I recently googled “what meal subscription box is right for me?” because adulthood is already filled with more decisions than I can handle. The internet gifted my search query with lengthy sponsored posts and pictures of perfectly executed recipes that I could never replicate in my kitchen. (Side note: If you can julienne a bell pepper and you’re not a professional chef, I probably don’t trust you.)

Since the internet wouldn’t tell me how to live, I decided to sample each service and provide descriptions of what each box has to offer, and why you might like it. With so many meal kit solutions out there, and so few hours in the day, who has time to do any in-depth research? So here’s my conclusive, but abbreviated guide to finding the right meal subscription box for you.

Blue Apron

What’s their deal?
Highly-customized, flex meal plan that places a serious emphasis on using sustainably sourced, non-GMO ingredients, and fully transparent food harvesting processes. Each recipe basically comes with the entire life history of your honeynut squash. Their recipes are innovative and diverse, but not completely foolproof. Unlike other meal kits, Blue Apron doesn’t separate their ingredients by meal/recipe–a very minor inconvenience, but worth noting.  

Why you might like them:
If you’re looking for a meal-kit that makes you feel like an expert in the kitchen, this might just be your best bet. My friends were definitely impressed when I told them I was making a Ratatouille Tart–just a simple Provencal dish, NBD.

Cost for cheapest plan option: $59.94 (3 meals for 2 people)

HelloFresh

What’s their deal?
A flex subscription service that sends weekly recipes and ingredients to your doorstep.  They offer low-calorie, vegetarian, and classic meal plans with the option to pre-select the meals being sent. (I personally love a surprise box. It feels like you’re on an episode of Chopped, but you always win.)

Why you might like them.
HelloFresh recipes are flavorful, and generally easy-to-make. You won’t be winning any points for serving up the most innovative or diet-friendly dish, but the process was pretty seamless and very “I can do this after a long day at work” friendly. Bonus points for sustainable packaging and innovative ways to keep ingredients insulated.

Cost for cheapest plan option: $69 (3 meals for 2 people)

Purple Carrot

What’s their deal?
A plant-based, vegan subscription box, that was actually enjoyed by a non-vegan person. Unlike other meal kits, Purple Carrot doesn’t give users the option to swap out meals which worked for me since each recipe seemed vegetable-y and foreign. Purple Carrot recipes provide innovative ways for you to eat more plants that are designed to taste like your favorite animal products. It should be noted that Purple Carrot meals, albeit plant-based, are typically higher in calories per serving than other kits.

Why you might like them:
The recipes were extremely creative and delicious. Who knew you could make Portobello mushroom taste like pork? Aside from being amazed by the food sorcery, I was also impressed with how full I felt, and how I occasionally had leftovers to enjoy later.

Cost for cheapest plan option: $72 (3 meals for 2 people)

Thistle

What’s their deal?
A plant-based, meal subscription service that I discovered because I almost tripped over my neighbor’s black delivery bag one morning. Thistle seemingly edges out the competition in health with meals that are dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, and filled with superfoods and produce that I’ve never heard of (that’s how I judge how healthy something is). Thistle also offers delicious cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, breakfast items, and healthy snacks that you can add on as you please. Please note, this is not an at-home cooking kit. Thistle offers pre-made healthy meals delivered to your door (no chef skills required).

Why you might like them:
This service is the most convenient, as meals arrive at your door, ready for consumption. All the dishes were genuinely delicious, and the plan fit conveniently into my busy lifestyle (of watching tv for hours after work). Meals are generally at a higher price point individually than other meal boxes, but think of all the extra time you’ll have. I did kind of miss that sense of accomplishment you feel when you curate your own meal, but who am I kidding, I never wanted to learn how to poach an egg anyway. Bonus points for Thistle because it was the only meal plan that didn’t make me feel like I needed to be in a relationship to order a box.

Cost for cheapest plan option: $41.97 (3 meals for 1 person)

Leave us a comment below with your favorite meal subscription box or one that you’d like us to try. Don’t forget to download the Slice App for your Apple or Android device. Slice can give you a full view of your online orders–so you’ll know if your box of perishable food has arrived!

 

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