(Meal Matchmaker is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.)

What are the Best Food Subscription Services?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Many of us love home-cooked meals, but they can be more hassle than they’re worth. The process of finding new recipes, buying ingredients, and learning new cooking methods may turn you off to trying to cook at all. Fortunately, there are ways you can streamline this process. One of them is a food subscription box.

With a subscription food box, you get pre-packed food items and instructions for how to use them. All you have to do is follow the recipes, and you have an easy way to feed yourself or your family some delicious meals. With so many weekly food boxes to choose from, you can have prepared meals delivered straight to your door.

Our Top Food Subscriptions (2020 UPDATED)

Product
Benefits

#1 Freshly
(Editor's Choice)
Best Price
  • Box full of chef-prepared meals
  • Food options for any dietary restrictions
  • Meals come ready-to-eat
  • Get a deal on your first box

#2 Purple Carrot
Best Price
  • 100% meat- and dairy-free
  • Ingredients are pre-measured
  • You can select a plan that works for you

#3 Blue Apron
Best Price
  • Weight Watchers-approved meals
  • Includes easy-to-follow recipes
  • Meals take 20 minutes or less to prepare

1. Freshly

Best match for: People who don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Freshly is one of the best monthly food subscription boxes because you get gourmet meals delivered to your door every week. True to their name, Freshly uses fresh ingredients with no artificial ingredients, no gluten, and no refined sugar. The box meals are never frozen, and all you have to do is heat them.

The best part about a Freshly subscription is that you can choose from so many options every week based on your taste. You can customize your meal plan to match the number of people living in your home.

Read our full Freshly review.

Pros:

  • Box full of chef-prepared meals
  • Food options for any dietary restrictions
  • Meals come ready-to-eat
  • Get a deal on your first box

Con:

No opportunity to prepare the meals yourself


2. Purple Carrot

Best match for: The Vegan looking for versatile vegan meals.

Cooking vegan is not always easy. You may find yourself stuck eating the same foods over and over again because you aren’t sure what else to make. Purple Carrot food subscription boxes are a plant-based subscription that delivers easy-to-prepare meals weekly.

The box meals are exciting to receive and delicious once prepared. You’ll find high protein items like beet burgers and tofu stew. The best part is that you can get breakfast, lunch, and snacks in your delivery, too. Purple Carrot boxes mean you always have something to eat without constant researching and experimentation.

Pros:

  • 100% meat- and dairy-free
  • Ingredients are pre-measured
  • You can select a plan that works for you
  • Get more than just dinner meals

Con:

  • The amount of snacks you can add depends on the size of your box


3. Blue Apron

Best match for: People looking for healthy and diverse meal choices.

Blue Apron food subscription boxes give you seasonal recipes every week, and it’s one of the most popular food delivery services. World-renowned guest chefs and an expert culinary team curate your meals, so the food is delicious no matter your diet. Blue Apron offers a range of meal types from vegetarian to Weight Watchers to gluten-free.

The Blue Apron service allows you to customize your subscription meals to the number of people in your household. You get to pick your meals from their weekly selection, and they take only 20 minutes to make. It’s a perfect fit if you’re looking for healthy options.

Pros:

  • Weight Watchers-approved meals
  • Includes easy-to-follow recipes
  • Meals take 20 minutes or less to prepare
  • Ingredients come fresh and pre-portioned

Con:

  • Few options for vegan meals.


4. Sun Basket

Best match for: People who want breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their recipe box.

With Sun Basket, you can choose from 18 recipes each week. Their diverse meal options can accommodate vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, pescatarian, and Paleo diets. In addition to food subscription boxes, you can add on specific grocery items that you may need. With Sun Basket, food subscription box meets grocery delivery.

Each one of these food subscription boxes is full of clean ingredients. You don’t have to wait until dinner to have a prepared meal. Sun Basket comes with breakfast and lunch options, too. Choose to get two, three, or four meals per week for either two or four people.

Pros:

  • Comes with fresh, whole ingredients
  • Meals are easy to prepare
  • Kits can fit a range of diets
  • You can get more than dinner in your box

Cons:

  • Ingredients are not pre-cut
  • Can only get food for up to four people


5. Foodstirs

Best match for: Aspiring bakers and people who love baked goods.

Baking takes time if you want to make the perfect cake, cookie, or cupcake. Foodstirs gives you easy-to-make baking kits with all of the tools and supplies you need. After you bake, you can use edible decorations to give your food some style.

Some meal kits don’t include dessert as an important part of dinner. Foodstirs gives you tasty treats in adorable boxes that you can make with the help of your children or friends. Some of these food subscription boxes are even holiday-themed.

Pros:
• Gives you natural ingredients for baked-goods
• You can get organic desserts and allergen-free ones
• Boxes can come monthly or less frequently
• Treats only use six items or less

Con:
• Few options for desserts appropriate for different diets


6. Veestro

Best match for: People looking for ready-to-eat, plant-based meals.

You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health with a plant-based diet. Veestro meals are made from organic ingredients with no preservatives. You can also choose a meal plan appropriate for low-calorie diets, or pick Chef’s Choice or A La Carte.

Veestro meals come packaged, pre-made, and frozen. All you have to do is heat them, and they’re ready to eat. This service is perfect for people who don’t have time to prepare meals but still want nutritious choices. You can choose from 10, 20, or 30 meals a week and save them for later.

