Meals by Mail: Weighing the Options

In today’s fast-paced, non-stop society it’s often difficult to find time to eat, let alone plan meals and go grocery shopping. But eating out multiple times a week can be hard on the wallet and the waistline. This is what makes meals by mail so appealing. You can skip the shopping and cut straight to the chopping. Which ingredient delivery service is best for you? Use our handy guide to decide.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is perhaps the most popular meal ingredient delivery service. With kits starting at $8.74 per serving, it is also one of the most affordable. The company promises the highest quality food, including farm-fresh produce, sustainably-sourced seafood and hormone-free meat. It offers recipes with and without meat, however some feel that the vegetarian dishes are too heavy on pasta. Reviewers agree that the ingredients arrive on time and in good condition. A free app makes it easy to order and/or skip meals as needed, but delivery is not available in much of the central United States.

Recommended for: Budget-conscious foodies on the East or West Coast.


Plated is slightly more expensive than Blue Apron, but reviewers say the ingredients are better quality than Blue Apron. For a small upgrade fee, you can get specialty cuts of meat and seafood with each dinner. In other words: you get what you pay for. The company offers 11 recipes each week, including vegetarian dishes. Desserts are optional. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the service for you as other companies do not offer desserts. Some of the recipes are more difficult to prepare than others.

Recommended for: Experienced chefs who want the finest ingredients.

Hello Fresh

Like Blue Apron, meal kits start at $8.74 per serving. The company caters to carnivores and vegetarians alike, although some reviewers say that the quality of the meat leaves a little to be desired. Hello Fresh has the largest delivery area, servicing the entire continental U.S.

Recommended for: Vegetarians.

Have you tried any of these ingredient delivery services? Tell us about your experience by commenting below.

Amy Johnson

is UDR’s budding social media guru, and has been instrumental in constructing the brand’s content strategy. After graduating from University of Colorado- Boulder, she started working for UDR as a marketing intern. When she isn’t perusing the web for the perfect pins and Facebook posts, she can be found hiking somewhere with her dog Rory.

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