HelloFresh vs. Blue Apron vs. Green Chef
When it comes to choosing a meal delivery service, it boils down to how many meals you want, how many people you need to feed, and if you have personal food limitations—and when you factor in all of those things the possibilities are nearly endless. When you’re surfing the web for your perfect service you’ll feel like a kid in the candy store, wanting everything you see but not having the money or the time to try them all.
While there are tons of services available, there are three that really stand out from the crowd as far as quality, quantity, and variety: Blue Apron, Green Chef, and HelloFresh. These are all subscription boxes that come with pre-packaged ingredients to put together for fabulous meals.
When you’re trying to decide which of these three is right for you, it can be overwhelming. So, we’ve made it simple—here are the pros and cons of each meal delivery service.
HelloFresh was a hit in our house because it allowed us to try so many flavors and foods that we never would’ve thought of! The variety took away the boredom of cooking at home, and started saving us so much money on take-out. I had a hard time eating these meals because they didn’t meet my personal needs, but for people who don’t have limitations, HelloFresh is a great choice.
HelloFresh is also the cheapest option, but it’s really just pennies and dimes because all the meal services are so affordable in the first place. They have three packages: family ($8.74 per meal), vegetarian ($9.99 per meal), and classic ($9.99 per meal). For each of those packages there are different numbers of meals and servings: three, four, and five meal plans for two people, and three recipe plans for four people. One unique thing about them is that the more meals you order per week the cheaper the individual meals are, so even though the cost is higher it’s because of more servings not increased individual pricing.
With HelloFresh, I simply wish they were more food-sensitive friendly. Looking at their menu there’s either wheat, soy, or dairy (sometimes all three) in every single item. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, for health purposes this is a major drawback. Also, if I was a health nut I would want a service that would provide me multiple food options, not just veggie and classic packages.
Looking for fresh ingredients and unique recipes to serve up for dinner each night? If so, you should definitely look into Blue Apron. Out of all the meal delivery services, Blue Apron guarantees the freshest and most organic products—they even promise that you’ll receive better produce than if you went to the grocery store.
Image via BlueApron
Blue Apron is also unmatched in their effort to reach out to small businesses. This is something that I really like about Blue Apron because I feel like I’m contributing to the success of something so much more important than a big corporation.
One other shocking thing I learned while browsing through their site: Blue Apron never repeats a recipe all year long. Now that’s a lot of recipes, not to mention time, preparation, and the dedicated people who come up with these delicious meals. Each meal is about 500-800 calories per serving, which is nice if you either count calories or are trying to cut back to lose some weight.
Blue Apron has two package options: couple and family. A couple’s plan offers two-person meals three times a week for $9.99 per serving. The family plan has a little more variety when it comes to number of meals; you have the choice between two or four meals per week—feeding a family of four. This package costs $8.75 per serving, so you’ll end up paying more only because there are more people in the plan itself.
The one con about Blue Apron is that isn’t room for customization, especially when you order more than two meals a week. So if you don’t like something that’s on the menu, you can either not pay for that number of meals and end up spending more at the grocery store, or buy the meals and eat something that you don’t like. This service would be practically perfect if they could offer more recipe options to customers—and personally, I’d like a gluten-free meal or two.
Save $30 on your first Blue Apron box using our link!
Personally, I’m a Green Chef fan. This is because I have some major food allergies and when I’ve tried other meal delivery services I’ve had to substitute and take out so many ingredients that it ended up not even being worth the money. So if you have a lactose or gluten intolerance, or even just choose to remove those from your diet, Green Chef is here to accommodate to your personal needs.
They offer six packages: gluten-free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, and carnivore. With so many options to choose from, it’s extremely hard to find something that doesn’t fit you—this variety also sets Green Chef apart from the competition. They’re a little more expensive, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. The average of all the plans is about $12.74 per meal (not serving).
As far as number of servings per meal, you have a couple of options; you can choose between two-person, four-person, or six-person meals. With so many different packages and variety within each, it’s hard to know which ones to choose and what’s going to be the best option for you and your pocket box—but isn’t that one of the best problems to have, too many choices?
Green Chef gives you the option to explore different tastes and flavors in their plans. Say you’re not limited to just a gluten-free package, then you can jump from omnivore one week to paleo the next. You can find which diet fits your body, and along the way figure out foods that you just can’t get enough of, and others that you never want to try again (for me, that would curry).
The one drawback of Green Chef is how their ingredients are delivered in the box. Unlike other meal delivery services, they color code their ingredients and basically just throw them all into one package. This can make cooking confusing at times, and can even ruin meals if you accidentally add a product that’s made for one meal into another. If you just pay close attention this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you use this service long enough a mix up is bound to happen.
Which Meal Delivery Service is Right for You?
Each meal delivery service has its own unique set of pros and cons. It’s up to you, and your family, to decide which one works best with your specific wants and needs. It may even take you a few months to test out different services before you find your perfect match, and that’s totally fine. But if you don’t have the patience or the time to do that, here’s a quick run-through of which service is right for certain kinds of people.
HelloFresh is great is you want organic, fresh food delivered right to your door. Not saying that the other services don’t offer quality produce, but HelloFresh just does it a little better. Their meals are always delicious, and the recipes are so easy to follow. No matter what cooking level you’re at (if you’re like me, you’re mediocre at best), you can create beautiful, yummy meals for your family or significant other (or for yourself — who doesn’t love leftovers?).
Blue Apron is perfect for a family that needs quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious meals. I would say this meal service is geared more toward a busy couple wanting to spend less money on take-out or groceries and more time cooking together. Their family plan provides four person meals (although I’m sure because children eat smaller portions you can get more than that out of it) and is perfect for busy school nights or chaotic weekends filled with soccer practice and piano lessons. The price is reasonable for mostly any family, and it might be worth a try to save money on groceries.
Green Chef is geared toward people who either want or have to maintain a special diet. It’s easy to customize and takes away the stress of finding something delicious to cook you and your family that fits everyone’s needs—or scouring through the menu at a restaurant for a meal that’s allergy free (and doesn’t taste like cardboard). I love Green Chef because it’s given me control back over my eating. I can decide what tasty meals I want, and not even have to think twice about whether or not I’m going to have a reaction to something. It helps me rest easy (with a full belly).
You can’t go wrong with any of these meal services. They’ll all provide you with inexpensive, fresh, and, most importantly, delicious meals that you and your loved ones will enjoy. It all comes down to the small personal details and requirements that you’ll have to sit down and plan out. But, once you decide you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this your whole life. So get out there and start cooking!
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Last modified on June 12th, 2017