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Gourmet dinner ingredients sent to your home

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A growing number of companies want to help you take the guesswork out of an age old question: What's for dinner?

It's a solution halfway between ordering take-out and going out and shopping for ingredients to prepare a home-cooked meal from scratch.

The idea behind the "dinner kits" is simple: you sign up online for a subscription and get a weekly delivery with all the already-measured ingredients you need to prepare a healthy and somewhat gourmet meal, instructions included.

"It's very nice to come home on a Tuesday and just have a box waiting for us that has all the ingredients we need to cook," said Manhattan mom Laura Goldsmith. "We don't even have to think about it or go to the grocery store."

Goldsmith subscribes to Blue Apron, a Brooklyn-based company which each week delivers 12,000 boxes of ingredients to customers in the eastern part of the U.S. Other companies providing similar services include Plated and Hello Fresh.

"We've been doing it about three months now and we've yet to have the same meal twice, so we get to try different things every week," Goldsmith said.

Menu items include Moroccan vegetable stew with whole wheat cous cous, five spiced hang and seared flounder with green bean salad. The company has yet to repeat a recipe.

CEO Matt Salzberg said the idea for Blue Apron was born out of his own frustrations with wanting to cook, but not having the time to shop for the ingredients and do the prep work.

"We can help people make slightly more complicated recipes at home because we've done all the shopping for you, we've done all the prep work for you," Salzberg said.

The price is $9.99 a person, which some say is more expensive than buying everything yourself at the store. Salzberg disagrees and said their prices are comparable or in some cases cheaper than high-end grocery stores that stock the ingredients they use in the meals.

Since launching in August, Blue Apron has seen its subscriber base grow substantially, he said.

"We found a real need in the market people have really caught onto," Salzberg said.

http://www.blueapron.com/

http://www.hellofresh.com/

http://www.plated.com/

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