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Whether you're on team "love to cook" or team 'I can't even scramble an egg" we can all agree on one thing: Keeping everyone fed and happy is a chore. From the stress of shopping to the cooking itself, it takes a significant amount of energy and planning. One way to cut yourself a break? Food subscription boxes.
Because practically anything can be delivered to your doorstep these days, why shouldn't one of those boxes be dinner? Or snacks to get you through those slumping afternoons when you'd rather take a nap? From our go-to energy bars to our favorite meal delivery services, we've rounded up the best ways to feed the fam from sun up to sun down, no matter what your needs are.
Find the food subscription boxes that are right for you from our list of tried-and-trues below!
Snacks, Smoothies, Soups and More
As soon as there’s the slightest chill in the air, the only lunch I want is soup. And as a soup connoisseur, I’m also picky. There’s not a single canned version I like (not to mention the fact they usually have enough sodium to put down a horse) and every time I fall in love with a jarred version from Trader Joe’s, it’s gone within two trips. (TJ, why are you such a tease?) In a perfect world, I’d make it from scratch myself but I have neither the will or the time. So when I was given the chance to try out Proper Good, I was pretty psyched about it.
Their zero-prep meals are made from nutritious and clean ingredients and packaged in shelf-stable pouches that are ready to eat in just 90 seconds. The servings are generous and the soups are filling and flavorful. I stuck to the vegetarian offerings and felt like the butternut squash rivaled any I’ve made at home. If I ever left the WFH lifestyle, they’d be easy to toss in a work bag and because they can also be heated via a pot of boiling water they’re perfect for camping and travel, too. They regularly add new recipes to keep things interesting and have plenty of tried-and-trues like chicken noodle and tomato basil on the menu as well.
Delivery Schedule: Their program is flexible, allowing you to make a one-off purchase or schedule deliveries every 1,2,4 or 6 weeks. Subscriptions will save you 15%-20% depending on how many you order.
Cost: Price varies per variety between $4.24-$6.29 (which includes bone broths and oatmeal too!) and purchasing a minimum of 6 gets you 15% off each order.
Where my nursing mamas at? This one’s for you! Formulated to help improve the quality of breastmilk, Nunona’s mama balls are made from all natural, plant-based ingredients like nut butters, dates, brewers yeast, flaxseeds and oats which are as effective as they are tasty. (And as any nursing mama knows, easy-to-grab, high quality snacks are clutch in those first months!) They’re nutrient-dense and super portable which makes them the perfect snack to have on hand for those moments you suddenly go from not hungry to “I will eat my own arm in order to survive this.” Stick them in your diaper bag and know you’ve got a top-notch snack at the ready. Choose from superfood flavors like cashew lemon, peanut cacao and almond coconut.
Delivery Schedule: Can be purchased as one-off one month, one week, or two week supplies.
Cost: Between $.56-$1.25 per bite
That afternoon slump is real, friends. And sure, you can pour that third (fourth? Who’s counting?) cup of coffee, but afternoon jitters are just as unappealing. That’s where the all-natural energy-boosting bars from Verb come in. According to Hayli Craig, Motherly’s Editorial Coordinator and newly minted mama, Verb’s gluten-free and vegan bars are “truly how I survived my first month postpartum.” (They’ve got a ton of tempting flavors that you can mix and match, but vanilla latte and blueberry crisp get the highest marks from her household.) The texture is soft and crunchy so they satisfy in a real food kind of way with the addition of caffeine from green tea to put some pep in your step.
First time ordering? Try their $25 starter kit which includes 12 bars of the flavor of your choice along with three freebies in other flavors to test the waters.
Delivery schedule: The brand gets super high marks for how easy they make it to manage your subscription. When you opt for subscribe and save, you’ll get a monthly text (with an actual human on the other side!) that allows you to swap flavors, change quantities, reschedule or skip the month altogether.
I learned about Oats Overnight at a time when it felt like something had to give with our morning routine. Now, instead of stealing leftover bites of my kids’ oatmeals or a bowl of cereal, I take one minute the night before to shake up a breakfast that I can truly look forward to eating. Every option is packed with protein and so easy to take along for the ride during school drop-off. My favorite is Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cacao Crunch and the customizable subscription option saves me the stress of remembering to order more each month.–Emily Glover, Branded Content Editor
Delivery Schedule: You can customize to fit your needs, whether that’s a box a week or every couple months. They also make it easy to skip or reschedule as needed. .
