three sample meals from the best cheap meal delivery servicesShare on Pinterest

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Meal delivery services can help you save time, improve your eating habits, or meet specific dietary needs. There are a variety of options, including kits that have ingredients and others that have prepared meals.

Meal delivery services can be a quick and convenient way to enjoy more healthy, home-cooked meals.

However, these services can range quite a bit in price, with some costing even double or triple as much as others.

This can make it particularly challenging for those on a tight budget to find an option that works for them.

We considered several factors when determining which meal delivery services to include in this article.

  • Price: We chose meal delivery services that are low in cost and provide good value, with prices ranging from $4.99–$12.99 per serving.
  • Other fees: In addition to considering the prices of meals, we also considered other fees for each service and included some that offer free or low cost shipping.
  • Availability: We selected meal delivery services that are available throughout most of the contiguous United States.
  • Variety: Each meal delivery service features a wide range of recipes and ingredients on weekly menus. We also picked services that cater to different eating patterns. Some also offer both meal kits and prepared meals.
  • Quality of ingredients: Meals are made using fresh, high quality ingredients and are free of artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives.
  • Nutrition: We picked meal delivery services that offer nutritionally balanced meals with ingredients like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Why you should trust us

Every meal delivery service on our list has been reviewed by registered dietitians and vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each service in this article:

  • is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety and manufacturing regulations
  • uses a trusted shipper to handle its food products
  • lists all ingredients, allergens, and nutrition facts on its website or product packaging
  • promotes a healthy approach to well-being
  • does not make unsupported health claims on its website or marketing materials

Here are eight of the most affordable meal delivery services in 2022.

Best for beginners

Dinnerly

  • Price: $4.99–$6.39 per serving, $9.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: vegetarian, vegan, low calorie, low carb, dairy-free, no added gluten
  • Subscription: 3–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings each
  • Customization: rotating weekly menu with 45+ recipes
  • Ingredient quality: antibiotic-free poultry, some organic produce
  • Who it’s best for: beginners looking for a simple way to save time on cooking

Dinnerly is a subscription-based service that provides meal kits that are delicious, easy to make, and affordable, making it one of the best options for beginners.

It offers a rotating menu of simple recipes and allows you to select 3–6 meals per week, with either 2 or 4 servings each.

A few examples of items on their menu include:

  • Low-Cal No-Skewer Chicken Kebabs
  • French Onion Mac & Cheese
  • Vietnamese-Inspired Steak Banh Mi Bowl

Low calorie, low carb, kid-friendly, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are available and labeled on the menu to help you find options that fit your needs.

Breakfasts, brunches, proteins, and desserts can also be ordered for certain special occasions.

Dinnerly is currently available in most of the contiguous United States and starts at $4.99 per serving, along with a flat shipping fee of $9.99 per order.

What our tester says

“All of the recipes I tried from Dinnerly were very easy to make and took less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

“For example, I only needed one bowl to prepare the Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini with Peas, which made cleanup a breeze. While I did add a few more vegetables to the dish to make it more balanced, the flavors were spot-on, and even my toddler enjoyed it.

“You can read more about my experience trying Dinnerly in our full review.”

— Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Pros

  • large menu with variety of options
  • low cost per serving
  • recipes are simple and easy to prepare

Cons

  • limited options available for certain dietary patterns
  • uses mostly conventional ingredients
  • no prepared meals available

Best meal kit

Martha and Marley Spoon

  • Price: $8.69–$12.99 per serving, $9.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: low calorie, low carb, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, no added gluten
  • Subscription: 2–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings each
  • Customization: weekly rotating menu with 45+ recipes
  • Ingredient quality: antibiotic-free poultry, some organic produce
  • Who it’s best for: those interested in preparing more fresh and healthy meals at home

Martha and Marley Spoon is a meal kit company that provides high quality, chef-designed meals that can be prepared in a pinch.

Recipes feature seasonal ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers to maximize the quality of your meals.

You can customize your menu and choose between 2–6 meals per week, each containing 2 or 4 servings.

Some of the available entrees include:

  • Roasted Tilapia with Herbed Panko
  • Ravioli & Vegetarian Boscaiola Sauce
  • Japanese Chicken Udon Stir-Fry

The company also provides add-ons, including a la carte proteins, coffee kits, and desserts, for an additional cost.

