Here is the Best Meal Box Review and the Winner is?????
The RESULTS are in folks. I am sure you have been waiting for these box reviews for weeks…not really….I just finished my 6th and final box. It seemed like a long time coming although it was only 6 weeks, but still. It really seemed like it went on for a while. There were a couple of my favorites and some were not so much. The contenders are in order off receiving:
I know I didn’t hit up some of the more known ones such as Plated, Gobble, and Blue Apron. To be honest, I just didn’t like what was not their menu. Maybe it is the time of year or if it is like that all of the time but I just couldn’t see paying money for something I knew I wasn’t going to eat. I am not afraid to eat something out there but I will not eat something I know I won’t like. So there!
I will touch on each of these and let you know the Pros and Cons of each. I will show you some photos and you can let me know what you like…if you have ever had any of these. I am going to start from my least favorite to the winner! The anticipation will kill ya.
6. Green Chef
This was my least favorite of the box meals. Maybe because it was the last one I received or I just really wasn’t impressed after I tried some that started off better. There are some great things about Green Chef. It’s not all terrible. Green Chef has a Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan and Pescatarian option. Which is by far the most robust of the 6 boxes. Each meal feeds two people. The cheapest option is the Vegetarian menu, which is $10.40 per meal. The most expensive is the Paleo menu at $14.99 per meal. The shipping cost is $9.00 per box after the first shipment.
When I received the box, it seemed secure enough. Pretty basic set up. The items were just sort of all over the place. They did have color coded stickers, which were helpful. There were recipe cards, which took me a bit to find. I ordered 3 meals. I made two of them only. The third was just a bit too much. I am all about living the Paleo lifestyle, but I was just not feeling making my own tortillas. It seemed a bit time consuming and I don’t think that it would be realistic to make on a weeknight. I froze the tuna steaks to make for a different day. The other two recipes, a 5 spice chicken salad of sorts and a steak, broccoli and squash meal were fine. Nothing to write home about. There were some ingredients that I would not have chosen, like the squash they provided. But I tried it and it wasn’t half bad. I am also not a fan of fennel and so I left that out as well. This was the only box I made modifications. Overall, it seems like a lot of extra and ingredients that I would not really use. This is the only box that I did not make all of the meals. That goes to show you something I suppose.
Another con is that you can’t really advance schedule meals out. It gives the menu only for like a week or two.
The last thing that I didn’t like is that you can’t go online and just cancel your subscription. You can skip up to 6 weeks at a time, but you have to email them to cancel the account. Below is the photo the steak, squash and broccoli as well as the 5 spice chicken salad from Green Chef.
5. Hello Fresh
Next on the not so great list was Hello Fresh. I wouldn’t say this was terrible, by any means. I did enjoy the 3 meals that I received. They have a Classic box, a Veggie Box and a Family Box. These are a little more pricey. For 3 meals for 2 people the Classic Box cost is $11.50 per meal. You can get 3, 4 or 5 meals. The price goes up the more you order obviously. There are only 6 recipes to choose from. Which is not totally ideal. All 6 recipes could be something you just don’t want to eat. On the plus side is that they do have free shipping.
The box arrived on time and what nothing really to write home about. It was well insulated. Hello Fresh ingredients come in these little cute boxes. All of the ingredients are together, which is really nice. You don’t have to worry about the color coordinating stickers. The menu cards came in this book type deal. Since there are only 6 recipes, the book has all 6 recipes. No big deal really. I had the Thai Pork Meatballs, Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries and a Honey Orange Chicken Jambalaya. I really liked the Thai Pork Meatballs and Noodles, the Chicken with Sweet Potatoes were pretty basic and the Honey Orange Chicken Jambalaya was really, really spicy. I love some spice but WOW this was over the top spicy.
You can cancel your subscription right from the web site. You can also put a HOLD on your subscription. But it seems like it was only for a month or so. I did go ahead and cancel this subscription. Not because I hated this box, but there are just better ones out there!
4. Sun Basket
Sun Basket came in 4th on my list of 6. These meals were pretty tasty. The times on a couple of the recipes are longer then what it states on the recipe cards. The ingredients came in a box that was well enough insulated. Nothing fancy about that set up. The ingredients were all gathered up in a brown paper bag. That was kinda handy. Better then having a mess all over I suppose. They have several options for meal plans as well. They have a Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Paleo or even just a breakfast option. The meal plans are more on the pricier side at $11.49 per meal. The shipping is $ 5.99 after the first delivery.
I ordered the Mongolian Noodles, Spicy Shrimp and Orzo and Steak with Sweet Potatoes. The steak meal came with Swiss Chard as well, butI didn’t make that…just wasn’t in the mood for it. The meals turned out well. Like I said a couple of them took a bit longer to cook. The Mongolian Noodles were a bit on the bland side. The Shrimp with Orzo was really tasty and the Steak was nothing really anything to write home about.
