CommercialNutritionParent Topic: NutritionProduct: Meal ServiceRoundups

The 8 Best Meal Delivery Services of 2023

No matter your fitness goals — muscle gain, simple maintenance, weight loss, etc. — having your nutrition dialed in is a must. Unfortunately, though, finding the time to shop for your groceries can be harder than your last workout. The best meal delivery services can help, bringing all your ingredients and meals directly to your doorstep for more convenient meal prepping. Additionally, these kits and packages can make it easier to follow along with specific dietary needs like veganism, pescatarianism, keto, and more.

Peptide Store

Meal delivery services are extremely popular nowadays, meaning there’s no shortage of options to choose from. This abundance can be great for catering to your specific dietary needs, but makes it difficult to find the ideal service from the start. To help ensure your taste for meal delivery services isn’t spoiled prematurely, we got our hands on over 40 flavorful kits, conducted plenty of research, and consulted with outside customer reviews to determine our eight favorite meal delivery options available today.

The 8 Best Meal Delivery Services of 2023

  • Best Meal Delivery Service Overall: Home Chef
  • Best Meal Kit Delivery Service: Sunbasket
  • Best Meal Delivery Service for Families: Hello Fresh
  • Best Value Meal Delivery Service: Dinnerly
  • Best Meal Delivery Service for Variety: Sunbasket
  • Best Organic Meal Delivery Service: Green Chef
  • Best Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss: Factor 75
  • Best Vegan Meal Delivery Service: Purple Carrot

How We Tested

The BarBend team is made up of competitive athletes, certified personal trainers, and lifelong fitness enthusiasts. We’re constantly looking to make our daily schedules more efficient as we balance work, training, sleep, social lives, and (of course) proper nutrition, so we understand how beneficial a meal delivery service can be. 

For this round-up, we tested 42 different platforms, taking a close look at each offered menu as it related to our daily dietary needs. We compared how robust each service’s menu was in terms of offered dishes, because let’s face it — eating the same meal over and over can quickly lead to flavor fatigue. We also examined how supportive these services could be for other dietary restrictions like plant-based or low-carb requirements.

IGF-1 lr3

Delivery range and frequency were also researched for this guide. We wanted to ensure that the platforms were capable of keeping our fridges stocked for a week’s worth of eating, and where the meals could actually be sent to our doorsteps in the first place.

Finally, meal delivery services can be more convenient than your typical trip to the grocery store, but that relies on how expensive the service is on a per meal basis. Prices for the average meal were closely compared to help you better weigh the pros and cons associated with this nutritional outlet. 

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. 

Best Meal Delivery Service Overall: Home Chef

Home Chef

Home Chef

Home Chef

A nationwide meal kit service with bold flavors, a diverse menu, and easy-to-follow recipes. Meals are also sortable by dietary restrictions and preferences.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $9.99
  • Type: Meal Kit or Prepared
  • Meals Per Week: Up to Six
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious, Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Smart


  • The menu updates weekly with new meal options to prevent flavor fatigue.
  • Home Chef boasts multiple meal styles from full prep kits to microwave-ready dishes.
  • Orders can accommodate up to six people, which can be great for families.


  • Meal options may be too limited for athletes with strict dietary needs.
  • The subscription-based service isn’t for all athletes, but you can skip or cancel anytime.
  • Our tester noted occasional issues with produce freshness.

Thanks to a robust menu that rotates weekly with new offerings, reasonable prices, and the option to choose both prepared or kit dishes, we think Home Chef is the best meal delivery service out there. Meals start at roughly $10 per serving, according to the brand, and adjust depending on the week’s availability as well as the size of your order. 

Plus, Home Chef caters to a number of dietary needs — the company has you pick between preferences such as Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious, Keto-Friendly, and Gluten-Smart at your initial sign-up. Each recipe also has detailed breakdowns of its nutritional content, which our tester found to be helpful when calculating their macronutrients

The box for Home Chef meals
Home Chef Delivery Box

Admittedly, though, determining your macro splits with a given meal can be a challenge, as the nutritional info is only available online. This can make it difficult to choose between your ordered meals when trying to decide on a dish in the moment.

