9 Delicious Food Subscription Services That Help You Avoid the Grocery Store

Blue Apron's meal plans can be adjusted to meet your nutritional needs.
Blue Apron's meal plans can be adjusted to meet your nutritional needs.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

While grocery shopping can be a time-consuming hassle during an average week, it can be nearly impossible to get what you want, when you want it, while social distancing. But before you give up on your meal-prep goals completely, consider the healthy (and cost-effective) hack that could help make cooking way more convenient: a food subscription service.

These services—which deliver boxes of snacks, wines, and complete meals straight to your door—give you new, tasty treats to try on a regular basis, so you can get right to the fun part (a.k.a. eating!). Whether you want to try new foods from around the world, recipes that will up your boxed mac and cheese game, or tasty beverages to help you unwind after a long day, these subscriptions are the perfect solution for any foodie with a busy schedule. After choosing one of these, you’ll never want to go to the grocery store again.

1. HelloFresh; $62-$98/week

A delivery from HelloFresh
HelloFresh has plans designed for two or four people.
HelloFresh

HelloFresh is a flexible meal subscription service that offers a two-person or four-person plan. The two-person plan gives you the option of two or four different recipes to try each week, while the four-person plan allows you to try two or three. The plans range from $7.49 to $9 per serving and have a standard shipping fee of $8.

HelloFresh's menus cater to your dietary preference, so in addition to the standard “meat and veggies” option, meals can be vegetarian, low calorie, or “family friendly” (a.k.a. easy, kid-tested recipes that make even the pickiest eaters happy). Each recipe is tested by the HelloFresh chefs a whopping 45 times, so you know what you’re eating is delicious. With the option to skip deliveries whenever you want, HelloFresh is the answer to the always-dreaded question: “When’s dinner?”

Try it: HelloFresh

2. Splendid Spoon; $65-$135/week

A box of food from Splendid Spoon.
Splendid Spoon's microwavable lunch offerings take prep work and cooking out of the equation.
Splendid Spoon

If you’re a vegan who hates cooking—but loves good food—Splendid Spoon is the answer to your daily meal woes. Not only does this service send you new meals to try each week, but they’re pre-prepared, so all you really have to do is pop your kit into the microwave. Splendid Spoon gives you three different weekly options: a Lunch plan that gives you five lunch bowls ($13 per meal), a Breakfast + Lunch plan that gives you five smoothies and five lunch bowls ($9.50 per meal), and a Breakfast + Lunch + Reset plan that gives you five smoothies, five lunch bowls, and one full-day reset, which includes soups to aid with digestion ($9 per meal).

Splendid Spoon allows you to choose their default meals for the week or choose from all 40-plus to customize your menu, so variety is never a problem. You can even make note of any ingredients or flavors you dislike in your Splendid Spoon profile to ensure you’re always getting what you want (and avoiding what you don’t). Best of all, these meals are all vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and low in sugar and sodium, so they’re healthy in addition to being easy.

Try it: Splendid Spoon

3. Universal Yums!; $15-$39/month-to-month or $165-$429/year

If you’re a snacker with a taste for adventure, Universal Yums! is like a flavor passport. A subscription service that delivers snacks from a different country to your door each month, Universal Yums! lets you try international bites without ever having to leave the comfort of your own apartment. The month-to-month plan allows you to choose from three different-sized boxes, ranging from $15 for six-plus snacks to $39 for a pack of 20-plus. If you choose to dive in for a full year, the price per box is reduced, effectively giving you a month for free.

Each box comes with a booklet filled with trivia and games that celebrates the featured country, allowing you to learn while you snack. After trying your first box, you’ll (almost) never need to go on vacation again.

Try it: Universal Yums!

4. Art of Tea; $65-$215/subscription

A cup of tea.
The Art of Tea allows you to try tea from all over the world.
Timothy Dranov/ iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you’re more of a tea drinker, the Art of Tea has a subscription package that lets you taste test teas inspired by recipes from around the globe. Available in three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions, this tea club features five different packages to choose from: the Caffeine Free collection, the Classics collection, the Single Origin collection, the Explore collection, and the Pyramid Tea Bags collection.

