Meal delivery boxes save time but can cost a pretty penny. I found the some cheap meal delivery boxes to keep both your belly and your wallet full.

Subscription meal boxes are an easy and convenient way to get delicious, nutritious, ready-to-cook meals delivered right to your doorstep. An increasingly popular alternative to take-out or microwave dinners, meal boxes give subscribers all the best aspects of a home-cooked meal, minus the grocery shopping.

Ordering online is easy, and within a short amount of time, you will receive a box of all the necessary ingredients. Of course, convenience comes with a price, and some subscription meal boxes are pretty pricey, but in this review, I have picked the cheapest meal box services.

All that is left for you to do is read, pick, and sign up!

Overview of the cheapest meal delivery kits

CompanyBest forCost per mealShipping costCurrent promotion
DinnerlyFamilies with kids$4.29$8.99N/A
EveryPlateEasy recipes$4.99$8.99Try EveryPlate at $1.99/meal + get 20% off next 2 boxes!
Home ChefVariety$6.99Starts at $6.99 per orderWith Home Chef -- $90 off! That's $30 off the first box, $30 off the second box, $15 off the third, $15 off the fourth! Offer is valid through 3/31/21
FreshlySingle people$8.49Applicable shipping charges will appear upon checkoutTry Freshly -- Get $60 off your first 4 Boxes!
HelloFreshDietary restrictions$8.99$6.99With HelloFresh -- Get $80 OFF in total over your 5 deliveries including Free Shipping on the 1st Box!
Blue ApronWine lovers$8.99FreeBlue Apron new customers: save $80 over your first 4 boxes.

Dinnerly

Quick And Easy Meals For Less: 5 Of The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Dinnerly

With the cheapest cost per meal available on the market today, Dinnerly is a great choice for budget-conscious consumers. This service offers a wide-range of meal choices every week and includes kid-friendly meals for families.

While the meal offerings are simple and there are no options for special dietary restrictions (for example, keto or vegan), Dinnerly is a good choice for quick, cheap, and easy to prepare meals.

Sample meal

Quick And Easy Meals For Less: 5 Of The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Dinnerly

  • Spaghetti & Meatball Pie with Mozzarella.
  • Mexican BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos with Sour Cream.

Cost

Low cost is Dinnerly’s main selling point. At just $4.49 per serving, the meals are simple but very affordable, making this a great option for families or those on a tight budget. And when it comes to shipping, Dinnerly will only charge you $8.99 per box.

Availability

Dinnerly delivers meals to the contiguous United States.

Customer service

Dinnerly offers comprehensive customer service with an invested FAQ section on the website where you will likely find the answers you are looking for, as well as 24/7 access to representatives via phone, email, or chat.    

Learn more about Dinnerly here. 

EveryPlate

Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services - EveryPlate

EveryPlate is unique in its simplicity and low cost. You can choose from two plans, depending on the number of diners, and meals are made up of healthy, fresh, and responsibly sourced ingredients. 

EveryPlate keeps costs low by keeping packaging to a minimum, so this is a good choice for environmentally conscious consumers. While these are big benefits, if you have special dietary needs or allergies, this may not be a good choice for you.

Although EveryPlate does offer 11 meals weekly, they do not cater to vegetarian or vegan diets. So, if you are looking for this feature, EveryPlate may not be suitable.

Sample meal

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - EveryPlate Dinner

  • Farmers Market Penne With Lemon & Parmesan.
  • Chili Honey Butter Chicken With Zucchini and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Cost

With the price per serving beginning at $4.99, this is definitely one of the most cost-effective options on the market. And if you are a college student, they will make sure that you stay well fed, offering meals starting at $3.99. 

The only other fee that you will pay is shipping, which costs $8.99 per box.

Special Promotion: Try EveryPlate at $1.99/meal + get 20% off next 2 boxes!

Availability

EveryPlate delivers to the majority of the continental USA. 

Customer service

EveryPlate offers a number of paths to customer service, including chat and toll-free phone service. It’s likely that you won’t even need to contact a representative and will be able to find the answers that you are looking for in the site’s FAQ section.

Learn more about EveryPlate here or read MU30’s full review.

Home Chef

Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services - Home ChefHome Chef features a wide variety of meal choices, including 10 dinners weekly, breakfasts, smoothie, and fruit.

