Plated, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Sun Basket: Comparison and Reviews

Meal Delivery Service Comparison and Reviews: Plated, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Sun Basket

From my original post in this series back in 2015:

I love to cook.  Really, I do.  And—gasp—I love to grocery shop.  I also cherish our family meal times, and try to make them a priority even on weeknights.  But, as a working mom and a member of a generally busy family, unless we really plan ahead getting dinner on the table at a reasonable time is a challenge.  A couple of years ago, I discovered the miraculous world of freezer meal preparation and it changed our mealtime routine (and grocery budget) dramatically for the better.  I can’t wait to tell you more about that in another post!  The one area that is lacking for me with freezer meal prep is incorporating fresh veggies. To save both time and money, I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at the beginning of each month, and fresh things only stay “fresh” so long.  I long for a produce co-op, but our very rural area doesn’t have one yet.  A few months ago, I began seeing advertisements for meal delivery subscription services that deliver fresh ingredients to your door, along with the recipes and instructions needed to turn these ingredients into 3 different meals for the number of people you specify.  I decided to give some of these services a try and see how it worked out.

A few things have changed since I first wrote this– like we FINALLY have a local produce co-op– but some things, like the fact that our weeknights often feel like a whirlwind, haven’t changed at all.  Since the time of the my original series of posts reviewing Plated, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Home Chef, we have continued to order meal deliveries from each of these services periodically, some more than others.  Our lingering favorite is Home Chef, as we find that is it consistently well suited to the tastes of our family and has the best selection of recipes.  Recently though, another service– Sun Basket– caught my attention.  It’s a bit more expensive, but offers all organic, non-GMO ingredients, so I decided to give it a try and update my meal delivery service comparison section.  Keep reading for my updated comparison of the five services I tried (Plated, Hello Fresh, and Blue ApronHome Chef, and Sun Basket), a rundown of my experiences with each, and reviews for all the meals we tried.

Plated, Hello Fresh, BlueApron, Home Chef, Sun Basket Review Comparison

 

Basic Comparison

Plated Hello Fresh Blue Apron Home Chef *NEW*

Sun Basket

Cost Starting at $12 per plate (Typical box of 3 meals for 2 people costs $72).  Shipping is free with orders over $50. $69 for 3 meals f or 2, or $59 for 3 vegetarian meals for 2. All boxes ship for free. $59.94 for 3 meals for 2.  All boxes ship for free. $9.95 per serving ($59.70 for a box containing 3 meals for 2 people) $11.49 per person, per meal
Menu Selection A total of 7 “Land”, “Sea”, and “Veggie” options per week (more if you choose the selections with an upcharge, which I don’t).  Can choose among any of them to fill your box. Each week there are 3 “Chef Choices” and 2 “Your Choice” options.  You will automatically receive the 3 Chef Choices if no selection is made, but can choose to swap out one or both of the “Your Choice” options if desired. Each week there are 6 meal choices, 3 with meat and 3 without.  Mix and match as desired based on your diet and preferences. 9 choices to select from each week, with  a variety of dietary options within these selections. 10 dinner choices and a breakfast to select from each week. Meal plans (default meals sent if you don’t make a selection) include: Chef’s Choice, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten Free, or Rise and Shine (2 breakfasts + 2 dinners)

 

Freshness

& Quality

Excellent—Antibiotic and hormone free meat, sustainable seafood, and fresh, seasonal produce.  All but extremely basic staples (for example, olive oil) are included in the box in pre-portioned containers. Excellent – High-quality, farm fresh, sustainable ingredients. All but extremely basic staples (for example, olive oil) are included in the box in pre-portioned containers. Excellent – fresh seasonal ingredients and artisanal specialty products.  All but extremely basic staples (for example, olive oil) are included in the box in pre-measured containers. Excellent- curated, high quality ingredients.  All but extremely basic staples (for example, olive oil) are included in the box in pre-measured containers. Excellent— high quality, all-organic, non-GMO ingredients. All but extremely basic staples (for example, olive oil) are included in the box in pre-measured containers.

 

Presentation & Delivery Delivery box contains a cooler insert with large freezer packs.  Meat is on the bottom surrounded by freezer packs;  other ingredients are on top, sorted into separate labelled bags for each recipe.  Recipe cards include attractive step-by-step pictures with the instructions. Delivery box contains a cooler insert with large freezer packs.  Meat is on the bottom surrounded by freezer packs;  other ingredients are on top *NEW* in separate boxes for each recipe, which makes fridge storage easy and tidy. Recipe cards include attractive step-by-step pictures with the instructions, and also include basic nutritional information per serving. *NEW*Exterior of box includes full nutritional information for each meal. Delivery box contains a cooler insert with large freezer packs.  Meat is on the bottom surrounded by freezer packs;  other ingredients are on top.  Recipe cards include attractive step-by-step pictures with the instructions. Delivery box contains a cooler insert with large freezer packs.  Meat is on the bottom surrounded by freezer packs;  other ingredients are on top in bags separated by recipe.  Recipe cards include attractive step-by-step pictures with the instructions.  Suggested drink pairings are also included. Delivery box contains a cooler insert with large freezer packs.  Meat is on the bottom surrounded by freezer packs; other ingredients are on top.  Package includes instructions for easy recycling.
Type of subscription Weekly or Bi-Weekly, with the option to skip unwanted delivery weeks. Weekly with the option to skip unwanted delivery weeks. Weekly with the option to skip unwanted delivery weeks. Weekly with the option to skip unwanted delivery weeks.  Can select anywhere from 2 to 8 meals per week/box. Weekly with the option to skip unwanted delivery weeks. 3 meals a week for 2 or 4 people

 

Interested in trying out one or all of these services?

Try Plated here (no referral discount currently available).

Try Hello Fresh using our referral link, and receive $40 off your first box.

Try  Blue Apron here (no referral discount currently available).

Try Home Chef using our referral link, and receive $30 off your first order.

Try Sun Basket using our referral link, and receive 3 free meals.

A quick word about compensation—this is not a paid post, just our experiences that we’d like to share with you.  If you use our referral links you will receive a discount, and we receive the same.

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