Additionally, the options are more general, so those following strict diets like Paleo or keto may reach the end of their available dishes more easily than others. We were only able to locate six meals across the weekly menu marked as “keto-friendly,” for example.

From a preparation standpoint, we appreciate the simplicity of Home Chef, as there’s an option for almost any schedule. The brand offers classic meal kits that, according to our tester, take between 25 and 30 minutes. There are also “Oven-Ready,” and “Fast and Fresh” meals that take just a few minutes to assemble before being heated up in the oven or microwave. We also appreciate how you can mix in these meals with your weekly order, giving you a little wiggle room to plan your nutrition when you know your upcoming schedule will be hectic or busy.

Home Chef is a subscription service, so be prepared to routinely check your orders before your meals get sent out. This may be less ideal for some budgets, especially if you’re forgetful when it comes to managing upcoming orders. Thankfully, though, our tester noted that you can skip weekly purchases easily when needed.

Read our full Home Chef Review.

Best Meal Kit Delivery Service: Sunbasket



Sunbasket’s meal delivery service can be excellent for a wide range of dietary needs, including Paleo, vegetarian, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, and more. Meal kits and prepared dishes are available with the platform, allowing you to cater your prep time to your schedule with ease.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $10
  • Type: Meal Kit or Prepared
  • Meals Per Week: Four
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States excluding Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico
  • Diets Available: Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Carb-Conscious, Keto-Friendly, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly, Pescatarian


  • The meal kits come pre-portioned and take between 20 and 30 minutes to prepare.
  • The service offers a la carte options for breakfast, snacks, grab-and-go lunches, and specialty meats.
  • Sunbasket caters to a variety of diets, including Paleo, gluten-free, and diabetes-friendly.


  • You can only order up to four meals per week with this meal delivery service.
  • Our tester noted that portions can be on the smaller side.
  • Sunbasket’s delivery range is smaller than other meal delivery services we tested.

Sunbasket earns its spot within this round-up thanks to its impressive meal variety of roughly 20 weekly offerings. We appreciate the robust menu that caters to a wide range of diets, too, including gluten-free and diabetes-friendly. According to our tester, the individual ingredients are packaged neatly, and the pre-portioned makeup makes getting into a recipe a breeze. With an average cooking time of roughly 30 minutes, meals can go from doorstep to dinner table quickly.

We also appreciate how Sunbasket offers “Fresh and Ready” meals as well as pre-portioned kits. These can be great solutions for those time-crunched evenings when you don’t have time to prepare a hearty dish. These meal options can also be great for athletes that have fewer kitchen tools at their disposal — normal meal kits will require some common essentials like bowls, cutting boards, knives, spatulas, and other kitchenware.

Taste wise, our tester noted that the Sunbasket meals were solid but not fantastic. They often needed to doctor their servings with added spices and sauces. Of course, every palette is different, so take our feedback with a grain of salt (or maybe have some tableside in case of emergency).

Sunbasket Appearance
Sunbasket Appearance

The one callout we do have, though, relates to the portion size. Sunbasket’s meals are smaller than others our tester had at their disposal. The portions left them still hungry post-meal on a handful of occasions. This can be a problem for high-intensity athletes that need a high caloric count to fuel their training and performance. 

Additionally, your orders are capped at four meals per week, so if you need the extra intake, you may need to add some extra servings or choose from the brand’s a la carte offerings of breakfast, snacks, grab-and-go lunch options, and specialty meats. Both of these alternatives will up your final price, though, so be sure your budget is able to accommodate.

Read our full Sunbasket Review.

Best Meal Delivery Service for Families: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

This meal delivery service can be great for families thanks to over 100 rotating meal and market offerings as well as the ability to receive up to eight meals per week. Recipes are simple to follow, and cleanup is typically kept to just a handful of kitchenware.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $7.49
  • Type: Meal Kit
  • Meals Per Week: Up to Eight
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Vegetarian, Fit and Wholesome, Pescatarian


  • The recipe cards are easy to follow and can make for a great family activity.
  • There are over 100 meal and market options weekly for a great sense of variety.
  • Most meals only require one or two bowls for prep, making cleanup a simple chore.


  • There aren’t a ton of meal options catering to specific dietary needs such as gluten-free.
  • Some customer reviews have noted smaller portions than desired.
  • Our tester said their produce freshness was inconsistent from order to order.

