Staff, Courtesy of Purple Carrot
In an ideal world, we would all cook meals full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and locally-farmed proteins three times a day. Unfortunately, doing so is a fantasy for most of us, and between work, family life, and hobbies, it’s easy to find yourself reaching for a frozen dinner or getting pizza delivered more often than you’d like to admit. Besides not being the healthiest choices, these quick fixes can get expensive—especially when your nightly takeout routine means you leave a full week’s worth of produce bought with good intentions to wilt in your fridge.
While we can’t give ourselves more time, we can make eating healthy easier. Food subscription boxes offer prepared meals, or easy-to-make recipes, that can cut down on both your cooking and shopping time. There are options for all kinds of diets, from vegan to gluten-free to low-carb.
While it can get a bit expensive if you choose to use a food subscription box for every meal, they can actually save you money if using them means forgoing pricey takeout. Even if you’re not looking for replacements for entire meals, there are still some great food subscription boxes that let you experiment with new snacks, or even vary your morning coffee routine. Below, we’ve gathered our favorite food subscription boxes available today, providing insight into what makes each one so special.
The 6 Best Food Subscription Boxes
- Best Overall: Blue Apron
- Best for Quick, Healthy Meals: Daily Harvest
- Best for Cheese Lovers: Cheesemonger’s Picks Cheese of the Month Club
- Best for Snackers: Love With Food
- Best for a Variety of Diets: Hello Fresh
- Best for Vegans: Purple Carrot
How We Choose
To determine the best food subscription boxes on the market, we looked at expert-tested reviews from trusted sources like good housekeeping and Real Simple. We considered each service’s variety of meal options, including meals available for those with dietary restrictions; difficulty of preparation; and price to identify the meal subscription services that give you the most bang for your buck.
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- Starting Price: $10 per serving
- Special Diets Accommodated: Wellness, vegetarian, WW
One of the original meal subscription companies, Blue Apron remains at the top of the food subscription box game, with fresh produce, delicious recipes, and reasonable prices. They have options for two- and four-person households, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow, supporting the adage, “if you can read, you can cook.”
Best for Quick, Healthy Meals
- Starting Price: $6 per item
- Special Diets Accommodated: Vegan, gluten-free
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or want to prepare a full meal for yourself and friends, Daily Harvest has you covered. Unlike some food subscription boxes, which require you to do a substantial amount of cooking, Daily Harvest is a low- to no-effort option.
The company flash-freezes its ingredients, which protects their essential nutrients; all you have to do is add water or milk and blend to make their smoothies, stir some water into and heat their soups, or pop their flatbreads into the oven to turn them into a meal.
They’ve also recently added options like snack balls to their lineup—and you can eat them right out of the freezer.
Best for Cheese Lovers
Cheesemonger’s Picks Cheese of the Month Club
- Starting Price: $75 a month
- Special Diets Accommodated: Keto, vegetarian
While you won’t get a whole meal out of this box, you will get some high-quality cheese that can step up your charcuterie game. Each month, you will receive three or four hand-selected cheeses with tasting notes to help you know what to look for while eating. The cheeses are selected by professional cheesemongers and range from soft goat cheeses to sharp cheddars.
Best for Snackers
Love With Food
Love With Food
- Starting Price: $8.50 per box
- Special Diets Accommodated: Gluten-free, organic
If you have your meals covered but are always looking for a new snack, you’re sure to love this snack subscription box. It is available in three options—small, large, or gluten-free—and contains snacks that are both sweet and savory. Your snacks from Love With Food won’t just taste good, they’ll do good, as well: For every box you buy, the company will donate a meal to a food-insecure family through Love With Food’s partnership with Feeding America.
Best for a Variety of Diets
- Starting Price: $48 per box
- Special Diets Accommodated: Vegetarian, pescatarian, low-calorie, low-carb
Hello Fresh is great for folks who like to have a hand in cooking their own dinner. It comes with both fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow preparation instructions. The cost is pretty reasonable at about $69 per week for three meals that each feed two people. They also allow you to choose recipes based on your dietary preferences, including veggie, classic, pescatarian, and calorie-smart, as well as quick-and-easy or family plans.
Best for Vegans
- Starting Price: $72 per week
- Special Diets Accommodated: Vegan, gluten-free, high-protein
Although many food subscription boxes have vegetarian and even vegan options, few offer exclusively plant-based foods. Purple Carrot, on the other hand, is 100% vegan, and has the option of both meal kits with recipes you prepare yourself, and prepared meals that you only need to heat up. They also have options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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