Here’s some great news for busy parents: dinner just became a no-brainer. While many of us like to cook, we don’t love grocery shopping, or simply don’t have time to plan, shop and cook every night. Lucky for us, several online companies now offer ready-to-cook meals in the form of healthy, pre-measured, pre-washed ingredients that are delivered right to your door. All you have to do is sign up online, wait for the goods, open the refrigerated box and follow the recipe.
Each company’s plan varies slightly (i.e. read the fine print), but most of these services require you to sign up for a subscription, choose the number of servings and meals per week you’d like, and select your recipes. All of these websites offer vegetarian options, and most of the dinners range between 500-700 calories. Although the price of these meals is more than you’d pay if you were doing everything soup to nuts, it’s less expensive than eating takeout. Also, most of the meals can be made in 30 minutes or less, and no food goes to waste since everything is pre-prepped.
Now, if you’re ready to take the guesswork out of dinner, log on and plan your next week’s worth of dinners:
Blue Apron: Meals start around $9.99 per person. Design your “plan” and get recommended meals based on your dietary preferences. Check out the website for the recipes and meals for the week online. firstname.lastname@example.org
HelloFresh: From $10 a plate. They collaborate with the Michelin star restaurant Aquavit, to create their recipes. Their “classic box subscription” allows you to choose 3 out of 5 recipes a week. 1-800-733-2414
Plated: Choose a recipe and how many people you’re feeding. Membership is $10/month, and members pay $12 per meal as opposed to $15. There’s a minimum of 4 plates per order. 1-917-525-2399
Chefday: Relaunching in mid-October, ChefDay offers simple recipes that will take less than 15 minutes to prepare, and all ingredients are organic. Many recipes have an online how-to video. Prices run from $7 per person per meal with a minimum of 6 servings, like 3 meals for 2, or 1 meal for 4 plus 1 meal for 2, etc. 1-855-243-3329
The Organic Dish: A different, more expensive option, the OD offers frozen organic meals for vegetarians and omnivores. They’re located in Denver, CO, so shipping requires a 4-meal minimum and will cost around $50. 1-800-408-5905