If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that caters to your entire family, we recommend Hello Fresh. The weekly offerings total over 100 meal and market items, which is great for pleasing every palette in your house. Additionally, we love how simple and intuitive the recipe cards are during preparation — they’re so easy, according to our tester, that even your children can get in on the cooking without difficulty.

Hello Fresh also earns our praise because of the limited cleanup we experienced in testing. Our tester noted that most meals required just a bowl or two (and some minimal kitchenware) for prep, which kept more time post-meal reserved for family engagement.

Despite the name, though, our tester did state that freshness wasn’t as consistent as they’d prefer. While no issues arose with dairy or meat ingredients, produce was sometimes lackluster with soft bits or wilted leaves. Plus, some meal kits arrived with melted ice packs and crumpled boxes, but we attribute this more so to the delivery services that vary from area to area.

Hello Fresh Meal Prepared
Hello Fresh Meal Prepared

Hello Fresh has multiple meal kit subscriptions, allowing you to order up to eight meals per week. You have a handful of options for plant-based and seafood-rich dishes, but athletes needing more restricted plates, like those catering to gluten or soy allergies, may be left with less variety. Additionally, our tester noted that portion sizes can seem small in some dishes leading to some lingering post-meal hunger, but their stomach adjusted to the sizing over time. They attributed this to their tendency for over-eating before starting with the service, as well.

Lastly, Hello Fresh is a subscription-based service, so you’ll need to plan for weekly check-ins with your orders. You do have the option to skip shipments weekly, and swapping out certain proteins or adding meals is fairly easy. Overall, Hello Fresh can be a great way to keep your entire family’s nutrition in-check as they learn to enjoy the benefits of a home-cooked meal. (1)

Read our full Hello Fresh Review.

Best Value Meal Delivery Service: Dinnerly




With meals starting at just $4.99 per serving, Dinnerly can be a great meal delivery service for athletes on a budget. Preparation is kept simple with five-step recipes, and there are even ready-made options for those particularly time-crunched evenings.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $4.99
  • Type: Meal Kit or Prepared
  • Meals Per Week: Up to Six
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Vegetarian, Vegan, Low-Carb


  • Meals start at just $4.99 per dish — one of the cheapest services we found in testing.
  • Preparation can take five steps or less for added efficiency and convenience.
  • Dinnerly can cater to multiple dietary needs, including gluten-free and dairy-free.


  • You need to have the web page or app open to follow along with recipes during prep.
  • The taste was underwhelming for our tester, who compared the flavors to a TV dinner. 
  • Our tester said that ingredients weren’t separated as neatly as other meal delivery services.

Meal delivery services can often be more affordable than your weekly trips to the grocery store, especially when you factor in the time savings. However, certain platforms really lean into that budget-friendly aesthetic, including Dinnerly. Meals can start at just $4.99 and fluctuate according to your tastes and meal quantities per week. Plus, there are options for meal kits and prepared meals alike, giving you a little variety when it comes to actually getting your dishes to the dinner table.

We also appreciate how Dinnerly keeps preparation simple with its recipes. According to the brand, the instructions routinely house just five steps — a great option for those less versed in cooking or those routinely on a time crunch. Our tester did note, though, that the meal kits don’t come with physical recipe cards, so you’ll need to have your laptop or smartphone handy to follow along with the instructions during prep.

Dinnerly’s menu has a wide array of options with over 100 recipes to choose from on a weekly basis. We enjoyed this variety in testing, and especially liked how the brand offers meals that cater to specific dietary restrictions. We were able to find gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-calorie options when building out our weekly orders.

Speaking of shipping, our tester had no issues with packaging, but did note that ingredients aren’t separated as neatly as other meal delivery services. The meats and dairy items were individually wrapped, but produce was sort of placed into the box without any rhyme or reason. It wasn’t a big issue in testing, but it does require a little more attention when unboxing your kit before dinner.

Lastly, the tastes of Dinnerly meals range from good to mediocre, according to our tester. The fresh ingredients cooked up nicely for a flavorful end result, but the prepared meals seemed to resemble that of a TV dinner more often than not. Edible, yes, but not the most flavor-packed offering we found during our trials.