Martha and Marley Spoon costs $8.69–$12.99 per serving, along with a shipping fee of $9.99 per order. The service is available throughout most of the contiguous United States.

Pros

  • offers extensive menu with over 45 recipes to choose from each week
  • provides meal kits suitable for several dietary restrictions, including vegan, vegetarian, low carb, and low calorie diets
  • provides optional add-ons for additional fee

Cons

  • no prepared meals
  • limited selection for certain dietary restrictions, such as paleo
  • may not be suitable for those who prefer eating organic

Best for prepared meals

Mosaic Foods

  • Price: $4.99–$11.99 per serving, $9.99 for shipping with 6 items, free shipping for 12 or 18 items
  • Dietary needs: vegan, vegetarian, wheat-free, nut-free, high protein
  • Subscription: 6, 12, or 18 items per week with 1, 2, or 4 servings each
  • Customization: menu with over 70 items to choose from
  • Ingredient quality: some organic ingredients
  • Who it’s best for: people who want to save time in the kitchen or who follow a plant-based diet

Mosaic Foods offers a wide range of veggie bowls, pizzas, soups, smoothies, and oat bowls, all of which are plant-based and fully prepared.

Each week, you can build your own box with either 6, 12, or 18 items. Most items contain one serving, but larger serving sizes are available for select items, including pizzas and family meals.

All menu items are free of artificial ingredient. Some also feature organic produce, depending on availability.

Items that are vegan, wheat-free, nut-free, or high in protein are labeled on the menu.

Here are a few of the items they offer:

  • Jerk Lentil & Plantain Bowl
  • Roasted Grape & Butternut Squash Pizza
  • Miso Soba Noodle Soup

Prices range from $4.99–$11.99 per serving, depending on the specific items you select. Shipping costs $9.99 for a box with six items, but shipping is free for larger orders with 12 or 18 items.

Mosaic is available in most areas throughout the Eastern and Western United States. You can enter your ZIP code on their website to check whether delivery is available in your area.

What our tester says

“I tried several of the family meals and appreciated that all I needed to do was bake them. Plus, they could be served in the same dish, so cleaning up after dinner was super easy. Every family meal includes at least four different vegetables, and I really enjoyed most of the flavors.

“However, some of the meals needed more time in the oven than the instructions called for.

“If you’re looking for a range of prepared food options to have on hand, Mosaic Foods also offers single-serve items like smoothies, oat bowls, and soups that only need a few minutes in the microwave.”

— Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Pros

  • variety of options to choose from, with over 70 menu items available
  • all items are plant-based, with several vegan, high protein, and wheat-free or nut-free options
  • items are fully prepared and ready to enjoy

Cons

  • limited options for certain dietary restrictions, such as paleo or keto
  • might not be ideal for people who prefer eating only organic foods
  • not yet available in all areas

Best for one person

Freshly

  • Price: $9.58–$12.50 per serving, $9.99–$11.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, low calorie
  • Subscription: 4–12 single-serve meals per week
  • Customization: rotating weekly menu with 30+ items
  • Ingredient quality: free of artificial ingredients and processed sugar
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for a flexible and convenient meal delivery service

Freshly is a meal delivery service that specializes in providing affordable, convenient, and ready-made meals that are great for folks with busy schedules.

You can choose 4–12 items per week from their Purely Plant, Freshly Fit, and Signature Collection plans to create your own custom menu.

Items that are vegan, vegetarian, carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and dairy-free are labeled on their menu. Freshly also offers a variety of gluten-free meals, which are certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Some examples of meals currently on their menu at the time of publication include:

  • Chimichurri Rojo Seared Steak
  • Cuban Mojo Shrimp
  • Thai Green Curry Bowl

In addition to their single-serve meals, Freshly also offers several proteins and sides with multiple portions, which can be helpful for people looking to simplify meal prep. Plus, you can pause or change your plan at any time, which might be appealing to individuals who require more flexibility.

Freshly is available throughout the continental United States. Meals cost $9.58–$12.50 per serving, depending on the plan you select, along with a shipping fee of $9.99–$11.99 per order.

What our tester says

“Freshly’s meals were both convenient and flavorful. The Sesame-Ginger Chicken and Noodles tasted great, and I loved the creative ingredient combinations in the Farmstead Baked Lentil Pasta. It only took about 3 minutes to heat up the meals in the microwave, which was super convenient at lunchtime.

