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January 3, 2021

What are the Best Cheapest Meal Delivery Services?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

#3rd Best Choice

Dinnerly delivers affordable meals on the market

Dinnerly

Hate the grocery store? You're not alone. Although you probably need to spend a bit of time there picking up essentials like bread, milk, and eggs (and wine), the good news is that delivery meal kits are far more affordable than you think. Did you know you can get meal kit services for $4.99 per serving and even less?

Meal kit companies cater to busy people, just like yourself. Instead of creating your own menus week by week or even day by day, a meal kit service takes the stress out of feeding the family. As an added bonus, you'll cut back on food waste and expose yourself to a range of dishes you might not have considered before. Heck, you might even learn some new cooking skills and tricks in the process.

With all these bonuses and the convenience factor considered, the only thing left to do is figure out which affordable meal delivery service is right for you. To help kick off your journey to easy-breezy meal planning, we took a look at nine of the cheapest meal delivery subscription options.

Let's get started with our eminently affordable top pick, Dinnerly.

Our Top Cheapest Meal Delivery Services

1 - EveryPlate (Editor's Choice)

  • Best Match For: People looking for a flexible meal kit subscription service on a budget.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription
  • Availability: Most of the Continental US
  • Value: $4.99/meal; $8.99 shipping fee
  • Type: Fresh meal kits (needs to be cooked)

Coming in a close second to our top pick is EveryPlate. At $4.99 per adult serving, the company is still one of the most affordable delivered food options.

One thing we love about EveryPlate is how the company keeps convenience at the fore. Each dish takes only six steps to finish so meal prep is a breeze, and each should be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Additionally, you get to choose from 13 different meals each week, keep the menu items you and the family love, and leave the meals you know your picky eater kid won't like!

Portion sizes are generous and the dinner for four plans is based on adult-sized portions, so you may have enough leftovers for lunch the next day too.

EveryPlate affordable meal kits delivery

PROS

  • Order the meals you love the most
  • Recyclable packaging
  • A good amount of protein in each meal
  • Tasty sauces
  • Fast meal preparation in just six steps

Cons

  • No special diets are catered to
  • You have to upgrade to access certain dishes like steak frites

2 - Sunbasket

  • Best Match For: Anyone looking to put meal planning on autopilot and receive organic gourmet ready-to-eat meals and fresh meal kits.
  • Commitment Level: Weekly subscription
  • Availability: Most zip codes in the us, excluding AK, HI, MT, ND, and parts of NM
  • Value: Prices start at $8.99/meal; Free shipping on your first order
  • Type: Fully prepared fresh meals (heat and eat) and fresh meal kits (needs to be cooked)

Want to grace your dinner table with healthy food only? Sunbasket is your go-to choice. Not only are the company's meals delectable, but they're designed to suit a broad range of dietary needs.

Low-carb, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, vegetarian and other diets are all covered by the San Fransisco food delivery service.

Plus with some dishes taking as little as six minutes to prepare, it's almost like receiving prepped meals, without the heftier price tag, of course. Like the other companies we've reviewed, you choose the number of nights you need dinners and whether you'd like food for two or four people. When you order more meals, the price per serving drops.

Read our full review of Sunbasket.

Sunbasket delivery service

PROS

  • One of the healthiest meal delivery services
  • Meal kits come with both heat and eat dinners and; 
  • Meals that take minimal time to cook
  • Plenty of food per person in each serving
  • Dedicated veggie plan for vegetable lovers
  • Free shipping on your first order

Cons

  • No shipping to parts of ND, MT, and NM
  • Customer service can be a little slow

3 - Dinnerly

  • Best Match For: Home cooking enthusiasts seeking affordable and exciting meal kits.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription with weekly delivery
  • Availability: Most of the contiguous US states
  • Value: $4.69-$5.20/portion; $8.99 shipping fee
  • Type: Fresh meal kits (needs to be cooked)

At just $4.29 per serving, Dinnerly meal plans rank high in the affordability stakes. That's because unlike many other food delivery services, the company cuts down on unnecessary costs by supplying digital recipe cards, keeping packaging simple, and avoiding expensive marketing campaigns.

The result is a delicious meal kit service that comes top of the class in terms of wallet-friendly meals.

The subscription is open, meaning you can cancel any time or skip a week if needed. Choose between a two-person box or the four-person box — the latter is perfect for families.

Then decide if you'd like Dinnerly to deliver you three, four, or five meals per week.