You can skip 6 weeks in advance. This is the worst of them all to cancel. You have to call a phone number to cancel. Which is just a pain in the ass. No one wants to take the time to call and then made feel guilty about cancelling stuff. I can barely call to make an appointment for my doggie to go to the spa let alone remember to call to cancel my Sun Basket account! Ugh. So although Sun Basket you didn’t come in last place, you get last place for the cancel option.
Let me just say this off the bat. I really loved Terra’s Kitchen. What I don’t love about Terra’s Kitchen is the price. Meals range anywhere from $10.99 per meal to $17.99 per meal (2 servings per meal). There are a ton of options, which is really nice. They do have free shipping if you order over $ $64.99. You get this super cool vessel type thing in which it is shipped in. It is something that is returned to them. There is handy dandy peel off sticker that has the return shipping label attached. All you have to do is put it outside and the FedEx? people come and pick it up. Maybe its UPS…doesn’t really matter. All I know is when I got home from work it was gone. Each one of the shelves has its own recipe. They come in little plastic containers that are disposable and marked. So it is not as cool as having all of the ingredients in their own bags or boxes but it seemed cool at the time. This was my second box I received so I wasn’t even familiar with items being put together all cutesy as in other meal boxes.
I loved the recipes that I received. It was Chuck’s Party Bowl (Orzo and beef), Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Chicken Tacos with Avo/Goat Cheese sauce. These are not the official names…but they are sort of close! Ha! The recipes were not hard to make and didn’t take long at all. The recipes made way more than two servings. Only issues I had was the Turkey Meatballs and the red pepper flakes. The recipe didn’t say how much and so I poured it all in there. And O.M.G. it was so spicy! I still ate it though.
You can cancel your subscription on the screen so you don’t have to call or email anyone. You can skip meals for up to 5 weeks and you can totally meal plan. There is the minimum order of $64.99 and with that there is the free shipping. I really enjoyed the whole process with Terra’s Kitchen. I am not going to cancel them for now. I am sure that I will order from them time to time. I really like the normalcy and simplicity of the meals.
2. Home Chef
What can I say about Home Chef? I love them! This is my top pick of the make it yourself meal boxes. Why do you say it is not number One…well you will just have to wait and see! Home Chef comes in a handy box…pretty standard. However, these ingredients were all put together in baggies. They also had really cute little containers for some items. So handy I kept them for later! Home Chef delivers free for orders over $45.00. Their meals are $9.95 per meal which feeds 2 people. You can manage up to 5 weeks out. They will show you what the recipes are for that week. You can order your meals or skip them. They have a pause option. You don’t have to cancel…just pause the deliveries for however long you need to. There are about 10 recipes you can choose from each time. I ordered the Sausage Farfalle, Balsamic Chicken with baked green beans and tomatoes, and a Salmon Salad. These recipe were delicious, easy to cook and just plain wonderful.
And the WINNER of the Best Meal Box Review challenge is…
DUM TA DUM!!!!! What can I not say about Freshly. Now Freshly is not a cook your own meal service. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw an already pre made option. I didn’t even know that was a thing. Now I love to not have to cook from time to time. I also like to have a super easy option when I have to go into the office because I didn’t want to cook. Yep…I can be totally lazy.
With Freshly you pay per entree. You can get 4,6,9,or 12 meals per week. the price for 4 entrees are $12.50 each, and for 6 and 9 they are $9.99 each and for 12 they are $8.99 each. There are many options, which is great. And they only take a couple of minutes to prepare. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t think that I would like. You can have multiple subscriptions as well. So maybe you and a spouse who like different things can have their own. You can also skip or plan up to 5 weeks at a time. What is even better is that there is free shipping!
If you are a single person, or like to have quick dinner or lunch option, Freshly is the way to go. Now look…they aren’t even paying me to say this! Maybe I can get them to throw in some freebies.
I ordered 6 entrees. All of them different. There was a Steak and Spinach and a Shrimp Fajita and even Jerk Chicken. The portions were large and very yummy. They were all full of flavor. Here are a couple:
And with that the results are in and they are final in my book! I have one super favorite which is the actually make your meals, Home Chef, and the other which is a singer serve, Freshly, which in my book is always handy dandy! You can just have those babies around for whenever you need something quick.
Let me know if you happened to try any of these meal services. I would like to know if you have a different experience. If anyone would like to have a coupon code for any of these meal boxes, please let me know and I will shoot them to ya.
Thanks for reading… I hope this will help some of you all narrow it down. There are so may that are out there it is just ridiculous. Maybe at some point I will try the others, like Blue Apron…if they have anything I would like to eat that is.
Stay Classy peeps and be kind to one another!