Preparing meals all by yourself can be tiresome. Aside from deciding what to cook 3 times a day – every day – you also have to spend a lot of time at the grocery store. But you can save yourself all this headache by subscribing to a meal delivery service.
To find the best meal delivery, I researched all of the popular ones in Buffalo, keeping factors like price, quality of ingredients, and meal variety into consideration.
Among all the services, I found Factor to be the best. Its meals are high quality and support a healthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that the other services don’t have their own unique strengths. Read on to find out what they are.
Factor – Best microwaveable meals in Buffalo
HelloFresh – Best for Buffalo families
Green Chef – Best for organic ingredients
Home Chef – Best customizable meal delivery service in Buffalo
Fresh and Easy – Best easy prep meals in Buffalo
Chef-prepared dishes that are ready to heat
35 dishes every week
Dietary options include vegan and keto
Factor is easily one of the best microwave meal delivery services on the market. If you want to skip cooking entirely – while enjoying “restaurant quality” meals in the comfort of your home – then I highly suggest trying the service out.
Everything about Factor screams high quality, from its sleek website, to the high-quality food it offers. Check out my colleague’s rave reviews to learn more.
You get 35 weekly meals packed with lean protein, complex carbs, and fresh vegetables. You can also choose between Keto, Calorie Smart, and Vegan & Veggie-based meals. Feel free to mix and match these different plans to create the best menu to fit your culinary preferences.
If you want more, make sure to check the add-ons menu, where you’ll find a solid selection of smoothies, healthy desserts, juices, shakes, some ready-made meals, protein, sides, and dinner options for special occasions.
I like that the meals arrive fresh and perfectly chilled (never frozen) at your doorstep. Then, all you have to do is place them in the fridge, where they’ll stay fresh for 7 days. Still, make sure to check the “Enjoy By” date printed on the meal’s paper sleeve.
Factor also has several Gourmet Plus options each week for customers who want high-end restaurant-worthy meals without the hassle of going to said restaurant. These meals are made using premium ingredients, such as filet mignon, wild mushrooms, and mahi mahi. But these options are only available if you’re willing to pay extra.
I also have to highlight the lack of vegan and vegetarian dishes. There are usually 5 plant-based options each week, which isn’t enough to fill the minimum order of 6 meals. For Vegan meals, it’ll be worth checking out Purple Carrot with a fully vegan menu of meal kits and prepared meals.
Factor is true to its word when it comes to reducing packaging material waste and reducing its carbon footprint. Most of the packaging materials are recyclable and reusable (including the food containers and bottles used for smoothies and juices), and you can easily discard the non-recyclable ones.
I like that Factor’s meals are in a single-serving format and that you can order between 6 and 18 single-serving meals each week (excluding snacks and smoothies, which are on a separate menu). When it comes to costs, you can get a pretty sweet deal if you order more meals ($6.19 per serving), but you’ll still get a good price even if you choose the minimum order.
Ingredients come fresh from the farm
60+ unique recipes per week
Dietary options include calorie smart, pescatarian, and vegetarian
HelloFresh is one of the best meal kit delivery services for families and kids, with over 60 meals on its weekly menu. The offer includes nutritionally-balanced meals that are quite the crowd-pleaser.
About half of the HelloFresh menu is made from chicken-based comfort foods, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. The other half will introduce international cuisines, especially Mediterranean and Asian, into your family’s culinary routine. Plus, I like the level of diversity when it comes to veggie-based options (you get 15+ options each week). Overall, it’s tough to get bored with such a wide and varied menu.
You get to choose from 6 different meal plans, including Meal & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, and Pescatarian, or you can mix and match. Each meal comes with clear-to-follow recipe instructions printed on recipe cards that include both photos and text for each step of the cooking process. Plus, you get detailed information on the required utensils and pantry ingredients. To learn more about meal kits and recipes, check out the HelloFresh review by my colleague.
I like that you can swap proteins or add sides and extra protein with the new HelloCustom feature. This expands the menu even further since you can personalize your favorite meals. Plus, HelloFresh uses special tags, such as Hall of Fame, Brunch, or Premium, to make it easier to find the right recipe.
When it comes to cooking, some of these recipes can leave you with a pile of dirty dishes, which can be an inconvenience. Also, HelloFresh doesn’t provide pre-made sauces or pre-prepped produce – you have to do this yourself. Luckily, there’s a way around recipes that require heavy cleanup: look for tags like Easy Prep and Easy Cleanup to find meal kits that don’t eat up too much of your schedule.
