Expert online meal planning with health and budgets in mind

groceries (general produce)
If chicken nuggets are your standard go-to family fare, it might be time to consider turning to one of the many online meal planning services. They’ll send the fresh ingredients to your door along with the recipe, so you don’t even have to decide what to cook.

Online grocer RelayFoods.com has a bit of a twist on this model. Today it launched Meal Planning, a service that allows customers to seamlessly purchase ingredients based on recipes they see online with its “Cook It” Chrome extension.

This feature is in addition to weekly, seasonal meal plans developed by a registered dietician and a growing catalog of à la carte dishes categorized by dietary preference. Once you’ve selected an item or dish for your e-cart, you can revise the number of servings and change-up ingredients to suit your diet, taste, allergies, and budget. If you’re making chicken, for example, you get four options at a variety of prices; however, there was only one choice for buttermilk for the recipe we looked at. The ingredients are also separated into “shopping list” and “pantry items,” because it’s unlikely you’ll need to buy flour and cinnamon every week.

While the service is free to use, the average meal prices out between $4 and $8 per serving. There’s also a delivery fee. According to the company’s PR manager, RelayFoods.com strives to make sure each meal’s groceries amount to $110 per 5-meal plan for a family of four. In comparison, Blue Apron offers a Family Plan with a price per meal of $8.74 and uses an in-house culinary team to test recipes that stay within the realm of 500-700 calories per serving.

The big catch is that RelayFoods.com is only available in the Washington DC area, Baltimore, and some parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Meanwhile, Blue Apron has a presence in all but eight states.

Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Smart Home

Thermomix introduces a small appliance that can do it all

The Thermomix TM6 just might be what you're looking for. This all-in-one appliance can perform 20 unique tasks that will cut down on the work of meal preparation and will help you cook just about anything.
Smart Home

Which Instant Pot is best? Whether cooking for 1 or 9, here are the best options

Instant Pots are perfect home cooks who love versatility in the kitchen, and for those who like to prepare quick and easy meals. Check out our picks for the best Instant Pots.
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Is your Keurig making gross coffee? Might be time for a cleaning

No one likes a dirty, scaled, or smelly Keurig, but how are you supposed to clean them? Before you throw yours out the window, here is a quick guide on cleaning your machine out thoroughly.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Deals

Amazon slashes $77 off the iRobot Roomba 690 multisurface robot vacuum

This special offer comes just in time for you to get a head start on spring cleaning. The Roomba 690 robot vacuum sucks up dust, dirt and pet hair — all while you're away at the office.
Smart Home

Get sweaty with the best smart home fitness gadgets on the market

Are you looking for smart fitness devices that will really help your workouts, no matter where you like to exercise? These smart home gadgets are designed to help you analyze your workouts and keep track of how you are doing.