Home Chef offers a range of meals for specific dietary needs. For example, low carb, low calorie, dairy or nut-free, and vegetarian.

The average time to table is usually around 30 minutes, but there are 15-minute and oven-ready options if you’re short on time.

Sample meal

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Home Chef Dinner

  • Hot Honey Salmon With Zucchini And Tomatoes.
  • Chicken Breast And Garlic Demi Sauce With Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes And Roasted Vegetables.

Cost

Portion prices begin at $6.99, making Home Chef one of the lower-cost options on the market. And shipping is on the inexpensive side as well, starting at $6.99. 

Availability

Home Chef is available nationwide and at select Kroger stores.

Customer service

The Home Chef website hosts a very comprehensive FAQ section where you will likely find answers to most questions.

However, if you don’t, you can always call or email 24/7. While the call center may have some longer wait times, service representatives are fairly responsive and knowledgeable.

Learn more about HomeChef here or read MU30’s full review.

Freshly

Quick And Easy Meals For Less: 5 Of The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Freshly

With 30+ meals included in the weekly menu, Freshly is perfect for consumers seeking a lot of variety and options. With such an extensive array of offerings, you can set your dietary preferences and select meals based on these preferences – for example, low calorie or low carb – easily and with confidence.

Allergies are also accommodated by Freshly with peanut, dairy, or gluten-free menus available. Despite this wide range of meal options, Freshly offers fewer vegetarian options than other companies. One feature that distinguishes Freshly is that while most meal delivery box services only offer options for two or more diners, Freshly accommodates single-servings. 

Sample meal

Quick And Easy Meals For Less: 5 Of The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Freshly Sample meal

  • Wholesome Chicken Sauté Bowl With Pad Kee Mao Sauce.
  • Oven-Baked Chicken Florentine with Creamed Spinach & Parmesan.

Cost

Freshly is set up a bit differently than some other popular meal delivery box services. You choose 4, 6, 10, or 12 meals per week, with prices beginning at $8.49 per meal if you take the 12 meal option.

Availability

Freshly delivers throughout the continental USA.

Customer Service

If you don’t find the information that you are looking for in Freshly’s comprehensive FAQ section, this meal delivery box service also offers responsive, courteous, and helpful 24/7 customer service by phone, text, or email.

Learn more about Freshly here or read MU30’s full review.

HelloFresh

Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services - HelloFreshHelloFresh‘s meal-delivery box service is unique in its health-conscious approach.

HelloFresh offers plenty of variety with 10 new meals weekly and specific meal categories depending on your needs. These include classic, vegetarian, family, and low calorie. The service also offers a range of prep difficulty options so that even real foodies can enjoy these meals.

Sample meal

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - HelloFresh Dinner

  • Bravo Balsamic Chicken with Garlic Bread & Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
  • Steak Spiced Burger with Disco Fries

Cost

Cost per serving is $8.99. While this is not the cheapest option on the market, HelloFresh offers meals consisting of premium ingredients and with plenty of weekly choices.

One cost that is lower than many other meal delivery options is HelloFresh’s shipping, which comes in at $6.99.

Availability

HelloFresh delivers nationwide (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and other regions worldwide, including Germany, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Customer service

HelloFresh offers fewer customer service options than other meal delivery box companies. You can search the site’s FAQ section or write a question into a chat window, but there is no phone or email option.

Learn more about HelloFresh here or read MU30’s full review.

HelloFresh promotion: With HelloFresh -- Get $80 OFF in total over your 5 deliveries including Free Shipping on the 1st Box!.

Blue Apron

Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services - Blue ApronBlue Apron is one of the longest-running meals box delivery services on the market, and it shows.

The site is user friendly and very well designed, with a variety of meal options and personalization options for diners with specific dietary restrictions. Although Blue Apron meals are processed in a facility that has allergens, meals are labeled with allergy information.

One great feature is Blue Apron’s partnership with Weight Watchers, so consumers always know how many points their meals are.

As expected for such a well-established company, Blue Apron’s website hosts a range of resources, including cooking tips, FAQ section, and a blog.

One especially unique feature of Blue Apron is wine delivery at $10/bottle, delivered straight to your door.

