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What is the Cheapest Meal Kit?

meal kit recipe instruction card next to meal kit ingredients.
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

A review of consumer behaviors found that one in four adults in America purchased meal kits in 2016. The market has continued to grow significantly since then, with now over 100 different meal kit delivery services to choose from. Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and HomeChef offer convenience, efficiency, and the opportunity to improve cooking skills and expand your palate. They cater to everything from a traditional omnivorous diet to those with specific dietary needs like vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free meals. Meal kit delivery boxes eliminate the need to meal plan, shop for groceries, or find ways to use up leftover ingredients, and can be an easy way to stick to your diet and health goals.

By sourcing ingredients in bulk and then pre-measuring only exactly the amounts a recipe calls for, meal kit delivery services are able to reduce costs and cut down on food waste. That said, the refrigerated packaging and heavy ingredients can make for high shipping fees for each box, bumping up the overall price per meal. What can sound like a good deal often turns out to be more costly than anticipated when you have finally finished choosing your membership plan and picking out all your meals from the menu of options, and are ready to check out.

If you’re interested in trying a meal kit subscription or you subscribe to one now but would like to save some money, we’ve done a deep dive into the cost for the most popular meal kit delivery services and compiled a list that you can peruse as you consider your options and needs. The prices for each meal kit subscription box are based on the typical fees and orders, without factoring in optional add-ons or promotional discounts for your first offer. Keep reading to find out which meal kit delivery service is the cheapest.

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How Much Does HelloFresh Cost?

A Hello Fresh meal kit and assorted fruits and vegetables on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

HelloFresh boxes work out to $8.99 per serving plus $10 shipping fee, but can be as low as $7.49 per serving for larger plans. There is no membership fee. New customers can usually get a promotion with up to 14 free meals.

Plan Options: HelloFresh offers six basic plans: Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Calorie Smart, Quick and Easy, and Pescetarian
Cost: Starting at $7.49/serving
Shipping fee: $10 but they offer free shipping on your first box
Minimum Order: 2 meals a week
Free Trial: Occasionally

How Much Does Blue Apron Cost?

Blue Apron box next to food on table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Blue Apron boxes work out to $8.99 per serving plus a $10 shipping fee.

Plan Options: Blue Apron offers four plan options: Signature, Signature for 4, Vegetarian for 2, Wellness for 2
Cost: Starting at $8.99/serving
Shipping fee: $10
Minimum Order: 2 recipes per week
Free Trial: None

How Much Does Green Chef Cost?

Green Chef Meal Kit Sandwich
Green Chef Facebook

Green Chef is one of the more expensive meal kit delivery subscriptions. Depending on the number of servings you order and the specific dietary plan, most meals work out to $11.99 to $12.99 per serving.

Plan Options: Green Chef offers three plan options: Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living, Plant-Powered
Cost: Starting at $11.99/serving
Shipping fee: $10
Minimum Order: 3 meals per week
Free Trial: Occasionally

How Much Does Home Chef Cost?

home chef box kit
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Standard Home Chef meals start at $8.99 per serving depending on the options chosen. There is also a minimum weekly order value of $49.95.

Plan Options: Home Chef offers two plan options: Home Chef (meals with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients) and Fresh and Easy (low or no-prep meals)
Cost: Starting at $8.99/serving
Shipping fee: $10
Minimum Order: 3 meals per week
Free Trial: None

How Much Does Sun Basket Cost?

Sun Basket
Sun Basket

Most Sun Basket meals are $11.49 per serving with an additional $6 shipping fee per weekly box. Larger orders can be as little as $10 per serving plus shipping.

Plan Options: Sun Basket offers two plan options: Fresh & Ready and Meal Kits
Cost: Starting at $11.49/serving
Shipping fee: $6 but they offer free shipping on your first delivery
Minimum Order: 2 servings per week
Free Trial: None

How Much Does Freshly Cost?

Freshly meal kit.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Freshly meals start at $8.49 plus shipping fees based on the order and destination.

Plan Options: Freshly offers five plan options: either 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 meals per week
Cost: Starting at $8.49/serving
Shipping fee: Charges will be available at checkout
Minimum Order: 4 meals per week
Free Trial: None

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What Is the Cheapest Meal Kit Delivery Box?

So, when you’re looking for all the perks of subscribing to a meal kit delivery service but need to stay within a tight budget, you’ll want to consider one of the contenders for the cheapest meal kit delivery subscription. The winners? EveryPlate and Dinnely, each which can be enjoyed for as little as $5 per serving. In fact, if you order the largest volume meal plan, which is the four-person family plan of six meals per week, each serving works out to just $4.69. Both EveryPlate and Dinnerly do tack on a $9 shipping fee per box, though.

Are There Any Other Options for Affordable Meal Kits?

To reap many of the same benefits of meal kit delivery services while potentially saving more money, platforms like SideChef eliminate the need to pay expensive shipping charges by sending your ingredients list to your local Walmart for ready-made pickup. Users still get to browse over 18,000 recipes to find delicious or diet-friendly options, but without enrolling in a renewing subscription or having to deal with wasteful shipment packaging.

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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