I’m also impressed by HelloFresh’s dedication to sustainability. Besides a few items, the rest of the packaging can be recycled, including the lining that keeps the food cold during transit. Plus, everything for one recipe is neatly packed in paper bags that are clearly labeled so you can immediately identify the content.
HelloFresh can easily feed a family of 4, but it also has options for couples since you can order for 2 or 4 people. When it comes to the number of meals, each person can get 2 to 6 meals per week, which can turn into a really big box. And, if you want to get the best value price ($3.32 per serving), you have to get the 6 meals for 4 people option.
Eco-friendly packaging that helps avoid waste
45+ unique recipes per week
Dietary options include keto, high-protein, and plant-based
Green Chef is a certified organic handler, so most of the ingredients are organic. It strongly believes that organic ingredients are better for a healthy lifestyle and for the ecosystem. Therefore, it fits well with health-conscious Buffaloans looking for a good source of high-quality meals.
The company sources both its proteins and produce from local farmers, and all the ingredients are hormone-free. Plus, the proteins are raised with high animal welfare standards, and the produce and eggs are always fresh. Overall, Green Chef puts a lot of emphasis on high-quality ingredients, and you can feel this in the taste.
The meal kits come with pre-measured vegetables as well as ready-made sauces and seasonings, making cooking so much easier. Expect anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes of prep time for each recipe. Check out our in-depth review to learn more.
The Green Chef menu offers a great selection of international cuisine, including Thai-Style Pork Salad, Creamy Shrimp and Bacon, and Pecan-Crusted Sockeye Salmon. The menu combines recipes from Asian, Middle-Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine, but it doesn’t forget about the good old American classics, such as meatloaves or burgers.
You can choose between 8 plans and you can mix and match in between, but there are no meal customization options. Also, there’s no way to filter the menu besides the tags attached to each recipe. So if you have an allergy, you have to read each recipe carefully, or you can wing it and remove the bothersome ingredients while cooking.
I’m also a bit on the fence about Green Chef because the company uses a lot of plastic to wrap each ingredient individually. However, this is a common practice with meal kit delivery services to make sure everything arrives safely at the destination. Besides this issue, the rest of the materials are recyclable, so it depends on your personal convictions.
Green Chef is great for couples and big families since you can order for 2, 4, or 6 people each week, 3 or 4 meals per person each week. The price per serving is acceptable, but if you want to get the best bang for your buck, the 4 meals for 4 people is the best value option ($5.99 per serving).
Meal kits and oven-ready recipes
25+ unique recipes every week
Dietary options including low calorie and low carb options
My favorite bit about Home Chef is that it allows you to customize proteins on most meals. For example, if you order Sausage Pasta and Tomato Cream Sauce, it gives you the choice of selecting from Impossible Burger, Steak Strips, Diced Boneless Chicken Breasts, and Italian Pork Sausage. And if you want to double up on protein, you have the option to do just that.
This is possible through the Customize It feature, which is available on most meals. However, make sure to pay attention to the extra cost since premium proteins come with an upcharge. Still, if you’re in the mood for something extremely tasty and high-quality, it may be worth splurging from time to time.
Home Chef’s menu is split between calorie- and carb-conscious meals, but all the meals taste great and are super easy to prepare. Plus, each meal comes with step-by-step recipe instructions, making it easy for a beginner to prepare the meals. To learn more about Home Chef’s meal kits, check out my colleague’s detailed review of the service.
Buffaloans will be happy to hear that most of the recipes are inspired by American cuisine, even though the menu includes several international options Some of the options I think will be in high demand in Buffalo are the Ranch-Crusted Pork Chop or BBQ Ranch Chicken Tacos with Crispy Jalapeños.
Overall, the menu has a good range of flavors, and there are a few Family Meals each week specially designed for picky eaters. Still, make sure to pay attention to the prep time since there are meals that will take anywhere between 30-50 minutes to prepare. Those with shorter prep times take anywhere between 10-15 minutes. So feel free to choose those that better align with your schedule.
Home Chef is great for couples and families (small and large) as you can order for 2, 4, or 6 people between 2 to 6 servings per person. Plus, if you order for a large family, you’ll only pay $7.99 per serving, which is quite impressive for a meal kit of this caliber.
Home Chef’s line of ready-to-eat meals and quick meal kits
20+ unique recipes per week
Dietary options include calorie-conscious, and carb-conscious
Fresh and Easy is a subsidiary of Home Chef and provides easy-to-prepare meals ideal for those with a busy lifestyle. While its menu isn’t as large as the one its bigger brother has, the meal kits have the same great quality and taste.