Each box comes with detailed information about the teas inside so you can learn more about them—including each one’s health benefits—while you wait for your beverage to steep. A great gift for yourself or someone else, this subscription package perfects the art of treating yourself.

Try it: Art of Tea

5. Urthbox; $15-$45/box (with a 12-month plan)

Urthbox is the perfect subscription service for anyone who believes in sustainable snacking. Delivering non-GMO, organic, and all-natural products, Urthbox includes healthy snacks, beverages, and more in their monthly packages. The boxes—which range from $15 per box to $45, depending on the size—only include products that have passed Urthbox’s strict standards. The company evaluates everything from sourcing to nutrition to manufacturing, so you can feel good about the products you’re munching on. And if you're on a specific gluten-free or vegan diet, you can specify that when you order, so your snacks will always be in line with your nutrition goals.

Although most boxes are snack-based, some also include supplements, skincare items, hair products, and more as a fun bonus each month. Each box is a surprise, but even though you don’t know exactly what you’re getting each month, you’ll know that it will always be good.

Try it: Urthbox

6. Blue Apron; $48-$120/week

The menus available from Blue Apron.
Every Blue Apron meal kit comes with background information on the dish and simple instructions to follow.
Carl Erwich/Getty Images

With Blue Apron, you choose from three different plans—a two-serving Signature plan, a four-serving Signature plan, or a two-serving Vegetarian plan—that allow you to customize how many recipes you’d like to receive each week. The prices range from $7.49 per serving to $10, depending on the plan and the frequency, and shipping is free for all options.

Blue Apron’s Signature plan allows you to personalize your menu each week based on your dietary preferences. You can have the standard meat and fish options delivered regularly, or you can opt for Weight Watcher-approved and diabetes-friendly meals, depending on your needs. Recipes are chef-designed and perfectly portioned, and with easy step-by-step instructions to follow on each recipe card, you’ll start feeling like an accomplished chef the moment you turn on your oven.

Try it: Blue Apron

7. Naturebox; $30/yearly membership

Whether you’re looking for a low-calorie option, something that’s keto-friendly, or just a downright tasty treat, Naturebox has everything you need for a fully stocked snack drawer. While you can purchase individual snacks (ranging from $4 to $20 with your membership discount), you can also buy snacks in bulk, ranging from $35 to $150, leaving you with more than enough to eat through every month.

Naturebox also gives you the flexibility of putting a box together whenever you want it, meaning there’s no need to worry about managing your subscription. And if you don’t like one of the snacks you choose, the company has a “don’t like it, don’t eat it” policy, where you can receive a store credit for any snack you don’t like within 90 days of receiving it. Now that’s some smart snacking.

Try it: Naturebox

8. igourmet, $100-$684/club subscription

Although you can buy individual gourmet products through igourmet, their Food-of-the-Month clubs deliver a selection of standout products in a single category, like cheese, bacon, or coffee, with options for three-month, six-month, and 12-month plans.

Each box comes with a newsletter to guide you through each product, including its history, the region it came from, and more. Shipping and handling is completely free, and if you aren’t a fan of your subscription package, igourmet will reship and refund your purchase hassle-free. This subscription is a great gift—whether for a family member, a friend, or yourself!—and it will make you a certified gastronome in no time.

Try it: igourmet

9. California Wine Club; $41-$231/shipment

A group of people enjoying wine.
There are a lot of ways to customize your California Wine Club plan.
ViewApart/iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you’ve ever wanted to do a wine tasting in your pajamas, a subscription to the California Wine Club is just what you need. Featuring selections from family-owned wineries, you can choose from six different plans: the Premier series (starting at $41 per shipment), the Signature series ($134), the International series ($71), the Aged Cabernet series ($231), the Pacific Northwest series ($77), and the Case Club series ($162). These clubs allow you to explore wine regions you’re curious about, expand your palate, or simply enjoy the wines you already know and love.

