Whereas I technically have 2 years and 9 months left till I’m formally an empty nester (however who’s counting?), my youngest and I moved into what I’ll name a transitional empty nest 3 years in the past when my three oldest kids graduated from highschool and flew off into the world — all inside a brief interval of one another. After cooking for a household of 5 for practically 2 many years, it’s been exhausting to regulate to cooking for simply two individuals, particularly when the final kiddo at residence has actions 7 days every week and doesn’t drive.

When there are just one or two individuals in a family, it’s tempting to simply seize meals out, particularly with eating places from fast-food to effective eating providing order-ahead curbside pickup as an possibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However one restaurant meal can simply comprise a day’s worth of calories (or extra). When mixed with a slowing midlife metabolism, too many meals out can result in undesirable weight acquire.

Thankfully, meal kits and ready meal supply companies may help you eat more healthy in a smaller family. Listed here are my favourite choices for an empty nest (or a virtually empty nest)!

Please notice that as a result of every of those meal kits and meal supply companies has distinctive advantages, and since what’s finest for my empty nest family will not be what’s finest for yours, I’ve listed my favorites in alphabetical order.

Blue Apron

With meals like truffle and fontina burgers, tahini rooster with roasted candy potato, and grilled pork pita burgers, Blue Apron is a perfect meal package service for empty nesters who get pleasure from cooking however wish to skip the grocery buying. Clients can select two- or four-serving plans, with two to 4 recipes delivered every week.

Whereas the Signature Plan affords the widest number of meals every week (usually greater than 15 choices), the Vegetarian and Wellness Plans deal with 4 to 5 meals that accommodate meatless and carb-conscious diets, respectively. Anticipate to spend about $9.00 per serving.

Professional Tip: Blue Apron has a special offer for empty nesters who’re over 55.

Dinnerly box and food
Photograph Credit score: Dinnerly


With meals beginning at simply $4.69 per individual, Dinnerly is among the most reasonably priced meal supply companies for empty nesters who wish to put together fundamental dishes shortly and not using a journey to the grocery retailer. Recipes embody two-cheese veggie calzone, one-pot rooster and rice, and low-carb grilled rooster fajitas. Select your supply day, the variety of servings per meal, and the variety of recipes per week. When your insulated field arrives, you’ve acquired every little thing it’s essential make home-cooked meals for the week. Oh, and you may make your field vegetarian with one click on.

Professional Tip: Are you curious why Dinnerly meal kits are a lot lower than others on this checklist? With out skimping on high quality elements, Dinnerly cuts prices by utilizing digital recipe playing cards (as a substitute of paper) and fewer elements (which interprets to much less cleansing, chopping, and packaging).

Everyplate subscription box and food
Daria Nipot / Shutterstock.com


One other “no frills” meal supply service that’s match for empty nesters who wish to put together easy dishes at house is EveryPlate. With recipes like diner-style rooster and gravy, Dijon butter steak with rosemary potatoes, and tacky corn bisque, clients can select the ClassicPlate or VeggiePlate meal sort and eat for about $5 per serving.

Professional Tip: Like many of the meal supply companies on this checklist, EveryPlate makes it simple to skip every week in case you’re touring or in any other case don’t need meal kits delivered that week.


This meal supply service is ideal for an empty nester who desires the comfort of a ready meal however with out the unhealthy saturated fats and excessive sodium usually discovered in a frozen dinner. Clients can select between 4 and 12 meals every week, with the fee per meal dropping from $11.49 to $8.49 as the amount of Freshly meals will increase.

It’s simple to view the week’s menu in accordance with your preferences or dietary necessities in case you filter by class. Crafted Classics contains dishes like homestyle rooster and masterful mac & cheese. FreshlyFit affords carb-conscious meals like a shepherd’s pie with cauli-butternut mash in lieu of the standard mashed potatoes. And the brand new Purely Plant category gives meatless dishes like an Indian-spiced chickpea curry bowl and an unwrapped salsa verde burrito with Purely Plant crumbles.

Professional Tip: Whether or not your subscription service is sending ready meals or contemporary objects ready so that you can prepare dinner up in your kitchen, your meals will arrive in a well-insulated field that may hold it contemporary for a number of hours in case you’re not residence proper at supply time.