“The flavors held up well to reheating, although the texture of the vegetables was a bit mushy in some of the dishes. To learn more about the pros and cons of Freshly, check out this in-depth review.”

— Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Pros

  • large menu with over 50 fully prepared menu items to choose from
  • offers a variety of meals that are certified gluten-free
  • includes several proteins, sides, and breakfast items

Cons

  • mostly offers single-serve meals
  • limited selection available for certain eating patterns, including vegan or keto diets
  • doesn’t use organic ingredients

Best for families

Home Chef

  • Price: starts at $7.99 per serving, $10.99–$15.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: low carb, low calorie, vegetarian
  • Subscription: 2–6 recipes per week, with 2, 4, or 6 servings each
  • Customization: rotating weekly menu with 30+ recipes, allows you to customize certain dishes by swapping, upgrading, or adding proteins
  • Ingredient quality: some organic produce and poultry
  • Who it’s best for: busy families looking to streamline weeknight dinner prep

Home Chef is a budget-friendly meal kit service that makes it easy to enjoy more healthy meals at home.

Each week, you can order boxes with 2, 4, or 6 servings each and select between 2–6 meals per week, making it an excellent choice for families and large households.

Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian recipes are available on their weekly menu. Many recipes also allow you to choose from several protein sources to customize your meal.

Plus, they offer meal kits that are ready in 15 minutes or fewer and fully prepared oven-ready options.

Here are a few examples of meals on their menu:

  • Chicken Breast and Creamy Jalapeño Sauce
  • Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Cream
  • Hawaiian-Style Sloppy Joes

Home Chef costs $9.99 per serving, and additional shipping fees are calculated when signing up.

Home Chef can be delivered to most areas within the United States, and you can enter your ZIP code on their website to determine availability.

What our tester says

“I really enjoyed the meals I tried from Home Chef. The recipes were pretty straightforward, and all of the ingredients were packaged by recipe, making it easy for me to get dinner ready in about 30 minutes. My family especially liked the Chicken Lorraine, and I thought the sauce, fresh lemon, and almonds added a nice boost of flavor.

“Read more about my experience with Home Chef in this comparison of HelloFresh and Home Chef.”

— Healthline writer SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Pros

  • offers multiple subscription options and portion sizes
  • provides both meal kits and oven-ready meals
  • includes customization options for many recipes

Cons

  • limited selection for some dietary restrictions
  • doesn’t provide much information on sourcing of ingredients
  • shipping fees may be expensive, depending on plan

Most variety

HelloFresh

  • Price: $7.99–$9.99 per serving, $10.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, low calorie, low carb, Mediterranean
  • Subscription: 2–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings each
  • Customization: rotating weekly menu with 50+ options, customization options for some sides and proteins
  • Ingredient quality: some organic produce
  • Who it’s best for: people looking to try new recipes and add more diversity to their diet

HelloFresh is not only one of the most popular and affordable meal delivery services available but also one of the most versatile.

The company offers an extensive menu with a variety of family-friendly, low calorie, low carb, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, Mediterranean, and quick and easy options.

You can order 2–6 recipes per week, with either 2 or 4 servings each.

Some of the recipes that they offer include:

  • Chicken Ramen in a Shoyu-Style Broth
  • One-Pot Vegan Cauliflower & Bean Soup
  • Spicy Harissa Barley Bowls

Each box includes preportioned ingredients and a recipe card with step-by-step instructions.

Some dishes also include customization options, allowing you to upgrade or swap certain sides or proteins.

HelloFresh starts at $7.99 per serving, and a flat fee of $10.99 for shipping is applied at checkout. Delivery is available throughout the contiguous United States.

What our tester says

“HelloFresh’s huge selection of recipes made it easy for me to find dishes that would appeal to my family. Like Home Chef, all of the ingredients were grouped by recipe, so each meal only took me 30 or 40 minutes to prepare. The Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken was a family favorite, and I’ve recreated the dish multiple times.

“While HelloFresh doesn’t have as many options for certain diets like keto or paleo, it has a larger weekly menu than many other services and offers a good range of cuisines and ingredients.

“You can read more about the meals I made from HelloFresh in this comprehensive review.”

