A elegantly presented plate of shrimp and beef skewers

Maybe you’re too tired at the end of a long work day to bother. Who has the time to make up a shopping list, visit the grocery store, look up the recipe, prepare the ingredients, and cook the meal? These are all very time-consuming and eating out all the time is neither healthy nor cost-effective. There has to be an alternative.

And there is. Thanks to the beauty of the Internet, there are a number of different resources online that can provide you with complete pre-made meals, delivered straight to your door. These are great after a long day at work, for a special occasion, or even for people who aren’t exactly masters in the kitchen.

Artiko Chef

Artiko Chef

Artiko Chef — Enjoy chef-prepared meals delivered to your door. Receive a week’s worth of meals via the meal plan or choose from a range of great gift ideas. They deliver nationwide.

Bistro MD — Lose weight while enjoying gourmet diet food. This program has been featured on the Dr. Phil show, being described as “the best home meal delivery available.” Menus rotate weekly.

Body Chef — Delivering fresh food diet plans and custom diets direct to customers all across the United Kingdom, Jayne Ritchie helps to “make losing weight fast and simple.”

Butter Root — Instead of delivering frozen meals, this service run by chefs Tiffany Friedman and Mathew Martin deliver meals in the Tupperware that you provide them. You choose the menu; they handpick the ingredients and deliver it to your door.

Chef’s Diet — Featured on The View and The Early Show, this program offers fresh and frozen prepared meals, as well as kosher and vegetarian options.

Diamond Organics

Diamond Organics

Citarella — Choose from a range of fine dining options from this New York-based company. Menu items include smoked fish, truffles, and foie gras. This isn’t your mother’s meatloaf.

Diamond Organics — Eating healthy with fresh ingredients is one thing, but you can go to another level by sticking with organic produce! Choose from a number of menu items from Kathleen’s Kitchen and call into the toll-free number if you’d prefer not to order over the Internet.

Diet to Go — Cut the calories and choose between the low-fat traditional, low-fat vegetarian, and low-carb diet menus. The great tasting meals are doctor approved for weight loss plans and programs.

Family Chef — Mega Meal Packs offer a variety of complete ready-made meals, deliverable to your home or office nationwide. The food arrives in freezer-stackable and microwave-save containers, kept cold with dry ice and reusable gel packs.

5 Squares — Offering customized diet delivery to your door, this program is designed to provide you with five meals a day, three to seven days a week. Plans can be customized to suit your tastes and health requirements.

The Fresh Diet

The Fresh Diet

The Fresh Diet — Select from a number of different program choices, including gluten-free and vegetarian menu options. Deliveries are available in South Florida, LA, Chicago, and the New York Tri-State area.

Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine — Boasting “food to diet for,” prepared meals from this service are available for pickup in Atlanta or anywhere in the Southeastern United States via UPS.

Gourmet Grocery Online — In addition to gift baskets and fresh flowers, this site also offers a number of prepared meals. Choose from the meat market, desserts, seafood, coffee, and even caviar.

Gourmet Station — Featured in such places as USA Today and Good Morning America, Gourmet Station offers everything from salmon dinners to delectable desserts. Choose between dinner gifts, occasion dinners, and meal plans.

Home Bistro — These prepared meals are now handled by DineWise, one of the America’s most popular prepared meal companies. Choose from the large inventory ranging from light dinners to hearty pasta meals.

Impromptu Gourmet

Impromptu Gourmet

Home Cooking For You — Now available with kobe beef, this online store ships and delivers delicious dinners nationwide. They guarantee 100% satisfaction or your money back.

Impromptu Gourmet — Enjoy chef-inspired meals, foods, and gifts delivered to your door. The menu includes everything from entrees to appetizers, side dishes to breads. Expect to choose from such fine dining options as chicken marsala, orange ginger encrusted mahi mahi, and crab stuffed shrimp.

Indish — Specializing in fine dining with locally sourced ingredients, this Vancouver-based service offers fresh, ready-to-cook meals either from its two retail locations or via its home delivery service.

In the Zone Delivery — Unlike other meal delivery service, the food here is always fresh and never frozen. Service is provided throughout the USA and Canada with more than 500 unique meals available.

Legal Sea Foods — This restaurant offers many of its “superior quality fresh fish and shellfish products” via its mail delivery service. Complete meals include lobster, shrimp, surf and turf, chowder, and more.

Personal Chef To Go

Personal Chef To Go

Magic Kitchen — Expect healthy, chef-prepared meals using fresh produce. The “trusted meals” are delivered in frozen form in a dry ice package, so all you have to do is defrost, heat, and serve. Both meals and customer service are guaranteed.

Nu-Kitchen — Originally serving just the New York City area, Nu-Kitchen now offers ground shipping options to many other eastern United States cities like Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, and Charleston. Expect fresh, all natural diet food delivered to your door.

Personal Chef To Go — This destination for “smart ‘n healthy meals for a smart ‘n healthy lifestyle” offers menu plans for busy singles, couples on the go, and family favorites. Delivery frequency can range from one-time shipments to recurring weekly auto-shipments. The menu has been developed by professional chefs Gene Castelluccio and Blair Grossman.

PureFoods Fresh Start — provides chef-prepared, complete meal programs delivered to your home or office. Try the 3-day sampler, opt for gluten-free meals, and try the 3-week jump start program.

Seamless Web — Can’t be bothered to reheat frozen meals? Use this network to order your delivery and takeout meals online from such cities as New York, Haboken, Greenwich, Philadelphia, Santa Monica, and Bethesda.

Susan’s Healthy Gourmet

Susan’s Healthy Gourmet

Send a Meal — Gourmet prepared meals can be sent to your home or office with same day delivery as an option. Be hearty with Italian chicken dinner or go decadent with live lobster and more. There’s nationwide delivery too.

SupperWorks Delivery — With deliveries made once a week, this Canadian service will pack many of its ingredients fresh so they will still be fresh when delivered. Other items are packed frozen.

Susan’s Healthy Gourmet — It’s right there in the name. This delivery service offers healthy gourmet meals at a reasonable price, including hormone-free poultry and organic greens. Have them delivered to your California home or pick up at one of the available outlet locations.

Tastes of Chicago — Delivering everything from deep dish pizza to delicious ribs, this service puts you in the middle of the Windy City without ever leaving your door. Perishable packages are flash frozen and packed with dry ice in reusable coolers, whereas non-perishables are shipped ground.

Time To Eat — Offering prepared meals to the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area, Chef Pam van Woerkom can take care of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning for you. She also offers cooking lessons and personal chef services.

Image credit: diane39 / iStockphoto