Many affordable meal kit delivery services are available, but which ones give you the best quality and variety for your dollar?
EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the most affordable meal kit delivery services on the market and are owned by other popular meal delivery services. EveryPlate’s parent company is HelloFresh, and Dinnerly’s is Marley Spoon – both very affordable and super popular meal kit delivery services in their own right!
However, EveryPlate and Dinnerly’s services prioritize affordability more than HelloFresh and Marley Spoon, offering cheaper per-portion prices.
While these companies are comparable in every feature of the service features they offer, one is just a cut above the other.
EveryPlate wins with its more elevated recipes, easier instructions, better extras, and better customer service. It was a close contest though and Dinnerly was a very worthy contender. Read on to find out more.
It’s a tie
🍔 Menu Variety:
It’s a tie
⏰ Prep Time:
Dinnerly (2 to 45 minutes)
👍 Ordering and Delivery
It’s a tie
🙋 Customer Support:
Winner: It’s a tie
While Dinnerly almost wins this category because it offers more entree recipes than EveryPlate does, EveryPlate offers better add-on options that allow you to build your own meals, thus increasing overall menu variety.
EveryPlate offers about 25 lunch and dinner recipes each week and Dinnerly offers 45 lunch and dinner recipes. For both services, menus update weekly, and you can see three weeks in advance for EveryPlate and four weeks in advance for Dinnerly.
Meal prep time for meal kit recipes on the main menu of both services ranges from 15 to 45 minutes.
For both services, all meals come in a minimum of two portions, so are great for couples or roommates. And if you live alone you’ll be able to enjoy the leftovers the next day. If you want to feed a family, keep in mind that each recipe is portioned for two adults. Per portion pricing is the best you’ll find, but can add up if you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed!
The cuisine variety is similar on both menus and mostly includes standard American foods with some Mexican, Mediterranean, and Italian-inspired dishes. You’ll find plenty of hardy comfort foods and family recipes on Dinnerly’s menu, similar to Marley Spoon’s menu.
The variety on Dinnerly’s menu is impressive for such an affordable service. What’s more impressive is that it recently added grass-fed beef and chicken to the menu as extras! Sourcing such high-quality ingredients are rare among the budget-friendly meal delivery options, and Dinnerly is really stepping it up with these menu items.
Where Dinnerly gains variety points is with its heat-and-eat meals. Dinnerly is primarily a meal kit delivery service but has expanded to offer a small selection of microwave-ready meals.
Microwave-ready meals take only 2-3 minutes to heat once thawed, and prices per meal range from $10 to $12. About eight microwave-ready recipes are offered each week that come in two-person serving sizes.
These fully prepped meals are a great option for anyone who wants a break from meal prep. They’re hassle-free and require zero chopping, sauteeing, mixing, or cleanup. Adding a few of these microwave-ready meals to your order might be the right call if some nights you just don’t want to cook or don’t have time.
The rest of Dinnerly's add-ons include 2-4 breakfasts, 5-6 desserts, and a charcuterie board! I’m a big fan of charcuterie boards and haven’t yet seen one on other meal kit delivery menus. So this option is rare, fun, and great for busy individuals wanting easy party food or a fun meal side.
Where EveryPlate edges a bit above Dinnerly on the menu is in flavor complexity of its dishes, like the Sweet Potato and Broccoli Donburi over Scallion-Lime Rice with Pickled Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo.
You’ll still find mostly standard American comfort foods, but you’ll also find more internationally-inspired recipes and flavors on EveryPlate’s menu. Most meals are kid-friendly and there’s even a menu plan called Family-Friendly. If you select this, it’ll re-organize the menu so that the family-friendly recipes appear at the top.
EveryPlate also has an edge on Dinnerly’s menu because it offers more ingredient add-ons that allow you to build your own recipes. This is an excellent option if you’re feeling experimental and want to construct your own meals from EveryPlate’s ingredients!
EveryPlate offers 21+ add-ons in the form of proteins, veggies, carbs, sides, and desserts, so you can be inventive and create your own recipes, or riff on the recipes that EveryPlate posts on the website. This is a sure way to increase recipe variety for your weekly order.
There are no ingredient exclusion or allergy accommodations on the menu, so ordering from EveryPlate’s extras and constructing your own meals gives you more control over your recipes.
One important note about each menu is that they both offer “premium” recipes, and premium recipes are premium for different reasons between each service. There isn’t much information about the premium options on either website, so I reached out to customer service.
