The Dirtiest Thing in the Grocery Store

The Dirtiest Thing in the Grocery Store


Refinery29

Take A Break From The Grocery Store Routine & Try A Meal-Delivery Service Instead

These days, you can get just about anything delivered — from wine to groceries and even pre-packaged meals. We’re talking super fresh ingredients that are prepackaged and portioned for customized recipes and shipped directly to our doorsteps. Not only is this ordering-in alternative more convenient and oftentimes more cost-effective than take-out, but it’s also a safer method of shopping for groceries during social-distancing and WFH periods. Before signing up, there are a few questions to answer: How much do these services actually cost? And which one of the dozens out there is right for us? For the full 411, we studied up on and cataloged (from A to Z) the most popular meal-delivery subscriptions available. Scroll ahead to find the best one to help you kickstart a new cooking regime.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Splendid SpoonThe elevator pitch: “Real food for breakfast and lunch. Always plant-based, gluten-free, and ready-to-eat.”Cost: Your choice of 5 to 20 meals per week, ranging in cost from $65 to $185.Delivery schedule: Deliveries are scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays. Packaging is 100% recyclable.What you get: A flexible subscription of plant-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO premade breakfast smoothies, lunch, dinner, and reset meals. You can choose from their 50+ options to customize your order each week.Cooking required? No. You receive fully prepared mealsGreat for: People with dietary restrictions, specifically vegans and gluten-free. HelloFreshThe elevator pitch: “Delivers great recipes and fresh ingredients to your home each week. Cook fast, healthy recipes designed by nutritionists and chefs.”Cost: Choose from 2-4 meal boxes, ranging from $56-$99 (serving 2) or $80-$136(serving 4).Delivery schedule: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, with select delivery from Saturday through Tuesday in certain areas.What you get: A flexible subscription for your choice of weekly dinner menus preplanned by chefs.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Anyone with a busy life looking to get in on weekly meal prep made easy (and fresh).YumbleThe elevator pitch: “We’re here to take mealtime stress off your plate so you can enjoy more time with your family. Meals kids love, no cooking required.”Cost: $48 for 6 meals a week, $56 for 8 meals a week, $96 for 16 meals a week. Delivery schedule: Shipping is free and deliveries are scheduled based on location and arrive between 8am and 9pm. Packaging materials are sustainable and each box includes kid-approved activities like sticker sheets and activity cards.What you get: A flexible subscription of nutritionally balanced meals designed specifically for kids. Cooking required? No. All meals come fully prepared and ready to heat.Great for: Parents who have limited time and children with picky tastebuds. Daily HarvestThe elevator pitch: “Built on fruits and vegetables. Delivered to your door, and ready in minutes.”Cost: $71.91 for 9 smoothies a week ($7.99 per smoothie); $101.86 for 14 smoothies a week ($7.27 per smoothie); $171.16 for 24 smoothies a month ($7.13 per smoothie)Delivery schedule: Delivery on a selected weekly to monthly recurring day of your choosing. What you get: Flexible subscription of premade superfood smoothies, soups, harvest bowls, oat bowls, chia bowls, bites, and lattes.Cooking required? No. All meals come premade.Great for: Those looking for a fresh, fast, and customizable meal-supplement plan that is easy to take on the go. Every PlateThe elevator pitch: “Get more bites for your buck.”Cost: Choose from a 2 or 4 person meal plan. Each meal is priced at $4.99 per serving.Delivery schedule: Deliveries are made Tuesday through Saturday between 8am and 8pm. What you get: A flexible subscription of lunches and dinners. Select your dishes from 13 options that change each week and are designed to take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Cooking required? Yes. You receive pre-measured ingredients with recipe cards.Great for: Great for budget-conscious people and families. Home ChefThe elevator pitch: “Our weekly meal-delivery service has everything you need to prepare home-cooked meals in about 30 minutes.”Cost: Meals start at $6.99 per serving.Delivery schedule: Tuesday through Friday with a $10 fee for orders under $45.What you get: Flexible subscription to chef-prepped, sustainably sourced and portioned meals that you can whip together in as little as 30 minutes or less.