Cost: Between $3.25-$4.00 per meal
You might know Daily Harvest for their easy-grab smoothies, but they’re so much more! From soups to flatbreads, lattes to ice cream, their clean and colorful eats make breakfast and lunch effortless and oh-so-healthy. (Motherly co-founder and longtime DH devotee, Liz Tenety swears by their Harvest Bowls for lunch during a busy work week.) Each recipe is built on whole fruits and vegetables and ready to eat in minutes. (Who has more than that to spend anyway?) The offerings are all organic, dairy-free and packed with nutrients that will fuel your day no matter how many bums there are to wipe or meetings to knock out.
Delivery Schedule: Weekly and monthly plans are available and can be scheduled for the day of your choice.
Cost: Plans are based on number of items and frequency of delivery. Prices range from $5.99 to $11.99 per item with discounts of up to $20 for volume.
Meal Delivery Services
If you ever fantasized about having Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal chef take care of your menu (instead of settling for the sad crusts you’re nibbling off your kid’s plate), you might want to give Sakara a try. Their organic vegan meals (a staple for Motherly’s CEO, Jill Kozial) come fully prepared, hitting your doorstep like a big old box of self care. And whether you’re new to ingredients like ashwaganda and cashew “cheese” or already on the clean eating train, they’re sure to leave you satisfied. They offer options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with add ons like snacks, teas and supplements. The menu changes weekly but you can expect things like grain bowls with braised vegetables, rainbow streaked salads and even treats like a goji rose doughnut. But be warned–feeling so good is pretty addicting.
Delivery Schedule: Monday-Friday with delivery days dependent on the selected program length.
Cost: 2 to 3 meals per day for 2-5 days will run you $119-$299 or $109-$269 with a weekly subscription.
After a few years of using Hello Fresh, honestly I don’t ever see myself going back. As a vegetarian, I appreciate the ever-changing variety of dishes for me and my non-vegetarian husband enjoys the option to easily add meat onto our meals. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and Hello Fresh continues to teach me new methods and introduce me to new flavors—without the hassle of recipe-planning and shopping for hard-to-find ingredients. I also like knowing that most packaging is recyclable and the company is transparent about their efforts to further minimizing packaging.–Emily Glover, Branded Content Editor
Delivery Schedule: Meal boxes are delivered once per week between 8am-8pm.
Cost: Choose from 2-4 meal plans ranging from $7.99-$11.99 per serving depending on quantity.
The San Francisco-based meal delivery service promises easy recipes made from farm fresh ingredients, some of which can be on your plate in as little as four minutes. (Households with hangry family members rejoice!) Whether you opt for the heat and serve meals or the meal kits, each menu includes plenty of organic produce and weekly plans can be customized to a variety of tastes and diets from paleo to pescatarian. And there’s flexibility too! You are free to mix and match recipes to suit your weekly needs.
Motherly’s own Health and Wellness Senior Editor is a big fan of Sunbasket. “I’ve subscribed on/off for years and really love their meal selections and ingredient quality. (Not exaggerating when I say I recently made the best salmon of my life from a Sunbasket box.) I especially appreciate that they always offer ideas for how kids can get involved in cooking the recipe!”
Delivery Schedule: You can opt for deliveries Sunday-Thursday, but depending on your zip code, your options may be limited to ensure freshness.
Cost: Choose from 2-4 meal plans ranging from $9.99-$14.49 per serving depending on quantity.
Real talk. Meal delivery subscriptions certainly make life easier but the pricing be prohibitive. If you’re looking for the convenience without the cost, Dinnerly is worth a look. Perhaps the most inexpensive option on the market (made possible by their digital recipe cards, fewer ingredients and simple packaging that doesn’t make me feel like I’m creating tons of waste), their meal plans cost less than half per serving than competitors. And that certainly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or deliciousness! The simple meals are easy to prepare, requiring little to no chopping and there are tons of kid-friendly (and even kid-preparable) options on the menu. Consider your busy weeknights taken care of!
Delivery Schedule: Once per week
Cost: Choose from 2-4 meal plans ranging from $4.69-$5.89 per serving depending on quantity.