Meal kit versus prepared meal delivery
The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals that are ready to heat and eat. Meal kits will demand more of your time and energy but they'll also cost a little less per serving. Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few bucks more per serving.
After you've picked between meal kits or meal delivery, you'll want to find a service within your budget. There are meal kits with recipes for as cheap as $5 a serving with basic menus and no-frills recipes. More expensive services include recipes with more exotic ingredients, high-end cuts of meat and organic produce but can cost as much as $15 or $20 a serving. Here we've outlined all the best cheap meal delivery services for 2023.
While most meal delivery services have healthy options, some are much healthier than others. If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services will be better than others. Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for 2023 is a good place to find all the most nutritious options.
Number of meals per week
Lastly, you'll want to hone in on exactly how much food you'll want sent to you per week. If you can't imagine yourself cooking more than twice per week, don't order more than two meal kits because they typically won't last more than a week in the fridge.
Most prepared meals either arrive frozen or can be frozen after unboxing. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go around. Most services allow you to change the number of meals or servings in your plan even after you've started.
With nearly every service, the more meals your order per delivery, the cheaper it is per meal.