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We Tried and Compared 5 Meal Delivery Services So You Didn't Have To.

In January my husband and I decided to start eating mostly vegan at home. We made exceptions when we went out for dinner and we also still ate eggs for breakfast and seafood and dairy occasionally. To make this transition easier for myself, our household's chef in residence, I decide to try some meal delivery services. Over the course of five months, we tried five different services and I thought it might be helpful for me to share our experiences with them here.

Full disclosure: We decided to stop all of the services in July when we moved to monthly grocery shopping and freezer cooking to save money, but we really enjoyed the convenience and variety the services provided.

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Every Monday we could choose from 11 different meals or go with the three they'd picked out for us based on our preferences. You have a choice to skip a week, just make sure to do that by Friday of the week before. Our favorite meals in this service were the Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos and the Greek Flatbread.

Price: $60/week for three meals for two adults.

Pros: The meals were super tasty and easier to prepare than others we tried. There were lots of meals to choose from and the price was very reasonable for three meals/week.

Cons: The meals were higher in calories and there weren't enough vegan options for us.

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This meal service is different in that it only provides frozen meals instead of fresh. You can buy a la carte meals, meal packs or sign up for a weight management meal delivery service. The difference between Veestro and other meal delivery services that promise weight loss, such as Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem, is that their meals are all vegan and preservative-free. We ordered their protein pack which contained 25 frozen meals. I liked the idea of having this for dinner on days when my husband was working late, or when we were going out for date night and I wanted to cook up something healthy and quick for the kids. Our favorite meals that we tried were the Lentil meatloaf and the Enchilada casserole.

Price: The meals are around $8-$9 a piece and the packs come with anywhere from 10-25 meals. We found a $40 off coupon and only paid $178 for our 25 meals.

Pros: The meal ingredients are 96% organic. They're also frozen and ready to go with no prep involved. You can order 25 meals at once so you don't have to remember to order and customize every week. It's not a subscription service so they won't pester you to sign up every week.

Cons: The meals often took longer to cook then the package suggested so I'd actually recommend partially defrosting them ahead of time. The meals weren't as tasty as the other meal delivery plans and contained a lot of soy-based meat alternatives.

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This service has a really cool premise. You choose your 2 person or 4 person meals from over 50 choices and then you can add on desserts, sides, drinks, salads, etc. All of the prep work has been done for you though, as in they chop the carrots and dice the onions, and they deliver it all to you in your own tiny fridge. After you unpack your goodies, you apply the return shipping label that they provide and put it back outside for them to collect the next day. Our favorite meals and add-ons were the Turkey spinach meatballs in skinny Sunday gravy, Terra Buddha Bowl and their pico de gallo.

Price: It depends on which meals you order, but it's on the pricier side. Meals range from $9.99-$16.99/serving.

Pros: You can choose any number of meals you'd like and add on items as you please until your mini-fridge is full. I love that everything is already chopped and prepped making the meals quicker and easier to prepare. There are over 50 meals to choose from every time, and lots of add-on items.

Cons: They add a new meal every once in awhile, but other than that meals don't change much week to week. At the price, I really wanted the meals to taste better, but they were a bit bland and boring. The sides and other add-ons, though very convenient, were also very expensive.

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Purple Carrot is a completely plant-based, vegan meal delivery service. It offers three different plan types: 2 person/3 meals, 4 person/2 meals and the TB12 2 person/3 meal plan that was designed by Tom Brady. This plan is higher in protein and gluten free. You don't get as much choice with this service, but I've never had such delicious, healthy and unique meals. We consider ourselves adventurous eaters, but we definitely learned a thing or two with this service. If you're someone who enjoys cooking and sees the art in food, than this is the service for you. All of the meals were great, but we especially loved the Pumpkin fettuccine alfredo, Mapo tofu, Mustard green and edamame dumplings and the Buffalo tempeh tacos.

Price: $72-2 person/3 meals, $80-4 person/2 meals and $78 for the TB12 2 person/3 meal plan

Pros: I loved all of the tasty meals we made and they were fun and educational to prepare. The kids enjoyed the meals and I think it expanded their palates and opened them up to different foods. We used tons of vegetables and got to try international and vegan ingredients that were brand new to us like cashew cheese, fermented bean paste, berbere spice and chickpea flour. The meals were seasoned really well and had lots of great flavors!

Cons: I thought the meals were a bit time-consuming for busy families. Also, some of the things we loved about Purple Carrot like the new ingredients, cooking techniques and bold flavors could be overwhelming for people who don't love to cook or who aren't adventurous eaters. Though the meals are full of clean food, they are not low calorie, ranging from 500-800 calories per serving.

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Green Chef has six different plan types to choose from: Paleo, Vegan, Omnivore, Vegetarian, Carnivore and Gluten-Free and two different box types: 2 person/3 meals a week or 4 person/2 meals a week. 100% of their ingredients are organic. We chose the Omnivore, 2-person plan, which provided three meals, usually two vegetarian and one seafood. Overall, this was the most expensive service, but it was our favorite. I don't think there was anything we made that wasn't delicious. Our favorites were the Lemon Pepper Tuna Orzo and the Creamy Carrot Risotto.

Price: Prices are slightly different depending on which plan you choose but range between $63-$90 for the two person, three weekly meal box and $83-$129 for the four person, two weekly meal box. Vegetarian boxes were the cheapest and Paleo boxes were the most expensive.

Pros: They offer completely organic ingredients and lots of choices in meal plans. You can change your plan at any time. There was so much variety in cuisine types and I got to work with ingredients that I'd never tried before. The seafood seemed really fresh. The recipes were quick and really easy to follow. All of the ingredients had color coordinated stickers matching the recipe cards to show you which meal they went with. The chopped ingredients and sauces came in really cute reusable containers that are great for packing lunches. Most importantly, the food was delicious. We never had a bad meal using this service.

Cons: At over $80/week it's the most expensive service.

There was a lot to love about these delivery services. You definitely pay for the convenience of them, but if you're someone who wants to eat healthy and eat well, and you're not living on a strict budget, than these services are worth the cost. Purple Carrot and Green Chef, in particular, are so deliciously splurge-worthy. Gift cards for these boxes would also make great gifts for the amateur chefs in your life. The holidays will be here before we know it ladies! *cringe*

I also wanted to share how easy it was to pause or cancel the services when we needed to save, and how easy it would be to rejoin when we're able They've already been sending me emails with coupons and photos of what they have cooking right now. Lord, give this foodie strength!

Happy Eating, Ladies!

♥ Erin

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