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.
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.
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 Apron, HelloFresh 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
Cheapest meal kits compared
|Service||Recipes per week||Diets good for||Average price per serving||Shipping per box||CNET rating|
|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.