Our Meal Plan Service vs Meal Kit Companies

Our meal plan service was designed to include plenty of helpful features to transform your cooking experience. We do more than create recipes. We create dinner memories and help folks gain more confidence in the kitchen.

  • By Jess Dang
  • June 29, 2016

We often get asked, how are you different than services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh or Plated?

While we’re all companies trying to help busy people cook more, we believe Cook Smarts’ meal plan service provides a more flexible, more environmentally friendly, and much less expensive dinner cooking experience.

With these meal kit delivery services, you get pre-measured ingredients delivered to your door, which is an awesome convenience. However, most people, especially those with families, still need to pick up other items, like eggs, milk, lunch fixings, etc., at the grocery store, so they’re not really saving themselves a grocery trip.

Our meal plan service focuses on providing convenience without the packaging waste and also for a lot less money.

Every week, our members are given a cohesive menu of delicious, healthy meals that incorporate ingredient and prep efficiencies. You can easily customize your menu for diet option (original, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian), serving sizes, and swap or add in more meals from our Archives.

A grocery list is generated based on the choices you make in just 1 click and you can be off to the store knowing your family will have all the dinners (and lunch leftovers) you need for the week from your favorite local store.

If you prefer the convenience of grocery delivery, our meal plan service is integrated with grocery delivery services like Instacart, which are expanding fast. To see if they’re available in your area, enter your zip code here.

In just a click of a button, you can send your grocery list to Instacart.

It’s true, a grocery delivery service won’t measure out 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or 1 teaspoon of oregano for you, but that’s what little sous chefs are for, right? If you have kiddos, this is a perfect way to get them involved in the kitchen (and maybe pick up some new arithmetic skills in the process!).

We’ve had hundreds of members switch to our meal plan service after using a meal kit company. Here’s what they have to say about the change:

@cooksmarts #KitchenHero Elizabeth

elizabeth R.:

“This week I spent less on three meals of four servings each (hello lunch leftovers) than I did for half that many servings from Blue Apron, and my husband commented on how much better the meals taste. I love that I can scale a meal up or down depending on our needs and that there is great flexibility. I still have to grocery shop (which I hate) but I’ve been building my pantry slowly so trips are getting shorter! Thanks Cook Smarts.”

@cooksmarts #KitchenHero Christopher


“Since my girlfriend and I switched to Cook Smarts, I’ve been amazed how much we’ve saved in groceries. We went from impulse shopping to only buying what’s on the list. The meals taste great, are easy to make, are healthier and have much more variety than what we used to cook on our own. The annual subscription has already paid for itself and we’re only a month in! We also love that you can log the meals directly into MyFitnessPal so it’s so much easier to track your nutrition intake.”

@cooksmarts #KitchenHero Emily


“I liked that Blue Apron provided recipes for me, but didn’t like the food delivery aspect of it. I figured there had to be a service that provided just recipes. So I started Googling and, lo and behold, found Cook Smarts. Pretty much every review I read was glowing, and I signed up and have been loving it. The recipes are great, and the videos are enormously helpful.”

Have you also made the switch to Cook Smarts’ meal plan service from a meal kit company? We’d love to know how you’re finding the change below in the comments!

If you’re interested in trying our service out, you can get started with 3 delicious sample meal plans here:

Whenever you’re ready to receive new menus weekly, subscriptions start at just $6 / month (so $1.38 / week – a no brainer, according to our members). Get all the details here.

We were also featured on the Today Show with Plated, Peach  Dish, and HelloFresh. You can see how we compare in the video below.


Cook Smarts on The Today Show

Our meal plan service was recently featured on The Today Show, alongside other meal kit companies like Plated and HelloFresh.

Our mission is to teach and problem solve in the kitchen. We do more than create meal plans; we teach folks by creating helpful cooking resources and providing cooking tips, all of which you can receive right in your inbox. So join our cooking community by signing up for our newsletter below, and get ready to live a simpler, smarter, and healthier life in the kitchen.


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