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||$4.69||$8.99||Try Dinnerly and get $15 off your first four boxes.|
|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||Happy 8th Birthday to Home Chef -- $100 off Birthday Sale! That's $25 off your first 4 orders! Offer is valid 6/9/21 to 6/13/21|
|Freshly||Single people||$8.49||Applicable shipping charges will appear upon checkout||Try Freshly -- Get $60 off your first 4 Boxes!|
|HelloFresh||Dietary restrictions||$6.99||$6.99||With HelloFresh -- Get $80 OFF in total over your 5 deliveries including Free Shipping on the 1st Box!|
|Blue Apron||Wine lovers||$9.99||Free||Blue Apron new customers: save $80 over your first 4 boxes.|
- Cost – Starting at just $4.69 per person.
- Availability – Dinnerly delivers meals to the contiguous United States.
- Current promotion – Try Dinnerly and get $15 off your first four boxes.
With the cheapest cost per meal available on the market today, Dinnerly was a great choice for me as a budget-conscious consumer. I appreciated the wide range of meal choices every week and I especially loved that these included kid-friendly meals for families.
While the meal offerings are more on the simple side of things, with no options for special dietary restrictions (for example, keto or vegan), Dinnerly still ends up being a good choice for quick, cheap, and easy to prepare meals.
Low cost is Dinnerly’s main selling point, which is something that I, in particular, really appreciate – and why it makes Dinnerly my go-to option. 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.
If you’re like me and tired of spending a bunch of money at the grocery store only to waste food, I highly recommend Dinnerly.
- Cost – $4.99/meal.
- Availability – EveryPlate delivers to the majority of the continental U.S.
- Current promotion – Try EveryPlate at $1.99/meal + get 20% off next 2 boxes!
EveryPlate is unique in its simplicity and low cost – which again, I really appreciate and value in picking a meal delivery option. I chose from two plans, depending on the number of diners, and liked that EveryPlate’s meals are made up of healthy, fresh, and responsibly sourced ingredients. In my experience, their meals are super easy to make, which makes EveryPlate perfect for people like me who are beginners on the cooking front.
I also love that EveryPlate keeps costs low by keeping packaging to a minimum, making this is a good choice for environmentally conscious consumers like me.
Although EveryPlate does offer over a dozen meals weekly, I was initially kinda surprised that they do not cater to vegetarian or vegan diets. It seems like so many families today are going the route of eating more of a veggie diet of sorts. So, if you are looking for this feature, EveryPlate may not be suitable.
In terms of cost, with the price per serving beginning at $4.99, this is definitely one of the most cost-effective options on the market. And for that reason, I give props to EveryPlate being able to offer delicious food for a really reasonable price.
And if you are a college student, they will make sure that you stay well fed, offering meals starting at $3.99!
- Cost – Starting at $6.99.
- Availability – Home Chef is available nationwide and at select Kroger stores.
- Current promotion – Happy 8th Birthday to Home Chef -- $100 off Birthday Sale! That's $25 off your first 4 orders! Offer is valid 6/9/21 to 6/13/21.
Home Chef features a wide variety of meal choices, including 10 dinners weekly, breakfasts, smoothies, and fruit. I was excited to find a service that finally offered decent breakfast options!
Home Chef offered me a huge range of meals for different dietary needs. For example, low carb, low calorie, dairy or nut-free, and vegetarian. But what I especially love about Home Chef is the variety of dinners. You can have meat and potatoes one night, a noodle or rice dish the next night, and steak tacos the night after that.
And I will share that the food itself that you sit down to eat at Home Chef takes really really good. On the taste front, Home Chef is top-notch.
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. I personally really love the oven-ready meals that I tried. All I had to do was simply heat up the oven, drop the ingredients in the provided tray, and stick it in the oven. I got delicious food without all the prep time!
When it comes to Home Chef’s price, they fall solidly in the middle. So, if you’re like me and are always looking for a good deal, Home Chef offers an affordable option with meals that are a touch more complex than some of their competitors.
- Cost – Starting at $8.49 per meal.
- Availability – Freshly delivers throughout the continental USA.
- Current promotion – Try Freshly -- Get $60 off your first 4 Boxes! OR Try FreshlyFIT -- Save $40 off your first order of FreshlyFIT!
With 30+ meals included in the weekly menu, I think Freshly is perfect for consumers seeking a lot of variety and options. As I said before, more options is a winning move for me and my family. With such an extensive array of offerings, I was able to set my dietary preferences and select meals based on these preferences – for example, low calorie or low carb.
A unique feature that I appreciate about Freshly is the fact that allergies are also accommodated by Freshly with peanut, dairy, or gluten-free menus available. Another feature that distinguishes Freshly is that while most meal delivery box services only offer options for two or more diners, Freshly accommodates single-servings.
Freshly’s meals are all microwavable, which I think is mighty convenient. Just store them in the fridge and pull one out when you’re ready to sit down and eat. I found the meals to be flavorful and easy enough in terms of the prep.
Plus it is a huge benefit for each person in my family to be able to sit down and have a different meal. Because at the end of the day, we don’t all like the same thing!
For the health-conscious, FreshlyFit is a great option. These meals are crafted by expert nutritionists to maximize energy and minimize carbohydrates. I loved that I could either choose FreshlyFit meals within the general plan or sign up only to get FreshlyFit meals.
- Cost – Starting at $6.99.
- Availability – HelloFresh delivers nationwide (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and other regions worldwide, including Germany, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
- Current promotion – With HelloFresh -- Get $80 OFF in total over your 5 deliveries including Free Shipping on the 1st Box!
When I tried HelloFresh, I understood immediately that what makes them truly unique is that HelloFresh stands out on a health-conscious approach front.
And that speaks to me for sure!
I was able to choose between 10 new meals weekly and could choose specific meal categories depending on my 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.
If you’re interested in learning how to be a better cook, HelloFresh is your plan. I’ve learned so much by prepping and making their meals. The plan is heavy on “comfort foods,” so if you like a meal that includes meat, a starch, and a vegetable, this is the plan for you.
In fact, in my experience, they’re one of the only services that I’ve tried that doesn’t skimp on the proteins: chickens, steak, fish, etc. They gave me large enough portions that I was actually full after my meal!
While HelloFresh is more in the middle when it comes to pricing, I can tell you they’re definitely worth the cost. The freshness of the ingredients alone makes the cost understandable.
- Cost – Starting at $9.99/serving.
- Availability – Blue Apron delivers throughout the continental USA.
- Current promotion – Blue Apron new customers: save $80 over your first 4 boxes.
Blue Apron is one of the longest-running meal box delivery services on the market, and I can understand why. And I’m a fan.
When I first went to their site, I was impressed with the user-friendly design and variety of meal options, including the personalization options for those of us 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.
It’s clear that Blue Apron is a well-established company. I could easily tell by their website, which hosts a range of resources, including cooking tips, an FAQ section, and a blog.
Finally, as a wine-lover, one of my absolute favorite features of Blue Apron is their wine delivery options at just $10/bottle. They even helped me pair wine with the meals I was getting!
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||$6.99||Dietician supervised, allergen labeled, vegetarian options||2-4||20-40 minutes|
|Blue Apron||$9.99||Low calorie, vegetarian||2-4||20-45 minutes|
Who are meal delivery services 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 all 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!