Too Busy? Try a Personal Chef and Meal Delivery

Personal chefs and meal delivery are the new rage for middle and upper class families. Having little time together as it is and two incomes almost mandatory, families need a way to take time off. With your very own personal chef and meal delivery you can save up to 17 hours of shopping, cooking, and clean-up time.

What is a Personal Chef?

A personal chef plans menus, shops for groceries, and prepares nutritious dinners for busy people. The meals are packaged and stored, complete with full instructions for reheating.

Why Use a Meal Delivery Service?

Eating properly is not one of the things that people do without cause. Having someone prepare the meals can help people learn portion control, give opportunities to try new foods, and cut out fast food runs. Some may need the strict structure of one of the diet programs to begin with.

Time is the second reason to have a meal service. With all the time involved in food preparation from the shopping to the preparation it has become a turnoff to the working person. Without the time for preparation and shopping people tend to make the quick run to the fast food place or fix food that is generally unhealthy. Below are some of the most recognized and the best in their area.

Types of Delivery

Diet Delivery

FroZone $680 for 28 days. Frozen 3 meals a day. Delivered by FedEx

Zone Lifestyle starting at $36.99 per day, includes 3 meals a day plus two snacks. Delivered by FedEx on a weekly basis

Atkins $29.95 per day plus shipping and handling. Includes 3 meals per day and one snack. Delivered by FedEx. Includes personal coach. Requires 28 day commitment.

Personal Chefs with Nationwide Delivery

The Healthy Chef, Inc (thehealthychef.net) $36.99 per day, includes 3 meals plus 1 snack. Also has the Whole Food diet. All the food is organic with no preservatives. The Healthy Chef seems the best option for those who desire more personalized service and three meals a day. He can even place a personal chef in your home. Chef John Procacci who is certified in health foods, served as Executive Chef for Chamberlin’s Natural Foods and Spa Chef for The Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World, and seems the best in terms of individual attention. The three meal option was for those who wanted to eat healthy, and not necessarily diet.

Ala Carte’

Artiko Chef (artikochef.com) is mainly ala carte’ items. All the food is natural and without preservatives. This is very family oriented, since it was started by two working mothers. They even have a children’s section. They do have all the nutritional information on all the food and the cooking directions. Most of the food is prepared with the microwave. They offer the sampler kits for around $77 for 7 meals. They do offer a huge selection (250 to be exact).

Family Chef (familychef.com) was a great site. It does not have the 3 meal a day thing, but the variety was good. Shipping and handling started at $24 and went up according to weight. 12 meals run $219. According to the company’s website, “A single meal weighs between 28-32 ounces each. To put that into relative terms, a standard TV dinner you might get from the grocery store weighs approximately 9-11 ounces. Our meals are nearly 3 times the size and can serve up to 2 people.” They have no minimum and offer repeat buyers a membership with 10% off all purchases.

The family chef is perfect for those just wanting someone to cook the dinner. They seem to cater to families wanting to make sure loved ones have food, like kids, older parents, and the homebound. The food is ample for two, which cuts down on cost. The sampler packages effectively served 8 for less than $10 per person which cannot be accomplished at any fresh food place. Please keep in mind the 10% discount that is available to repeat buyers, gift certificates, delivery to other addresses for gifts to starving students. They even have food for parties and companies.

A La Zing (alazing.com) mainly has individual meals, but they are designed for two. The Deluxe Sampler they offered for $69.96 (on sale) includes 8 complete meals. They use Omaha Steaks.

The drawback is that the items are not “fresh” and if the items are out of stock then they are put on back order. There is no nutritional information or guidelines, though they do offer lighter fare.

Home Bistro (homebistro.com) would be a direct competitor of A La Zing, except the food is prepared by Paris trained chefs who refuse to have their food reheated in a microwave. It must simmer. They focus mainly on dinner, and offer an excellent variety. Even those on low card diets have meals available to them. The meals range from $9.95 to $22.95 plus shipping and handling. Like A La Zing, they have a sampler meal package which has 8 servings, they top out at $106.95.

Alternatives:

Gourmetstation.com

Vmeals.com

Commonalities

All products are shipped in insulated containers with dry ice.

Most of the food can be prepared in less than 20 minutes

Food is available within one week of signing up.

Home meal delivery is great for the person who is too busy to cook, does not know how to cook, or needs helps controlling food intake. The only downsides are cost and the loss of teachable moments. The diet programs are the most expensive and can top out at $15000 for a year’s worth of food and shipping cost for one person. With the average household income at $44, 400, according to the Economic Briefing Room, therefore, the three meal option may be too costly. However, with the other vendors offer the most time consuming meal (dinner) that may be a less expensive alternative.

Finally, there is the tradition lost of mothers passing down the family secrets while preparing meals. There is a generation of women who do not know how to prepare a meal, and rely on restaurants and fast food for their sustenance. But times do change.

If price and tradition are not a problem then head to one of the websites and see what choices are available to you. Maybe you do not want to commit to 28 days before trying the food, call and talk to the ones that interest you. Some do not have such requirements, so that may not be a factor.

In conclusion, food preparation is time consuming and tiresome. For singles, it could be costly because of all the ingredients needed to prepare some items. The best part of the plans above is that they virtually eliminate the leftover, unless you want to have it twice. The variety ranges from the simple to the international. They range from fresh from the chef to frozen, but all provide the buyer with a break.

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