Nutrisystem Select – How much does it cost, what’s included, and other answers.

select 3It’s been a while since I did a good Nutrisystem post. I’m still on the plan (well, off and on), and it’s still keeping my weight pretty healthy. So I thought I’d share thoughts on the plan I’m on: Nutrisystem Select.

What it is:

As regular readers of this blog may know, Nutrisystem delivers food in one of two ways. One way is to deliver “shelf-stable” food which doesn’t need refrigeration. The best way I can describe this food is that it’s a lot like canned food. The meal is vacuum-sealed in a plastic container, which you put in the microwave. If you’re a foodie, this type of food is probably not for you, but for the rest of us the taste is pretty passable for most of the dishes. View my post of best tasting Nutrisystem meals for a list (scroll to the bottom).

The other way Nutrisystem delivers food is what they call “fresh frozen” food. This is food which is prepared fresh and then flash frozen immediately to lock in all the taste and texture. After you warm up the food, it comes out exactly like it does before it was frozen. In this sense, it’s unlike a regular TV dinner. For example, the shrimp in the shrimp alfredo is amazingly fresh with a snap as you bite into it. The garden vegetable omelet literally tastes like you just fried it up on the stove. The meatball parm melt is like a cute little brother of a Subway meatball marinara sub. And so on.

One smart thing that Nutrisystem did was partner up with Schwan Home Delivery service. If you never heard of Schwan, it’s a company that specializes in delivering this kind of flash frozen food. They helped Nutrisystem develop their product line of the right portioned meals with Schwan taste and quality.

How it works:

The Web site isn’t very clear on how to order, so here’s are step-by-step instructions.

1) Visit the Nutrisystem Site! Start now..

2) On the right-hand part of the page you’ll see buttons with the words “Learn More” under “Women’s Plan” and “Men’s Plan”. Click on the appropriate one.

3) Click “Order Now” for the regular package (Basic Select), the package for seniors (Silver Select) or a diabetic (Diabetic Select).

4) On the next page you’ll be able to choose your food plan. I definitely recommend choosing “Custom Menu”, as a lot of the shelf-stable food you get in “Member Favorites” isn’t great.

5) You can select Auto Delivery (a subscription plan) or Month By Month. I’d suggest selecting Auto Delivery (which is much cheaper), and then just cancelling the auto-delivery if you can’t use it.

6) If you chose Custom Menu, you’ll choose two weeks’ worth of shelf-stable food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Again, I’d refer to my lists of my favorite Nutrisystem foods and their customers favorite Nutrisystem foods as your guide.

7) Go through and enter your name, address, and credit card information and sit back and wait for all the food to come to your door!

How much it costs:

If you select “Auto Delivery”, the price is only $399.99 + 18.95 shipping, which comes out to less than $5 a meal ($4.99 to be exact). If you choose “Month by Month”, the cost is $444.43 for the package, which ends up being about $5.27 a meal (plus veggies and fruits you buy separately).

What to expect next:

You’ll get two weeks worth (14 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners) of shelf-stable food right away. Store those away in the cupboard or do like I do and leave the box in the kitchen.

Two times in the next four weeks, a Schwan driver will come to your door with the box of frozen food. He’ll deliver a week at a time so as to not overstuff your freezer. The box will be tightly packed with 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners. Here are the foods you get in the frozen box. They’re all very tasty, but I’ve put a star next to the ones I find exceptional.

*Breakfast Burrito (1)
Ham and Cheese Omelet (1)
Homestyle Pancakes (2)
*Garden Vegetable Omelet (1)
Golden French Toast (2)

*Chicken Fajita Melt (1)
*Chicken Quesadilla (1)
*Meatball Parmesan Melt (1)
*Steak and Cheese Melt (2)
Toasted Ham and Cheese (2)

Glazed Chicken Tenders (1)
*Ravioli Formaggio (1)
Salisbury Steak with Macaroni and Cheese (1)
*Shrimp Alfredo (1)
*Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells (1)
Turkey Pepperoni Pizza (1)
Chicken Alfredo (1)

*Ice Cream Sandwich (8)
*Creamy Fudge Bar (2)
*Caramel Swirl Sundae (2)
*Lime Crème Bar (1)
*Fudge Swirl Sundae (1)

If you already have a Nutrisystem account, you can actually order the frozen foods separately or in special bundles if you don’t want the shelf-stable stuff.

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