Hungry but Don’t Want to Cook? How to Choose a Meal Delivery Service

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Latin man opening parcel with meal kit.

(BBB) – Most people love the idea of ending their day with a relaxing, home-cooked family meal. With more people wanting to stay home and avoid crowded grocery stores, meal delivery services have become popular.

Meal delivery services give consumers a more convenient way to make home-cooked dinner by delivering fresh, pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes to your doorstep.

But just like any other service, each company is different. Pricing, ingredients, and preparation requirements vary greatly between services.  You’ll need to do some homework to pick the one that best meets your family’s needs. If the appeal of a meal delivery subscription is learning new recipes and experimenting with ingredients, you might choose one company. But if your main interest is speed and simplicity, another may be a better fit.

The following tips will help you choose an ideal meal delivery service for your household:

  • Do your research.  Ask friends and family, read reviews, and check BBB.org to learn about past customers’ experiences.
  • Set a budget and check fine print. Pricing can vary greatly from one company to the next. Be sure the service you select aligns with your budget. In addition, not all meal delivery services include shipping fees in their pricing. Make sure you read the fine print.
  • Know your skill level. Before committing to a plan, research what kind of cooking techniques you’ll need to know. If a company’s recipes require searing, roasting, braising, do you know how? If not, make sure you have the time to learn new techniques.
  • Consider ingredient quality. Not all companies offer organic, non-GMO, or free-range meal ingredients. If these are must-haves for your family, make sure the company you choose offers them.
  • Determine how much prep work you want. Some companies do more chopping and sauce-making than others. This seemingly small difference can make a big difference in how long each meal takes you to make.
  • Contact customer service. If there ever is a problem – a missing recipe card or ingredient, for example – you want to know you can count on customer service. Make sure there are clear, easy ways to contact the company, even late in the evening. Read the company’s reviews and keep an eye out for any indication that customer service is lacking.
  • Check the cancellation policy. If you decide to subscribe to meal delivery, make sure you know the cancellation policy. Each company is different, and some may have very strict policies.
  • Be careful with your personal information. Most food delivery services process payments online. Make sure the company you choose is legitimate before offering up your personal information.
  • Review BBB tips for shopping online. Since meal delivery services don’t usually have brick and mortar storefronts, it would be wise to read BBB’s tips for smart shopping online.

For more information, check out BBB.org.

To report a scam, go to  BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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