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Those who care about food sustainability and time — especially on weeknights.Factor_The elevator pitch: “Healthy Eating, Made Simple.”Cost: Each box includes your choice of 4 meals ($15 per serving) to 18 meals ($11 per serving) per week. Delivery schedule: Delivery is free of charge and is made via courier for Chicago customers. Packages are shipped via FedEx for all other customers. What you get: A flexible subscription, which includes dietitian-designed meals prepared by gourmet chefs. Every Factor_ meal is free of hormones, antibiotics, gluten, refined sugars, and GMOs.Cooking required? No. Meals come fully prepared, ready to heat, and eat. Great for: Those looking for a wide array of pre-made, nutritious meals.Sun BasketThe elevator pitch: “Cook easy, healthy meals every week using organic, sustainably sourced ingredients.”Cost: 2-person Classic Menu or 4-person Family Menu of 2-4 recipes per week. Cost per serving ranges from $10.99 to $12.99.Delivery schedule: Weekly delivery options with a non-binding agreement (i.e. can cancel or skip anytime). The first delivery is free and all additional cost $5.99 per week.What you get: Seasonal produce that has been hand-picked from organic farms across the country along with corresponding 30-minute recipes that have been developed by an award-winning chef.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes, minus salt, pepper, and cooking oils.Great for: Those looking for seasonal weekly meals with a fresh and healthy focus.Blue ApronThe elevator pitch: “Makes cooking fun and easy. We’ll provide you with all the ingredients that you need to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions.”Cost: 2-person plan supplies 3 recipes per week (serving 2) for a total of $59.94 ($9.99 per serving). The Family Plan supplies 2-4 recipes per week (serving 4) for a total of either $71.92 or $119.84 (ranging from $8.99 to $7.49 per serving).Delivery schedule: 7 days a week in most locations.What you get: A flexible subscription for farm-fresh dinner with seasonal produce and spot-on proportions (no leftover food-waste here). Blue Apron also offers a wine-pairing membership to complement your selected dishes (if you so choose).Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes, minus salt, pepper, and olive oil.Great for: Those looking to share in a straightforward food-delivery lifestyle with fresh food and wine.Dream DinnersThe elevator pitch: “At Dream Dinners, our thoughtful and attentive staff take care of every detail, from prep to clean up.”Cost: Meal kits range from $9.99 – $13.50 per serving (with a minimum of 36-servings per order); prices can vary depending on store and state location.Delivery schedule: Subscribers can either choose to collect their pre-made meals at a nearby Dream Dinners’ location or choose to have their meals delivered to them for an additional fee. Assembly sessions are currently not available at this time. What you get: A rotating monthly menu of meals that require no shopping, chopping, prep work, or cleanup whatsoever.Cooking required? Yes — heating the frozen pre-made, but uncooked meals.Great for: Those looking to design their meals without putting in a ton of time/work the night of cooking/assemblage.FreshlyThe elevator pitch: “Chef-prepared, healthy meals, delivered weekly.”Cost: Choose from 4 – 12 meals per week ranging between $45.96-$101.88.Delivery schedule: Sunday through Friday — meals can arrive up to as late as 10 p.m. on the selected delivery date.What you get: A flexible subscription with chef-prepared recipes and ingredients that not only come fresh (not frozen), but are ready to eat within 2 minutes of opening — no prepping, cooking, or cleaning required. All meals are free of gluten.Cooking required? No. You get fully prepared meals.Great for: Anyone looking to do zero work and eat extremely fresh food.GobbleThe elevator pitch: “Create stress-free dinners in only 15 minutes.”Cost: Weekly kits come with three recipes, with either two or four servings per recipe. The meals cost $11.95 regardless, and a six-serving box is $71.50. You can also add two cookies for $1.95.Delivery Schedule: Meals arrive between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the chosen delivery day.What You Get: 2-3 meals that are prepped and pre-chopped and ready to cook. All meals are designed for one-pan cooking and minimal clean-up. Gobble offers several “certified kid-friendly” meals a week.Cooking Required: Yes, though most of the prep is done for you.Great For: Anyone who really hates chopping and clean-up, families.Green ChefThe elevator pitch: “Fresh, organic ingredients. Healthy, chef-crafted recipes. Right at your doorstep.”Cost: Each weekly box contains your choice of 2 to 4 recipes for either 2, 4, or 6 servings ranging from $9.99 per meal to $11.99.Delivery schedule: Between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on your chosen delivery day (shipping is an additional $9).What you get: A flexible subscription for USDA-certified organic dinners that will take you 30 minutes or under to cook.