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Written by: Roxana David on Nov 23rd, 2021

9 Best Meal Delivery Services for Students in 2021

After a long day in lectures or at the library, the thought of heading out to the supermarket is a daunting and unappealing prospect for most students. You have enough on your hands without having to worry about your next meal.

But what are the alternatives? A greasy takeaway? A meal that will take over an hour to prepare and another half an hour to clean up? Not necessarily… With the rise in popularity of home delivery meal services, students now have the option of excellent quality meals brought to them.

Below you will find a list of all the best meal delivery services for students. We did our best to find the top ten that suit all dietary, financial, and time constraint needs.

Are you really hungry? Here's our quick list of the best student meal delivery services of 2021

  • HelloFresh - Thirty-one recipes all pre-portioned and guaranteed to have minimal waste

  • Home Chef - Fast and efficient meals, designed to be prepared in less than thirty minutes

  • Sunbasket - Guaranteed fresh, healthy, and organic meals all at a reasonable price

  • FAQ

What We Look for in the Best Student Meal Delivery Services

We have a range of criteria when judging the best meal delivery services. Primarily we look for:

  • Quality of produce to see who offers the best in terms of freshness, taste, and nutritional value.

  • Efficiency, to see who offers the most streamlined meal preparation package.

  • Diversity, to cater to dietary and ethical eating habits.

  • Balancing health and taste, as we admire companies that can achieve both.

1. HelloFresh - Best Variety of Meal Options

What I liked:

  • Deals for loyal customers

  • Great range of exciting recipes

  • All items arrived as described

  • Super eco-friendly packaging

What I didn't like:

  • The delivery timing isn’t great

  • The packaging was a bit bulky and refrigerated items need better labeling

HelloFresh is undoubtedly one of the market leaders for meal home delivery services, so it wouldn't be right not to include them on this list.

It offers some great deals and plans and caters to many needs, including diet, cost, and time spent cooking. These factors are particularly important when considering students, as recent studies have shown that students have some of the most diverse diets.

In addition to this, HelloFresh meals are incredibly easy to prepare and cook, which is especially beneficial for students who are short on time and need to have something to eat quickly in between lectures.

The main factor for including them on this list is its excellent value for money, and the meals do not require any additional ingredients.

2. Home Chef - Best Portion Sizes

What I liked:

  • Very accommodating if you are feeding over four people

  • Every recipe was delicious

  • Super easy to prepare

  • Great options that can be modified to suit dietary needs

What I didn't like:

  • Only three vegetarian options were currently available

  • The organic meat selection was considerably more expensive than other meat options

Home Chef has some excellent options when it comes to customization or portion size. You can add or switch up proteins as well, so that’s cool.

The jury is out about how simple the meals are to prepare, which is one of the main reasons we included them on our list for students. Because we understand that students might be only just getting to grips with cooking since getting to college.

Another reason for including them on the list was that Home Chef is an excellent idea if a couple of students wanted to join together for an order, as the portion sizes are big enough to feed four or more people.

However, the vegetarian options were somewhat limited and what was available wasn't all that amazing. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to look elsewhere.

3. Sunbasket - Best For Three-Meals a Day Planning

What I liked:

  • Great tasting meals with an informative menu that is easy to follow

  • The mobile app proved very helpful when choosing meal options

  • Organic, fresh produce perfectly portioned

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options all available

What I didn't like:

  • The Mediterranean-style menu can become repetitive

  • The protein portions were a little small

Sunbasket makes the list for several reasons, and is an overall awe-inspiring company.

Its offer of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options was a significant factor as it is among the few companies that offer this service, which is ideal for students who don't have time to cook three meals a day. Most companies seem to only provide dinner or evening meal options.

Sunbasket is also certified organic, and the meal plans are made for all sorts of healthy diets, including paleo, low-carb, and vegetarian.