No matter which level you choose, you have the option of a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly package, and each club subscription comes with a guide to all the wines included in your box, a personalized online profile to help you track your favorite wines, VIP tours at featured wineries, and more. Some of the series even allow you to mix and match the types of wine and how many bottles you get—giving you flexibility in addition to great wine.

Try it: California Wine Club

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

13 Father's Day Gifts for Geeky Dads

Amazon/Otterbox/Toynk
Amazon/Otterbox/Toynk

When in doubt, you play the hits. Watches, flasks, and ties are all tried-and-true Father’s Day gifts—useful items bought en masse every June as the paternal holiday draws near. Here’s a list of goodies that put a geeky spin on those can’t-fail gifts. We’re talking Zelda flasks, wizard-shaped party mugs, and a timepiece inspired by BBC’s greatest sci-fi series, Doctor Who. Light the “dad” signal ‘cause it’s about to get nerdy!

1. Lord of the Rings Geeki Tikis (Set of Three); $76

'Lord of The Rings' themed tiki cups.
Toynk

If your dad’s equally crazy about outdoor shindigs and Tolkien’s Middle-earth, help him throw his own Lothlórien luau with these Tiki-style ceramic mugs shaped like icons from the Lord of the Rings saga. Gollum and Frodo’s drinkware doppelgängers each hold 14 ounces of liquid, while Gandalf the Grey’s holds 18—but a wizard never brags, right? Star Wars editions are also available.

Buy it: Toynk

2. Space Invaders Cufflinks; $9

'Space Invaders' cufflinks on Amazon
Fifty 50/Amazon

Arcade games come and arcade games go, but Space Invaders has withstood the test of time. Now Pops can bring those pixelated aliens to the boardroom—and look darn stylish doing it.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Legend of Zelda Flask; $18

A 'Legend of Zelda' flask
Toynk

Saving princesses is thirsty work. Shaped like an NES cartridge, this Zelda-themed flask boasts an 8-ounce holding capacity and comes with a reusable straw. Plus, it makes a fun little display item for gamer dads with man caves.

Buy it: Toynk

4. AT-AT Family Vacation Bag Tag; $12

An At-At baggage tag
ShopDisney

Widely considered one of the greatest movie sequels ever made, The Empire Strikes Back throws a powerful new threat at Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion: the AT-AT a.k.a. Imperial Walkers. Now your dad can mark his luggage with a personalized tag bearing the war machine’s likeness.

Buy it: ShopDisney

5. Flash Skinny Tie; $17

A skinny Flash-themed tie
Uyoung/Amazon

We’ll let you know if the Justice League starts selling new memberships, but here’s the next best thing. Available in a rainbow of super-heroic colors, this skinny necktie bears the Flash’s lightning bolt logo. Race on over to Amazon and pick one up today.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Captain America Shield Apron; $20

A Captain America themed apron
Toynk

Why let DC fans have all the fun? Daddy-o can channel his inner Steve Rogers when he flips burgers at your family’s Fourth of July BBQ. Measuring 31.5 inches long by 27.5 inches wide, this apron’s guaranteed to keep the cookout Hydra-free.

Buy it: Toynk

7. Doctor Who Vortex Manipulator LCD Leather Wristwatch; $35

A Doctor Who-themed watch
Toynk

At once classy and geeky, this digital timepiece lovingly recreates one of Doctor Who’s signature props. Unlike some of the gadgets worn on the long-running sci-fi series, it won’t require any fancy chronoplasm fuel.

Buy it: Toynk

8. Wonder Woman 3-Piece Grill Set; $21

Wonder Woman three-piece gill set
Toynk

At one point in her decades-long comic book career, this Amazon Princess found herself working at a fast food restaurant called Taco Whiz. Now grill cooks can pay tribute to the heroine with these high-quality, stainless steel utensils. The set’s comprised of wide-tipped tongs, a BBQ fork, and a spatula, with the latter boasting Wonder Woman’s insignia.

