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9 of the Cheapest Meal Kits for a Convenient & Affordable Dinner

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseDec 5, 2020 | 6 comments

There's no denying that meal kits are super convenient. They'll help you save time planning out a menu, allow you to skip grocery shopping, introduce you to new flavors and recipes, simplify meal prep time, and streamline the cooking process. But all this convenience often comes at a price. Literally. Luckily, there are a ton of meal delivery services out there to choose from, and they won't all break the bank. In this listicle, we'll take a look at some of the most affordable meal kit subscriptions currently on the market. Not only are they the most affordable, but they've also been voted as the best meal kit boxes by MSA readers like you. They're ranked based on affordability, with the cheapest boxes towards the top of the list. (But don't count out those further down!  Even though the boxes rounding out this list may cost a little bit more per serving, they offer extra perks and additional value that you might find worth the splurge.) Each box has been assigned an "affordability rating" that's based on the average price of meals per serving, the lowest priced meals available, and shipping costs. Read on to find out which affordable meal kit subscription services come out on top, and score free meals with our coupons!

The 9 Most Affordable Meal Kit Delivery Services

Here are our top picks for affordable meal kit subscriptions that will add both ease and excitement to your regular dinner routine:

1. EveryPlate

Image of Every Plate subscription with ingredients for multiple meals shown.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals cost $4.99 per serving + $8.99 shipping. Sign up here!

Affordability Rating: 10/10

What kind of food do you get?: If you're looking for tasty meals on a budget and want to skip a trip to the grocery store, you won't do better than EveryPlate. The meal options might not be fancy, but sometimes simple food is all you need. You can expect to receive familiar favorites and comfort food classics that often incorporate high-protein ingredients like chicken, beef, sausage, and pork. Customize your plan to feed two people, four people, or more. This is an awesome low-cost meal kit delivery option for those on a budget. (And it's kid-friendly, too!)

Which special diets do they cater to?: To keep costs low, EveryPlate doesn’t cater to dietary restrictions or offer any dietary preferences or special diet recipes, though they do offer one or two vegetarian recipes per week.

Example Recipes: BBQ Pork Sloppy Joes with Pickled Onion & Potato Wedges, Sticky-Sweet Chili Chicken with Scallion Rice & Zesty Carrots, Tomato Cream Chicken Linguine with Italian Herbs & Parmesan, Roasted Bell Pepper Flatbreads with Creamy Tomato Sauce & Mozzarella

Check out our EveryPlate review and EveryPlate details to learn more! Currently ships to most zip codes in the United States for $8.99.


2. Dinnerly

Dinnerly subscription and all ingredients.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $4.29 per serving (most cost $4.99 per serving) + $8.99 shipping. Sign up here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Use code PBYYGREZ to get 57.5% off first box and 20% off the next 3 orders

Affordability Rating: 10/10

What kind of food do you get?: When you subscribe to Dinnerly, you can expect to see simple, crowd-pleasing classics at affordable prices. (Pretty much every menu includes a burger, taco, and pasta option!) Recipes incorporate fewer ingredients, which means food is quick to prepare. Instead of recipe cards, Dinnerly relies on virtual recipes to help you create family-friendly dishes that are sure to please kids and adults alike.  

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, but not consistently.

Example Recipes: One-Pot Pizza Tortelloni with Tomatoes & Two Cheeses, Burger with Zesty Potatoes & Sweet Pickle Mayo, Everything Bagel Seared Steak with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Mexican Beef Tostadas with Guac & Cheddar

Check out our Dinnerly review and Dinnerly details to learn more! Ships to the US only.


3. Martha & Marley Spoon

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon Grilling Recipes Review June 2017 - Fully unboxed Marley Spoon box on picnic table.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $6.39 per serving (most cost $8.99 per serving) + free shipping. Sign up here!

ACTIVE DEAL: $100 Off For Your First 4 Boxes (40/20/20/20). No coupon needed - just use this link.

Affordability Rating: 9/10

What kind of food do you get?: Martha Stewart is the "Martha" in Martha & Marley Spoon, so by subscribing to this meal kit you can expect to see recipes that have earned her stamp of approval. The menu includes American classics as well as global fare, and there's always a good variety of creative recipes on offer. For a subscription with celebrity chef-approved meals, Martha & Marley Spoon is surprisingly easy on the wallet!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian. Some other special diets, too, but inconsistently.

Example Recipes: Parmesan & Herb Pork Roast with Broccoli-Farro Salad, Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos with Fresh Salsa & Sour Cream, Chicken Fried Chicken & Gravy with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans, Takeout Style Beef Bulgogi Rice Bowl with Snow Peas & Kimchi Vinaigrette

Check out our Martha & Marley Spoon reviews and Martha & Marley Spoon details to learn more! Ships to most of the contiguous US.