It also has the best mobile app, making it very easy to select meals and protein options on the go. With this in mind, it seemed apparent that students would want a meal service that operates from the living room or bedroom.

However, the meals are somewhat repetitive, and no doubt, some students might soon get bored.

4. Freshly - Best For Quickly Prepped Meals

What I liked:

  • Varied recipes that need no cooking

  • The packaging is very well done

  • You can microwave all the meals if you are in a hurry

  • Delivery time and date are whenever best suits you

What I didn't like:

  • Freshly isn't cheap, and some people, especially students, may find it difficult to afford

  • Other companies offer a broader selection to choose from for a similar price

Freshly is a company that prides itself on creating meals prepared in under three minutes, which was a fundamental factor for being on this list. Students want things quick and easy, which is precisely what Freshly is all about.

The servings are all singular and without any artificial sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives. It also offers low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein options, which is excellent for students who want to keep on top of your health.

However, the options are somewhat limited, and the vegetarian and vegan options weren't especially striking. 

And compared to other meal services, Freshly wasn't the cheapest. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent service worth trying.

5. Fresh and Easy - Best for Protein-Rich Meals

What I like:

  • The portions are perfectly sized with zero waste

  • Fresh and Easy provides the pans, so you don't have to do any cleaning

  • The process from order to delivery is extremely streamlined

  • A great range of protein options that other brands don't offer

What I didn't like:

  • The menu as a whole wasn't that diverse and quickly became boring

  • The service is relatively new and is still going through its teething stage

Fresh and Easy is precisely that: fresh and easy - and that's why it makes it onto our list. It ticks many of the boxes for student cooking, and its delivery service is one of the best available.

It offers a great user experience when choosing your meals, and all meals are tailored to suit your needs.

The range is exceptional when it comes to protein options, and it offers a wide variety of choices - from prawns to chicken to tofu. It has everything you can wish for.

Fresh and Easy is also a very environmentally friendly brand, taking pride on having minimal waste. Plus, it provides you with all the cooking utensils you will need (great for students who might be lacking these items!).

6. Diet-To-Go - Best For Health-Conscious Students

What I like:

  • Great diabetic, vegetarian ad ketogenic options

  • The five-week menu rotation keeps things interesting

  • Superb packaging ensures everything comes in good condition

  • It’s managed to make healthy food just as tasty as fast food!

What I didn't like:

  • Zero vegan, gluten-free, or halal options

  • Minimal pick-up locations which made delivery very difficult

Diet-to-Go is a bespoke meal delivery service intended for people who are looking to stay healthy. It offers low-calorie meals that are easy to prepare - all at an affordable price.

It is an excellent option for those with diabetes or who are looking to cut down on sugar.  Diet-to-Go has some of the most keto-friendly meal options available. However, we recommend you consult your doctor before undertaking any severe diet change if you have diabetes.

Diet-to-Go makes the list due to the commitment to providing healthy meals as we understand that some students may struggle to keep fit during particularly stressful times at college.

However, the lack of exclusively vegan options is a bit of an annoyance as plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular with the student community.

7. Veestro - Best For Students With Vegan Diets

What I like:

  • Veestro offers a superb health range that doesn't sacrifice taste

  • Every meal is nutritionally balanced

  • Many of the dishes are new takes on popular classics

  • All the packing is eco-friendly and biodegradable

What I didn't Like:

  • The deals are somewhat expensive, considering the portion size

  • The menu is not that imaginative and could do with some more creative input

Veestro is an entirely vegan home delivery service that offers a wide variety of meat and dairy alternatives.

It offers a free trial starter pack that gives you a little taste of the products it offers. It also provides a series of one-time boxes at a discounted rate if you are still not sure.

In addition to being completely vegan, it creates meals filled with nutrients for people looking for a healthy and balanced diet. Also, it plans and portion out all meals ahead of time, so you don't have to.

We decided to include Veestro on our list because it offers something truly unique. Studying at college can be challenging, but managing a balanced diet shouldn't have to be. 