Sample meal

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services - Blue Apron Dinner

  • Provençal-Style Salmon & Shrimp with Aromatic Broth & Saffron Toast.
  • Coconut Curry Wonton Noodles with Zucchini, Carrots & Poblano Pepper.

Cost

Meals are available for $8.99 per portion. While not one of the cheapest, Blue Apron meals are generously portioned. And the shipping is free, which more than makes up for the higher per portion cost.

Availability

Blue Apron delivers throughout the continental USA.

Customer Service

You can reach customer service via chat or phone, but you will likely be able to find what you need at Blue Apron’s online help center. With a broad range of articles and FAQs, you may not need to speak to a representative.

Learn more about Blue Apron here or read MU30’s full review.

Summary of the cheapest meal delivery services

ServiceCost per mealSpecial dietsNumber of portionsCook time
Dinnerly$4.49Allergen labeled, vegetarian2-420-40 minutes
EveryPlate$4.99Allergen labeled2-420-40 minutes
Home Chef$6.99Allergen-free options available, vegetarian, vegan, and moreSingles, couples, families15-60 minutes
Freshly$8.49Gluten-free, peanut-free, low calorieSingles, couples, families5-10 minutes
HelloFresh$8.99Dietician supervised, allergen labeled, vegetarian options2-420-40 minutes
Blue Apron$8.99Low calorie, vegetarian2-420-45 minutes

Who are meal delivery boxes good for?

This service is a great option for anybody who is short on time and can’t seem to fit food shopping, a lot of prep, and cooking into their day-to-day lives.

Some of the reviewed services offer special features, such as accommodating special diets and allergies, kid-friendly meals, and wine delivery, so it’s likely that there is a service out there for your unique needs.

There are many meal delivery box companies on the market today, but they are often quite expensive and unsuitable for people on a budget. The services I reviewed in this article offer all of the benefits of meal delivery but at a significantly lower cost. Some even offer special deals for students!

How did I come up with this list?

I took a number of factors into consideration when choosing the cheapest meal delivery boxes. While there are quite a few meal delivery services available on the market today, many are cost-prohibitive.

So, in building this list, I looked for the most affordable options. Additionally, I looked for meal delivery services with a range of meal choices, country-wide delivery, and a variety of specific needs.   

Best cheap meal delivery services FAQs

Meal boxes offer portion-controlled, quality ingredients, prepped, and delivered to your door. All you have to do is pick the right service, sign up for the number and type of meals that you want, and when your meals arrive follow the included recipe. Most of the services also host a range of resources on their sites to give you extra tips on how to maximize your meal box.
Meal boxes include the chosen portion of high-quality ingredients (some services offer responsibly-sourced or organic ingredients), and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare your meal. Some companies, for example, Blue Apron, also offer the option of ordering wine with your meals.
Some meal delivery boxes are very pricey, costing upwards of $70 per day. For this list, however, I focused on services that are more affordable and suitable for families, students, and those sticking to a budget. Starting at $4.49 per serving for Dinnerly and topping off at $8.99 per serving for Blue Apron and HelloFresh, you will likely find a meal delivery service that fits both your dietary and financial needs. Plus, many companies offer special deals when signing up so that you can save while still getting nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals daily.
Almost all of the services included in this article let you skip or delay deliveries that have not been dispatched. Canceling the service is also usually quite straightforward so that you can stop deliveries at any time. With any questions, you will be able to reach out to customer service or check FAQs – all of our top picks offer great, responsive customer service with convenient hours.

Summary

Meal delivery companies are increasingly popular, bringing a box of fresh, ready-to-cook ingredients to your door so that you can save time and effort while still benefiting from nutritious, tasty, home-cooked meals.

The meal delivery companies reviewed in this article offer convenience at a cost that’s bearable, with some services including options for special diets, families, singles, students, and more.

All that is left to do is choose which plan works best for you and sign-up!

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About the author

Sarah Pritzker
Total Articles: 13
Sarah Pritzker is a professional writer who specializes in financial markets and trends in the U.S. She grew up in Virginia, went to university in Boston, lived in New York City, and circumnavigated the globe with stops in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, Israel, and then back to the States. As a mom of 3, she's always looking for ways to save money - and is happy to share her finance research with the world. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

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