Best Meal Delivery Service for Variety: Sunbasket




Sunbasket’s meal delivery service can be excellent for a wide range of dietary needs, including Paleo, vegetarian, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, and more. Meal kits and prepared dishes are available with the platform, allowing you to cater your prep time to your schedule with ease.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $10
  • Type: Meal Kit or Prepared
  • Meals Per Week: Four
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States excluding Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico
  • Diets Available: Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Carb-Conscious, Keto-Friendly, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly, Pescatarian


  • Each weekly menu has over two dozen options catering to a variety of dietary needs.
  • Sunbasket offers both meal kits and prepared dishes for added convenience.
  • You can round out your nutrition plan with a la carte options for breakfast, snacks, grab-and-go lunches, and specialty meats.


  • We found that portion sizes are smaller than other meal delivery services.
  • Your orders are capped at four meals per week.
  • Our tester did experience some mishaps with packaging that led to spoiled ingredients.

If you value variety in your weekly meals, it’s difficult to beat Sunbasket’s menu. Each week, you’re given a list of 24 flavorful dishes that cater to a wide array of diets. We’ve found Sunbasket meals listed as diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, plant-based, Mediterranean, and more.

Starting at $10 per meal, Sunbasket is right on par with other platforms. You also have the option to add a la carte items to your order for breakfasts, snacks, side dishes, and grab-and-go lunches. This can help keep you fueled throughout the day with tasty, nutritional treats (albeit at an added cost).

Sunbasket offers both meal kits and prepared dishes, so you get to choose how much time you spend preparing dinner. We like the convenience of the ready-made meals, but the kits are easy enough to cook, too, according to our tester. Depending on your meal choice, you can expect to spend between five and 30 minutes in prep.

From a quality perspective, our tester said that most of the fresh ingredients came neatly packaged, but there were instances of compromised seals. For example, they once noticed that a meat portion had a broken vacuum seal, which caused the ingredient to spoil prematurely. Shipping perishables is a difficult practice, understandably, but we’d like to see a little more quality control to ensure our purchases aren’t lost entirely before the first bite.

Finally, Sunbasket can be an excellent choice for adventurous eaters who enjoy expanding their palette with new dishes, but the service has a smaller delivery range than other meal delivery platforms. According to the brand, Sunbasket is unavailable in Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico. Before signing up for the service, be sure to confirm that your meals can actually make it to your doorstep.

Best Organic Meal Delivery Service: Green Chef

Green Chef

Green Chef

Green Chef

Green Chef’s weekly array of over 80 meal and market options are all composed of organic ingredients. Additionally, this meal delivery service can be a clean, enjoyable platform for athletes following Mediterranean, plant-based, keto, or gluten-free diets.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $11.99
  • Type: Meal Kit
  • Meals Per Week: Up to Four
  • Delivery Range: Most of the Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Mediterranean, Plant-Based, Protein-Packed, Keto, Gluten-Free


  • This meal service includes all organic ingredients and prioritizes locally-sourced goods.
  • There are over 80 meal and market options that rotate weekly.
  • The meal kits include physical recipe cards that can be great for making future dishes.


  • You need to pay for your subscription before choosing your meals for the week.
  • Orders are limited to four meals per week, which may not be ideal for larger families.
  • Our tester said that portions are on the smaller side.

For athletes wanting to fuel their performance with all-organic ingredients and meals, Green Chef is right up your alley. Prices start at $11.99 per meal, which is a good price given the organic quality of ingredients on display with each offering.

We also appreciate how Green Chef includes physical recipe cards for each meal. Not only does this keep prep simple with easy-to-follow instructions, but the cards can be saved for future dinners and can be used whenever you’d like. Think of it as a tasty way to build your own personal cookbook. The recipe cards also showcase the meal’s nutritional breakdown, making it easy to count macros and calories with each serving.

Our tester enjoyed the variety of Green Chef meals, and there are dishes that cater to plant-based, keto, gluten-free, and other dietary restrictions. They did mention, however, that they could easily finish their serving with room for more. If you’re an active athlete that needs larger portions, this may not be the best meal delivery service for your needs.