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured and prepped ingredients with recipes.Great for: Those with dietary restrictions looking for some well-rounded meal support.HungryrootThe elevator pitch: “We handpick a thoughtful lineup of trusted brands and products. Then, we deliver groceries and recipes to help you eat well—and feel great—every day.”Cost: Starting at $69 per two-serving delivery for 3-4 meals and snacks; $99 for 4-5 meals and snacks; $129 for 5-6 meals plus snacks.Delivery schedule: Fresh grocery selections are available for order every Thursday and ship between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. depending upon package carrier. All ground shipping is free with a $10 fee for air shipments. What you get: Flexible weekly subscription of high-quality food brands and grocery products with suggested recipes for meal planning that is curated to your personal dietary preferences.Cooking required? Yes. You receive a curated shipment of groceries that you can choose to pair with suggested recipes for meal making or not. Great for: Those looking for a flexible but still personalized food-subscription that falls somewhere in between full-on meal kit and basic grocery delivery service. Marley SpoonThe elevator pitch: “Seasonal ingredients and delicious recipes from Martha Stewart delivered directly to your door.”Cost: Two-person box ranging from $41-$75 (2-6 meals a week), or the four-person box ranging from $68-$153 (2-6 meals a week).Delivery schedule: Monday through Saturday, depending on your zip code with an 8.99 shipping fee.What you get: Gourmet-made easy dinners by the legend herself, Martha Stewart — with the future possibility of breakfast, lunch, and dessert subscriptions.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Martha wannabes who don’t have very much time to cook.PlateJoyThe elevator pitch: “Custom, on-demand meal plans and grocery lists for your unique lifestyle. Optional grocery delivery.”Cost: 6-month and 12-month flexible subscriptions beginning at $9 monthly (excluding optional grocery costs).What you get: Customized recipes, access to personalized meal plans that are tailored to your specific needs, and an optional grocery list. Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Cooking required? Yes. You get recipes with optional corresponding ingredient deliveries.Great for: Those who love to cook, but hate to plan ahead.Purple CarrotThe elevator pitch: “Cook delicious plant-based meals at home.”Cost: 3 meals per week (serving 2) for $72 or 2 meals per week (serving 4) for $80.Delivery schedule: Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, dependent upon the delivery area.What you get: Flexible subscription for plant-based (i.e. vegan) meals that come freshly prepped and ready to cook.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes, minus salt, pepper, and olive oil.Great for: Vegans.Real EatsThe elevator pitch: “Chef-Prepared, Healthy Meals Delivered to You.”Cost: Meal plans range from 4 meals for $60 a week (i.e. $15 per meal) to 24 meals for $192 a week (i.e. $7.99 per meal).Delivery Schedule: Meal boxes arrive weekly on Tuesday or Wednesday (depending upon state shipping/delivery guidelines).What You Get: A weekly subscription that provides a customizable menu of fully prepped and portioned sous-vide meals (i.e. pre-cooked, cooled, and stored in vacuum-sealed pouches).Cooking Required? No, only a reheating of the pouches within a pot of boiling water for package-designated times.Great For: Those who are looking to enjoy a variety of fresh and well-balanced meals on a flexible schedule without having to spend any time with actual prep-work or cooking.SakaraThe elevator pitch: “Eating clean has never tasted so good.”Cost: 1 to 3 meals per day for 5 days ranging from $125 to $410 (one-week program) or $120 to $350 (weekly subscription).Delivery schedule: Monday through Friday within the flexible time frame that you select.What you get: Flexible options for either a one-off or weekly subscription service of breakfast, lunch, and dinner delivered to your door. All meals are plant-based, gluten-free, and organic.Cooking required? No. You get fully prepared meals.Great for: Those into clean eating, or with dietary restrictions, who have money to spend.VeestroThe elevator pitch: “Our meals are so fulfilling, it just might surprise you that they’re made from organic plants. Hand-selected. Chef-prepared. You, pleased.”Cost: A la carte ordering on subscriptions including 10, 20, or 30 individual meals. Costs range from $9.90 to $11.70 per serving.. Delivery schedule: Weekly deliveries placed on Sunday will ship out the following Monday or Tuesday. Shipping is free for all auto-orders and $9.99 for all one-time orders. What you get: Fresh-frozen gourmet plant-based meal options that have already been fully prepped and cooked for you.Cooking required? No. Meals arrive fully prepped and cooked — all that is required is reheating.Great for: Those looking for a wide array of pre-made, plant-based meals.eMealsThe elevator pitch: “Weekly Recipes, Shopping List, & Peace of Mind”Cost: $5 a month for a 12-month subscription or $10 a month for a 3-month subscription — plus a 2-week free trial option.Delivery schedule: No delivery — groceries tied to chosen meal plans can be arranged for pick up or delivery at a variety of participating grocery stores (e.g., Instacart, AmazonFresh, Aldi, Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Whole Foods, etc.).What you get: 15 different food variety plans (e.g., Quick & Healthy, Paleo, Classic, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, etc.) each including recipes for seven meals per week (or a mix and match meal from any plan option) in addition to their corresponding shopping lists.Cooking required? Yes. You get a week’s worth of recipes with corresponding shopping lists that can be placed online and arranged for curbside pick up at your nearest participating grocery