Dinnerly delivers affordable meals on the market

PROS

  • Highly affordable price per meal at $4.29 per serving
  • Digital recipe cards are better for the environment
  • Flexible subscriptions
  • Most meals take under 30 minutes to prepare
  • Option to adjust the menu at checkout
  • Delivers to most US states

Cons

  • No free delivery (delivery costs $8.99)
  • Fewer vegetables than other meal kits

4 - Home Chef

  • Best Match For: People looking for a flexible service to help them eat healthily and improve cooking skills without stressing about grocery shopping and meal prepping.
  • Commitment Level: Weekly subscription
  • Availability: 98% of zip codes in the US
  • Value: Starting at $8.99/serving; Minimum weekly order is $49.95
  • Type: Fresh meal kits (needs to be cooked)

If you have dietary needs (or wants) you'd like catered to, you can't go wrong with Home Chef.

The company offers up a range of delivery food that is low-carb, vegetarian, and calorie-conscious.

Plus with so many Home Chef meal options, you might ditch shopping forever.

Home Chef meal plans are slightly more expensive than the last two delivery meal kit companies reviewed, but with meals starting at $6.99 per serving, it's still among the cheapest meal plans.

We love how flexible Home Chef is, you can skip weeks, go away on holiday, customize meals, and pause your subscription.

Home Chef food delivery that you can order for your home!

PROS

  • Order from the company's website or the dedicated app
  • Customize meals: switch the spinach for zucchini or beef for shrimp
  • Low-carb and low-calorie options
  • The "culinary" collection will boost your cooking skills
  • Plenty of fresh vegetables on the menu

Cons

  • Easy to spend more than you expect if you choose the fancier meals!

5 - Takeout Kit

  • Best Match For: Adventurous cooks looking for exciting authentic recipes and specialty cookware.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time
  • Availability: Anywhere in the US
  • Value: Cookware starts at $9.95/item; Recipes are free; Free shipping over $50
  • Type: Authentic recipes and specialty cookware

Takeout Kit has been featured in Buzzfeed, Forbes, Epicurious and many others for its international meal kits that make you happy you didn't order delivery.

After all, having a meal kit in your house is probably faster than calling your local takeout anyway. Plus, with this meal service, you are supplied with everything you need to create authentic dishes at home.

Ditch the staid pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Instead, indulge your taste buds with dishes such as Thai crab curry, rice pilaf, and Moroccan.

Check out our full Takeout Kit review

Takeout Kit's meal delivery service

PROS

  • Learn more about international cuisine with each meal
  • Meal prep is simple and recipes easy to follow
  • An excellent variety of meals to choose from
  • Reasonable cost
  • Your kitchen will smell like your favorite restaurants

Cons

  • Your toddler may eye some meals with suspicion!

6 - Martha & Marley Spoon

  • Best Match For: Anyone looking to cook delicious meals with carefully selected ingredients from small farms and Martha Stewart’s 6-step recipes.
  • Commitment Level: Weekly subscription
  • Availability: Most of the contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: $6.99-$10.99/meal; $8.99 shipping fee
  • Type: Fresh meal kits (ready in 30 minutes or less)

Marley Spoon is a meal kit service delivered to you by none other than Martha Stewart, well, not her exactly but you get the idea. Not only is the food delicious and nutritious, but each meal takes just six steps and 30 minutes or less to prepare. Choose how many meal kits you need per week and how many people you're serving.

With around 22 dishes to choose from, Martha & Marley Spoon meal services has one of the most expansive menus of all the meal delivery services.

While the price per serving is higher than other companies we've reviewed, you do get some bang for your buck with this kit service. Plus you'll create meals you are proud to serve to guests (or flaunt on Instagram), no soggy garlic bread or boring chicken dinner in sight.

Martha & Marly Spoon meal kit company that delivers fresh and crisp ingredients

PROS

  • Quality of the meats, veggies, and menu is excellent
  • Multiple diet plans covered including veggie and vegan
  • Orders are customizable
  • Expands your repertoire and pushes your cooking comfort zone a little
  • Delivers to Germany, Australia, Sweden, and other countries
  • The sesame chicken ginger salad is epic!

Cons

  • Price per serving higher than other options

7 - PlateJoy

  • Best Match For: Busy people looking to eat healthy with a personalized meal planner app that suggests recipes and prepares shopping lists based on preferences and dietary goals.
  • Commitment Level: 6 or 12-month subscription; 10-day trial
  • Availability: Available for Android and iOS
  • Value: $8-$12/month; Free 10-day trial
  • Type: Personalized meal planning and grocery shopping app

PlateJoy offers up a slightly different way to manage your family's meals. Take the personalization quiz so the company understands your health goals and food needs.

Then let it know your tastes and preferences and how busy your schedule is.

PlateJoy then designs a meal plan for you, you can customize it further or run with the company's suggestions.

Then, buy exactly what you need for the week ahead.

To get the most out of your subscription, you do need to spend a little time on the app or website, so this is a great choice for organized people who have time to sort through recipes and get groceries.