Additionally, Green Chef caps your weekly order to four meals. While this can be enough for an individual or couple, it may not provide enough variety for families. If you need to feed an entire household, you may want to choose a meal delivery service that allows for extra meals.

Best Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss: Factor 75

Factor 75

Factor 75

Factor 75

With convenient microwavable packaging, Factor 75 can be excellent for time-crunched athletes that want to fuel up with worthwhile meals. The nutritional information is clearly printed across each dish, too, which can be great for counting calories and macronutrients.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $12.99
  • Type: Prepared
  • Meals Per Week: Up to 18
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Keto, Flexitarian, Protein-Plus, Vegan and Vegetarian


  • Each meal’s packaging sleeve lists all the nutritional information, making it easy for dieters to count calories and macronutrients.
  • Factor meals are plenty convenient — just vent the top film and microwave.
  • You can order up to 18 meals per week for a full slate of lunches and dinners.


  • Since each meal is prepared for you, there’s little room for customization.
  • The meal format can get repetitive with a protein and side of vegetables and/or grains.
  • Some meals are high in calories and may be less ideal for weight loss.

Weight loss journeys require you to achieve a caloric deficit, which entails ingesting less calories than you burn off throughout the day. (2) Seems simple, but that means you’ll need to keep close tabs on your nutrition to ensure that your numbers are giving you the best chances for slimming down. We love Factor 75 for such needs, as each meal’s nutritional information is clearly written across the packaging.

Factor 75 offers low-calorie meals and ones that work with specific dietary restrictions. We found options as low as 350 calories per dish, along with meals catering to keto, vegan, and vegetarian diets. We do recommend looking at each meal’s calorie count before adding it to your order, though, as our tester noted that some high-protein dishes can include up to 800 calories and beyond.

Factor 75 Nutrition
Factor 75 Nutrition

Factor 75 can be a great option for time-crunched athletes, too, thanks to the convenient microwave-ready packaging. There’s no prep work outside of venting the top film, allowing you to save hours each week while still getting in quality servings.

Our tester also commented on the tastes and flavor variety of Factor 75, dubbing the menu as okay, if a little bland. Naturally, a microwaved meal is not going to be as crisp as a meal prepared with fresh ingredients, but we were surprised at how tasty many of the helpings were once heated. In particular, our tester enjoyed the steak servings, as they still retained that desired pink middle and didn’t turn into shoe leather during heating.

If you’re an athlete that values convenience, Factor 75 is a solid pick for a meal delivery service. Just be sure to have your favorite sauces and spices at the ready. Since your meals are prepared for you, there’s no room for customization — our tester did have to add a little salt and spice on occasion to achieve a taste that suited their palette.

Read our full Factor 75 Review.

Best Vegan Meal Delivery Service: Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot’s menu of meal kits and prepared dishes is 100% plant-based, making it an excellent meal delivery service for vegan and vegetarian athletes. Additionally, the brand offers pantry items and frozen meals for added convenience.


  • Price Per Meal: Starting at $11
  • Type: Meal Kit
  • Meals Per Week: Up to Four
  • Delivery Range: Contiguous United States
  • Diets Available: Vegetarian, Vegan, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free


  • The menu is entirely plant-based with added filters for gluten-free, soy-free, and other dietary restrictions.
  • Purple carrot offers meal kits, prepared dishes, pantry items, and frozen meals.
  • Our tester said that portions were generous, leaving them full after every meal.


  • There are no options for added proteins, meaning flexitarians may be left wanting more.
  • This is one of the most expensive meal delivery services we tested.
  • Our tester noted that recipes sometimes omitted key instructions that could lead to better end results.

Catering your diet to a plant-based format can be tricky at times, especially when trying to find suitable protein alternatives to fuel your training progress. Purple Carrot takes the hassle out of eating clean thanks to its entirely-plant-based menu that offers tasty, filling options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We were really pleased with the variety of over 20 meals offered across the board, which included a good mix of meal kits and prepared dishes.

We also liked how Purple Carrot offers pantry items as well as frozen meals, which can be great for maintaining your plant-based diet throughout the day. Additionally, you can place extra filters for gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and other dietary needs when choosing your meals.

