Even the most enthusiastic chef is liable to find cooking for one a thankless experience. Between meal planning, grocery shopping and preparation, the time spent on the meal in some cases far exceeds the actual pleasure of eating. Once you’ve finished, you’ve still got to tidy and wash the dishes, adding yet more time-consuming chores to your free time.
If you think the only options available for singles are take-outs and frozen meals, it’s time to think again. Imagine you had the freedom to stop throwing away excess produce and use the time you usually spend in the grocery store keeping fit or visiting friends instead.
Although many companies focus on providing meals for families and couples, some offer an excellent meal kit delivery for singles, with carefully portioned servings offering a tasty low-calorie alternative to unhealthy and expensive take-outs.
Saving Money and Losing Weight When Cooking for One
Two of the biggest challenges facing people living alone are trying to save money and keep an eye on the waistline while cooking for one. With groceries often pre-packaged into family sizes and many products being cheaper when bought in bulk, getting the right amount of anything can be challenging when it’s only you eating. What often happens is that you end up with enormous portions or you simply throw away the excess, which is either bad for your health or your bank balance. Unfortunately, even in a society where obesity is a serious problem and increasing numbers of people both live and eat alone, dining solo and eating healthy don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.
Of course, you want to include plenty of fruit and vegetables into your diet but fresh produce is not only notoriously difficult to consume before it starts to wilt, but it also takes a lot of preparation time. This is why a meal kit delivery service for singles is so ideal. Order a fruit basket for two people from Home Chef and you’ll have an assortment of different fruits to snack on during the week. Admittedly this is pretty pricey with each item costing the equivalent of around a dollar a piece. In comparison, an apple from the supermarket would probably set you back around 30 to 50c, but it’s nonetheless a convenient alternative that could help minimize waste while encouraging you to eat at least five items of fruit each week.
The best meal kit delivery services for singles have a range of low-calorie and low-carb options available each week which makes weight-loss a far easier prospect than when you’re coming up with your own recipe ideas and trying to work out portions and calorie content. With the best meal delivery plans for singles having smartphone apps you can download, you can find out everything you need to know about a dish while on the go, saving you even more time.
Although single person meal delivery services do work out a little more expensive per portion than a meal you’ve made from scratch, the fact that you only receive enough ingredients to create each individual meal means you’ll save when it comes food wastage. Similarly, you’d be surprised by how much money you can save by not driving to the grocery store each week, not to mention all the unhealthy snacks you’ll avoid by shirking the temptations of the check-out.
Is Eating Alone Bad For You?
Research indicates that solo dining could be bad for your health, regardless of what’s actually on your plate. A study carried out researchers in South Korea has indicated that men who eat alone have a 45% increased risk of developing obesity. While women were slightly better off, those who ate alone once or twice a day showed a 29% greater likelihood of developing a metabolic condition than those who ate with others.
Of course, some of us enjoy the peace and quiet of a solitary meal from time to time, but being in a position where you have no other options can lead to a feeling of social isolation which, in turn, can cause people to choose junk food and over healthier options like fruit and vegetables.
Not only can eating alone lead you to make less healthy decisions about your food intake but also makes skipping meals altogether easier and more tempting. A single person meal delivery service can help combat some of the problems associated with eating alone. For one, knowing that meal or meal kit is waiting for you at home means you’re unlikely to skip dinner and opt for ice cream instead. Similarly, knowing you’re getting healthy meals for one delivered to your home means you’re less likely to buy junk food on your way home. Furthermore, if eating gives you pleasure, the feelings of social isolation will be offset by that gratification, giving you a healthier approach to both your daily food intake and your life.
The Best Meal Delivery Services for Singles
Although the competition in the world of meal delivery services is fast and fierce, the number of companies that actually offer meal delivery plans for singles is surprisingly limited. Among the more affordable single person meal delivery services around is Freshly. While unfortunate for the budding chefs out there, Freshly’s prepared meal delivery gives customers a huge variety of meals to choose from each week without any of the hassle of planning, shopping or preparation.
With Freshly, you can get meals for one delivered to your home so that you don’t have to give your diet, or its calorie and carb-content, another thought. Freshly gives you the freedom to choose between four and 12 servings per week, with prices ranging between $8.99 and $12.50 per serving which is good value for money when you consider how much thought and calorie-counting has gone into it.
When browsing Freshly’s weekly menus, you’ll notice a number of graphics under each recipe; these indicate whether the meal is free of allergens like soy and gluten, low in calorie, high in protein, vegetarian and all manner of other useful snippets of information.
Each week’s menu includes vegetarian, meat and seafood dishes all of which have been created by professional chefs, according to guidelines provided by expert nutritionists. As a result, Freshly is the best meal delivery service for singles when it comes to everyday healthy and delicious meals.
- Single meals available
- No preparation required
- 100% gluten-free
- The adventurous menu may not appeal to fussy eaters
- Limited vegetarian options
- No opportunity to develop your culinary flair
For more information on Freshly read our extensive Freshly review.
#2 Home Chef
This is one of the most versatile meal prep delivery services around and, although it doesn’t specifically offer specialized meal delivery plans for singles, it’s still one of the most affordable and convenient. Unlike many of its competitors, Home Chef allows customers to select from its weekly menu without committing to a specific meal plan which is great for single people who need a little more flexibility. With over 15 dishes to choose from as well as additional add-ons like fruit baskets and smoothies, Home Chef provides both adaptability and flavor.