Options include microwaveable meals (Fast & Fresh) and Oven-Ready or Grill-Ready dishes. Outside the main meals, you can supplement your diet with salads, protein packs, prepared bread, and desserts. Learn more about the different options by checking out our Fresh and Easy review.
I love that you can still use the Customize It feature introduced by Home Chef and that the same level of ingredient quality applies. It’s also a more convenient service since the Fresh and Easy menu is entirely made up of low-prep meals, and the ingredients come portioned, chopped, and pretty much ready to cook.
Just like Home Chef, Fresh and Easy offers calorie- and carb-conscious meals, and most of its recipes are inspired by American cuisine. Still, you get the occasional Greek-Style Chicken or Italian-Style Meatballs. Also, when you’re ready to order, you have the option of removing ingredients you want to avoid, such as sesame seeds, shellfish, beef, and so on.
Keep in mind that Fresh and Easy doesn’t prepare its meal kits in a certified allergen-free facility. So, even if ingredients are individually packed, there’s still a risk of cross-contamination. Therefore, people suffering from allergies must carefully read each recipe’s ingredient list.
When it comes to recycling, Fresh and Easy isn’t the most eco-friendly service out there. I like that all the ingredients are nicely packed to avoid more sensitive items, such as herbs, getting bruised during transit. However, the amount of plastic required for this is a bit much. On the other hand, I do like that oven-ready meals arrive in an oven-safe aluminum pan which you can reuse.
Fresh and Easy is quite flexible as you can order for 2, 4, or 6 people between 2 to 6 servings per person. The price varies depending on the size of your order, but at $7.99 per serving for large orders, I think it’s quite affordable.
International cuisines including Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern
16 unique recipes every week + add-ons
Dietary options include vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, and low-calorie
If you like sampling cuisines from different countries, then I highly recommend Blue Apron. It has a scrumptious, hard-to-resist selection of international cuisines on its menu. I think Blue Apron’s menu is a refreshing option for Buffalonians who want something a bit more besides wings and fish fry.
Some of the interesting dishes on offer include the Korean-inspired Kimchi Rice Bowls and the Italian-inspired Oven-Baked Cheesy Tomato Gnocchi. But you also get plenty of good ole American meals like the Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheeseburger or Steaks and Brown Butter Sauce with Mash Potatoes and Fried Rosemary.
I like that each week, Blue Apron includes 4 vegetarian meals and that there are options for those of us who want to watch our figure (under the Wellness menu). Plus, Blue Apron also allows you to customize some of the recipes by changing the protein or turning the meal vegetarian (look for the Make It Vegetarian label). However, you may have to pay a bit extra for a customized meal.
Blue Apron is primarily a meal kit delivery service, so you have to do the cooking. However, most meal kits take around 30 to 35 minutes to turn into a delicious meal, so it won’t be much of a hassle. Plus, the meal kits are well-designed for maximum efficiency. You can learn much more about the meal kits by reading our detailed review here.
Blue Apron also offers prepared meals, meal kits, and more in its weekly add-ons menu. Here you’ll find salads, desserts, soups, extra protein, pastry, and even meals for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving. Plus, you can order wines that pair well with your food selection by using the wine delivery menu (separate from the food menu).
It claims to support waste and advocates for reducing its carbon footprint, but there’s still a lot of plastic involved when you individually wrap the ingredients. Still, this method makes it more convenient to sort the ingredients and start cooking. Also, Blue Apron is committed to using humanely-sourced proteins and sustainably-grown produce from small farms, which is a point in their favor for me.
Blue Apron’s menu is designed to serve 2 or 4 people 2 to 5 meals per week. So, if you order the maximum number of servings per week, which is the best value for Blue Apron ($5.74 per serving), you’ll have 5 different meals available in 4 servings each.
Special weight loss meals plan for men and women
150 meals per week, plus snacks
6 dietary options, including heart-healthy, gluten-free, and diabetes-friendly
BistroMD uses science to design a tasty menu that will help you lose weight, even if you’re on a specialized diet, which is one of the things I really like about this meal delivery service. Each meal plan is designed by a doctor and a team of dietitians to make sure it meets users’ dietary needs.
I also like that there are different weight loss meal plans for men and women since women’s caloric and macro needs are different from men’s. Plus, for women, there’s a second meal plan designed to support weight loss for women going through Menopause. The meals included in this plan have 25 grams or less of net carbs to support hormone regulation.