In testing, our tester noted that the included ingredients arrived with plenty of freshness, and they liked how little plastic was used for shipping. When it came time to actually eat the ordered meals, our tester praised the flavors as well as the portions. Despite what you’d think about a plant-based meal, they said every serving was generous and there was little to no hunger post-meal.

Purple Carrot also includes recipe cards with each meal kit, but we think the instructions may be too simplified when it comes to certain dishes. For example, our tester noted that a tofu-based recipe didn’t include a step to pat dry the tofu before cooking. While it’s not an egregious omittance, they said that this can greatly influence the end product.

If you’re cooking for a large family, you may be underwhelmed with Purple Carrot’s format. You’re only able to order up to four meals weekly, which may not be enough to fuel a growing household. For smaller parties or individuals, however, this can be a great service, especially if you’re looking to add some much-needed plants into your diet.

How We Chose the Best Meal Delivery Services

There’s no shortage of tastes and dietary preferences out there, and that number is definitely reflective of the number of meal delivery services on the market. As such, finding the absolute best services can be a tricky endeavor. To narrow down our findings, we took a handful of factors into consideration. Here’s how we used the following components to generate our flavorful round-up of nutritious, worthwhile meal delivery services.

Price Per Meal

Meal delivery services are intended to be a convenient alternative to regular trips to the grocery store or dining out. These kits and prepared dishes can be great for saving time, but if the actual costs of the meals themselves are too inflated, that positivity begins to fade. 

We looked for services at a number of price ranges to give you options that could cater to most budgets. We listed the starting prices for each meal above, with services ranging from $4.99 to $12.99 per serving. We also found that while many of our chosen meal delivery services offered meals catering to different dietary restrictions, platforms with an added specialty such as all-organic ingredients or plant-based options tended to be on the higher end of costs.

Dietary Restrictions

If you’re signing up for a meal delivery service, it helps to know that your platform can support your nutritional needs, right? In our trials and research, we looked for meal delivery services offering a wide range of meals and ingredients that lent themselves to various dietary restrictions. Beyond the common needs such as plant-based, keto-friendly, and gluten-free, we also sought out various platforms offering filters for nut allergens, soy allergens, dairy sensitivity, and more.

Meal Variety

Having a well-rounded menu of available options can help you stay diligent with your nutrition, so we tried to find meal delivery services with a good range of dishes. We also made note of when platforms rotated their menus for added variety, providing you with unique opportunities to test certain dishes on a weekly basis.

When looking at prepared and oven-ready meal options, we tried to choose meal delivery services that gave some variety in the meal makeup, as well. While a protein and two sides proved to be a common layout for most packaged dishes, we gave extra kudos to brands offering their own twist on these meals requiring minimal prepwork, just as sandwiches, curries, or pastas.

Delivery Range

It’s one thing for a meal delivery service to reach your nutritional goals, but another for it to actually reach your doorstep. We looked for meal delivery services that offered a wide delivery range that could cater to most athletes. In our trials, we found that most platforms were able to support the contiguous United States. Any altered maps, such as excluded states or regions, were noted in our reviews above.

Meals Per Week

When looking at your meal delivery service order, your “meals” are defined as the dish itself, whereas your “serving” is how much of that meal you’d like to receive. In short, your meals per week reflects how much variety you have, while your servings per week dictates your actual quantity of food.

Meal Delivery Service
Credit: Anna Zheludkova / Shutterstock

We looked for meal delivery services offering a good range of options, with most ranging from four to eight meals in a given week. This can help keep your personal menu varied enough for flavorful consumption day in and day out, while still allowing you to take advantage of the service’s weekly menu.

The Benefits of Meal Delivery Services

Meal delivery services are marketed heavily to athletes, and all those push ads and promo codes can leave some questioning the worthiness of these kits. Regardless of your opinion on their marketing tactics, there are some foundational perks that come with these nutrition-packed dinner boxes.


One of the main benefits of signing up for a meal delivery service is the convenience they bring to your schedule. Instead of finding time for a trip to your local grocery store each week, these kits come pre-portioned to get your meals off and running. Additionally, the meal kits come with simple instructions to turn your list of ingredients into a hearty dish in no time.

