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One of the key appeals of a meal delivery service (not to be confused with a meal kit service) is that these are already-prepared meals. No prep, no chopping, no mess. We had a registered dietitian test a bunch of the most popular meal delivery services—like Sakara, Trifecta, and Factor75—and rank her favorites.

We factored in taste, price, availability, variety, and nutrition. That’s another cool aspect to meal delivery services: Unlike most takeout, you get clear nutritional labels with each meal so you have a better sense of exactly what you’re eating.

If I made a complex matrix of meal options with quadrants for things like affordability, convenience, health, and sustainability, meal delivery services would fall somewhere in the middle. It’s more cost-efficient than constant takeout, but not cheaper than buying your own ingredients and cooking fresh. It’s more convenient than that, though, but not more convenient than beep booping a few buttons on your phone to get tendies to your door. It can be healthier than that, though, if not at least more transparent. And you may be less likely to waste food, because you’re being sent around the exact amount of meals you’ll need for the day/week/month.

I’m also of the opinion that these services don’t have to be forever. A meal delivery service is great to try if you feel a bit too overwhelmed to think up meal ideas and cook them every day. You could be going through a uniquely hectic time—I could see this as acutely useful during a work crunch, if you’re grieving, depressed, postpartum, or temporarily don’t have access to fresh food.

I used a meal delivery service when I was in my early 20s and my kitchen doubled as a laundry room, when I was house-sitting for a few weeks and didn’t have all my kitchen supplies with me, and when I didn’t feel mentally present enough to grocery shop and conjure up beautiful dishes to nourish myself.

Whatever your reason, we did the homework for you and broke down our favorite services and all the things we loved about them.

Find out our favorites here >>>

Melanie, editor at Nessie Sightings

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