Stuck-at-Home Guide

Stuck at Home Guide: Meal Delivery Online

Since many restaurant dining rooms are still closed, and grocery shopping and meal planning are unappealing to many people, meal delivery services have surged in popularity for the convenience they offer. You have three main choices: restaurant delivery, cooked-meal delivery or meal-kit delivery, which includes all ingredients and detailed recipe cards. Let’s compare them by looking at the market leader in each category.

GrubHub

  • Restaurant delivery and pickup from over 400,000 independent and chain restaurants in over 4,000 cities of many sizes; national reach in all 50 states.
  • Delivery fee (varies, but “usually not more than a few dollars,” a spokesman says), no plan required. To get free unlimited delivery of orders over $12 and rewards, join GH+ at $9.99 per month. (You can cancel anytime.)
  • Options: To find restaurants near you, type in your zipcode. You can search by cuisine type (Chinese, Mexican, healthy etc.), restaurant name, menu item or “most popular near you”, and see menu item descriptions, most popular orders, reviews, average delivery time, ratings for food quality and on-time delivery and map location.
  • Pick an item, then type your address to see if they deliver to it.
  • Cost is consistent with restaurant delivery/takeout menus.
  • Discounts may be available: download its Perks app to your mobile device for more rewards and free offers. Re-ordering past orders or scheduling delivery hours or days in advance is easy with Perks.

Freshly

  • Healthy meals cooked by Freshly’s chefs and nutritionists in its own big kitchens in New Jersey, Arizona and Maryland. National, except for Hawaii and Alaska. 
  • Costs: Weekly subscription required. Plans range from four meals per week for one person ($46, $11.50 per meal) to 12 meals per week, ideal for 3-4 people ($95.88, $7.99 each), shipping included. You can skip weeks by your weekly deadline, and cancel anytime.
  • Options: Rotating choice of over 30 meals are available each week. Pick from categories like Home Bistro  for dishes like steak peppercorn and chicken cacciatore, Takeout Twist (chicken tikka masala, cashew-coconut chicken etc.) and One-Bowl Nourishers (almond-ginger chicken bowl etc.). No vegetarian or seafood meals. All meals feature vegetables;  chicken is prominent.
  • Re-heat meals (not frozen, but packed between ice packs) in a microwave.
  • Meals average 500 calories, but can range from 300-650.
  • Discounts to customers are often offered, and also often listed on its Facebook page or website.
  • First shipment (meals for entire week) arrives about a week after sign-up. Different regions of U.S. have different delivery days.    

HelloFresh

  • Meal-kits featuring high-quality ingredients and sustainably-sourced seafood prepared in its distribution centers in New Jersey, California and Texas. National, all 50 states (and 13 countries).
  • Costs: Weekly subscription required. Plans range from 3-5 recipes for 2 or 4 people per week (starting at 3 recipes for 2 people at $8.99 per serving, plus $7.99 shipping). If you’re solo, you have leftovers. You can skip weeks by your weekly deadline, and cancel anytime.
  • Options: Rotating choice of 20 easy-to-follow recipes per week. Pick from 4 categories: Vegetarian (dishes like sweet potato fajitas with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and sour cream), Meat and Vegetables (parmesan-crust chicken with lemon-tomato spaghetti, sweet chili pork bowl with bell pepper and peanuts etc.), Low-Calorie (hot honey chicken with BBQ roast potatoes and broccoli etc.) and Family-Friendly.
  • Over 2,500 recipes are available. To read in advance, click Recipes at page bottom. Helpful notes note utensils you need, if spicy or one-pot, cooking time (30 minutes is average), level of difficulty and customer ratings. Search by most popular, gourmet, quick, ingredient, one-pot or difficulty level. 
  • $60 discount for first-time subscribers, free shipping included.
  • For lower prices and fewer ingredients, $4.99 per serving plus shipping, HelloFresh owns EveryPlate.

Photo:Dan Gold for Unsplash

COMMENTS

3 responses to “Stuck at Home Guide: Meal Delivery Online

  1. I like to order directly from my local restaurants. Restaurants must pay high fees to services like GrubHub and often end up with very little money for their efforts. And again, because of the delivery fees, people often tip less to the brave souls delivering our food.

  2. I’ve used meals from gobble.com. They provide all the fixings and you fix it–some sautéing on top of the stove, some baking or roasting in the stove. Doesn’t take long but it is prep–careful clear instructions, nice variety and interesting vegetables. 11.99 per meal for 3 meals x 2 delivered once a week, plus shipping. I think it’s 6.99 or 7.99. You could alternatively have 2 meals x 2 people delivered once a week but the price per meal goes up.

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