Meal-kit delivery services, such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron, existed before the need for social distancing. However, now that the novel coronavirus has locked consumers in their homes with a fear of the outside and a boat-load of binge-worthy TV to watch, the need to use these services has become more compelling.

Think about it. A box full of ready-to-cook meals comes to your house every week. All you have to do is select the contents and pay a subscription fee. You have to prepare the meals, too, but a lot of them can be made in 30 to 45 minutes, which is as long as one episode of most shows.

What Are Meal-Kit Delivery Services?

Over the last several years, meal-kit delivery services have sprung up like mushrooms after a rainy day. From budget to organic, from pre-chopped to from-scratch, the choices are abundant.

All of these meal-kit providers are similar in what they do. With a subscription, you set up a meal plan for the number of people and meals per week and view a list of recipes to choose from weekly. You can select vegetarian options, seafood, gluten-free, quick prep time and others. In some cases, you’ll even find recipes by celebrity chefs as a choice.

You can pre-plan meals for up to a month in advance and pause a delivery any time you want if you’re out of town or don’t like the recipes listed for that particular week.

When the box with the fresh ingredients arrives, everything is separated by meal, is easy to store in a fridge, and you get the exact amount of sauces, spices and oils needed for each dinner. Gone are the days of buying a full bottle of pepperolio oil (what even is that?) for a single drizzle only to shove it in the back of a kitchen cabinet and never use it again.

The easy-to-follow recipe cards included with every box help you stay on course and re-create a meal from the professionally taken photo.

Although all the main ingredients necessary to cook a meal are included in the box, you need to keep some basic supplies, such as salt and olive oil, on hand.

The Pros and Cons of Meal-Kit Delivery Services

As with anything, meal-kit delivery platforms have their pros and cons.


  • You eliminate person-to-person contact by not going to the grocery store.
  • It’s convenient and saves time.
  • The ingredients are pre-portioned, and you have no more and no less than what you need to make a meal, which helps reduce food waste.
  • It expands your culinary knowledge as you cook things you normally wouldn’t.


  • If you forget to skip a week, your card is automatically charged and you’re locked into pre-selected meals.
  • Ingredients, such as condiments and spices, are wrapped individually, so you end up with a lot of inorganic waste.
  • Over time, you’ll find variants of the same recipes, which can get boring. (I can’t tell you how many burger recipes alone I have saved over the years.)

The following companies send pre-packaged groceries to your doorstep every week.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Blue Apron operates in the United States exclusively and provides a dozen ready-to-make recipes for your weekly meal options. Signature and vegetarian meals are available at the following rates:

  • $39.96 for two meals for two people
  • $59.94 for three meals for two people
  • $71.92 for two meals for four people
  • $95.88 for three meals for four people
  • $119.84 for four meals for four people
  • Shipping: $7.99 for two meals for two people, free with all other plans

Depending on where you live, you can also participate in Blue Apron’s wine program and receive bottles of wine from acclaimed vineyards to pair with your meal selections.

Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest specializes in delivering organic fruits and veggies to your door to help you create healthy and nourishing snacks. Think smoothies, harvest bowls, chia parfaits, soups and bites to replace convenient food with nutritious food.

Daily Harvest measures out ingredients for single-portion cups. All you have to do is add milk or water and blend or heat the contents of each cup. Choose a number of items and the delivery frequency that works for you.

  • $47.94 for six cups per week
  • $69.75 for nine cups per week
  • $89.88 for 12 cups per week
  • $167.76 for 24 cups per week/month
  • Shipping: free

The company ships its superfood-packed items to the contiguous 48 states only.



Starting at $4.49 per meal per person, Dinnerly meal kits are the most affordable. Sixteen recipes, including lunch and desserts on special occasions, are available on the weekly menu.

  • $29.94 for three meals for two people
  • $39.12 for four meals for two people
  • $47.90 for five meals for two people
  • $59.88 for three meals for four people
  • $75.04 for four meals for four people
  • $89.80 for five meals for four people
  • Shipping: $8.99

To be able to offer meals at such low prices, Dinnerly doesn’t cut corners when it comes to the quality of ingredients. Instead, it ships fewer ingredients per meal and provides digital recipe cards instead of physical ones.


Similar to Dinnerly, EveryPlate’s cost is competitive with meals as cheap as $4.99 per serving. The company also uses fewer ingredients per dish to keep its costs low. Recipe cards are included, though.

