Cheapest Meal Delivery Services

These companies will save you time and money

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Simply Recipes / Designed by Amelia Manley

The cheapest meal delivery services are proof that convenience doesn’t have to be costly. There are many companies offering to plan, shop, and prep your meals, and some of them set themselves apart with competitive pricing. Whether you don’t have the time or the interest in doing it all yourself, cheap meal delivery services help you get dinner on the table in a flash without breaking the bank.

Meal delivery services may choose to cut costs by reducing their packaging, the number of ingredients, or even their marketing budgets in order to pass those savings on to you. And, while they still may not be as cost-effective as grocery shopping yourself, they’re certainly less expensive—and typically healthier—than ordering takeout. Read on for the cheapest meal delivery services.

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of 2021

Best Overall: HelloFresh

HelloFresh

HelloFresh

Why We Chose It: Despite its low cost, HelloFresh offers a huge selection of delicious meals that are easy to prepare.

What We Like
23 new meals weekly
Great-tasting creative and classic recipes
Responsible ingredient sourcing and packaging

What We Don’t Like
Not many options for restricted diets (vegan, allergy-free, etc.)
Shipping isn’t free

HelloFresh's chef-created meals start at just $7.49 and, despite being one of the most cost-effective meal delivery services on the market, its offering rivals them all. Its recipes—made of high-quality ingredients shipped in sustainable packaging—are each tested 45 times to ensure deliciousness and simplicity.

When signing up, you choose from one of six plans: Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family-Friendly, Calorie Smart; Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. The Meat & Veggie plan includes recipes from the other plans and offers the widest selection. You’ll find familiar favorites like balsamic tomato & herb chicken over butter garlic spaghetti as well as some internationally inspired dishes like beef bulgogi bowl with carrots, pickled cucumber, and sriracha.

HelloFresh ships to all states in the continental United States, and offers sign-up promotions for added savings.

Best Price: Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Dinnerly

Why We Chose It: Dinnerly is the most affordable meal kit service on the market with unfussy recipes that make dinner a snap.

What We Like
Most budget-friendly price
16 new meals weekly
Prep is easy and approachable
Add-ons like breakfast, dessert, and extra protein

What We Don’t Like
Few options for allergy-free and special diets
No recipe cards included
Recipes are basic in flavor
Shipping isn’t free

With meals starting at $4.69 per person, Dinnerly takes the stress out of cooking—and budgeting—for dinner as the cheapest meal kit service available. Dinnerly uses the same quality ingredients as other meal kits but is able to charge less for a few reasons: It employs digital recipes instead of printed ones, fewer ingredients per dish, simple packaging, and does not have fancy marketing campaigns.

Although Dinnerly doesn’t have personalized meal plans, the recipes are tagged to show you quick info at a glance, such as Low Carb, Low Calorie, Vegetarian, No Added Gluten, Dairy Free, Kid-Friendly, and Under 30 Minutes. While the dishes may not be as flavorful as other services, they are quick and easy to prepare. Expect recipes like pan-roasted steak & maple mustard sauce with roasted potatoes & carrots; better-than-takeout: cheesy skillet pulled pork enchiladas; and curried rice pilaf with green beans & yogurt topped with chopped cashews & pickled onions.

Dinnerly delivers to most of the contiguous U.S.

Best Comfort Foods: EveryPlate

EveryPlate

EveryPlate

Why We Chose It: EveryPlate offers satisfying comfort foods at about half the price of other meal delivery services.

What We Like
Second most affordable price on our list
Satisfying meals in under 30 minutes
Add-on protein packs

What We Don’t Like
No options for restricted diets
Fewer healthy options
Doesn’t include flour, sugar, butter, or milk
Shipping isn’t free

Coming in at $4.99 per serving, EveryPlate is self-described as America’s Best Value Meal Kit. It is owned by HelloFresh, so it’s no wonder taste is prioritized even at this lower price point. These crowd-pleasing meals require only six simple steps that take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

In order to keep prices low, EveryPlate does not cater to special diets and there are no personalized meal plans. The company's 14 new meals weekly heavily feature comfort food classics like diner-style chicken & gravy with garlic mashed potatoes & lemon butter, gooey stuffed pork burgers with BBQ onion & crispy potato wedges, and firehouse mac ‘n’ cheese with long green pepper & a crispy panko crust.