Read our full Veesto review.

Pros:

  • Each meal is organic and plant-based
  • Meals are portioned by serving
  • There are three meal plan options for your diet
  • Quick and easy to prepare

Con:

  • No opportunity to receive meals with fresh ingredients


7. Dinnerly

Best match for: The environmentally conscious.

Dinnerly sends whole, fresh ingredients to you every week. Getting a Dinnerly box is like coming back from the grocery store, without the impulse buys. With a Dinnerly box, you prepare your ingredients yourself and follow recipes from online directions.

The lack of excessive packaging and paper means you produce less waste than you might with other services. Dinnerly is perfect for people who want to hone their cooking skills and save money. You can get enough ingredients to feed a large or small family, and you may even have some left over.

Pros:

  • Affordable, fresh food delivery
  • Less environmental waste with online recipes
  • Whole ingredients encourage you to learn cooking techniques
  • You can discover new meals

Cons:

  • Not as many diverse options as other services
  • Ingredients and meals do not come prepared


8. Yumble

Best match for: People looking with young children.

Yumble is one of the only meal subscription kits specifically for kids. This idea is amazing because if you have children, you know that they can be picky. Yumble makes it easy to end the dinner tug-of-war with kids.

The service delivers foods that kids enjoy, like meatballs, pasta, nuggets, and mac n’ cheese. What kids don’t know is that all the meals are healthy and packed with veggies. You can find meals free of soy, egg, and gluten for kids with dietary restrictions, too.

Read our Yumble review and best prepared meal delivery programs for kids for further details.

Pros:

  • Tasty options that fit in any kid’s diet
  • Makes dinnertime easy for parents
  • Has a variety of meal choices to keep dinner exciting
  • You can include your kids in the meal prep process

Con:

  • Parents may want to eat different foods


9. Marley Spoon

Best match for: People looking for easy-to-make meals.

Martha Stewart is one of the countries most trusted chefs, and she spearheads Martha and Marley Spoon. You can make her high-quality recipes quickly and easily with her guidance. The meal kits have five categories based on your diet or restrictions.

Every week, you can select from 22 available meals to suit your taste. All of the meals have only six steps to follow. If you’re learning to cook, these are a great way to learn your way around the kitchen or spend time with family and friends.

Pros:

  • Prepare all meals in only six steps
  • A wide selection of meals to choose from each week
  • The meals are simple yet delicious
  • Easily customizable plans and delivery times

Con:

  • Meal kits are assembled with only 2-person or 4-person households in mind

How do food subscriptions generally work?

Food subscriptions take the guesswork out of dinner. They’re a straightforward way to make sure you always know what you’ll eat at the end of the day. You can have as much or as little control over your meals as you want. You can also set up a meal plan to match the needs of you and your household.

Typically, the process for setting up a food subscription goes like this:

  1. Choose your plan. Most food delivery services allow you to customize your meal plan. You can select the number of servings you need, how many recipes you want per meal, and the diet you wish to follow. While some services have a set meal for the week, many let you choose from a range of options.
  2. Enter your information. You will need to set up a profile with your address and phone number. Since the food will usually arrive fresh, you’ll need to schedule a time for delivery when you can  pick up the package as quickly as possible to prevent spoiling.
  3. Get your delivery. When you open your box, you will find your separated ingredients as well as a recipe guide. All you have to do from there is follow the recipe. Keep in mind that you will usually need to provide your own dry seasonings.
  4. Repeat the next week. After your first box, you can continue ordering and selecting weekly meals. Or, you can delay your next order until you are ready.

FAQ

Are food subscription boxes worth it?

Meal subscriptions are handy for times when you don’t want to or can’t leave the house to find dinner. Even if you do enjoy shopping, groceries can get expensive. This expense grows when you have to throw away unused items that went bad before you could use them. A meal box gives you the exact portions you need so there is no wasted money, time, or food.

What is the cheapest meal subscription box?

The most affordable food subscription box depends on the best plan for you. Some services divide costs by serving, while some want you to pay per meal each week. The cost of your subscription boxes depends on how many servings you need, any extra items you wish to add, delivery fees, and frequency of box delivery.

How can I get free subscription boxes?

Many services offer the best food subscription boxes looking great when you order your first meal. They want you to try their service before you feel like you have to commit, so you can get discounts when you first sign up. Some services also offer bonus boxes for frequent customers. Check the terms for your subscription before you buy.

What do meal services cost?

Meal services can range from about $5 per serving to $15 per meal serving, depending on the service you choose. Each week, your box may have two to six servings, if you chose that as your preference. Some ingredients are more expensive than others, so some meals may cost more even within the same plan. The price of meal delivery includes the food, packaging, expertise, and cost of preparation.


Which Food Subscription Service Should You Try?

In 2020, we have redefined our relationships with food and cooking. While you don’t want to eat the same foods over and over again, you may find myself with limited knowledge of different ingredient combinations. Meal subscription kits help you try and discover new meals and empower you to prepare them yourself.

Hello Fresh Australia is another one of the best food subscription boxes, especially if you need a meal outside the US. Some meal kits come ready-made, so you don’t have to put in too much work to get healthy, fresh food. These boxes can be life-saving if you have a lot of responsibilities or are short on time. Regardless of why you want to try them, it’s easy to find the best meal kit for your preferences and budget.