  • $29.94 for three meals for two people
  • $39.92 for four meals for two people
  • $49.90 for five meals for two people
  • $59.88 for three meals for four people
  • Shipping: $8.99

EveryPlate says that 100% of its packaging is curbside recyclable.


Do you live alone and hate eating leftovers? Or perhaps you and your spouse/roommate have different palates? Freshly offers a great solution by providing a menu containing single-serving meals.

The great thing about this delivery service is that you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen for an hour to make a meal for one. The meals come ready to heat in the microwave, in a skillet or in an oven. Think of it as a fancier and healthier version of a TV dinner.

Their pricing is a little different than what other services offer.

  • $46 for four single-serving meals
  • $53.94 for six single-serving meals
  • $80.91 for nine single-serving meals
  • $95.88 for 12 single-serving meals
  • Shipping: charges apply at checkout

Choose from a 30+ rotation of recipes. You can set your dietary preferences, but all Freshly meals are gluten- and peanut-free.


Gobble is designed to save you time in the kitchen. The veggies arrive peeled and chopped, and the sauces come measured and mixed. Supposedly, you can get dinner on the table in 15 minutes. It’s a great option for working professionals with little time or energy to cook.

The pricing is comparable to many popular meal-kit delivery services.

  • $55.96 for two meals for two people
  • $71.94 for three meals for two people
  • $143.88 for three meals for four people
  • Shipping: $6.99

When you don’t want dinner to take too long but don’t want to order takeout once again, Gobble can solve both problems by saving you time and sending a homemade dinner.

Green Chef

Green Chef offers meals for customers who live a diet-specific lifestyle and follow keto, paleo or plant-powered diets. Family plans and balanced-living plans are also available. Green Chef is a certified organic company that uses non-GMO ingredients.

The pricing varies based on the type of diet you choose.

  • $77.94 for three keto meals for two people
  • $77.94 for three paleo meals for two people
  • $71.94 for three balanced-living meals for two people
  • $71.94 for three plant-powered meals for two people
  • $87.92 for two family meals for four people
  • Shipping: $7.99

If the goal is to follow a certain nutritional regimen without having to plan every meal on your own, Green Chef provides relief when it comes to cooking flavorful meals and staying within specific dietary restrictions.



Headquartered in Berlin, HelloFresh is the biggest meal-kit provider in the United States, but it also operates in Europe. Meat and veggies, vegetarian and low-calorie meals are available. Select your meal choices from 20 available recipes at the following prices:

  • $53.94 for three meals for two people
  • $71.92 for four meals for two people
  • $71.92 for two meals for four people
  • $89.88 for three meals for four people
  • Shipping: $7.99

It’s also possible to add premium recipes to your weekly delivery by paying extra $4.99 to $7.99 per serving.

Home Chef


Home Chef

Based in Chicago, Home Chef delivers 3 million meals to U.S. subscribers monthly. Choose your menu from about a dozen meals every week. Add protein packs consisting of chicken, beef and seafood to double up on your meat intake.

Meals start at $6.99 per serving, but a customization option that lets you swap your protein choice changes the cost in the end.

  • $39.80 for two meals for two people
  • $59.70 for three meals for two people
  • $79.60 for four meals for two people
  • $79.60 for two meals for four people
  • $119.40 for three meals for four people
  • Shipping: free for orders of $40 or more

Home Chef also sells its oven-ready and lunch meal kits at Kroger grocery stores, such as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Smith’s and others.

Marley Spoon

Martha & Marley Spoon Meal Kit

Marley Spoon is Martha Stewart’s take on meal kits. Choose from 22 meals in five categories every week: Health & Diet, Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, Under 30 Minutes, and Family-Friendly.

The pricing is as follows:

  • $41 for two meals for two people
  • $53.94 for three meals for two people
  • $67.92 for four meals for two people
  • $67.92 for two meals for four people
  • $89.88 for three meals for four people
  • $111.84 for four meals for four people
  • Shipping: $8.99

The recipes that come in a Marley Spoon box aren’t for a novice cook, so expect a bit more prep and cleanup time. The company ships to Australia, Europe and the United States (except Alaska and Hawaii).

Purple Carrot

For the vegans out there, Purple Carrot provides plant-based meals “so delicious, even a meat-eater would love ’em,” according to the company’s website.

