Battle of the Meal Boxes: Home Chef

I was really excited when I stumbled across this subscription meal box. Originally, I was going to go straight for Hello Fresh for my second installment of Battle of the Meal Boxes since it’s the one I’ve heard most about next to Blue Apron. When first I came across Home Chef I immediately knew it blew Blue Apron out of the water. From its wider variety of meals to it’s easier customization Home Chef has been a great experience when it comes to subscription meal boxes.

Home Chef

I came across Home Chef fairly easily during my research into subscription meal boxes. Upon looking at the website and going over what the service offers, I very quickly signed up for my first box. Like many other subscription meal boxes this one offers $30 off your first box.

Getting Started:

The website itself is fairly easy to navigate. Upon entering your email and your zip code the site takes you to select your dietary preferences. What I like about Home Chef, compared to the other meal boxes I’ve tried, is you can enter all of your dietary needs instead of just being offered three vegetarian options a week. You also have the option to choose 8 meals a week for up to 8 servings so any type of household can be accommodated. 

Each week you’re offered 10 dinner options to choose from, a breakfast option and additional add ons which include smoothie ingredients or a seasonal fruit basket. You can filter through this options by having only low-carb, low-calorie, gluten-free, etc. options show if you didn’t originally select those dietary preferences. Before selecting the meal you have the option of exploring the recipe and seeing the nutrition facts, the amount of time the meal takes and the spice level.

Each week you have the option to add the smoothie or fruit basket for $4.95 and occasionally there are higher end meals you can add-on for a small additional cost. What’s great about Home Chef is that all the meals are always available so that it doesn’t matter if you pick a certain meal all the other meals are still available and can be added to your box. You also always have the option to skip multiple weeks. 

The Cost:

Like other boxes there are several different meal plans you can select from. For this series I have decided to stick with 3 meals a week for two people. Without any of the add-ons this comes out to $59.70 per week with free shipping. This comes out to $9.95 per meal which seems about standard for subscription meal boxes. Home Chef offers free shipping for all order over $45.00 so if you’d like to do only 2 meals a week you’d have to factor in the $10 shipping as well. A referral program is also offered through Home Chef. You can give a friend $30 off a meal and receive a $30 credit for your next box.

My referral code to receive $30 off: Home Chef 

Inside the Box:

In your first box you receive an empty binder as your ‘cookbook’. I think this is such a small but cute and thoughtful touch. Each recipe is hole punched so you can easily add it to the binder. Inside the binder a couple of pages were already included that described some cooking techniques, information on where the ingredients are from, and how to recycle everything included inside the box. All the ingredients for each recipe are wrapped together and then the meat is included under ice packs in the box. The box was very well packaged and easily recycled.

Cooking the Meals:

I thought the recipe cards were so much easier to read and follow compared to the other meal boxes I’ve tried. On the front you can easily see how much time the recipe takes, the ‘spicy level’ and the difficulty level. It also includes how long you have before you should cook the meal so you can plan which meals you should cook first. On the side of the recipe they also include interesting facts about the meal, ingredients and cooking tips. They also clearly state when an ingredient is used twice so you know ahead of time.

 

 

All of the recipes were very easy to follow and fun to cook. There was no confusion with the instructions which made all the recipes, even the more difficult ones, pretty easy. I really enjoyed all the recipes as they were definitely not things I thought a novice in the kitchen could complete. These were recipes I wouldn’t pick out to cook for myself which made cooking them even more enjoyable.

 

 

Overview:

Throughout this whole process – the website, picking out the meals, receiving the box and cooking the meals, I was overly impressed. This is definitely the meal box to beat as of now. Just like the other ones I think these are a great idea for those who have a busy lifestyle and aren’t the best with planning out meals or grocery shopping. As somebody who thought they were terrible at cooking, which in return caused me to hate it, I look forward to cooking these meals. Its such a fun thing to do with a partner or even by yourself. I liked this box a lot as well because you can easily select a quick meal when your hungry and don’t have much time. Saving the more difficult meal for later on in the week when you’re feeling adventurous.

Home Chef was great because of all the options it offered. I loved how it included a breakfast meal you could pick but you aren’t forced to include this every week. I also love the add on smoothie and seasonal fruit options. This is such a great idea as you can easily add this on one week and not the next. The meal varieties are what really sold me. There’s so many different meals to choose from that there’s bond to be something for everyone.

Again the price point does set me off. $60 does seem to be about average for these meal boxes (for 3 two serving sized meals a week) which is a little pricy for something to commit to week after week. With the coupon code and other added perks from this service I do highly recommend checking it out.

My referral code to receive $30 off: Home Chef 

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