Premium recipes are labeled Premium for EveryPlate and PremiYum for Dinnerly. EveryPlate offers three or four Premium recipes per week, while Dinnerly offers about 10.
Different agents gave me different and vague answers about each service’s premium meals. One told me that EveryPlate’s Premium recipes are from HelloFresh’s menu, while another said they’re meals you can order at any 5-star hotel or fancy restaurant. That would be an incredible feat for such an affordable meal kit delivery service.
I received similarly uncertain answers regarding Dinnerly’s PremiYum recipes. What seems to make these recipes premium is that they involve a few more ingredients and seasonings that up the flavor complexity of the dishes.
Whatever the reason premium recipes are different than non-premium recipes, both services include these meals in your meal plan but charge a higher price per portion.
Both services are pretty close here, but EveryPlate wins because it offers more meal plans and add-ons you can use to build your own recipes.
First, you’ll want to note that neither service offers allergy accommodations. Both services prioritize budget-friendly foods, which means they source standard ingredients typically found in the average grocery store.
EveryPlate offers four meal plans. You can choose Meat & Veggie, Veggie, Family Friendly, or Quick & Easy. Dinnerly only offers one meal plan but you can order from three to six meals for two or four people every week for both services.
The number of recipe options for each meal plan varies each week, so you might have a more limited selection should you require Veggie or Quick & Easy. The meal plans aren’t set in stone. The service lets you choose one, two, three, or even all four meal plan options! Regardless of which plan you choose, you can still select meals from the entire menu. The menu will just re-order such that the recipes most relevant to your preferences appear first.
The Meat & Veggie plan includes all recipes from the menu, which is 20+ recipes each week, while the Veggie plan shows only vegetarian recipes. This is around six or seven recipes per week and are tagged as Veggie on the main menu.
Family Friendly recipes include primarily standard American dishes that kids are used to and exclude spicy ingredients and internationally-inspired options. However, it will include some easier prep options that take less than 30 minutes to prep.
Quick & Easy meals only include recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Recipe options from this and the Family Friendly plans aren’t labeled on the main menu.
EveryPlate’s add-ons are where menu customization is best. The selection includes five veggies like asparagus or broccoli, eight proteins like steak or salmon, a salad kit, potatoes, and a few desserts. You can construct whole, balanced meals from these add-ons.
To order add-ons, you first need to choose one of four meal plans. Once you do, you can add as many ingredient items as you want.
Both services prioritize affordability and haven’t incorporated allergy accommodations in their programs.
While Dinnerly doesn’t offer different meal plans it offers the same flexibility as EveryPlate in terms of the number of meals you can order per week. While you can’t customize meals upfront for either service according to allergy preferences, you can choose all the recipes yourself and have total control over what meals you’ll be making.
If you have an allergy or prefer to exclude meals with certain ingredients from what you receive, you can read the detailed recipe cards on each service’s website.
You won’t be able to exclude the ingredients at the time of placing an order, but you can swap the recipe for another that suits your diet and palate better. Or, if you really fancy the recipe but don’t like all the ingredients it comes with, you can make ingredient substitutions at home to suit your needs.
What hurts EveryPlate and Dinnerly a little is that you can’t filter by dietary or ingredient preferences. However, Dinnerly tags each of its meals so you can easily see which ones you might prefer to order.
Some of Dinnerly’s tags are super helpful, like dairy-free, one-pot meal, meat, spicy, and no gluten added, and some of its tags are rather ambiguous. Healthy, nutritious, special, and low-calorie are all undefined on Dinnerly’s website. So – double-check ingredient lists and nutrition facts on recipe cards to ensure you’re ordering safe and tasty meals!
Winner: It’s a tie!
Ordering, delivery, and unboxing are straightforward with both companies. You can order, manage, and track your deliveries for both services by using their apps, websites, phone lines, or live chat.
EveryPlate lets you select from four meal plans, while Dinnerly lets you select from one. Once you pay for your plan you’re free to add as many extras as you want.
Total meal portions in one order for both services range from 6 to 24, and you can choose which recipes you want in increments of two portions per recipe.
The minimum order for both companies is six servings or three meals for two people.
One great feature of both these services is that you can choose your delivery days. Both services only deliver to the contiguous 48 states and offer different delivery days for different zip codes, but delivery times are about the same for each zip code. Orders typically arrive any time between 9 am to 8 pm for both services.
Where EveryPlate scores points is in the expediency of its first delivery. Your first EveryPlate order will arrive around four or five days after you complete payment, while Dinnerly’s will arrive six or seven days later. For both services, your orders will then continue arriving on your selected delivery day after the first order arrives.
