What’s the best cheap meal delivery service?


With a slew of affordable meal delivery services, you can satisfy both your appetite and your budget. At around $5 or $6 a serving, EveryPlate remains the cheapest meal kit service you’ll find. As a bonus, we loved just about every recipe we tried during several rounds of testing. 

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Budget-friendly certainly doesn’t have to mean bad — and that includes cheap meal kits and meal delivery services. If you’re looking to eliminate a few weekly tasks — grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking — without going broke and have stores of tasty, heathy meals delivered each week, we tested all the top affordable services to find the very best cheap meal subscriptions for 2023.

Read more: Are Meal Kits More Expensive Than Buying the Groceries? I Did the Math

Best cheap prepared meal delivery

It’s no secret that the best meal kit or prepared meal services reduce your workload in the kitchen and your time spent dealing with the drudgery of grocery shopping. Prepared meal delivery services offer oven-ready and microwave meals, and require no cooking at all, delivering the ultimate hack for your busy week. Luckily, all this convenience doesn’t have to break the bank and some of the best meal delivery services are also the most affordable. For vegans and vegetarians, Mosaic Foods has family meals as cheap as $6 a serving and $10 for single-serve meals, and Daily Harvest has excellent smoothies, soups, bowls and flatbreads, also mostly under $10. And it doesn’t have to be boring — most of these cheap meal delivery services offer an ever-changing weekly menu of delicious meals for you to choose from.

Mosaic Foods is one of the best and cheapest meal delivery services we’ve tried. 

Mosaic Foods

Best cheap meal kits

Meal kits have seen a serious uptick in customers during the pandemic. Subscriptions for meal kits from companies such Green Chef and Sunbasket are great but can be on the pricey side, with recipes costing as much as $15 per serving. Dinnerly and EveryPlate, both of which clock in at around $6 a serving, are the most budget-friendly outfits. 

There are also some midrange options to consider such as Blue ApronHelloFresh and Home Chef. These may cost $9 or $10 bucks per serving but allow more customization and have more recipes to choose from. Most of these meal delivery services also offer vegetarian options or customization for those who don’t eat meat. There are meal kits that cater to a specialized diet, such as keto, paleo, low-calorie or gluten-free. 

No matter your budget, tastes or schedule, there are affordable and tasty meal delivery services to make cooking for you or the family easier. We tested all the cheapest meal kits and prepared meal services on this list to help you decide which one is best.

Best cheap meal delivery services for 2023


Pricing Starts at $5/servingType Meal kitsRecipes per week 25+Good for Healthy, family-friendly, comfort food, picky eaters, quick and easy

The bottom line: EveryPlate’s meal kits were all solid and easy to make. This is also the cheapest meal kit, with plans as low as $5 a serving.


Pricing Starting at $5/servingType Meal kitRegional Availability Continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 45+Menu Options/ Diet Types Vegetarian

The bottom line: Dinnerly has an enormous selection of easy recipes, more than 60 in a given week, and plans starting at under $6 a serving. This is the perfect service for families with picky eaters trying to eat well on a budget.

Mosaic Foods

Pricing Starts at $6/servingType Prepared mealsMeal options per week 80Good for Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, low-calorie

The bottom line: This plant-based meal delivery service had some of the best, healthy prepared meals of any service we tried. Meals are also affordable with some costing as little as $6 a serving..

David Watsky/CNET

Blue Apron is one of the original meal kit services and it’s also one of the best. In fact, Blue Apron topped our list of best meal delivery services for 2023 with a wide range of excellent recipes, all for an affordable price. It’s true, you can order bistro steaks and roasted trout dinners with Blue Apron’s standard plan, where many services charge extra for those premium proteins. In addition to solid meal kits, Blue Apron is the most eco-friendly service of the major players, according to a recent study.


Pricing Starts at $9/servingType Meal kitsRecipes per week 50+Number of Meal Options per Week 30+Good for Vegan, vegetarian, keto, gluten-free, low-calorie, Whole30, families, picky eaters

The bottom line: It doesn’t get much easier than HelloFresh. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

18 free meals across 8 boxes, first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code:

Daily Harvest

Pricing Starting at $8/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability 95% of continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 40+Menu Options/ Diet Types Organic, whole fruits and vegetables, dairy-free, gluten-free

The bottom line: For simple and healthy breakfasts and lunches with almost no fuss, Daily Harvest has loads of superfood-packed smoothies, soups, snacks and bowls to stock the fridge, many of them costing under $10.

40% off first box with code:

Fresh n’ Lean

Having tested all of the leading prepared meal delivery service options, Fresh N Lean ran away from the competition, ticking more boxes than any other. The food is healthy, thoughtfully prepared, tastes fantastic, looks appetizing and is fairly affordable, depending on the plan you select.

Cheapest meal kits compared

Service Recipes per week Diets good for Average price per serving Shipping per box CNET rating
EveryPlate 21 Vegetarian, gluten-free $5 $10 8.8
Dinnerly 50+ Vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescetarian $6 $10 7.8
Home Chef 28 Keto, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian $10 Free on boxes over $40 8
HelloFresh 50+ Vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescetarian $9 $9 8
Blue Apron 16 Vegetarian, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian $10 $10 8.2

Cheapest prepared meal services compared

Service Subscription only Meals offered Meals options per week Diets good for Price per serving Shipping per box CNET rating
Mosaic Foods Yes Lunch, dinner 80 Vegan, vegetarian $5-$10 $8 9.2
Daily Harvest No Breakfast, lunch, dinner 100+ Vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, Whle30, paleo $7-$10 Free 8.8
Fresh N Lean Yes Breakfast, lunch, dinner 18 Keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free Mediterannean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein $10-$13 Free over $40 9.2
Home Chef Oven Ready Yes Lunch, dinner 7 None $9 Free on boxes over $40 8

How we test meal delivery services and kits

Over the past few years, we’ve tested nearly every meal kit delivery and prepared meal delivery service we could get our oven mitts on, and that includes the best budget meal delivery services. Many of the menu options for the meal delivery services we’ve listed include nutritious plant-based food or high-protein recipes with lots of veggies and lean meats. 

To test each cheap meal delivery service, I tried at least four and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service. I always choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, if a meal subscription service offers vegan or vegetarian meals I was sure to try at least one. I also mixed up the cuisine types to include pasta, meat dishes, bowls and other various styles offered by the brand.

To test the best cheap meal kits, there was another set of standards and protocols to adhere to. Here’s more on how we test meal kits at CNET.

Cheap meal delivery FAQs

What is the cheapest meal delivery service?

EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the cheapest meal kits with most plans clocking in at under $6 per serving. HelloFresh and Home Chef are in the next tier with portions for $7 or $8 per serving.

What is the best meal delivery service for weight loss?

When it comes to meal kits, your options are many, and most services provide weekly recipes that are low on calories but still filling. HelloFresh has the most recipes per week of any meal kit service, so that might be your best bet for finding consistent meals that keep your diet goals on track. But all services list the calorie content for each recipe, along with carbs, protein, sugar and sodium.

What’s the difference between meal kits and premade meal delivery?

Some of the services listed here are healthy prepared meal delivery services, sending fully cooked meals — often frozen or partially frozen — and ready to eat when you receive them. Others include health-focused meal kits with premeasured ingredients all boxed up and ready for easy weeknight cooking. There’s a stark difference between meal kits and meal delivery, but both make dinnertime easier and can translate into healthier eating choices for you in 2023. Plus, we sussed out the best healthy meal services for those on special diets like keto or paleo or for those who wish to eat organic prepared meals and meal kits.

More food and drink delivery recommendations

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