As flexible as it is, Home Chef requires a minimum order of two servings per meal so, if you’re eating alone, you’ll need to find an option tempting enough that you won’t mind eating it twice in a week. With offerings such as Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp and Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara on the menu, that shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Home Chef offers quick and affordable lunches in addition to their dinner dishes so you can grab a Hawaiian Chicken Grain Bowl rather than heading to the local restaurant for a plateful of fries. Adapting Home Chef’s service to suit your specific needs is really easy and using their smartphone app means you can order, cancel or change your meals while commuting to work.
Each week, Home Chef will deliver fresh ingredients to your door, cutting out the time-consuming requirements of grocery shopping and meal planning. Obviously, if you really hate cooking, this isn’t the best single person meal delivery service for you but if you want to expand your culinary repertoire, Home Chef will give you lots of useful tips as well as top-quality ingredients.
- Delivers Nationwide
- Minimum of two servings
- Meals are fairly conventional
- Limited vegetarian options
For more information on Home Chef, read our extensive Home Chef review.
#3 Hello Fresh
Having overtaken Blue Apron as America’s most popular meal delivery service, Hello Fresh is going from strength to strength. As with Home Chef, you can only order a minimum of two servings per meal, but Hello Fresh also limits your choice by getting you to commit to either their vegetarian meal plan or the classic one. As a result, Hello Fresh is a little more restrictive than Home Chef and becomes even more so when you realize you can only order a maximum of three meals per week. Of course, if you’re single, this means you actually get six meals per week as long as you don’t object to a little repetition. And on the seventh day, you can allow yourself to splurge a little, thanks to Hello Fresh’s reasonable prices.
If you’re looking for an easy introduction to flexing your culinary muscles, Hello Fresh is the answer, giving you meals that can be prepared in just 30 minutes by following a simple six-step recipe. Like Home Chef, Hello Fresh has an app you can download so you can receive recipes and manage your delivery while on the go.
One of the things we love about Hello Fresh is that they have a convenient wine delivery package available to complement their single person meal delivery service. With wine pairing recommendations and information about each wine’s combination of flavors, you can start to hone your wine-tasting skills and impress your friends with your sommelier knowledge.
Hello Fresh’s meals are a little more experimental and include some mouth-watering options that you don’t see every day, like Lobster Ravioli and the Middle-East-inspired Za’atar Chicken and Couscous, so if you want to try new flavors and recipes, Hello Fresh is the best single person meal delivery service for you.
- Interesting recipes and ingredients
- Complimentary wine delivery service
- Mobile app available
- Minimum of two servings
- Options more limited than Home Chef
- Unsuitable for more particular palates
For more information on Hello Fresh read our extensive Hello Fresh review.
# 4 Purple Carrot
Finding fun and delicious recipes when you’re cooking for one can be a challenge in itself. Luckily Purple Carrot makes it all incredibly easy for you offering a range of delicious recipes that are simple to prepare. This plant-based meal kit company caters exclusively to vegans, but if you don’t follow a strict vegan lifestyle this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not the meal plan for you. Throwing in a few veg-based meals during the week is both healthy and practical with Purple Carrot.
A delivery of three meals with two servings per meal means that you can have six tasty meals to prepare at home or take to the office. There are three meal plans to choose from including High Protein, Chef’s Choice and Quick & Easy. The latter option includes recipes like: Smoky Tofu Caesar Wrap, Portobello Panang Curry, Early Spring Pad Thai, Carrot Spinach Socca and Beet & Coconut Bacon Flatbread just to name a few. All of these dishes can be made and plated within half an hour. Prices start from $7.99 and range to $11.99 per meal with shipping included.
If you’re not too flash in the kitchen, you also have video tutorials on the Purple Carrot website showing you how to improve your skills. Each meal has a nutrition card showing you the ingredients used as well as your daily nutritional value. There is recycling information also found on their website which will show you exactly how to get rid of or recycle the containers and boxed your food comes in.
- Unlimited vegan and vegetarian options available
- Exciting plant-based recipes
- Possibility of choosing various meals
- Not the cheapest available meal plans on the market
- Lacks options for special dietary needs
- No mobile app available
For more information on Purple Carrot read our extensive Purple Carrot Review.
The Bottom Line
While the love of food may be enough to inspire some of us to plan meals, spend an hour at the grocery store each week and the same again in the kitchen every evening, many of us find the planning and preparation just too much, especially if we’re only cooking for ourselves. Healthy eating regimes and carefully planned diets fly out of the window after a couple of weeks simply because they seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.
The best meal delivery services for singles can help you overcome those issues by taking away the difficulties of planning meals, and sourcing and preparing ingredients. With Freshly offering a healthy and affordable single person meal delivery service, you can eat a range of international dishes every week while sticking to a low-carb or vegetarian diet.
Not only can a single person meal delivery service improve your diet, but it can also improve your mood by giving you tasty meals to look forward to and combating the urge to grab junk food on your way back from work. Preparation time is minimal with a service like Freshly, and so is the cleanup! Although you do have to do some preparation with a meal kit delivery for singles like Home Chef and Hello Fresh, it will still be under half an hour, while also minimizing the time it takes to clean up afterward.
Whether you love cooking or want to avoid it completely, there is a single person meal delivery service out there that will reignite your love of eating – and possibly even cooking – while helping you discover the benefits of healthy eating.