Although Veestro isn't the cheapest option available, it is worth a look if you are looking to stay meat-free and keep fit.

8. EveryPlate - Best Low-Cost Option for Budgeting Students

What I like:

  • Arguably the cheapest meal delivery services on our list

  • Meal preparation is incredibly efficient and time-saving

  • Recipe cards are amazingly detailed 

  • Making changes to your order is very easy

What I didn't like:

  • The recipe selection is minimal and lacks options for people with dietary needs

  • The shipping isn't free

EveryPlate is the perfect option for students in terms of cost. It has one of the most affordable meal plans on the market and even provides further student discounts.

The menu has some great American classics on it that we all know and love. It also offers excellent minimalist packaging that is both protective and good for the environment.

We love EveryPlate, but unfortunately, it has a few setbacks. The menu does not have a filter option for dietary requirements, and it is a slow process to find out about allergens.

However, there is a special Vegetarian plan if you don’t mind the lack of a more offering menu.

EveryPlate is an exciting experience, but you may want to consider another meal delivery service if you want more variation.

9. Green Chef - Best For Students on a Healthy Diet

Things I like:

  • The perfect home delivery service for specific diets like vegetarian

  • Consistently fresh produce with every order

  • It’s a great company to try if you are considering a keto or paleo diet

  • All meals are gluten-free

Things I didn't like:

  • Shipping isn't free and is calculated by the size of the order

  • There was lots of unnecessary plastic with each order

Green Chef is the last addition to our list, but that doesn't mean it’s the worst; we just struggled to fit them all in!

It offers some great meal options, especially for vegetarians and vegans. With all the certified organic and gluten-free products, it offers some of the healthiest and tastiest options available.

There is also a Balanced plan, and a Keto + Paleo plan that suits both followers of the ketogenic diet AND ones interested in eating paleo.

GreenChef is also great for students who would like to do a combined package with others, as its family plan feeds up to four with each meal.

However, one thing that might not be great for students is that shipping isn't free, and the price of shipping is dependent on the size of the order. Nonetheless, this meal plan option is definitely worth a go, even if it's just as a treat.

Which is the Best Meal Delivery Service for Students?

If you're looking for affordability without sacrificing quality, I would recommend HelloFresh. It offers a great selection, and it gained an excellent reputation for a reason! Also, minimal waste was a huge bonus.

However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, I would recommend Green Chef or Veestro as the options are excellent, and it specifically caters to plant-based diets.

If you and a few friends plan on ordering together, I highly recommend Home Chef as the portion sizes are generous and can easily feed over four people.

FAQ

Which meal delivery service is the best in terms of quality? 

HelloFresh offers the best quality products and does so consistently. The menu is regularly updated and never fails to have exciting options. This service is the perfect package for students who want great food at an affordable price.

Which meal delivery service is the cheapest?

EveryPlate is the cheapest service by far. It also offers some great deals, and the menus are compact and easy to understand. Also, the mobile app makes ordering incredibly easy.

Which meal delivery services offer free delivery?

Veestro is the only one on this list to offer free delivery on the orders anywhere in the country. This is an exceptional feature and something students should consider when choosing a delivery service. However, other companies that offer cheap delivery should not be overlooked.

Are there meal delivery services without subscription plans?

There are still exceptions that let you order a la carte, such as Veestro, but most meal delivery services require a subscription of some kind.

However, that isn’t a problem, as most subscriptions allow users to easily cancel subscriptions without incurring extra charges.

About The Author

Roxana David

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Literature graduate with a passion for good food, Roxana is a proud cat mom of two, an aspiring novelist, and a nature enthusiast. What's better than a nice meal? A nice meal with a view.

Literature graduate with a passion for good food, Roxana is a proud cat mom of two, an aspiring novelist, and a nature enthusiast. What's better than a nice meal? A nice meal with a view.
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