PlateJoy's meal kit delivery service

PROS

  • Ideal for people on a strict diet who need help with their goals
  • Rated highly by the New York Times and Shape magazine
  • Food allergies catered to
  • Plenty of meals the kids will love
  • Lots of flexibility
  • Ideal for singles, couples, and families alike

Cons

  • As PlateJoy is not a meal box per se, you still need to go to the supermarket

8 - Blue Apron

  • Best Match For: People wanting to up their cooking game with chef-designed recipes and meal kits with pre-measured responsibly sourced non-GMO ingredients.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription with weekly delivery
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: $8.99-$9.99/serving; Free shipping for orders of 3 recipes per week (each serves 2 people) or 2 recipes for Signature for 4 meal plan (each serves 4 people); $7.99 shipping fee for orders that don't match the criteria.
  • Type: Meal kits with responsibly sourced fresh ingredients (needs to be cooked), delicious wines paired with selected recipes, exotic spice blends, and top-quality cookware

We've got to hand it to Blue Apron here, the company has all its bases covered by offering both wine and a high-quality meal kit service.

Make sure you do a little research and match your wine choices to your meals and you're set for both dinner parties with friends or a romantic couple's meal.

But even if you're just ordering food, Blue Apron stands out as a market leader. Not only are the costs per week and per meal low, but the recipes are delicious and easy to prepare.

Plus the company has a well-deserved reputation for using high-quality, fresh ingredients for their Blue Apron meal plans.

Blue Apron's food delivery services

PROS

  • Meal prep is kept simple and recipes are easy to follow
  • Order an adjustable number of meals per week
  • Responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Minimal cooking times
  • Affordable prices for families

Cons

  • Prices could be lower if the company cut back on the packaging a bit

9 - Hello Fresh

  • Best Match For: People in Canada looking to save time with a meal kit delivery service that features seasonal fresh ingredients and easy-to-make recipes.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription
  • Availability: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Québec, Newfoundland, and the Maritimes.
  • Value: $9.69-$11.49/meal; $9.99 shipping fee ($19.98 in Newfoundland)
  • Type: Fresh meal kits (Cooked in 30 minutes or less)

There's something a bit special about Hello Fresh, and that's how easily children dig into the meals, even if the dish contains stuff they never normally touch!

Of course, that's this reviewer's opinion but reviews elsewhere note the same. Plus with a variety of meals and menus to choose from, you're bound to find something your kids will enjoy.

Hello Fresh, and its sister company Green Chef, are almost synonymous with meal delivery kits.

And that's because the company does what it says on the tin: delivers healthy, tasty ingredients to your doorstep. 

Meals are simple to make and the pricing is reasonable (if not as cheap as our first two kit services reviewed).

HelloFresh service that delivers fresh and seasonal products

PROS

  • Generous servings mean you'll probably have enough for lunches the next day
  • Flexible plans to suit your lifestyle and way of cooking
  • Deliveries nationwide and the company has an international presence
  • Pick your favorites and avoid the meals you don't like
  • High-quality steak, chicken, and other meats

Cons

  • Some customers note that subscription box deliveries arrived on the wrong day 

FAQS

What is the cheapest meal delivery service?

Dinnerly. They will deliver foods to your doorstep in their meal kits and each dish works out at $4.29 per serving, an absolute bargain in anyone's book!

Which meal delivery service is the best value?

From a purely pricing perspective, Dinnerly offers the best value closely followed by Every Plate. But other services may suit better if you have special dietary needs or are following a certain diet plan, in which case, the best value for you is the company that best meets your needs, at a reasonable cost, of course!

How much does meal delivery cost?

Our top pick for the cheapest meal kit service is Dinnerly. At $4.29 per serving, it's the cheapest on the market. The next cheapest is Every Plate at $4.99 per serving. You will also need to account for shipping.

Is Hello Fresh cheaper than grocery shopping?

No one would argue that Hello Fresh is more convenient than grocery shopping, but is it cheaper? It really depends on what kind of food you normally buy and cook.

If you're the kind of home chef who serves up steak tatare with imported french dijon, then yes, Hello Fresh will be cheaper. But in comparison, if you're the master on the lentil who can whip up a healthy family dinner out of store cupboard staples and cheap veggies, Hello Fresh might be more expensive overall.

It's worth considering how much your time is worth too. Would you rather be playing with the kids or toiling over meal prep and wrestling a bell pepper? Or perhaps the time you save cooking can be spent polishing off some important work?

The Final Verdict

That finishes off our review of budget meal service boxes and we've found a clear winner with Every Plate. Get a delicious bang for your buck and order today. 

EveryPlate affordable meal kits delivery

EveryPlate

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Order the meals you love the most
  • Recyclable packaging
  • A good amount of protein in each meal
  • Tasty sauces
  • Fast meal preparation in just six steps

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