Other meal plans include Gluten-Free, Keto Flex, Diabetic Friendly, and Heart Healthy (recipes that support lower blood pressure and help generate weight loss). To find out more about the meals and menu, check out my colleague’s detailed review.
Overall, the menu is more adult-oriented, and most of the meals include meat or fish. So, if you want a plant-based diet, BistroMD isn’t a great choice. Plus, since the meals arrive already cooked, there are no customization options either. You can still remove certain recipes from the menu if they contain ingredients you don’t like or are allergic to.
BistroMD flash-freezes its meals to lock in the taste and nutrients and to ensure food safety during transport. This way, you can decide if you want to enjoy the meals right away or store them in the freezer for later use (the shelf life of a frozen meal is around a year, so there’s no need to hurry).
Also, I was quite impressed by BistroMD’s dedication to eco-friendly materials and sustainable shipping methods. Once you’ve placed your meals in the freezer or refrigerator (to thaw), you’re left with a recyclable cardboard box and an eco-friendly liner made from biodegradable and compostable materials.
When ordering, you have 2 main options: a Full 7 or 5 days program and a Lunches & Dinners 5 or 7 days program. The Full program includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, plus one special dinner called My Night for the 7-day version. The Lunches & Dinners include exactly that – lunches and dinners for 5 or 7 days. The prices per serving can get to $8.24 per serving if you order from the Full menu, but overall, BistroMD can be a bit pricey.
Meal kits and prepared meals
16+ unique weekly recipes (meal kits and prepared) + add-ons
6 dietary options including gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan
Few vegan delivery services in Buffalo can beat Purple Carrot and its excellent plant-based offerings. The company uses zero dairy, eggs, or meat ingredients in its meals and still manages to create delicious recipes that are nutritionally balanced and satisfying.
The menu includes meal kits and prepared meals, but you can’t mix and match. The number of meals is the same for each side of the menu, and the recipes change weekly, so you won’t have time to get bored. Plus, with meal kits, you have several options marked Less Prep. These are meal kits that include a mix of more ready-to-eat items and pre-chopped veggies. Also, you’ll have to use fewer pots and pans, which means the cleanup will be faster.
Purple Carrot’s recipes are inspired by a wide range of international cuisines such as Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Indian. Of course, you’ll also find recipes specific to American cuisine, so everyone is happy. In a nutshell, the Purple Carrot menu is quite exotic, with recipes such as Thai Peanut Noodles, Indian Butter Chickpeas, Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, and Sesame Ginger Noodles. But, to see if this is the right vegan meal-delivery service for you, check out our Purple Carrot review.
The advantage of meal kits is that you also have breakfast and lunch options (not too many, though). Plus, the Plantry category, which you can use to stock your pantry with various items like Chocolate Glazed Mini Donuts, Hand Packed Lumache, burger sauce, and more.
When it comes to eco-friendliness, Purple Carrot still has more ground to cover. The meal kits come with a lot of plastic wrapping (each ingredient is individually wrapped), bottles, and jars, which can only be recycled if your community accepts this type of plastic. On the other hand, ready-made meals also come in plastic trays, which you can reuse.
When ordering, you have to choose either the meal kits or the prepared meals. If you opt for meal kits, you can order 2 or 3 meals per week, for 2 or 4 peopler. If you choose prepared meals, options include 6, 8, or 10 single-serving meals per week. Plus, if you order meal kits, you can get a better price per serving ($8.50 per serving) if you order more, but the price per serving stays the same with prepared meals.
One of the most environmentally friendly meal delivery services
100+ weekly dishes to choose from weekly
5 dietary options including health-conscious, vegetarian, and dairy-free
Celebrity Chef Martha has created an incredible service with Marley Spoon, which has over 100 weekly rotating dishes designed by the famous celebrity herself! The menu isn’t just impressive in size; it’s also diverse and includes recipes inspired by international and American cuisine.
Given the large menu and the level of diversity it offers, it’s clear that Marley Spoon is a company that considers the culinary needs of couples and families. Overall, the meals are tasty and filled with flavor and healthy nutrients, which means that even the fussiest eater will find something to enjoy.
Each dish comes with tags like Kid-Friendly, Healthy, Dairy Free, Under 30 Minutes, and much more, so you can choose the exact meal for your culinary lifestyle. Furthermore, there are options for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Learn more by reading our review here.
Marley Spoon also offers between 20 and 30+ veggie meals per week, which means that plant-based dieters have options (finally!). However, the vegan options are limited to around 3 to 6 per week.
