What is a home food delivery service?
A home food delivery service is where a supplier has chefs that create meals for you to cook at home. They gather all of the required ingredients and send them to you in a ‘refrigerated’ box along with a colorful recipe card. Recently I have seen so many weekly food delivery services that I have begun to try them out. I mean, who wouldn’t want to skip the grocery store and have everything you need for meals delivered right to your front door! Sign me up if the price is right!
I will tell you on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being highly recommend) what my recommendation is for each home food delivery service I personally experience is. Everyone will absolutely have different opinions on which ones they prefer, based on type of food, portion size, price, ease of making, and other such criteria.
Sun Basket was the first home food delivery service that we tried. We selected to receive three recipes for two people. You are able to select to cook for four people if you have a larger family. One of the promises is “Sun Basket meals feature organic ingredients whenever possible. All organic ingredients are clearly labeled upon delivery.” You have the following choices for your meals: Gluten Free; Paleo; Dairy Free; Vegetarian; Soy Free; and Low Calorie. I had 11 different meals to choose from, which is a lot more than some of the other food delivery services.
The recipes that I received my first time were Fregola salad with black beans, corn, and red pepper; Falafel burgers with cucumber and mint; and Moroccan-spiced chicken breasts with melon-cucumber salad. All three meals were fantastic! Every ingredient was used and actual eaten. (You will see in some of these other food delivery services that they give you ingredients to make a salsa or dip, and you do not use them because they do not make sense or do not taste good- which is a waste to me). The portions were perfect and filling. Nothing was wasted or thrown away.
The price for Sun Basket is $74.93 a week. Each meal is $11.49. The price is $143.87 per week if you select to cook for four people. You receive three meals per person with either plan. You are able to skip weeks if you do not want to receive a delivery for any reason; vacation, no time to cook that week, etc. The recipe cards that Sun Basket send are a half page in size, which is smaller than the other home food delivery services. So far the other services provide full page recipe cards. The main difference in receiving a half page recipe card is that each instruction is not pictured for you, just the written directions are on the back. There is a picture of what the completed meal is supposed to look like on the front of the recipe card.
Sun Basket did everything right from packaging, delivery, freshness of food, great recipes, perfect portions, and tasting delicious. The only issue I have with Sun Basket is their price per week. When compared to these other home food delivery services, they are priced rather high. Due to the price being the only issue, I would give Sun Basket a 4/5 rating. If you would like to try Sun Basket yourself, do it with a discount when you use this link.
Blue Apron was the second home food delivery service that we tried. We did not have a good experience with them, however I will focus on the food despite the service received. Blue Apron also has a two person, three meal plan like Sun Basket. Blue Apron’s other plan is for four people, but only two meals per person, instead of three meals per person like Sun Basket. Below you are able to see the prices for each plan. As you can see for the same plan offered by Sun Basket, Blue Apron is $15 cheaper per week. Take into account what I have to say below about the food and recipes below.
The three recipes I received from Blue Apron were Neapolitan-style stewed vegetables and farro; Seared chicken and fregola sarda; and Mexican beef quesadillas. Only one of these meals was every ingredient used. In two of the meals a salsa verde and garnish were made, but not used because they did not taste good. Green onions, vinegar, capers, parsley, parmesan cheese and garlic were wasted. I do not like wasting food, so I was very disappointed in what I had to throw away. The quesadilla dish only made two quesadilla’s and one was not enough to fill my husband up. One filled me up though. The seared chicken dish used very small pieces of chicken, but the fregola sarda was abundant and filling.
Blue Apron has five different dietary profiles to select from: omnivore; vegetarian; pescetarian; and people who love meat and fish. You are able to select dietary restrictions such as no shellfish, no red meat, no pork, and no fish. You are also able to skip weeks that you do not want to receive a delivery.
After reading the pricing information and the recipe information, I hope you are able to see why Blue Apron appears to be the better deal… they are cheaper, but you get less food! To me, this is not a very good deal. However, if you eat like a bird, then this might actually be a good deal for you. Blue Apron provides full sized recipe cards with pictures on the back to match the instructions, which is nice.
Based on the price, recipes, portions, and other factors, I would give Blue Apron a 2/5 rating.
Green Chef was the third food delivery service that we tried. When I opened the delivery box I was initially impressed, mainly because all of the ingredients were color coded. I put everything onto one shelf in my refrigerator, and when I wanted to cook a meal, I just looked at the colored labels.
Green Chef did come with about 10 containers of prepared sauces and bases. These were not just oils with spices, but full on prepared sauces. For example, in one of my boxes was garam masala tomato sauce. I appreciate the sauce being already prepared, however I do not know what is in it. When you are trying to eat a certain way and know exactly what is in the food you are eating, this is unsatisfactory. There could be preservatives or other chemicals in the prepared sauces and bases that I am unaware of.
I also love cooking, so the fact that I do not get to learn how to make these sauces and bases also does not work for me. How am I able to replicate this meal in the future? I won’t be able to since I do not have a recipe. That was the nice thing about Sun Basket and Blue Apron- was I literally prepared everything from scratch! I know the pre-made items might be an attractive feature for you, which is great; but for me, it is not. Just like the other two food delivery services above, you are able to skip the weeks that you do not want to receive meals for.
Green Chef offers paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, and carnivore dishes. The dishes I selected for my preview week were vegan and gluten-free. The meals I received were Korean noodle bowl; Creamy corn farro risotto; and Indian veggie rice bowl. Out of these three if I had to select a favorite, it would be the Indian veggie rice bowl. The portions were small compared to Sun Basket, and the same when compared to Blue Apron.
Green Chef is a little different when it comes to pricing. See picture below as each type of meal is priced differently. If you take the cheapest meal and get 3 meals for 2 people, you will be paying $62.94 plus $9 in shipping costs. If you take the most expensive meal, 3 meals for 2 people you will pay $89.94 plus $9 in shipping costs. If you compare the same amount of meals for the same amount of people, Green Chef comes in second for cost, as Blue Apron is cheaper, and Sun Basket is more expensive.
Unfortunately the meals I received were not that great taste-wise. I threw out stuff that was either prepared by me, or pre-made by Green Chef because it did not taste good, or was not something we would eat with the meal. The great thing about Green Chef is that their recipe cards are full-sized which I really like. Just like Blue Apron, the front has a picture of what the finished meal is supposed to look like with the ingredients, and then on the back full instructions with pictures. A con to this though is that the measurements are not given to you, which makes this the second no-go of not being able to recreate a recipe. (The first was having pre-made items with each recipe).
Based on price, recipes, portions, taste, etc., I would give Green Chef a 1/5 rating.
The great thing about each of these home food delivery services is that you get to try each one for about 50% off the very first time, which is honestly the only reason I decided to try them in the first place! Since I have received, made, and eaten every meal, I have since cancelled my subscription services with Blue Apron and Green Chef. I do not feel they are worth the money for what I receive, nor were the meals that great. I would much rather spend my money elsewhere eating out, or buying groceries to make my own recipes.
All three services deliver weekly; have the ability to skip a week for as long as you like; deliver to your doorstep; and give you recipe cards and instructions with the meals.
There are so many home food delivery services available and in the future I will be trying boxes from Hello Fresh and Home Chef. Once I finally try these I will write another post or just add to this one as an update to let you know what I though about their recipes, portions, taste, price, etc.