Rescheduling a delivery is equally easy for both services through their apps, websites, phone lines, or live chat.
The cutoff for making changes to an EveryPlate order is five days before your next scheduled delivery and before 11:59 pm ET.
The cutoff for Dinnerly is six to seven days before your next scheduled delivery and is different for each zip code. Your cutoff for changing any detail on your order will show on your main account page.
Both services send individual ingredients for your meal kits that aren’t wrapped in meal bundles. Dry ingredients are usually packed on the top of the box, while ingredients that require refrigeration are packed at the bottom of the box near gel packs.
While ingredients aren’t organized by meal, you’ll find everything you need to know about which ingredients to include in each meal in recipe cards. Below you can see what my colleague received.
Storage instructions aren’t included for ingredients, so you’ll need to use your best judgment. Some ingredients arrive in their original grocery-store packaging and might include ingredients on the label, but neither service makes extra labels with storage instructions.
Both services recommend consuming fresh produce, meats, and fish within five to seven days of receiving your order to optimize ingredient freshness. You can treat all ingredients for both services like you normally would your grocery store purchases. If there are use-by labels, follow the dates on the labels, if not – you’ll have to use your best judgment.
Dinnerly’s microwave-ready meals arrive having been flash-frozen and can remain thawed in the fridge to be consumed within five to seven days of arrival. They’ll arrive frozen, partially thawed, or thawed depending on the time in transit, the climate in transit, and your zip code. You can also easily pop them in the freezer for later consumption.
EveryPlate pridefully claims 100% recyclability of their shipping materials and Dinnerly is closely behind. Neither service can account for the recyclability of branded ingredients, but otherwise are very sustainably conscious and aim to make their services as environmentally friendly as possible.
You can find recycling information in both sites’ FAQs, or reach out to the multiple customer support options if you have any recycling questions.
Dinnerly wins this category because it offers microwave-ready meals that only take 2-3 minutes to heat after thawing. Otherwise, prep time for both services is about the same.
Both services offer meal kits that take an average of 15 to 45 minutes to prep. Since both services send meal kits, you’ll need some basic cooking skills like chopping, pan frying, and blending.
Both services aim to keep prices as low as possible and ask that you have some basic kitchen staple ingredients and utensils to prep your meals. You’ll need a combo of eggs, milk, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. But have no fear – both services list each ingredient you’ll need on their website recipe cards. This way, you can be fully prepared to get cooking.
To make up for this requirement, EveryPlate offers a Pantry Essentials Starter Pack Bundle that includes ingredients that are a tad outside of the kitchen staples but are required in many recipes. These ingredients are lemons, limes, onions, jasmine rice, and garlic.
If you want zero prep, you can order Dinnerly’s heat-and-eat meals! Those are completely hassle-free. Otherwise, you’ll need to chop veggies, spice meats and proteins, and mix sauces for recipes from both services.
EveryPlate makes following recipes super easy by including full-page recipe cards with pictures for each recipe. Recipe cards tell you all the prep details you need, including pantry ingredients, cooking utensils, and step-by-step images of what your meal should look like as you follow the recipe.
Dinnerly sends your recipe cards by email in a PDF, which is cost-effective and super environmentally conscious! However, if you’re viewing your recipe on your mobile or laptop device, you’ll have to frequently wash your hands to scroll through the recipe on your screen.
While both service’s recipes include no more than six steps, each step might include multiple steps. My colleague cooked EveryPlate’s meals for a week and found that while recipes were easy to follow, each step was more like several.
The complete novice might find a few steps difficult. Neither service offers skill teaching for cooking novices, so you might need to YouTube a bit for more complex recipes! This means you might want to plan a little extra meal prep time than the recipes indicate, just in case.
My colleague also found that EveryPlate meals were very tasty and was impressed that such an affordable meal service could offer such tasty meals. One of the meals – the Apricot Dijon Chicken Legs with Roasted Carrots – even became a staple on his ordering list.
I tested customer support features for both services, and EveryPlate wins because its 24/7 live chat customer support agents answered more quickly and accurately to most of my questions.
Dinnerly’s live chat agents didn’t always understand my questions and took longer to respond. I sometimes had to ask each question a few different ways and a few different times, which was true for chat and phone lines. EveryPlate’s chat agents were much more “live” on chat and helpful on phone calls.
In all other customer support aspects – these services tie!