I like that there are always new options on the menu. For instance, Marley Spoon is currently experimenting with ready-made meals. For now, there are only 3 options each week, but if the customers like the idea, there may be more in the future. Also, there’s a Premium section where you can find restaurant-quality meals made with premium-quality ingredients and extra trimmings. Just keep in mind that Premium meals are priced slightly higher than the core menu.
The service is eco-friendly and delivers exact pre-proportioned ingredients to reduce food wastage. It also uses minimal packaging in its boxes, but there’s still extra plastic wrapping and containers that may not be recyclable in your community.
You can order between 2 and 6 meals for 2 or 4 people each week, and many recipes are kid-friendly. This means that even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy Martha Stewart’s food. Plus, at $2.99 per serving, Marley Spoon is quite affordable, especially if you order for 4 people.
Recipes with 6 ingredients per dish
100+ meal kits and prepared meals per week + extras
Dietary options include low-calorie, vegetarian, and low-carb
Dinnerly is right at the sweet spot between high-quality ingredients and affordability. However, this doesn’t mean its customers are limited in any way or that the ingredients are lacking in quality.
The menu is large (over 100 weekly recipes) and diverse, with options from a series of international cuisines such as Mediterranean, French, Indian, Thai, Korean, or Japanese. Still, around half of the recipes are inspired by American and Mexican cuisines, so you’ll find plenty of burgers, tacos, steaks, and BBQs on the list as well.
Dinnerly is a meal service that caters to couples and families alike. In fact, the menu is divided into 6 categories, such as family-friendly, vegetarian, vegan, fast, healthy, and reduced-carb. This way, you can order meal kits that fit your cooking style and availability.
Dinnerly uses tags to mark its recipes. This makes it easy to find the meals that best fit your dietary options. For instance, if you want easy-prep meal kits, all you have to do is follow the tag Under 30 Minutes. For easy-to-cook meals, there’s the One Pot Meal tag, and for plant-based dishes, you have the tag Veggie.
Dinnerly’s offer includes around 30 plant-based dishes per week, but the vegan selection is quite limited (some weeks, there may be only one dish for vegans). To learn more about the type of meals and dietary specifics, check out our in-depth Dinnerly review.
I also really like that you can design a taste profile (once you have an account), and Dinnerly will suggest recipes based on it. Of course, you can change the suggestions and rearrange the meals as you like before placing an order.
Dinnerly is an advocate of minimal packaging (it also helps keep costs down), and most of the packaging is easily recyclable. Still, there’s no way to forgo plastic altogether, so you’ll find some plastic containers and wrappings. These may or may not be curbside recyclable, depending on your community’s recycling policies.
When it comes to ordering, Dinnerly’s system is easy to follow as you can mix and match between meal categories. Plus, you can order for 2 or 4 people, 3 to 6 recipes per person, and many of the meals are kid-friendly. And if you get the largest order, you’ll only pay $2.12 per serving!
$6.19 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$8.24 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$2.12 Per Serving
6 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
10 prepared meals
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
Meal kits, speedy kits, prepared meals
30-minute meal kits
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready
Oven- & grill-ready, kits, prepared
20 - 60 min. meal kits
Meal kits, prepared meals
30 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
There are a few key things to watch out for when choosing a meal service, such as:
Menu variety: Some services offer less than 10-15 meals per week, some offer 20+ meals per week and rotate them regularly, whilst others maintain a larger menu for weeks or months at a time. Therefore, pay attention to the menu size and how often it rotates.
Budget: You don’t have to splurge to get tasty meals. While the best quality ingredients are indeed expensive, you can still have healthy and delicious dishes with regular quality ingredients, especially if you’re on a budget.
Diet: If you want to strictly follow your current diet, whether that be keto or paleo, make sure the service you subscribe to has plenty of meal options for you.
Prep time: Choose a service with meal kits that match your schedule or switch to ready-made meals to avoid cooking entirely.
Dinnerly is hands-down the most affordable meal delivery service in Buffalo. Meals start at a low price of $2.12/serving, making it perfect for those on a budget. But, even though the price is low, you can still get meals that are tasty and made with high-quality ingredients.
Factor is the healthiest meal delivery service in Buffalo, thanks to its holistically healthy prepared meals. Its meals take into consideration factors like calories, saturated fats, sugar, and protein, making them great for a number of diets, including low-calorie and keto diets.
Home Chef is one of the most flexible meal delivery services out there due to its meal customization feature. This feature allows users to choose their favorite protein for most meals on the menu. Also, the meals taste great, and the prices are reasonable.