— Healthline writer SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Pros

  • offers customization options for some sides and proteins
  • features large menu with variety of recipes

Cons

  • limited information available on ingredient quality or sourcing
  • may not be suitable for those with certain dietary restrictions
  • doesn’t offer any oven-ready or prepared meals

Best for weight loss

Blue Apron

  • Price: $7.99–$11.99 per serving, $9.99 for shipping
  • Dietary needs: vegetarian, low calorie, low carb
  • Subscription: 2–4 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings each
  • Customization: rotating weekly menu with 50+ recipes
  • Ingredient quality: sustainably sourced seafood, hormone-free meat and poultry, some organic produce
  • Who it’s best for: individuals interested in adding more nutritious, WW-approved meals to their diet

Blue Apron is a meal kit service that delivers fresh, preportioned ingredients directly to your door.

Their signature plan offers 2 to 4 recipes per week, with either 2 or 4 servings each. They also have a vegetarian plan and wellness plan, both of which provide 2–4 recipes per week with 2 servings each.

When creating your menu, you can select from several meal kits and heat-and-eat options, including low calorie, carb-conscious, and diabetes-friendly recipes.

They also offer many meals that are approved by Weight Watchers (WW), making it a good choice for those who are looking to lose weight.

Some of the available entrees include:

  • Spicy Vegetable Tostadas
  • Indian Shrimp & Mustard Seed Rice
  • Oven-Baked Hot Italian Sausage & Gnocchi

Blue Apron starts at $7.99 per serving, along with a flat delivery fee of $9.99.

Delivery is currently available throughout the contiguous United States.

What our tester says

“While some of Blue Apron’s recipes required a bit of multitasking, the ingredients arrived in good condition and were packaged by recipe, so each dish came together quickly. I also appreciated that the salmon was vacuum-sealed for optimal freshness, and it paired really nicely with the almond-date topping included in the recipe.

“Blue Apron’s menu doesn’t accommodate very many specialty diets, but it does have some unique offerings, like WW-approved meals and a wide range of pantry items like spices, meal kit bundles, and cooking tools.

“To learn more about my experience trying Blue Apron, check out our full review.”

— Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Pros

  • offers both oven-ready meals and meal kits
  • provides a selection of WW-approved meals
  • cost-effective

Cons

  • limited options available for specialty diets
  • uses mostly conventional produce
  • offers fewer customization options than competitors

Best plant-based

Daily Harvest

  • Price: $5.99–$11.99 per item with free shipping
  • Dietary needs: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Subscription: 9, 14, or 24 single-serve items per week
  • Customization: menu with 100+ plant-based items available
  • Ingredient quality: mostly organic ingredients with no artificial preservatives
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for an easy way to round out their diet with more plant-based meals and snacks

Daily Harvest specializes in providing fully prepared meals and snacks that are plant-based, gluten-free, and mostly organic.

They offer over 100 items to choose from, including a variety of smoothies, flatbreads, harvest bowls, and desserts.

Here are some examples of items currently on their menu:

  • Brussels Sprouts + Sesame Harvest Bowl
  • Pineapple + Smoked Paprika Flatbread
  • Green Chickpea + Turmeric Soup

Each week, you can mix and match your favorite meals from their full menu to create your own box with 9, 14, or 24 items.

Most items on their menu contain one serving, but certain items — including their lattes, scoops, and bites — include multiple servings.

According to their website, all dishes are free of artificial ingredients and most items are also organic.

Prices range from $5.99–$11.99 per item, and free shipping is available throughout the contiguous United States.

What our tester says

“I liked most of the items I tried from Daily Harvest, and they were generally pretty easy to prepare. The snack bites, oat bowls, and chia bowls were my favorites, plus they were super convenient for breakfasts and snacks.

“I also appreciated that the menu includes a wide range of plant-based ingredients, which can help keep things from feeling repetitive over time.

“That said, I found that most of the entrees weren’t filling enough for a full meal, and a few items didn’t keep their texture well after reheating.

“You can read more about the pros and cons of Daily Harvest in this hands-on review.”