Food Waste

Ever purchased ingredients for a specific recipe only to be left with more materials than you actually need? These extra ingredients can oftentimes be left in your fridge until they spoil, potentially adding to your weekly food waste. Studies show that meal kits, with their pre-portioned ingredients and preset serving totals, can cut food waste and carbon emissions when compared to traditional grocery shopping. (3)

Time Management

While meal delivery services can be convenient for eliminating trips to the grocery store, they can also be beneficial when it comes to preparing the meals, too. Most kits come pre-portioned with simple cooking instructions, so there’s less time needed to get everything in order before dinner. Additionally, many meal delivery services list their suggested prep and cooking times with the recipes itself, and many keep processes to under 30 minutes.

If you want to really make the most of your time, you can also opt for a meal delivery service offering prepared meals. These kits take efficiency to the next level as they only require a quick pop in the microwave or oven before consumption. Be mindful, though, that these kits are prepared before they get to your doorstep, meaning there’s little room for customization if, say, you want to swap a protein source or need to cater to specific dietary restrictions.

Diet-Specific Needs

Athletes following specific nutrition plans like keto, Paleo, or other restrictive diets can find it difficult at times to get the proper ingredients needed for worthwhile meals. After all, these unique meal plans aren’t as popular with the general population, so finding solutions in your local store can be a challenge in itself. Meal delivery services open up your possibilities greatly when trying to cater to these diets, giving you options that may not have been feasible through your local grocer.

Meal delivery services can also be excellent options for athletes entertaining the notion of switching up their diet. You’re not at the mercy of your area’s inventory, and the commitment is for as long as you keep the service or menu option.

Are Meal Delivery Services the Cheapest Option?

One of the main concerns athletes may have when deciding whether to go with a meal delivery service is how much they actually cost. After all, grocery stores and restaurants still exist in tandem with these platforms, so at the end of the day, which is the best option when trying to build out your nutrition plan?

Meal Delivery Services Vs. Restaurants

Restaurants can be a nice treat every now and again, and definitely take the least amount of work when comparing the two meal options. You don’t have to worry about cleanup or food preparation, and there are typically multiple options to choose from in your area. That said, you do need to drive to your destination if dining in, wait for your table, tip your server, and pay your bill. 

Delivery options can be an alternative, but you’re at the mercy of the restaurant’s policies, and still need to tip your driver for dishes that aren’t as fresh after a car ride across town. With meal delivery services, there’s more control over your menus, the dishes are (literally) fresh from the kitchen, and you don’t have to worry about additional expenses like tips, parking, and other fees.

Meal delivery services can also be more reasonable for your nutrition plan because of the clarity surrounding your food’s nutritional value. It can be difficult to determine just how many macronutrients you’re getting in a restaurant dish, whereas meal kits provide all the information upfront.

Meal Delivery Services Vs. Grocery Stores

This timeless comparison can be tricky to decipher, depending on what you’re actually looking for when it comes to your nutrition. If you already have a good grasp on your meal prepping for the week and know what you need for worthwhile rations each day, you may be better off with the tried and true grocery shopping experience from a pricing perspective. That said, you will need to sacrifice some time within your schedule, and some ingredients may not always be in stock.

Mature Woman In Kitchen With Laptop To Find Recipe For Online Meal Food Kit Delivered To Home
Credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Meal delivery services may look like a more expensive option at face value, but you also need to factor in the time savings along with the lessened food waste overall. Your meals are pre-portioned for your chosen recipe, so the only leftovers to think of are your portions not finished at the dinner table. There’s little to no food waste, so the money you spent on meals actually ends up in your body as opposed to the trash can. Additionally, choosing a meal delivery service can open your palette to new ingredients that may not be available in your area.

How to Choose the Best Meal Delivery Service

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you understand that there’s practically a meal delivery service for every day of the week. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to land on the perfect platform for your dietary needs. Below are some factors to consider when deciding on your ideal meal delivery service.

Match Your Dietary Restrictions

If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that caters to your specific diet, take some time before your first order to look through the platform’s menu. Many of the best meal kits have options featuring plant-based dishes, as well as those for gluten-free, dairy-free, keto-friendly, and other nutritional restrictions.

It can also be wise to look at how many diet-friendly options your meal delivery service offers. Having a wide array of available meals can help defend against flavor burnout over extended weeks, helping you stay diligent with your diet without sacrificing any enjoyment.