Inexperienced Chef

With meals to accommodate keto, paleo, and plant-powered diets, Green Chef is an authorized natural firm that gives among the finest meal supply companies for empty nesters with particular meals life. Personalize your Inexperienced Chef plan by first selecting your required meal sort — keto and paleo, balanced dwelling, or plant-powered — then choose the variety of individuals and recipes per week. Every week you’ll uncover a brand new number of scrumptious dishes in your chosen class, like roasted fennel-cumin shrimp, Cuban rooster with chimichurri, and barramundi with mango salsa.

Inexperienced Chef is slightly pricier than a number of the meal package firms on this checklist, however that’s as a result of they completely use licensed natural and sustainably sourced elements. However as you choose your plan, you’ll be able to monitor the fee per serving so you recognize what to anticipate.

Professional Tip: Most meal subscription plans let you decide the day of the week you’d like your field delivered.

HelloFresh box and food
Photograph Credit score: HelloFresh


HelloFresh acquired Green Chef in March 2018, and makes use of an identical on-screen plan personalization expertise that can assist you discover the right possibility in your empty nest. Select as much as three meal-type preferences from an inventory of six choices, together with calorie sensible, fast and straightforward, and pescetarian. Then select the variety of individuals and recipes per week. As you construct your private plan, the display screen will present you particulars just like the field worth, worth per serving, and complete value after delivery, so you’ll be able to price range accordingly.

Along with tasty-sounding recipes — like crispy rooster and bacon alfredo with spinach, rooster sausage and kale soup, and orchard rooster salad — HelloFresh exhibits you precisely how a lot time every dish takes to organize, accompanied by delicious-looking photographs.

Professional Tip: Relating to sustainability, you might surprise how meal supply kits evaluate with cooking at residence utilizing elements out of your native grocery retailer or farmers market. The streamlined supply chain established by HelloFresh helps you cut back your meals waste by 25 p.c and cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Home Chef meal
Photograph Credit score: House Chef

House Chef (And House Chef’s Contemporary & Straightforward)

House Chef is among the most “all about you” meal package companies available on the market. Along with attempting to grasp your wants when you choose your plan (do you wish to strive new recipes or simply make dinner quick?) Home Chef can even make it easier to keep away from meals that you just specify to keep away from.

As somebody in a self-proclaimed “transitional empty nest” (which means I nonetheless spend numerous evenings operating my 15-year-old round), I really like that House Chef has a line of oven-ready dishes. Merely pop a pan of Carolina-style steak strip tacos or smothered Swiss turkey meatloaves into the oven, and dinner is on the desk with no prep work.

And as somebody with a meals allergy, I really like that House Chef makes it simple to customise every recipe for the nights once we wish to prepare dinner dinner. I’m allergic to beef and pork, however with a mouse click on, I can swap the steak within the Mediterranean-style tzatziki steak for salmon filets, and change the pork within the orange lettuce wraps with rooster. As a result of it’s simple to make substitutions, House Chef accommodates dietary necessities and preferences higher than most different meal supply companies on this checklist.

And for empty nesters who get pleasure from touring on their very own, take a look at our checklist of 11 Tips For Dining Solo While Traveling.

Martha Steward & Marley Spoon box
Photograph Credit score: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

With a reputation that’s turn out to be synonymous with scrumptious recipes and stylish internet hosting, it’s simple to anticipate quite a bit from a meal package firm that bears Martha’s title and has award-winning recipes and sensible cooking methods. And Marley Spoon delivers. Whereas most meal package firms on this checklist supply about 15 recipes every week, Marley Spoon gives practically double with 29 recipes every week, starting from about $9.50–$10.50 per portion.

Seek for the most effective meals in your empty nest in 5 classes, together with well being and food plan, vegetarian and vegan, and below half-hour for recipes like beef pastitsio with spinach salad, crispy pork with contemporary mint and basil over lettuce-radish salad, and smoky cod tostadas.

Professional Tip: Whereas meal kits embody practically every little thing it’s essential whip up a scrumptious meal at residence, you might want a number of staples, like salt, pepper, and cooking oil. You’ll additionally want fundamental kitchen gear, from a knife and chopping board to a set of pots and pans.

Whether or not you’re keen on cooking (however hate grocery buying) otherwise you prefer to eat effectively (however don’t wish to spend a number of hours a day within the kitchen), a meal subscription service is an ideal solution to eat effectively in your empty nest.

For extra tips about find out how to incorporate foods and drinks delicacies into the comforts of your personal residence, take a look at:

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