— Healthline writer Rachael Link, MS, RD

Pros

  • over 100 items to choose from, all of which are plant-based and gluten-free
  • uses mostly organic ingredients
  • affordable, with free shipping included for all orders

Cons

  • portion sizes may be too small for some people
  • limited choices for certain dietary restrictions
  • may not be suitable for families or larger households

Full reviewPriceDietary needsSubscriptionCustomizationIngredient qualityBest for
Dinnerlyread now$4.99–$6.39 per serving, $9.99 for shippingvegetarian, vegan, low calorie, low carb, dairy-free, no added gluten3–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings eachrotating weekly menu with 45+ recipesantibiotic-free poultry,
some organic produce
beginners
Martha and Marley Spoon$8.69–$12.99 per serving,
$9.99 for shipping
low calorie,
low carb,
vegetarian,
vegan,
dairy-free,
no added gluten
2–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings eachrotating weekly menu with 45+ recipesantibiotic-free poultry,
some organic produce
meal kits
Mosaic Foods$4.99–$11.99 per serving, $9.99 for shipping with 6 items, free shipping for 12 or 18 itemsvegan, vegetarian, wheat-free, nut-free, high protein6, 12, or 18 items per week with 1, 2, or 4 servings eachmenu with 70+ items to choose fromsome organic ingredientsprepared meals
Freshlyread now$9.58–$12.50 per serving, $9.99–$11.99 for shippingvegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, low calorie4–12 single-serve meals per weekrotating weekly menu with 30+ itemsfree of artificial ingredients and processed sugarone person
Home Chefread nowstarts at $7.99 per serving,
$10.99–$15.99 for shipping
low calorie,
low carb,
vegetarian
2–6 meals per week, with 2, 4, or 6 servings eachrotating weekly menu with 30+ options,
customization available for certain dishes
some organic produce and poultryfamilies
HelloFreshread now$7.99–$9.99 per serving,
$10.99 for shipping
pescatarian,
vegetarian, vegan, low carb, low calorie,
Mediterranean
2–6 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings eachrotating weekly menu with 50+ recipes,
customization options for some proteins and sides
some organic producevariety
Blue Apronread now$7.99–$11.99 per serving, $9.99 for shippingvegetarian,
low calorie,
low carb
2–4 meals per week, with 2 or 4 servings eachrotating weekly menu with 50+ recipessustainably sourced seafood, hormone-free meat and poultry, some organic produceweight loss
Daily Harvestread now$5.99–$11.99 per item with free shippingvegan, vegetarian, gluten-free9, 14, or 24 single-serve items per weekmenu with 100+ plant-based items availablemostly organic ingredients with no artificial preservativesplant-based

There are a few factors you should consider when selecting a meal delivery service.

First, look for a service with a rotating menu that includes a variety of meals to help add some diversity to your diet.

If you have any dietary restrictions, food allergies, or specific preferences, it’s especially important to find a meal kit service that caters to your needs.

The price is another key consideration. In addition to the cost of the meal kit itself, be sure to consider any other fees, such as shipping or add-ons.

Delivery may also be limited in certain locations, so check whether shipping is available in your area.

Which meal delivery service is cheapest?

Dinnerly is the cheapest meal delivery service on our list, with prices starting at just $4.99 per serving. HelloFresh and Blue Apron are also on the more affordable end, with each starting at $7.99 per serving.

Is HelloFresh budget-friendly?

HelloFresh is one of the most budget-friendly meal delivery services available. Prices range from $7.99–$9.99 per serving, along with a $10.99 flat fee for shipping.

Is Blue Apron or HelloFresh cheaper?

HelloFresh is a little cheaper than Blue Apron. HelloFresh prices range from $7.99–$9.99 per serving with a flat delivery fee of $10.99 per order. Blue Apron prices range from $7.99–$11.99 per serving plus $9.99 for shipping.

What is the average price for meal delivery services?

Meal delivery prices can range quite a bit in price. While some more affordable services may cost $4.99–$12.99 per serving, other options often charge double or even triple this amount.

Are meal delivery services healthy?

Meal delivery services can fit into a healthy diet and many offer plan options, such as plant-based, low calorie, or carb-conscious. However, this also depends on what you order, as some meal delivery services also offer dishes that are high in calories, sodium, or added sugar.

How do you use meal delivery services with allergies?

If you have any allergies, it’s important to check ingredients lists carefully to ensure that meals are free of any potential allergens. However, because cross-contamination is still possible, you may need to look for a service that prepares meals in an allergen-free facility, especially if you have severe food allergies.

Meal delivery services can range quite a bit in price, making it challenging for those on a budget to find suitable options.

However, several cost-effective services are available, many of which offer options to fit some dietary restrictions and food preferences.

When selecting the meal delivery service that’s right for you, consider factors like the variety, quality, cost, availability, and ingredients.