Choose a meal plan from eight dinners, two breakfasts and two lunch options every week. Two plan sizes are available:

  • $71.94 for three meals per week for two people
  • $79.92 for two or three meals for four people
  • Shipping: free

Purple Carrot works with farmers across the country to deliver mostly organic non-produce items, such as tofu and vegan cheese, but not all ingredients are organic because of sourcing constraints.

Revive Superfoods

Revive Superfoods delivers ready-to-blend smoothies, oats and acai bowls to your kitchen. Filter your choices by ingredients, pick your cups, delivery day and add a liquid to a frozen cup when ready to consume.

All ingredients are paleo/vegan friendly and gluten/dairy free. You can select a monthly plan or a weekly plan.

  • $51.75 for nine cups per week
  • $65.88 for 12 cups per week/month
  • $119.76 for 24 cups per week/month
  • Shipping: free

Shipments are made in the United States and Canada (with the exception of select ZIP codes).

Sakara Life

Embraced by celebrities, such as Chrissy Teigen and Gwyneth Paltrow, New York-based Saka Life specializes in plant-based organic ready-to-eat meals delivered to your home.

Select your own program based on how many meals per day you want (breakfast, lunch and dinner), program length (two to five days) and whether you want recurring weekly deliveries or just get a taste of Sakara Life one time. Shipments also include extras, such as detox tea and protein bars.

If you choose three meals per day with a weekly subscription, the pricing comes out to be as follows (tested with a Utah ZIP code).

  • $169 for two days per week
  • $239 for three days per week
  • $420 for five days per week
  • Shipping: varies

The pricing seems to depend on the ZIP code to where the meals are shipped, so your costs may vary. A one-time program costs more but also offers a selection of 10 days’ and 20 days’ worth of meals. The idea is to change your lifestyle and eat healthy throughout the week.

Sakara Life ships to 48 United States.

Sun Basket

Sun Basket delivers organic produce and seasonal ingredients to your doorstep. The company also provides recyclable or compostable packaging to help reduce inorganic waste.

Multiple meal sizes are available:

  • $65.94 for two meals for two people
  • $71.94 for three meals for two people
  • $87.92 for four meals for two people
  • $103.92 for two meals for four people
  • $143.88 for three meals for four people
  • $175.84 for four meals for four people
  • Shipping: $5.99

Select paleo recipes, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, vegetarian and more. You also can add breakfast and lunch recipes to your meal plan.

Best Credit Cards to Use to Pay for Meal-Kit Deliveries

The good news is that many of these meal-kit delivery platforms code as groceries. So, we’re going to focus on credit cards that earn a bonus in the grocery category. (Please let us know in the comments if any of these delivery services you used have a different merchant code.)

American Express® Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets (limited to $25,000 spent per year, 1x thereafter). It’s a broad category, and theoretically groceries should be included. We have cross-referenced a few meal-kit delivery services with AwardWallet’s merchant lookup tool, and it appears that they do, indeed, code as supermarkets with the Amex Gold Card.

The card also earns 4X Membership Rewards on restaurants, so feel free to use it to order takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurants as well.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If cash back is of interest, let us suggest the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express because it earns a whopping 6% back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets in the form of statement credits (on the first $6,000 per year, 1% back thereafter). It also earns 6% on streaming services, which is also a major category in the days of hunkering down. Perhaps not as relevant now, but transit and purchases at gas stations earn 3% back plus 1% on all other spending.

Amex Offers

Make sure to check Amex Offers for potential savings or rewards earning opportunities. Amex Offers are available to all American Express cardmembers and offer discounts on purchases with specific merchants. Enrollment required.

Meal-kit delivery services have appeared on the list of Amex Offers advertising either a monetary discount or bonus points. To receive the bonus, make sure to enroll in the offer with your Amex card and then use the same card to pay for a purchase. If you meet the offer requirements, you’ll receive the discount or the bonus points.

Final Thoughts

Other than 2020, don’t you just love the 21st century? You can tap a couple of buttons and get anything delivered to your door: medications, restaurant meals, groceries and even wine (unless you live in Alabama, Oklahoma or Utah). Why not take advantage of these technological advancements and help reduce the rate of the coronavirus infection? The less contact we have with other people now, the sooner we can all travel using credit-card rewards again.