EveryPlate delivers to most of the contiguous U.S. Enter your ZIP code at checkout to confirm whether it delivers to you.

Most Convenient: HomeChef

HomeChef

HomeChef

Why We Chose It: HomeChef’s Fresh and Easy plan offers delicious meals that require little to no prep at a competitive price.

What We Like
Easily customizable meals
Ready in as little as 5 minutes
Serves up to six people

What We Don’t Like
Organic costs extra
Cannot accommodate strict dietary restrictions like vegan and keto

HomeChef is known for its easily customizable, great-tasting meal kits. At $8.99 per serving, this ranks as one of the more cost-effective services available.

Of the three plans—Classic, Fresh and Easy, and Well-Balanced—the Fresh and Easy option provides the most convenience. This plan includes 15 Minute Meal Kits with pre-portioned ingredients that cook in under 15 minutes; Oven-Ready and Grill-Ready Meals that are fully prepped and ready to cook; and Fast and Fresh Meals that arrive cooked and only need reheating. Despite this convenience, the flavor is not compromised with dishes like smoky Tex-Mex shrimp penne with peppers and corn; teriyaki turkey meatballs with sesame green beans; and truffle chicken with bacon and goat cheese smothered green beans.

Even if you sign up for the Fresh and Easy plan, you’ll still have access to the rotating list of 19 options across all meal plans. HomeChef delivers to 98 percent of the United States. Enter your ZIP code during the signup process to check shipping availability.

Best for Kids: Yumble

Yumble

Yumble

Why We Chose It: Yumble offers nutritious, affordable, ready-to-eat kids meals that are sure to please.

What We Like
Balanced kids meals
Ready in 90 seconds or less
Caters to food allergies
Includes fun activities

What We Don’t Like
Six-meal minimum
Repetitious menu offering

Yumble is a meal delivery service that is specifically designed for kids aged 1 to 12. These meals are made of carefully sourced ingredients, arrive fully cooked, and are nutritionist-approved.

While there aren’t specific meal plans, there are over 20 different options to choose from each week. You can also filter the offerings by the filters Age, Gluten Free, No Milk, No Soy, No Egg, and Veg. Dishes include cheesy beef and noodles with diced sweet potatoes, garden veggie chili and quinoa, and chicken casserole with organic broccoli and organic chicken meatballs.

The price per serving decreases the more meals you buy, with $5.99 per meal for 16 meals per week as the most cost-effective option. Yumble delivers to most of the East Coast, Texas, parts of the West Coast, and the Midwest.

Final Verdict

Cheap meal delivery services are able to offer the convenience of meal planning and preparation without compromising the quality of food. That said, different companies cut costs in different ways. Once you decide what’s most important to you, whether it’s nutritional considerations, taste, or convenience, you're bound to find a service you love at the price you need. We recommend HelloFresh as the best overall; although it was not the lowest in price, it offers the most ideal balance of cost, taste, and variety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Meal Delivery Service?

A meal delivery service is a subscription plan that delivers meal kits or fully prepared meals to your home based on your preferences. Meal kits include portioned ingredients and instructions for you to prepare the recipes, while fully prepared meals just need to be heated before serving.

How Much Does a Meal Delivery Service Cost?

Prices depend on a number of factors, including the company, type of meal, and the quantity. Often, the more meals you include in your plan, the cheaper your plan typically becomes. There are also usually sign-up promotions that offer a significant discount off the standard price. The cheapest meal delivery service we found was Dinnerly. As of March 2021, its already low price of $4.69 per portion dropped to $2.79 per portion for the first shipment.

Do Meal Delivery Services Require a Commitment?

Most meal delivery services are commitment-free. All of the options in our list allow you to skip a week, pause your subscription, or cancel any time before a weekly deadline.

How We Chose the Best Healthy Meal Delivery Services

We researched many different meal delivery services and narrowed them down by price. We also considered menu options, plans, and other factors. The companies that made our list were selected because they are the least expensive, with meals priced under $9 each.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.