Given that these two are some of the most affordable meal delivery services on the market, their customer support features are impressive. I think a major contributing factor to these services’ popularity is the availability of their customer support. Both offer apps, 24/7 live chat, phone lines, chatbots, and email.
Both apps are super easy to navigate and make managing order details super simple and accessible. Apps are iOS and Android compatible and both almost have 5/5 stars in the App Store.
Live chat and phone agents for both services are super easy to reach as I was always connected to a human agent in no more than two minutes.
EveryPlate’s phone line is open Monday to Friday 6 am to 11 pm ET.
Dinnerly’s phone line customer support is open from 9 am to 11 pm Monday to Wednesday, 9 am to 10 pm Thursday and Friday, and 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday.
You can change or cancel your orders super easily through any of these customer support means. For a step-by-step guide of how to cancel your EveryPlate order through the app, you can check out my colleague's article!
Pro tip 1: Both services initially connect you to a chatbot, but you can easily talk to an agent by typing in “human agent”, which the chatbot then does for you.
Pro Tip 2: Both 24/7 live chat services ask you for your name and email but be aware that by giving them your email address, you’ll start receiving unsolicited marketing emails. You can unsubscribe the usual way when these come through (or you can do what I sometimes do and simply make up a name and email address!).
Winner: It’s a tie
Affordability is the priority of both services. At about $1.49 per serving from EveryPlate and $2.12 per serving from Dinnerly, these are two of the most budget-friendly meal delivery services in the business. EveryPlate's 24-meal box is $119 and Dinnerly's is $129 (excluding any discounts or promotions). This price includes a flat fee of $9.99 shipping which is applied to every box.
For both services, per-serving prices decrease as you order more meals. The most expensive meal plan per serving price from EveryPlate is $6.49 for two servings for three days, down to $4.99 for four servings for six days. Note that these prices are prior to applying a discount code.
To make these meals even more affordable, don't hesitate to use our discount code for EveryPlate: $1.39/meal On Your 1st Box. Or Dinnerly: Get up to $142.75 off 3 orders, from $1.29 per portion!.
EveryPlate add-ons range from $3.49 to $7.99 per serving while Dinnerly's add-ons vary from $1.99 to $6.99 per portion. Add-ons vary in portion amount per item for both services. Once you've paid for your order for either service, you'll be able to see per-portion prices for all add-ons, including Premium and PremiYum recipes and Dinnerly's microwave-ready meals.
On average, EveryPlate and Dinnerly's prices are just about the same.
Individuals or families wanting to skip grocery shopping
Busy individuals or families wanting to skip grocery shopping and save some meal prep time
$1.49 per serving
$2.12 per serving
3 meals of 2 servings each
3 meals of 2 servings each
17 to 19 choices per week
50+ choices per week
8 to 10 add-ons
15 to 45 minutes
15 to 45 minutes
Quick & Easy plan of recipes that take less than 30 minutes
One pot/pan meals, microwave-ready
Allergies catered to
Vegetarian, low-calorie, no added gluten, dairy-free
24/7 live chat, phone line Mon to Fri 6 am to 11 pm ET, contact form, email
24/7 live chat, contact form, email, phone line:
Mon to Wed 9 am to 11 pm
Thurs & Fri 9 am to 10 pm
Sat 9 am to 9 pm
EveryPlate wins by an edge! Meal flavors are more elevated, recipes instruction are super easy to follow, it offers super customizable better extras, and it has better customer service. For a deeper dive into EveryPlate’s excellent recipes, check out my colleague’s review of the best 8 EveryPlate recipes!
Dinnerly is still a great contender for budget-friendly meal kits as per portion prices are just about level with EveryPlate’s. Plus, you can choose those fully-prepped microwave-ready meals.
For the price, you can’t go wrong with either service. Given their affordability, both services are great to try if you’re new to the world of meal delivery services!
While EveryPlate and Dinnerly delivery options don’t deliver to Hawaii, Alaska, or Canada, they both deliver to the contiguous United States. Each meal kit delivery service offers different delivery availability to different zip codes so be sure to check whether they deliver to your zip code before considering the service.
Dinnerly doesn’t share its souring locations. However, it has recently added grass-fed beef and chicken to its menu as an add-on, which is very impressive given its budget-friendly priority.
EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the cheapest meal kit delivery services offering per-portion prices of <$5. Each service offers over 40 items on the menu and excellent customer support features. Skipping weekly orders, pausing your subscription, or canceling is super easy with both services. Given the price and ordering flexibility, you can order worry-free of being locked into a service that doesn’t work for you.