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Considering a meal delivery service? BBB recommends some things to think about

Q: I am trying to eat healthier, which means I will need to start eating out less and start cooking at home more. I have no idea how to cook, nor do I know how to grocery shop. I want to make meals that are easy and convenient. I hear about meal delivery services all over the television and on social media, but there are so many companies that offer so many different choices. How do you recommend I choose one?

A: Meal delivery services are great, because people have a chance to make home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients that are pre-measured for you, with easy-to-follow recipes. Best of all, they deliver the product straight to your door!

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a meal delivery service.

First, you need to know your skill level. Some companies offer more advanced recipes than others. Don’t commit to a plan that has more advanced cooking techniques if you do not give yourself the time to learn.

You should also consider ingredient quality and prep work. Not all companies offer organic, free-range, non-GMO ingredients, and not every company will do the prep work for you (chopping, sauce making, etc.). If these are must-haves for you that will narrow down the choices.

After you’ve narrowed down that aspect of what you are looking for, start researching companies.

Check them out with BBB on bbb.org to learn about past customers’ experiences, and ask your friends and family for recommendations on who they’ve used in the past.

Be sure to set a budget and check the fine print. Pricing can vary greatly from one company to the next, especially if you factor in higher quality ingredients, which is why you should select a service that aligns with your budget.

Also, not every meal delivery service includes shipping fees in their pricing. Be sure to read the fine print to know what extras you must pay for. This can be a difference maker.

You should also try and contact customer service and check the cancellation policy. If there is ever a problem, you want to be sure you can count on someone being there to assist you any time of day, and if you ever need to cancel for any reason, you’ll know what to expect.

Lastly, remember to be careful with your personal information. Most meal delivery services process payments online, so make sure the company you choose is legitimate before offering up your personal information.

When paying online, make sure the URL starts with https and includes the lock symbol. The “S” in https stands for secure.

For more tips, visit bbb.org.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems toAction Line at the BetterBusiness Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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