Grocery shopping is kind of like Lana Del Rey’s music; you either enjoy it, or you really fucking hate it.
If you’re in the hate-it camp, you’ve got to be happy about the new wave of food delivery services that have cropped up over the past five years. Whether you’re looking for ready-to-heat eats, recipes with pre-portioned ingredients and instructions, or good-old raw meat and produce, you can bet someone’s willing to deliver what you want to your front door.
You might have a few extra boxes and some weird, gelid ice packs to dispose of, but it’s a small price to pay.
From being a badass chef in training with Blue Apron to ready-to-go meals, here are the best companies that deliver food right to you.
Great meat usually comes with a steep price tag, but for $129 a month, ButcherBox will deliver up to 10 pounds of 100 percent grass-fed and grass-finished beef to your door. You can also opt for a mixed box that includes organic free-range chicken and/or heritage pork. The cuts are consistently excellent, and are all selected from producers who adhere to humane standards.
The people who outfit you in Earth-friendly garb decided they wanted to tackle the challenge of sustainable, eco-conscious eats. These guys are all about conservation and responsible sourcing. From their sockeye salmon to dried, just-add-water chili and soups, you can savor these eats and feel good doing it. (They even make a beer made from progressively farmed grains.)
If you enjoy cooking but need a little guidance, Blue Apron is the service for you aspiring chefs out there. Each delivery comes with easy-to-follow recipe cards and pre-portioned ingredients—so you won’t have any waste. Even if you’re an experienced home cook, Blue Apron’s at-times exotic recipes and uncommon ingredients will expand your culinary horizons, and help you get the hang of making some more-advanced dishes and sauces.
Consider this a simpler, less-adventurous version of Blue Apron. The premise is the same: You get ingredients and recipe cards for a few meals, and you handle the cooking. All the ingredients are—as the name implies—super fresh and flavorful. But there’s a little less creativity in both the recipes and ingredients compared to what you’d get from Blue Apron. That said, if you’re inexperienced in the kitchen and looking to master the basics, this is your service.
Not interested in cooking? Freshly is like an elevated, gourmet version of the humble TV dinner. You choose your meals from a rotating list of 30 options, and they’re delivered fully cooked and ready to be heated. Pop them in the microwave, and dinner (or lunch) is served. Bonus: All meals are gluten-free.
Another Blue Apron-inspired service, Purple Carrot differentiates itself by offering only vegan dishes. Even if you’re not looking to completely ditch meat, this service can help expand and refine your repertoire of veggie-based dishes. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to go meatless one or two days a week. And remember guys, vegan food can be insanely awesome.
That note up top about having to deal with lots of delivery boxes and ice packs is no joke. Get hooked on food delivery services, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the packaging. That’s what makes this service so appealing. While it’s pre-portioned, ready-to-cook ingredients are (again) very Blue Apron-esque, this company sends everything in a kind of mini-fridge. After removing your food, just slap on a prepaid label and hand it back to your delivery man. The meals are delicious, and the company focuses on sourcing non-GMO, hormone- and antibiotic-free ingredients whenever possible.
You know you should be drinking smoothies, but keeping so many fresh ingredients on hand would mean multiple weekly trips to the supermarket. No thanks. Green Blender has you covered. Each box comes with ingredients for five healthy smoothies. Throw in a dollop of yogurt or a tablespoon of olive oil, and you’ll have a filling alternative to your morning cereal or midday sandwich.