was the only box that came late. I didn’t like how they packaged the ingredients. Everything was leaking through the cardboard boxes. The portions of the meals were pretty large–we were pretty full after each meal but, the food wasn’t very tasty. In fact, the dishes were all kind of tasteless. They also offer 2-people and 4-people plans. You can choose 3 or 4 meals per week. They have a classic or a veggie plan.
We chose the 2-people, 3 meal classic plan at $59.94. They always have free shipping.
5. Fresh Realm
This box works a little differently. Instead of a ton of ice packs in a cardboard box, this box sends your food in a mini-refrigerator that you just set on your front step the next day to send back. This is also not a subscription box. You can get your box in 2-3 days instead of waiting a week like the other boxes make you. You can pick as many meals that will fit into your “vessel” (that’s what they call the mini-fridge). All of the meals are curated by different people and they all have a different amount of ingredients so sometimes you can fit a lot of recipes and other times not so many. All of the meals are priced differently as well. Every single thing is chopped and prepared for you. Every.Thing. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, yes. We ended up getting 4 meals in one vessel. One of our meals just turned out horrible but the others didn’t turn out so bad. The real problem was that there were a few rotten ingredients, and the meat was dated wrong; saying it was expired but we smelled it and figured they must have just messed up. I made a complaint about it on my food IG and they messaged me saying that it was definitely a mess up…
We chose 4 simple meals and paid around $80.
Ultimately, after trying out all of the boxes listed above, we decided on Home Chef and Green Chef. We kept our subscriptions for around 2 months without skipping any weeks. Each week we received 4 meals from Home Chef and 3 from Green Chef. We had fun and realized how easy it could be to cook on our own. We first stopped our Green Chef subscription because they kept sending us meals that we weren’t really enjoying. After we quit Green Chef, we kept on with Home Chef for another week until I decided to end that, too. All of the Home Chef meals were pretty much made out of all of the same ingredients…a lot of them were too similar. It was getting boring. Going grocery shopping on our own now, we do spend a little less than these boxes cost, most of the time, so that’s another reason why we ended them. If you don’t know anything about cooking, though, it’s worth it to subscribe to one of these boxes!! Or, if you’re short on time a lot, these boxes will save your life!