4. Home Chef

All contents of the Home Chef Box

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $6.99 per serving (most cost $9.95 per serving) and delivery is free for orders over $45. Sign up here!

Affordability Rating: 8/10

What kind of food do you get?: Home Chef is all about comfort classics, which makes it a great option for families and picky eaters. The flavors are familiar-meets-fun, and the portions are generous. It's a great "all-rounder" box, offering a wide variety of tasty dishes at a price that won't break the bank. 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Carb Conscious, Low-Calorie, Soy Free, Wheat Free, Nut Free

Example Recipes: Oven-Ready Spaghetti Bolognese with Shaved Parmesan and Parsley, Crispy Apaculco Tofu Tacos with Sriracha Mayonnaise and Queso Fresco, Korean Pork Noodle Bowl with Green Beans and Fresno Chile, New York Strip with Garlic Demi and Loaded Bacon Fingerling Potatoes

Check out our Home Chef reviews and Home Chef details to learn more! Ships to most of the US (you can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code at checkout).


5. HelloFresh

Hello Fresh subscription with three meals and recipes displayed around the box.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $7.49 per serving (most cost $8.99 per serving) and delivery is free for orders over $45. Sign up here!

ACTIVE DEAL: 16 Free Meals (Offer is for new subscriptions only across 9 boxes and varies by plan) + First Box Ships Free + 3 Surprise Gifts

Affordability Rating: 8/10

What kind of food do you get?: The HelloFresh menu is stacked with crowd-pleasing classics and the occasional surprise to keep things feeling, well... fresh. With 23 different recipes to choose from every week, there's a huge variety of meals and usually something to please even the pickiest of eaters. This popular meal kit subscription is a great pick for families, couples, and solo diners alike. The price point is a bit higher than the cheapest options on this list, but for a little bit more money you get a lot more variety!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example Recipes: BBQ Pork Burgers with Spicy Aioli & Potato Wedges, Sweet Corn & Poblano Chowder with Old Bay Toast, Creamy Dill Chicken with Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus, Tuscan Stuffed Peppers with Pearled Couscous & Melted Mozzarella

Check out our HelloFresh reviews and HelloFresh details to learn more! Ships to the US only.


6. Blue Apron

Blue Apron meal kit subscription shown with all its contents displayed around it.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Pricing starts at $7.49 per serving (most cost $9.99 per serving) and shipping is free if you order 3 meals or more. Sign up here!

Affordability Rating: 8/10

What kind of food do you get?: If you're an adventurous eater, Blue Apron is likely to be right up your alley. The recipes take familiar ingredients and blend them in exciting ways to create something unexpected. Their balanced meals often incorporate global flavors and frequently use seasonal produce in surprising ways. The company takes sustainability seriously and aims to use responsibly farmed meats and produce as often as possible. Blue Apron has also done fun, limited-edition menus with programs like Whole30, Weight Watchers, Chrissy Teigen, and Bob’s Burgers. The price of this subscription won't rival those at the top of the list, but you're getting a lot more bang for your buck: more exciting menu options, high-quality ingredients, and fun collaborations. 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Mediterranean Diet

Popular Recipes: Mushroom Mazemen with Bok Choy & Soft-Boiled Eggs, Steak & Mashed Purple Potatoes with Sautéed Green Beans & Tomatoes, Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl with Crispy Chickpeas & Yogurt Sauce, Curry Pork Noodles with Cabbage & Peanuts

Check out our Blue Apron reviews and Blue Apron details to learn more! Ships to the US only.


7. Freshly

Freshly prepared meal subscription with 6 meal trays displayed outside the box.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $8.49 each (an average-sized order will run you about $9.49 per meal); shipping is extra and depends on location and meal plan. Sign up here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Use code LAUNCH15 to get $60 off your first four meals

Affordability Rating: 7.5/10

What kind of food do you get?: Unlike the other subscriptions on this list, Freshly doesn't send ingredients you prepare yourself at home; they specialize in fully-cooked, chef-curated dishes that are ready to be reheated at your convenience. The healthy meals are fresh (never frozen) and ready to eat in 3 minutes or less! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available, and you can expect simple, clean meals made with fresh ingredients that are all gluten-free, protein-packed, free from refined sugars, and all-natural. There's no two-person or family plan, per se, but you can order as many meals as you need to feed your crew. Freshly costs a bit more than the items that have made this list so far, but there's no denying that it's also the most convenient. 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Dairy-Free

Example Recipes: Steak Peppercorn with Sautéed Carrots & French Green Beans, Sicilian-Style Chicken Parm with Broccoli, Golden Oven-Fried Chicken & Mash with Roasted Sweet Corn, Masterful Pesto Penne with Italian Sausage

Check out our Freshly reviews and Freshly details to learn more! Ships to most of the contiguous US. Check here to make sure they deliver to you.


