Blue Apron

Sometimes the biggest deterrent to cooking at home is no time or energy for a trip to the grocery store. Particularly in the suburbs where take out and delivered options are limited. Enter Blue Apron ( The latest trend in food convenience is a box delivered weekly to your door packed with everything you need for three home-cooked meals.

Ingredients are carefully calibrated, and glossy recipe cards give step-by-step instructions. With your olive oil, salt and pepper and a little sweat equity, meals are ready in 30 to 40 minutes. The price is decent at $59.99 a week for three meals for two people ($10 a serving), and you can suspend delivery if you're away. There are different plans (vegetarian, no fish or seafood, larger quantities), and you can switch plans week to week.

The menus get repetitive, but if well timed, Blue Apron can be a life saver. There are now several other companies providing similar services such as Peach Dish, Home Chef, Plated, Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot.