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Written by: Felicity Kay on Apr 19th, 2021

10 Best (CHEAPEST) Meal Delivery Services in 2021

No matter how you slice it, there’s no such thing as a free meal. Homemade meals might seem to be the cheapest option but between recipe planning, grocery shopping, and food prep, home cooking can take up a lot of your precious time and energy – and that also has a price!

Meal delivery services allow you to outsource those tasks, so you can make easy, healthy food with pre-portioned ingredients that show up on your doorstep. With some services, all you need to do is heat and serve. 

We’ve compiled a list of the ten cheapest meal delivery services – so you can fill your belly without emptying your bank account!

Short on Time? Here Are The Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of 2021

What to Look For in the Cheapest Meal Delivery Services

Although each meal delivery service has its own niche, they all fall into two basic categories: meal kits and prepared meals – with some vendors offering both. 

Meal kits come with everything you need to quickly throw together your own meal at home, including pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. Prepared meals are as quick and convenient as it gets – ready to heat up and eat in minutes. 

The Cheapest Meal Prep Services 

Although meal kits demand a bit more of your time and energy, all of the ingredients come fresh and pre-portioned with very little extra prep required. 

Created for your convenience, most meals are super quick and easy, with many vendors allowing you to choose your ideal cook time, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. If you love to get creative in the kitchen, but simply don’t have enough time, meal kits could be the answer. 

The Cheapest Prepared Meal Delivery Services

There’s nothing more convenient than pre-cooked meals arriving on your doorstep.

Some vendors bring your food fresh, while others opt for frozen, but either way, all you need to do is heat and serve. While many people instinctively shy away from frozen food, there’s something wonderful about stashing a freshly made meal straight into your freezer until the perfect moment. 

What to Look For in the Cheapest Prepared Meal Delivery Services and Meal Kits

Whether you are looking for a meal kit or prepared meal delivery service, there are some other features to keep in mind. 

  • If you have allergies, food restrictions, or a specific diet, you’ll need to check the vendor has suitable options. Even if you eat everything, you’ll want to make sure there’s a good variety of meals available. 

  • You also need to decide how many meals you want and how often. Are you looking for three meals a day plus snacks all week long, or just a few dinners a week? Are you eating for one or feeding a family? Each vendor has its own setup when it comes to plans and frequency. 

  • Another important factor is flexibility. You don’t want to end up paying for meals when you’re on vacation or need to skip a week. Make sure your meal delivery service offers commitment-free plans that you can pause or cancel at the click of a button. 

  • Lastly, be sure to take into account shipping costs when comparing prices. 

Our Cheapest Meal Delivery Services Reviewed

1. EveryPlate – Simple, Budget-Friendly Meal Kits

EveryPlate Best Features 

  • Super affordable – Meals starting at just $4.99

  • Flexible plans – Options for two or four people, three to five times a week 

  • Simple meals – Delicious and fuss-free 

  • Easy-to-follow recipes – Ready in just 6 steps

EveryPlate in a Nutshell 

EveryPlate is by far the cheapest meal delivery service on the market. It keeps its prices down without compromising on quality by sticking to simple ingredients, limiting packaging, and offering a smaller menu. Even with the $8.99 shipping fee, it’s still cheaper than its competitors. 

Learn more about EveryPlate’s affordable options in our expert review.

EveryPlate’s meals are delicious, hearty, and ready to eat in half an hour, but if you’re a picky eater or have allergies or dietary restrictions, EveryPlate may not be the right choice for you. 

2. Blue Apron – Gourmet Meal Kits for a Good Price

Blue Apron Best Features 

  • Free shipping – For more than three weekly meals

  • Environmentally responsible – From sustainable ingredients to recyclable packaging

  • Exciting, yet family-friendly – Traditional recipes with a twist

  • Wine and dine – Monthly wine deliveries to accompany your meals 

Blue Apron in a Nutshell 

With meal kits starting at $7.49 per plate, Blue Apron is certainly a jump in price from EveryPlate. However, it offers real value for money, including adventurous menus, sustainably sourced ingredients, and limited-edition collaborations with other programs, such as WeightWatchers and Whole30. 

Blue Apron offers a wide variety of interesting, healthy meals for two or four people, plus vegetarian and wellness plans for two. You can order two to four times a week, depending on your plan, with free shipping for at least three meals a week and $7.99 shipping for two meals a week. Find out more in our full Blue Apron review.

The meal kits come with easy-to-follow recipes that take up to 40 minutes to prepare and pre-portioned ingredients packaged in insulated, recyclable containers. 

3. Yumble – Fun & Healthy Ready-Made Meals for Kids

Yumble Best Features 

  • Kid-focused food – Meals prepared especially for picky children 

  • Budget-friendly – From $5.99 to $7.99 per meal

  • Upgraded family favorites – With fresh and healthy ingredients

  • Fun activities included – Like stickers and a deck of table topics

Yumble in a Nutshell 

If you’re a parent, you know that feeding little ones can be frustrating. You spend tons of time and energy cooking up your kids’ favorite food – only for them to refuse to touch it. 

Yumble provides tried-and-tested, nutritious meals your children will love – ready to heat and eat in a minute and a half. The dishes hide tons of veggies and healthy ingredients in classic kids’ foods like Mac ‘n Trees – creamy macaroni and cheese with cauliflower hidden in the sauce and a side of broccoli. 

This super-affordable service ranges from $5.99 to $7.99 per portion, depending on if you order 6, 8, or 12 meals per week. Of course, since these meals are designed for kids, the ingredients are much more basic and serving sizes are suitable for kid-size appetites. You can also filter meals based on the age of your child, as well as their dietary preferences and sensitivities.

If you’re a busy parent struggling to feed your kids, Yumble is worth a shot. It frees up time and energy so you can make yourself the exciting meals you crave without worry about picky eaters!

4. Home Chef – Fully Customizable Weekly Meal Kits

Home Chef Best Features 

  • Personalize your plate – Upgrade, swap, or double up on proteins

  • Ultimate variety – A wide range of delicious, easy meals 

  • Oven-ready options – No prep, fuss, or mess 

Home Chef in a Nutshell 

Home Chef delivers an unparalleled level of customization. Whether you’re a vegetarian, watching your carb intake, or have allergies, you’re sure to find food you love. If you’re short on time, choose 15-minute, or grill/oven-ready meals; and if you have a special event coming up, try the culinary collection. 

Although meals start at just $6.99 per plate, this price is mainly for salads. Most meals end up costing more, especially with each ingredient swap or upgrade. Explore Home Chef’s options in our expert review.

You can order for two, four, or six people, which is great for larger families or those who love leftovers. Shipping costs $7.99 ($13.99 if you order two recipes for two). If you’d rather save on shipping and pick up a ready-made meal in store, Home Chef is one of the only vendors that offers this option. 

5. HelloFresh – Delicious, Family-Friendly Meal Kits

HelloFresh Best Features 

  • Family-friendly plans – Cheapest choice for four people, four times a week 

  • Wide variety of delicious meals – 22+ weekly recipes, tested for taste and simplicity 

  • Healthy, fresh food – High-quality ingredients with clear nutritional information

  • Fun and easy – Simple recipes that require only 30 mins of prep 

HelloFresh in a Nutshell 

If you’re feeding a family of four, HelloFresh provides the cheapest meal delivery kits, full of fun, family-friendly food. Starting at $7.49 per plate, the meals are not only healthy and delicious, but each recipe card includes cute ideas for how to get your little ones involved in the food prep. 

Be aware that the shipping is free with your first order, but then can cost around $8.99 per week, regardless of how many meals you’re ordering or how many times a week. 

Every week, HelloFresh offers at least 22 easy and exciting recipes for each of its meal plans including – Vegetarian, Family Friendly, and Calorie Smart. Learn more about HelloFresh’s meal plans in our expert review. HelloFresh is health and environment-conscious, providing high-quality ingredients straight from the farm, and is always looking for ways to minimize its carbon footprint.  

6. Freshly – Most Affordable Ready-Made Meals

Freshly Best Features 

  • Ready in a snap – Just heat and eat

  • Get more, pay less – The price per meal drops the more you order 

  • Allergy-friendly – Completely gluten and peanut-free menus 

  • Comfort food with a twist – Your favorite meals, made healthy  

Freshly in a Nutshell 

Whereas the rest of the services on our list focus on meal kits, Freshly delivers single-serving, ready-made meals to your door – just warm them up and dinner is served in three minutes flat. Although this is slightly more costly, with meals starting at $8.49, Freshly is definitely the most affordable option for ready-made meals. Plus, they arrive fresh, not frozen. 

Choose from 4, 6, 10, or 12 meals each week, with the price dropping from $11.49 to $8.49 as you increase your order. Although shipping costs extra, this also decreases based on your order – from $12.99 right down to $3.99. Check out how Freshly works in our review

Freshly upgrades your favorite comfort foods with creative, healthy ingredient swaps, and every single item on the menu is gluten and peanut-free. 

 

7. Sunbasket – Cheapest Organic Meal Plan

Sunbasket Best Features 

  • High-quality organic ingredients – Fresh produce, wild-caught fish, and hormone-free meats

  • One-of-a-kind recipes – Enjoy unique flavors from around the world

  • Perfect your culinary skills – YouTube channel with tons of culinary tips and tricks 

  • Environmentally friendly packaging – All packaging is 100% compostable and recyclable  

Sunbasket in a Nutshell 

Sunbasket offers something for everyone, with both meal kits and prepared meal services. Regardless of which service you select, Sunbasket always provides some of the highest quality organic and clean ingredients, making it easier than ever to eat clean on a budget.

Check out more details about Sunbasket’s unique recipes in our review

Choose from 4, 6, 8, 12, or 16 meals each week, with the price dropping from $6.99 for Fresh & Ready meals and $7.74 for meal kits to $4.62 and $6.62, respectively, as you increase your order size. Shipping costs an extra $6.99 per delivery, but that’s on the lower end of delivery prices of the vendors we’ve reviewed. 

Sunbasket even backs all of its orders with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you can have confidence in every order you place. 

8. Diet-to-Go – Cheapest Weight Loss Meals

Diet-to-Go Best Features 

Diet-to-Go in a Nutshell 

Dieting has never been easier with the help of Diet-to-Go, providing single-serving, ready-made meals to your door each week. 

Simply pick your menu options and enjoy them after a 2-3 minute cook time. This convenience does come at a cost, with a $19.98 delivery fee per weekly order. However, if you live near one of its local delivery sites, you can opt to pick up your meals for free.

Find out more about Diet-to-Go’s meal plans in our review/prodcutReviewLink. 

Luckily, the meals themselves are affordably priced. Choose from two or three meals each day for either five or seven days per week, with the price dropping from $12.20 to $8.57 per meal (for the Balance, Original, or Women plans) as you increase your order. 

Diet-to-Go has some of the highest-rated diet menus out there and has been in the game for more than 25 years. 

 

9. Fresh n’ Lean – Most Affordable Athlete-Friendly Meals

Fresh n’ Lean Best Features 

  • Pre-made meals – Made fresh to retain nutrients and never frozen 

  • Certified organic – Ingredients are locally sourced and GMO-free 

  • Wide variety of dietary preferences – High protein, keto, paleo, vegan, and low-carb vegan plans 

  • Add extras – Order extra protein, veggies, or starches in bulk  

Fresh n’ Lean in a Nutshell 

Fresh n’ Lean offers true customization. With new chef-created menus prepared each week, you have the option to stick within your chosen meal plan or add on extras.

We write more about Fresh n’ Lean’s unique menu in this expert review

And, besides being able to add on bulk items, like proteins or veggies, you can also add a la carte items like delicious, healthy desserts.

You have the option to choose from one, two, or three meals daily, with prices per meal ranging from $7.93 to $10.78 for the basic menus. Shipping is always free with Fresh n’ Lean, so you never have to worry about additional checkout costs. There are minimum price per order requirements of $70 and $85 per week for the weekly meal plan and a la carte options, respectively. 

 

10. Nutrisystem – Best Weight Loss Meal Plan

Nutrisystem Best Features 

  • Dietitian-designed – All meals and snacks are adequately portioned and nutritionally balanced

  • Choose from three different plan levelsBasic, Uniquely Yours, and Uniquely Yours Ultimate 

  • NuMi Weight Loss App – App comes with the Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Ultimate meal plans 

  • Specialized menu plans – For individuals with health conditions such as diabetes and obesity, and dietary preferences, including vegetarian.

Nutrisystem in a Nutshell 

The Nutrisystem weight loss program has been around for nearly 50 years and focuses on eating six small meals per day. Nutrisystem provides ready-made meals and snacks that are either frozen or shelf-stable and only require minimal heating. 

You get a lot for your money – a full-service weight loss plan with all the meals you need, and coaching too. For more details about Nutrisystem’s weight loss programs, check out our in-depth review

There are three plans to choose from, each with its own pricing model. Basic starts at $8.93 per day, Uniquely Yours starts at $10.71 per day, and Uniquely Yours Ultimate starts at $12.86 per day. Each order is a four-week plan where you choose from either five or seven days' worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. 

There’s also a new feature, the Partner Plan, to add on any plan for $10.71 per day, per person.

 

Cheapest Meal Delivery Services: Comparison Table



Starting Price Per Serving

Shipping Cost

Promotions

Meal Type 

Diet Preferences


EveryPlate

$4.99

$8.99 per box

Save $80 on Your First 3 Deliveries

Meal kits

Limited. Some vegetarian options. 

Get Started

Blue Apron

$8.99

Free to $7.99 

Save $60 On Your First 3 Boxes

Meal kits

Vegetarian, wellness, diabetes-friendly, family-friendly

Get Started

Yumble

$5.99

Free to ____, depending on your order. 

Save 50% on Your First Order

Prepared meals

Family-friendly, picky eaters

Get Started

Home Chef

$6.99

From $6.99 to $13.99 

Save $80 Over Your First 4 Orders

Meal kits, prepared meals

Vegetarian, pescatarian, calorie-conscious, carb-conscious

Get Started

HelloFresh

$7.49

$7.99

Get $80 Off + Free Shipping

Meal kits

Vegetarian, low-carb, low-calorie, family-friendly



Get Started

Freshly

$8.49

$3.99, $6.99, or $12.99

Save $60, Promo Code: LAUNCH15

Prepared meals

Gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free. 

Get Started

Sunbasket

$8.99

$6.99 per delivery

Get $35 off + 4 FREE Gifts

Meal kits, prepared meals

Paleo, vegetarian, lean & clean, gluten-free, carb-conscious, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, Chef’s Choice, Fresh & Ready

Get Started

Diet-to-Go

$6.80

$19.98 per weekly delivery

Save $100 on Your First 5 Weeks

Prepared meals

Balance, balance-diabetes, keto-carb30, vegetarian

Get Started

Fresh n’ Lean

$7.93

Free

$20 Off 1st Box + 15% Off All Orders

Prepared meals

Protein+, paleo, standard vegan, low-carb/low-cal vegan, bulk

Get Started

Nutrisystem

$8.57

$19.99 per monthly order

55% Off 1 Month + Free Delivery

Prepared meals

Diabetes, vegetarian

Get Started

Bottom Line: Are Affordable Meal Delivery Kits and Prepared Meals Worth It?

Even the most budget-friendly meal delivery services guarantee delicious food delivered to your door – without compromising on quality or reliability.

Whether you’re a working parent, a busy student, or simply hate cooking, meal delivery services save you time and also seriously cut down on food waste – including impulse buys, forgotten leftovers, and those rotting ingredients you never get around to using! 

If you’re trying to stick to a diet or incorporate more healthy, fresh foods into your life, meal delivery services are an excellent way to make sure you have good food at your fingertips. 

FAQ on the Cheapest Meal Delivery Services

What is the cheapest meal delivery service?

With meal kits starting at $4.99, EveryPlate is by far the most affordable meal delivery service – even after you add shipping fees. The food is hearty, healthy, and quick to prepare. That said, if you’re a picky eater or have dietary restrictions, it’s worth checking out companies like Blue Apron and Home Chef, which offer more variety. 

When comparing services, pay attention to how many people you’re ordering for, how many times a week you want meals, and whether or not shipping is included.  

Is HelloFresh worth the money?

If you are ordering for four people, four times a week, HelloFreshis the cheapest option for families. However, if you’re ordering less food less often, it may not add up for you. 

Is Home Chef worth the money?

Home Chef’s best feature is its unparalleled level of customization. This is also the factor that will drive up your price per meal because each upgrade or ingredient swap has its cost. Home Chef is worth the money if you stick to the basic meal provided – especially the $6.99 salads – or if you need to have more control over your menu and cook time. 

Are meal delivery services cheaper than grocery shopping?

If you simply compare the price spent on food at the end of the week, meal delivery services can work out more expensive than grocery shopping. That said, your time and energy also have a price. 

Meal delivery services save you a tremendous amount of time every day, and also cut down on food waste, which means less money out the window. EveryPlate happens to be the cheapest meal delivery service on our list above, and it’s also made to our list of the best meal delivery services today

About The Author

Felicity Kay

Staff Writer, Delivery Rank

Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!
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