8. Purple Carrot

purple carrot plant-based meal kit with all items

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $9.99 per serving (most meals cost $11.99 per serving) and shipping is free. Sign up here!

Affordability Rating: 7/10

What kind of food do you get?: Calling all vegans! Purple Carrot might just be the most plant-based-friendly meal kit subscription out there. Every single item on the weekly menu is vegan (there are three brand new recipes available every single week), and you can expect to see dairy and meat-free versions of staple classics as well as adventurous offerings inspired by worldly cuisine. It's by no means the most affordable box on this list, but if you're vegan (or an omnivore looking to eat less meat and dairy), the value here is solid.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free

Example Recipes: Creamy Miso Risotto with Roasted Winter Vegetables, Indian Butter Tofu with Vegetable Biryani & Mango Chutney, Crispy Nacho Broccoli Tacos with Black Beans & Radish Salsa, Beans & Greens Ragout with Swiss Chard & Chile-Garlic Yogurt

Check out our Purple Carrot reviews and Purple Carrot details to learn more! Ships to the contiguous US.


9. Sun Basket

Check out my review of Sun Basket for May 2017!

Image from our review.

The Cost: From $10.99 per serving (most meals are $11.99 per serving) + shipping ($6.99 shipping fee per order). Sign up here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Get $90 off and 4 free gifts on first-time order of $65 or more. No coupon needed - just use this link.

Affordability Rating: 6/10

What kind of food do you get?: If you follow a special diet or prefer to eat organic, Sun Basket might be the box you've been waiting for. It was created by Justine Kelly, head chef at San Francisco's famous Slanted Door restaurant, and the dishes are wholesome, fresh, and deliciously straightforward. The simple recipes feature organic veggies, antibiotic and hormone-free meats, and sustainable seafood, all of which come pre-portioned and ready to be cooked! (Add-ons like easy breakfast and healthy snacks are also available.) If you're happy to pay a bit more for top-quality, non-GMO, and organic ingredients, Sun Basket is a great option.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Paleo, Lean and Clean, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Pescatarian, and Diabetes-Friendly.

Example Recipes: Vietnamese Beef Salad with Zucchini Ribbons and Pickled Vegetables, Chicken Tortilla Soup with Queso Fresco and Lime, Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups, Beef Chili with Cheddar and Greek Yogurt

Check out our Sun Basket reviews and Sun Basket details to learn more! Currently ships to most zip codes in the United States, excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of NM.


Have you tried any of these food delivery subscriptions? Head to the comments section and let us know which meal kit is your favorite!


Learn About Other Meal Kit Subscriptions

Want to find out about other meal kit options? Check out these additional pages to learn more:

You can also check out our weekly menu post to see what Home Chef, HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Green ChefPurple CarrotMarley Spoon, and EveryPlate are cooking up next week:


Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. 

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I use Dinnerly, Plated and Marley and Spoon, depending on the menu for the week. M&S is a new addition but their menus are amazing! Dinnerly is ok, the portions are too small in their normal menu, but they have dishes that say twice the portions, same price and they do include more food. Feeding 2 teenage boys is tough! I do only 1 box a week, 3-4 meals. It forces me to be more creative, because I tend to fall in a rut of the same handful of dishes. I feed 5 on their dinners for 4, just adding more rice/pasta/potatoes and vegetables to whatever the recipe is.

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loved this article! Im a Blue Apron fan and have been recommending to everyone at my job. However, I know some people might prefer something Every Plate or Dinnerly. I love to cook, but after cooking for 6 months straight I needed some inspo help and Blue Apron has helped a lot with that.

I would love to see a recent Marley Spoon review. Hopefully soon!!

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Lindsey Morse

Thanks for reading, Gloria! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Totally feel you on the need for cooking inspiration this year. A few months ago I got to the point where I’d made so many different iterations of the same pasta dish I swear I was thisclose to losing my mind from sheer boredom lol. It’s great to mix things up! Regarding Marley Spoon, let me see if I can get a review in the works soon. Looks like we haven’t reviewed it since 2018, so I’d say it’s time. 🙂

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Yay!!! I would like to mention that what worried me about Marley Spoon 2018 review was the high calories of the meas. I prefer my meals to be less than 700 (and thats pushing it :-))

Thanks Lindsey!


Super useful compilation, thank you for sharing!

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Lindsey Morse

Thanks so much, Kay! Glad you found it helpful! 🙂

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