Meals for the Busy Cook: 3 Companies for Fun, Easy Cooking

When you enter the adult world, one of the things you’ll notice is that your time starts to spread incredible thin. From working that 9 to 5 (or 6 or 7), to doing laundry on the weekends, to having to work really hard to keep up with friends and family, everything can begin to feel like a race against the clock. However, one of my favorite new discoveries — companies that deliver fresh, pre-measured ingredients with quick recipes to your front door — allows me to free up a little time. And who couldn’t use a extra half hour here and there to kick back in front of the TV or to browse My First Apartment? I certainly enjoy my free time, and I think you will too, so check out these 3 great companies that are changing the way busy people eat, cook, and stay healthy. Since pre-delivered meals are not inexpensive (they cost around $10-$15/meal),  my suggestion is to use these services as an alternative to eating out, which is really a budget-buster and unhealthy too.  For the kitchen-challenged of us, these companies offer the unique experience of really teaching you how to cook for yourself, while you have a great time creating new dishes and gaining a nice assortment of reusable recipes. Enough from me, just check them out below!

1. Hello Fresh 

($69 per week for classic box, $59 per week for vegetarian box. Delivery area East Coast and parts of Midwest.)



This company is all about making cooking a fun, healthy, and quick. Each week they deliver a brand new box of three meals for two people to your door. The best thing about this fun company is not only do they take the time to pre-measure all the ingredients, create quick and delicious recipes, and deliver it straight to you, they clearly enjoy what they do and take your experience to heart. Don’t like a recipe? Want to suggest a change? They truly listen to the needs of their customers and will even apply great suggestions to their recipes and company. Also, they require no minimum commitment, so you can skip weeks as many times as you’d like.

However, on the down side, despite offering a vegetarian or classic box, Hello Fresh doesn’t currently cater to special dietary needs and they can tend to be on the expensive side. Hopefully, detailed box selections and more affordable boxes will become available in the future. Until then, you still can love how this company helps make meal time a great part of your day.

2. Plated

($8-$10 monthly membership + $12/meal or $15/meal without membership. Delivery area covers 80% of U.S.)



Ever dreamed of having your own personal chef whip up delicious food for your every night? Well, with Plated you have the opportunity to try recipes crafted by a new featured chef each week. Simple browse their vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes for the week, select your favorites, and the ingredients and recipe cards are brought right to your front door. This company is a favorite among consumers because it’s all about being responsible with the environment and the health of your body by delivering everything in a 100% recycled and biodegradable box, pre-measuring food to cut back on waste, and using locally sourced ingredients.

The downside to this plan is that they require you to order minimum of 4 plates for any given week to proceed to checkout. Here’s hoping that they become more budget-friendly so that more people can check them out and enjoy their awesome service.

3. Blue Apron

($59.94 per week, 3 meals for 2. Delivers mainly to East and West Coasts.)



This one makes trying new things a unique challenge each week by adding a special ingredient to each of the meals you receive, so if adventurous cooking and broadening your palate is right up your alley, Blue Apron is for you. Also, this company pushed the boundaries by actually helping customers deal with special dietary needs by offering personalized suggestions based on their eating profiles. If no dietary limits apply, simply revel in all the other great aspects about their service — the spectacular ingredients, the one-of-a-kind recipes, and the convenient delivery!

Like their competitors over at Plated, Blue Apron is currently limited in terms of those who they can serve. If you’re a Midwest dweller, this one isn’t for you.

If a busy lifestyle makes shopping and cooking dinner a drag, test out one of these great companies, or one of the others available in your area, and see how much fun cooking can be!

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Author My First Apartment

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Audra is a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer based in her home state of Georgia. She’s a lover of the sweetest Southern tea, warm weather, and decorating with lots of color, DIY projects, and shabby chic pieces. Her apartment living journey is still young, so she’s busy navigating the ups and downs and learning along the way. For more from Audra, follow her on Pinterest or check out her website

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