The 5 Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of 2021

Budget-friendly meals mailed right to your door

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Home Chef

"A trusted source when it comes to putting dinner on the table, and in the most affordable way possible."

Best for Dietary Restrictions: Dinnerly

"Consistently rated the best value when it comes to a meal delivery kit — without sacrificing taste."

Best for Families: HelloFresh

"The Family Friendly plan includes recipes that are kid-tested and family-approved."

Easy to Assemble: EveryPlate

"Expect delicious, palatable meals that are ready to devour in half an hour or less."

Plant-Based Meals: Veestro

"It’s especially great for couples and singles seeking a more affordable approach to healthy, sustainable meals."

Best Overall: Home Chef

Home Chef Meal Kit

 Home Chef

Very Good

Delivering more than three million meals per month, Home Chef is a trusted source when it comes to putting dinner on the table, and in the most affordable way possible. Some of the most tempting recipes await. Go French with steak au poivre, spice it up with a Santa Fe pork and potato stew, or make Taco Tuesday super fun with spicy plantain and black bean tacos with queso fresco and poblano peppers. Five-minute lunches such as Caprese salad and a crispy gouda and prosciutto sandwich will hit the spot and customers are also into the grill packs for backyard family barbecues. 

Not only does the company source fresh ingredients but everything arrives pre-portioned, taking grocery shopping measuring out of the equation—and tempting meals on the table in half an hour or less. Customers can also sift through meals by way of cooking time and ingredient preferences such as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and so on. “Customize It” takes it a step further, allowing guests to mix and match up to 26 recipes each week and substitute different meats or sauces when applicable.

Availability: Home Chef delivers to 98 percent of the United States; check online if your zip code is available.

Pricing: Starting at $6.99 per serving; easily skip weeks and cancel at any time.

Best for Dietary Restrictions: Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Good

There’s affordable and there’s affordable. Dinnerly has consistently been rated the best value when it comes to a meal-delivery kit—without sacrificing taste. Think just $4.69 per serving, which is hard to beat, even if you're budget grocery shopping for ingredients. 

And this doesn’t mean that options are low quality or basic. Expect fuss-free meals like gnocchi Bolognese, a crispy Philly cheese veg wrap with mushrooms, peppers, and onions, and even Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps on the table in no time. How, you ask? Quality ingredients are still the name of the game but Dinnerly cuts out all the frills like printed recipe cards and employs rules of more simple packaging and fewer ingredients in each dish, allowing prices to be noticeably lower than other companies.

Customers can filter by preferences such as picky eater, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, kid-friendly, and meals that are ready to eat in under 30 minutes—so those with dietary restrictions and all ingredient preferences can still reap all the benefits. 

Availability: Dinnerly delivers to most of the United States; check with zip code online to verify. 

Pricing: Starting at $4.69 per serving.

Best for Families: HelloFresh

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

Very Good

Family time is a top priority and thanks to HelloFresh, you don’t have to spend time shopping and chopping and assembling when it comes to suppertime. It carves out hours upon hours each week so families can deliver nutritious meals and spend more time doing the things together that they love, whether that's puzzles, football games, or playtime outside. 

Pick meals by way of meat and veggies, veggies only, family-friendly and calorie-smart. 

The options are endless and quite frankly, it’s exciting to see the new menu items pop up each week. From cheesy mushroom polenta with garlic bread, lemon aioli crab cakes, figgy balsamic pork and much more, “cooking” for the entire family has never been so simplified. Parents will appreciate its wine club, a new offering, plus additional sides to complete an entire meal. The Family Friendly plan includes recipes that are kid-tested and family-approved, catering to picky eaters while also bringing good food to the table. 

Availability: HelloFresh ships nationwide (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).

Pricing: Meals start at $7.49. A no-commitment plan allows customers to skip, swap recipes and cancel at any time.

Easy to Assemble: EveryPlate

Every Plate

Every Plate

Good

Meal delivery services were born out of the idea of convenience and EveryPlate takes it to the next level by being one of the country’s most affordable meal delivery services. Expect delicious, palatable meals that are ready to devour in half an hour or less.

Meals are filling and satisfying. Try everything from Super Smashed Burgers with caramelized onions, chipotle aioli, and potato wedges to ginger scallion pork stir fry, and linguine with chicken sausage and green peppers. Each delivery entails ingredients and recipes to cook each meal and includes three different recipes (two to four recipes, depending on subscription), and thanks to their minimal pots and pans use rule, cooking is a breeze. And with 13 recipes rotating weekly, you never have to eat the same basic meals. 

Availability: EveryPlate delivers to most of the United States; enter zip code online for availability.

Pricing: Starting at $4.99 per serving.

Plant-Based Meals: Veestro

Veestro

Veestro

Good

Veestro was brought to life by brother and sister Mark Fachler and Monica Klausner, who grew up in Costa Rica eating healthy foods containing maximum nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables. And this is exactly what you can expect when ordering meals from the company. It’s especially great for couples and singles seeking a more affordable approach to healthy, sustainable, and appetizing meals derived from plants.

Meals are a la carte and arrive frozen. There's no guessing portion sizes, no prep time, and no messing up the kitchen with multiple bowls, pots, and pans scattered near and far. Choose a subscription (in increments of 10, 20, or 30 meals) and pick from an array of wholesome, plant-based options such as portobello steak dinner, lentil and spinach tagine, mushroom stroganoff, and more on the a la carte menu—or pick chef’s choice or weight loss plans and let Veestro pick the best of the best for your specific needs. Customers can also choose from many gluten-free, kosher, high-protein, and wedding prep dishes to make life that much easier.

Availability: Veestro delivers across the United States (Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii excluded).

Price: A box of 30 meals is as low as $9.90 per meal.

Want a discount on healthy, plant-based meal kits? Use code “SPRUCE” at checkout for 25% off of your next purchase from Veestro.

FAQ

What Is a Meal Delivery Service?

A meal delivery service is a subscription plan where a company preps and delivers either the ingredients to prepare the recipes at home, or an already prepared meal. With the ingredient boxes, subscribers follow the recipe to create meals at home using the ingredients provided. Some of the subscriptions, such as Veestro, are already prepared and just need to be heated.


Do Meal Delivery Services Accommodate Dietary Restrictions?

Yes, most cater to specific dietary needs. The subscriptions allow you to choose your meals, whether meat-based or vegetarian. Others, such as HelloFresh, offer pescatarian (fish) meals. For those with allergies or food sensitivities, check the ingredients list if recipes aren’t noted as gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.


Do Meal Delivery Services Ship Fresh or Frozen Items?

Most deliver boxes of fresh ingredients for you to prepare. The exceptions are pre-prepared meals such as Veestro, which arrive frozen.

How Much Do Meal Delivery Services Cost?

For boxes of ingredients, prices range from $4.29 per serving at Dinnerly up to $6.99 at Home Chef. Veestro’s prepared and frozen meals start at $9.90 per meal with a purchase of 30 meals.


How We Chose the Cheapest Meal Delivery Services 

To choose the cheapest meal delivery services, we researched the most popular meal delivery kits on the market. We considered 12 different meal delivery services, read user reviews, and tested two meal kits ourselves.

This research led to the selection of meal delivery services offering a variety of specialities including the best for families (HelloFresh), easy to assemble (EveryPlate), plant based (Veestro), best for dietary restrictions (Dinnerly), and best overall (Home Chef).

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