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
|Company||Best for||Cost per meal||Shipping cost||Current promotion|
|Dinnerly||Families with kids||$4.29||$8.99||N/A|
|EveryPlate||Easy recipes||$4.99||$8.99||Try EveryPlate at $1.99/meal + get 20% off next 2 boxes!|
|Home Chef||Variety||$6.99||Starts at $6.99 per order||With 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|
|Freshly||Single people||$8.49||Applicable shipping charges will appear upon checkout||Try Freshly -- Get $60 off your first 4 Boxes!|
|HelloFresh||Dietary restrictions||$8.99||$6.99||With HelloFresh -- Get $80 OFF in total over your 5 deliveries including Free Shipping on the 1st Box!|
|Blue Apron||Wine lovers||$8.99||Free||Blue Apron new customers: save $80 over your first 4 boxes.|
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.
- Spaghetti & Meatball Pie with Mozzarella.
- Mexican BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos with Sour Cream.
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.
Dinnerly delivers meals to the contiguous United States.
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.
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.
- Farmers Market Penne With Lemon & Parmesan.
- Chili Honey Butter Chicken With Zucchini and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
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!
EveryPlate delivers to the majority of the continental USA.
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.
Home 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.
- Hot Honey Salmon With Zucchini And Tomatoes.
- Chicken Breast And Garlic Demi Sauce With Cheesy Bacon Mashed Potatoes And Roasted Vegetables.
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.
Home Chef is available nationwide and at select Kroger stores.
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.
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.
- Wholesome Chicken Sauté Bowl With Pad Kee Mao Sauce.
- Oven-Baked Chicken Florentine with Creamed Spinach & Parmesan.
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.
Freshly delivers throughout the continental USA.
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.
HelloFresh‘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.
- Bravo Balsamic Chicken with Garlic Bread & Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- Steak Spiced Burger with Disco Fries
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.
HelloFresh delivers nationwide (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and other regions worldwide, including Germany, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
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.
Blue 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.
- Provençal-Style Salmon & Shrimp with Aromatic Broth & Saffron Toast.
- Coconut Curry Wonton Noodles with Zucchini, Carrots & Poblano Pepper.
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.
Blue Apron delivers throughout the continental USA.
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.
Summary of the cheapest meal delivery services
|Service||Cost per meal||Special diets||Number of portions||Cook time|
|Dinnerly||$4.49||Allergen labeled, vegetarian||2-4||20-40 minutes|
|EveryPlate||$4.99||Allergen labeled||2-4||20-40 minutes|
|Home Chef||$6.99||Allergen-free options available, vegetarian, vegan, and more||Singles, couples, families||15-60 minutes|
|Freshly||$8.49||Gluten-free, peanut-free, low calorie||Singles, couples, families||5-10 minutes|
|HelloFresh||$8.99||Dietician supervised, allergen labeled, vegetarian options||2-4||20-40 minutes|
|Blue Apron||$8.99||Low calorie, vegetarian||2-4||20-45 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 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!