store.Great for: Those wanting flexible meal plan and recipe choices along with control over specific grocery and ingredient brand selection.Foodkick “Dinner is easy as 1-2-3″Cost: Depends on the type of meal, size, etc.Delivery Schedule: Totally à la carte – order meal kids (or appetizer kits or snack packs) as you need them and include them with your normal Foodkick grocery order.What You Get: The ability to buy all the ingredients you’d need for steak night or Taco Tuesday (for example) in one place. You’ll get a bundled deal, as well as the opportunity to customize what proteins, sides, and spices get included along with it.Cooking Required? Almost always, though a few options, like the three breakfasts for $10, are grab-and-go.Great For: People who like the inspiration of a boxed meal kit without being tied to a schedule. They’re Giving Back! Foodkick is partnering with NY Common Pantry, whose mission is to reduce hunger and promote dignity, health, and self-sufficiency. Visit the site to learn more.Takeout Kit”Introducing the FIRST and ONLY long shelf life meal kit.”Cost: Monthly subscription plans from $32-$90, starting at $7.50 a serving/kit (up to three kits monthly). Shipping is free.Delivery schedule: Kits ship on the first of every month and arrive within 2-6 business days.What you get: Globally inspired meal kits that are shelf-life stable for up to two months.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Those wanting the convenience of a meal subscription service without the 3-5 day pressured time frame for cooking it.Terra’s Kitchen”A recipe for real life.”Cost: 1-serving items from $3.99 or 2-serving items from $9.99-$17.99. Shipping is free with a minimum order of $64.99.Delivery schedule: Delivery days vary dependent upon area; meals will arrive between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.What you get: Flexible subscription for seasonally fresh meals that are pre-portioned and can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less. Food arrives in a convenient “climate-controlled, eco-friendly vessel” that is reused for future orders.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Those wanting fresh, dietary restriction-conscious meals delivered and tailored to their household sizes and schedules.Plated”Chef-designed recipes, pre-portioned ingredients, delivered every week.”Cost: 2-7 dinners (serving 2) a week from $48-$168 (free shipping on orders over $50). Desserts can be added for an additional $4.Delivery schedule: Delivery between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.What you get: A flexible meal-delivery subscription offering plenty of recipe combinations, plus dessert! The meals are designed by chefs and utilize sustainable and locally sourced products.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes, minus staples (e.g. eggs, salt, pepper, olive or vegetable oil, etc.).Great for: Those who are looking to prepare fresh dinner AND dessert on demand.PeachDish”Delivers fresh, locally sourced meal kits right to your door.”Cost: 2-12 servings of weekly dishes starting at $50 ($12.50 per serving).Delivery schedule: Flexible select delivery dates depending on location.What you get: Flexible subscription delivering food products that are sourced from small-scale Southern farms. All meals are packaged and proportioned in recyclable containers by classically trained chefs.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Those who are interested in some good old Southern comfort food made easy.Chef’d”Famous recipes and premium ingredients. Delivered to your kitchen and home-cooked by you.”Cost: Meals range from $33-$79 and serve 2.Delivery schedule: Delivery between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.; order one day prior to your desired cooking date.What you get: Offering a wide array of dinner dishes from well-known chefs across the country (i.e. lots of Food Network stars). Less of a food subscription and more of a make-your-own-meal-on-demand service.Cooking required? Yes. You get pre-measured ingredients with recipes.Great for: Non-committers who are interested in some occasional weeknight kitchen assistance.Graze”Looking for yummy, nutritious snacks for busy days? Welcome to graze. We’re reimagining the way you snack with over 100 graze ideas you can feel good about.”Cost: Snack box subscriptions start at $5.12 per box and individual snack product purchases can range from $2.84 to $14.82 on average.Delivery schedule: Flexible subscription that can be set to your delivery preference of either twice weekly, weekly, or every two weeks. Additionally, your subscription can be frozen and/or resumed at any time.What you get: A special curation of over 100 handpicked, healthy snack creations that adhere to your preferred tastes and dietary restrictionsCooking required? No. Snacks arrive already prepared, portioned out, and ready-to-eat.Great for: Those looking for a healthy snack plan that is pre-made with a variety of fresh flavors and options.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Booze Delivery Services That Bring Bottles To YouUseful Items To Enhance Your WFH Skills This FallHow Ready-Kits Can Help You Expect The Unexpected

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