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The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services

6 mins read

“When I’m rich and famous, I’ll have a personal chef.” We’ve all thought this — at least, a few of us here at Top10MealDelivery have. Weekly shopping, meal prepping and cooking every day can take up a lot of your time. And if you work full-time and provide for your whole family, things easily get hectic before you can say “Dinner’s ready!”.

Although we can’t give you the number of a cheap personal chef, we do have a great alternative that will minimize your time in the kitchen without breaking the bank: affordable meal delivery services.

Meal delivery services will allow you to choose a weekly menu, receive a meal kit box with fresh ingredients directly to your door, and help you serve mouthwatering dinners every night — typically, in less than 30 minutes. No shopping, no prepping, no boring meals. This way, you can focus on your life and your own recipe for success (don’t forget to share it with us when you cook it up!).

How Can Meal Deliveries Be This Cheap?

Most people think that meal delivery boxes are very expensive and that they won’t be able to afford their convenience. Fortunately, that is not the case. There are meal providers out there that chopped their prices without compromising on quality — starting as low as $5 per serving. Yes, you read that right.

But how do they keep their prices down? Here are a few areas they worked on:

  • Packaging. Typically, meal kits contain pre-chopped fresh ingredients that are organized by recipe into smaller plastic bags and clearly labeled for your convenience. Some meal delivery providers took the bags and labels off the equation. Sure, you will have to spend a few seconds sorting the ingredients out, but both your wallet and the environment will thank you for that.
  • Recipe cards. The same thought process led companies to remove the printed recipe cards from their boxes. In this case, customers will simply find the easy-to-follow recipes online (and can even print them out if they prefer).
  • Shipping. Some companies allow you to choose your favorite delivery day and have delivery vans on the road 7 days a week. A way to cut costs is to only deliver a few specific days a week.

Are Meal Kits Cheaper than Groceries?

Making a meal delivery services vs groceries comparison is harder than it sounds. For example, there is the portion issue: you normally buy a whole jar of mustard, (and not just the meal kit’s tiny packet), right?

However, we put our heart into it and found the results of a dollar-to-dollar comparison between meal kits and grocery shopping. For most meals and most meal boxes, the difference is negligible. Meal kits are often slightly cheaper, but not enough to really make a difference. At least, that’s what it seems at first glance.

However, that is not the end of it. Things get very interesting when you look at the bigger picture. Here are 2 areas in which meal kits are considerably cheaper than your regular weekly shopping:

  • Quality of the ingredients. Tomatoes are tomatoes, right? Wrong. Meal delivery services like GreenChef and SunBasket made it their mission to only put organic ingredients into their boxes. Others — like HelloFresh and Martha & Marley Spoon — offer high-end, gourmet ingredients at very affordable prices.
  • Time. Everyone knows that time is money. But if you wanted a more tangible concept, so is gas.

How Can I Save on Meal Delivery Services?

Besides choosing a meal provider that is cheaper than the market average right off the bat, there are other ways in which you can save.

For example, many companies regularly run special offers and promotions. From money off your first order and free shipping to student discounts, do your research. You can also check our meal delivery service reviews, where we point out discounts for you.

It’s also worth pointing out that the more meals you order, the more you save. This is true for most providers. May also feature special low-priced plans for big families.

The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services Compared

So what are the most affordable meal delivery services? We did the detective work for you and looked at different meal kit companies and their prices. Check them out below.

Meal Delivery Service Starting Price per Serving Shipping Fee
EveryPlate $4.99 $8.99
HomeChef $7.99 $10
HelloFresh $7.49 Varies
Martha & Marley Spoon $8.20 Free
GreenChef $10.99 $6.99
SunBakset $10.99 $6.99

Should I Subscribe to a Meal Kit Service?

So, are meal delivery services worth it? And can you subscribe on a budget?

Our answer is a decisive Yes. You will be able to eat like a celebrity (alas, no personal chef involved just yet) while actually saving on your weekly shopping budget.

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