Buy it: Toynk

9. Harry Potter Toon Tumbler; $10

Glassware that's Harry Potter themed
Entertainment Earth

You can never have too many pint glasses—and this Father’s Day, dad can knock one back for the boy who lived. This piece of Potter glassware from PopFun has whimsy to spare. Now who’s up for some butterbeer?

Buy it: EntertainmentEarth

10. House Stark Men’s Wallet; $16

A Game of Thrones themed watch
Toynk

Winter’s no longer coming, but the Stark family's propensity for bold fashion choices can never die. Manufactured with both inside and outside pockets, this direwolf-inspired wallet is the perfect place to store your cards, cash, and ID.

Buy it: Toynk

11. Mr. Incredible “Incredible Dad” Mug, $15

An Incredibles themed mug
ShopDisney

Cue the brass music. Grabbing some coffee with a Pixar superhero sounds like an awesome—or dare we say, incredible?—way for your dad to start his day. Mom can join in the fun, too: Disney also sells a Mrs. Incredible version of the mug.

Buy it: ShopDisney

12. Star Wars phone cases from Otterbox; $46-$56

Star Wars phone cases from OtterBox.
Otterbox

If your dad’s looking for a phone case to show off his love of all things Star Wars, head to Otterbox. Whether he’s into the Dark Side with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, the droids, Chewbacca, or Boba Fett, you’ll be able to find a phone case to fit his preference. The designs are available for both Samsung and Apple products, and you can check them all out here.

Buy it: Otterbox

13. 3D Puzzles; $50

3D Harry Potter puzzle from Amazon.
Wrebbit 3D

Help dad recreate some of his favorite fictional locations with these 3D puzzles from Wrebbit 3D. The real standouts are the 850-piece model of Hogwarts's Great Hall and the 910-piece version of Winterfell from Game of Thrones. If dad's tastes are more in line with public broadcasting, you could also pick him up an 890-piece Downton Abbey puzzle to bring a little upper-crust elegance to the homestead.

Buy it: Hogwarts (Amazon), Winterfell (Amazon), Downton Abbey (Amazon)

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This $30 Guide Will Help You Understand the Stock Market

Viktoriia Hnatiuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Viktoriia Hnatiuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Demystify the stock market once and for all with this Wall Street Survival and Stock Trading Guide while it’s discounted to $30. With the help of these eight courses, you’ll learn to strategically grow the money you have in just 13 hours.

Long-term investing may take decades to see a steady return, but day trading can earn profits daily, even hourly. The guide's included Day Trading 101 course will teach you about technical analysis and chart indicators, helping you can analyze trading psychology and trends.

Some stocks are better to keep beyond a day as rumors ramp up about changes within a company. The Beginner’s Guide to Swing Trading will teach you the basics of swing trading (where you hold on to a stock for a few days or weeks) and how you can turn it into a part-time moneymaker. You’ll learn from a full-time trader and investor about the mistakes he made in his career, which can help you dodge them yourself.

To the uninitiated, stock charts might as well be in another language. Even if you understand the information it’s conveying, analyzing it into a story for investment is a challenge. This guide includes a course in technical analysis to teach you to see patterns in all time frames, so you can use them as a day trader, swing trader, and even long-term investor.

Once you understand strategies for investing, you may begin to wonder where to start your trading career. That’s why the bundle sets you up to start with a step-by-step guide to finding winning stocks, diversifying your portfolio, and minimizing risk across penny stocks and more. You can continue your education with guides in the Fibonacci method and tape reading.

Get a deeper understanding of the economy and learn how to cut your own sliver of the pie with the Wall Street Survival and Stock Trading Guide for just $30.

The Wall Street Survival & Stock Trading Guide Bundle - $29.99

See Deal

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.