Search for Meal Variety

You likely don’t want to have the same meal day in and day out, so make sure your delivery service has enough variety from the start to suit your palette. Many meal delivery services also feature a rotating menu that changes on a given schedule, which can help keep every week of cooking interesting and fresh.

If you fancy a snack or other items along with your full meals, it can also be helpful to look for a meal delivery service offering a la carte items. These quick hits of nutrition can help keep you full throughout the day, albeit at an additional cost.

Plan Out Your Schedule

Your meal delivery service is intended to be a convenient alternative to grocery shopping and dining out, but that convenience can quickly fade away if your deliveries aren’t aligned with your schedule. Make sure that your order is delivered on a day that suits your needs best. 

Additionally, think ahead to see how many nights you’d like to cook in a given week and ensure you have enough courses within your order. Many meal delivery services offer between four and eight meals per week, with serving availability varying from brand to brand. If you want a fresh, new meal every night you sit down for dinner, make sure your kit is capable of supporting that need.

Set Your Budget

Most meal delivery services range in price from $5 to $14 and beyond. These prices can be influenced by how many meals you order per week, how many servings you order of each meal, as well as add-ons like pantry items or other goods. Be sure to search around to find a proper package that fits your budget while also keeping the service convenient enough for repeat orders.

Many brands also offer trial periods or promo codes that can help you get a taste for the meals offered without a hefty blow to your wallet. We recommend taking advantage of these deals at the start, since this can be a great way to see if meal delivery services are truly worth your time and money.

Final Word

Meal delivery services can be a tasty way to expand your palette, keep your nutrition in check, and gain back some time in your schedule. These impressive kits offer a litany of meals both pre-portioned and oven-ready, with specific makeups that cater to a variety of dietary needs. Plus, they’re quite comparable to your typical grocery bill, especially when you factor in the time savings you gain from having your items shipped directly to your doorstep.

Finding the right meal delivery service for your personal nutrition depends on a few factors, none more important than your personal budget. When looking for your first kit, be sure to look at each meal’s value, and how that compares to your typical trip to the grocer. Once you’ve landed on a suitable deal, browse through the menu, choose your delivery schedule and rejoice. The dinner bell will be ringing in no time to the tune of more nutritious, flavorful dishes night in and night out.


Are meal delivery services worth it?

If you’re struggling to find the time for grocery shopping, meal delivery services can be a worthwhile pursuit for some athletes. These kits can also be worthwhile options for those following specific diets like keto or Paleo. When weighing the pros and cons of meal delivery services versus traditional grocery shopping, be sure to consider your budget, how much involvement you’d like in the food preparation, and your dietary goals.

Is it cheaper to prep your meals on your own than opting for a meal delivery service?

When you break down meal delivery services on an individual basis, odds are that traditional grocery shopping and cooking will be the more budget-friendly pick. You can certainly compose a worthwhile meal plan in this model, but you will also need to factor in your driving time to the grocer, the time spent shopping and choosing ingredients, and how often you plan to eat the same meal in a given week. If you’d like these conveniences to be taken care of without much hassle, it may be wise to look into meal delivery services as an alternative.

What is the best meal delivery service?

The best meal delivery service is a subjective matter, as it depends on your dietary needs, budget, and other preferences. For our money, we believe Home Chef to provide the best service in the category, thanks to its affordable pricing beginning at $10 per meal, its wide assortment of diet-conscious offerings, and family-friendly serving quantities.


  1. Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., White, M., & Adams, J. (2017). Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: Cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity14(1). 
  2. Kim, J. Y. (2021). Optimal Diet Strategies for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome30(1), 20–31. 
  3. Heard, B. R., Bandekar, M., Vassar, B., & Miller, S. A. (2019). Comparison of life cycle environmental impacts from meal kits and grocery store meals. Resources, Conservation and Recycling147, 189–200.

The post The 8 Best Meal Delivery Services of 2023 appeared first on BarBend.

Andarine s4, Ostarine mk 2866, Ligandrol lgd 4033, Cardarine GW501516, Stenabolic SR9009, IGF 1 Lr3, Aromatase Inhibitors,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.