Here are our top picks for every diet and cooking skill level.

By Jennifer Aldrich
March 26, 2020
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Right now, the best thing we can all do to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is to stay home and only leave the house if it's necessary. Although feeding yourself and your family is, of course, mandatory, you might be looking for other ways to buy food to avoid going to the grocery store. One of the easiest options is ordering from a food subscription service. But, if you're like me, you might be wondering if that's even possible right now while companies (including restaurants) are changing policies every day.

The good news is yes, you can order from a food subscription service. The only issue is, you might have trouble deciding which one is best for your current needs. I looked into a handful of popular options and broke down the features they offer and how much each service costs to help you (and me) make a decision. Although all these plans are different, there is one thing they all have in common: you're able to pause or cancel your subscription at any time, in the event your needs change.

woman cooking with subscription box service
Credit: Svetikd/Getty Images

Best to Improve Your Cooking Skills: Blue Apron

If you like the act of cooking, but maybe are not the greatest at putting together a meal, then Blue Apron might be your best bet. Each delivery includes "chef-designed" recipes with portions of food already measured and step-by-step instructions, so just about anyone can follow along. You're able to select your protein preferences and choose your meals from a variety of options. (Some of the sample recipes are shown here, including the spicy chicken and rice bowls and coconut curry wonton noodles.) There are a few different subscription options, including a 2-serving plan that delivers two or three times per week, or a four-serving plan that delivers two, three, or four times per week. There's also a two-serving vegetarian subscription that ships two or three times each week.

Price: From $47.95 to $119.84 per week

Best for Snack Lovers: Daily Harvest

Full disclosure: I signed up for a Daily Harvest subscription this past week. As someone who enjoys many small snacks over fewer full meals, this option is perfect for me. Daily Harvest offers smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls, lattes, and bites that are all vegan. (It's ideal for those who aren't stars in the kitchen as everything is already combined. You'll just need to blend or heat up your meals and enjoy them.) First, choose the number of items in your weekly box, from nine to 24 items per week, or 24 items per month. You can alter your preferences to show your likes, dislikes, and dietary needs. Once you choose your plan, fill your package with any mix of items from the list. Some of the offerings include a watermelon and dragon fruit smoothie, a quinoa and chipotle harvest bowl, and hazelnut and chocolate bites.

Price: From $6.99 to $7.75 per item

Best for Calorie Conscious: Hello Fresh

Another good option for home cooks who need recipe inspiration is Hello Fresh. To sign up, select a weekly box with your favorite meats, vegetables, and note if you prefer low-calorie meals. Some of the options are Mediterranean couscous bowls and cheesy beef enchiladas. Each box comes with "easy-to-follow" recipes that have nutritional information. The plans are available for two or four servings in each box, for three to four deliveries per week.

Price: From $7.49 to $8.99 per serving

Best for Families: Home Chef

Home Chef sends you boxes with pre-portioned food and recipe cards to feel like a pro in your kitchen. Begin by selecting preferences, such as if you're a pescatarian, vegetarian, or omnivore. Feel free to note whether you prefer low-carb or low-calorie food and if there are any ingredients you want to avoid, such as shellfish, nuts, red meat, nuts, or wheat. Choose among two, four, or six servings per box for two to six meals per week.

Price: From $9.95 per serving

Best for Vegans: Purple Carrot

If you're considering a plant-based diet but worry about finding delicious, meat-free meals, Purple Carrot is for you because every dish is vegan. Some of the dinners include Koren tofu tacos, walnut crusted artichokes, and penne mushroom florentine. You can choose between a two-serving plan, which includes three or four recipes per week, or a four-serving plan, which provides two or three recipes per week. You're able to select your meals or choose one of the pre-made plans, including high-protein, gluten-free, quick and easy, or chef's choice.

Price: From $71.94 to $119.88 per week

Best for Plant-Based, Clean Eaters: Sakara

Sakara is all about clean eating and uses all organic, plant-based ingredients. A few of the featured dishes are pasta primaverde with hemp seed pesto and a classic chopped salad. There are a few subscription options available that all include meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Choose among two, three, or five-day-long programs that you'll receive weekly. Or, you're able to place a one-time order. If you don't want to sign up for a subscription, check out individual products from Sakara's clean boutique that offers bars, chocolates, and granola.

Price: From $120 to $350 per week

Best for Specific Dietary Needs: Sun Basket

Sun Basket is great for anyone who doesn't want to spend much time in the kitchen. Some options require cooking, but others are already put together, and you just need to heat everything up. To start, select two or four serving-meals, from two to four times per week. You can pick specific meals from dietary preferences such as paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, and diabetes-friendly. (Some of the meals offered are Southwestern turkey and sweet potato skillet and chicken cacciatore with spaghetti.) After your first order, you're able buy add-ons, including items and meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks.

Price: From $10.99 to $12.99 per serving


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