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Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services of 2023

Have delicious, money-saving meals delivered straight to your door. We've tested the best meal delivery services on the market so you can find the perfect affordable option.

David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
David Watsky
9 min read
See at Everyplate
Every Plate meal delivery service
Starts at $5 a serving
See at Dinnerly
plated dinner from dinnerly meal delivery service
Starts at $6 a serving
See at Mosaic Foods
mosaic foods.png
Mosaic Foods
Family meals start at $6 a serving
See at HelloFresh
hello fresh meal delivery service
Starts $8.49 a serving
18 free meals across 8 boxes, first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code:
See at HelloFresh
See at Home Chef
home chef meal delivery service
Home Chef
Starts at $10 a serving
18 free meals with code CNET18 with code:
See at Home Chef
See at Daily Harvest
several daily harvest meals in glamour shot
Daily Harvest
$7 to $9 a serving
40% off first box with code:
See at Daily Harvest

What's the cheapest meal delivery service?

every plate box and two meals

Prices continue to rise at the grocery store, which can make it tough to stay healthy by eating healthy food -- it can easily bust your budget. And even if you can afford all the ingredients, not everyone has the time to put together a nutritious home-cooked meal every night. Fortunately, you can get healthy and delicious meals shipped right to your front door, and it might not cost as much as you think.

We've tested out and rounded up some of the cheapest meal delivery service options out there right now, so you can save time and money without sacrificing nutrition or flavor. From what we've discovered, EveryPlate is the cheapest meal kit service you'll find. As a bonus, we loved just about every recipe we tried during testing. 

However, there are other meal delivery services. If you're looking to save some money but still get food delivered each week, we've tested to find the best and cheapest meal delivery in 2023. With this slew of affordable meal delivery services, you can satisfy both your appetite and your wallet. 

Read more: Are Meal Kits More Expensive Than Buying the Groceries? I Did the Math

The cheapest prepared meal delivery services

It's no secret that the best meal kit or prepared meal services reduce your workload in the kitchen and your time spent dealing with the drudgery of grocery shopping. Prepared meal delivery services offer microwave and oven ready meals, and require no cooking at all, delivering the ultimate hack for your busy week. Luckily, all this convenience doesn't have to break the bank and some of the best meal delivery services are also the most affordable. For vegans and vegetarians, Mosaic Foods has family meals as cheap as $5 a serving and $9 for single-serve meals, and Daily Harvest has excellent smoothies, soups, bowls and flatbreads, also mostly under $10. And it doesn't have to be boring -- most of these cheap meal delivery services offer an ever-changing weekly menu of delicious meals for you to choose from.

mosaic foods boxes

Mosaic Foods is one of the best and cheapest meal delivery services we've tried. 

Mosaic Foods

The cheapest meal kits

Meal kits have seen a serious uptick in customers during the pandemic. Subscriptions for meal kits from companies such Green Chef and Sunbasket are great but can be on the pricey side, with recipes costing as much as $15 per serving. Dinnerly and EveryPlate, both of which clock in at around $6 a serving, are the most budget-friendly outfits. 

There are also some midrange options to consider such as Blue ApronHelloFresh and Home Chef. These may cost $9 or $10 bucks per serving but allow more customization and have more recipes to choose from. Most of these meal delivery services also offer vegetarian options or customization for those who don't eat meat. There are meal kits that cater to a specialized diet, such as keto, paleo, low-calorie or gluten-free. 

No matter your budget, tastes or schedule, there are affordable and tasty meal delivery services to make cooking for you or the family easier. We tested all the cheapest meal kits and prepared meal services on this list to help you decide which one is best.

Cheapest meal delivery services for 2023

Pricing Starting at $5/mealType Meal kitRegional Availability Contintental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 20+Menu Options/ Diet Types Meat and veggie, veggie, family-friendly, quick and easy

The bottom line: EveryPlate's meal kits were all solid and easy to make. This is also the cheapest meal kit, with plans as low as $5 a serving.

EveryPlate is the cheapest meal kit service, with recipes starting at $5 a serving -- sometimes less if you snag a sign-up offer. I tested EveryPlate recently and was pleasantly surprised. You won't find a lot of foofy, upscale cuisine or complicated recipes, but you will get a lot of satisfying, rib-sticking meals such as hoisin meatloaf with mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers, umami pork chops and sweet potato quesadillas. 

EveryPlate meal kits are easy to prepare and I loved everything I made, making it my pick for the best budget-friendly meal kit in 2023.

Price: $5 a serving.

Read our EveryPlate review.

Pricing Starting at $5/servingType Meal kitRegional Availability Continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 45+Menu Options/ Diet Types Vegetarian

The bottom line: Dinnerly has an enormous selection of easy recipes, more than 60 in a given week, and plans starting at under $6 a serving. This is the perfect service for families with picky eaters trying to eat well on a budget.

Clocking in at a comparable $5.59 a serving is Dinnerly, another great cheap meal kit. Much like EveryPlate, Dinnerly has a lot of comfort foods such as ravioli with spinach and parmesan sauce, carne asada tacos and chicken pad thai. Dinnerly has an enormous menu of recipes, typically more than 60 to choose from in a given week.

I tested the affordable meal kits from Dinnerly and all were easy to prepare, although -- on average -- they involved more work than EveryPlate's recipes. There were also a few big misses among the hits. But Dinnerly is a bit more dynamic than its cheap counterpart and allows you to add on protein packs of chicken breast, ground beef or shrimp for meal planning along with a small market of snacks and desserts, which you can tack on at an extra cost. 
Currently, they're offering discounts on the first six orders for new customers. The first box is 60% off, and the next five are 15% off, dropping the price per meal down to between $1.99 and $3.21 for each portion (depending how many meals you get per week). But even at full price, $6 a serving, it's still a great meal deal. 

Price: Starts at $6 a serving, plus $9 shipping.

Pricing Starting at $10/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability Most major metro areas in the Eastern and Western United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 50+Menu Options/ Diet Types Plant-based, vegan, vegetarian

The bottom line: This plant-based meal delivery service had some of the best, healthy prepared meals of any service we tried. Meals are also affordable with some costing as little as $6 a serving.  

I sampled about nine of Mosaic Food's plant-based prepared meal offerings and the vegetarian prepared meal delivery service had an astoundingly high hit rate. Mosaic uses big and interesting global flavors and employs creative use of meat substitutes such as tofu, jackfruit, cauliflower and vegan sausages to create tasty and satisfying vegetarian meals -- even for this omnivore. There are some vegan meals, but many of them use dairy products, so vegans must choose their Mosaic meals more carefully.

Mosaic meals are also simple to order from with a clear, concise website and no overly complicated plans. You simply choose the meals you want with a minimum order of $70 (about eight meals) and then decide how often you want them delivered -- weekly, biweekly or monthly. You can change the meals, pause or cancel your subscription at any time. 

Price: Most Mosaic meals for one are $10-$12, with soups going for $9 and oat bowls for $6. Mosaic also recently added family meals meant for three or four people that clock in at around $5-$7 a serving.

Read our Mosaic Foods review.

hello fresh meal delivery service


Starts $8.49 a serving

18 free meals across 8 boxes, first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code:
Pricing Starting at $8/servingType Meal KitRegional Availability Continental United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, JapanNumber of Meal Options per Week 30+Menu Options/ Diet Types Meat and veggies, veggies, family-friendly, fit and wholesome, quick and easy, pescatarian, low carb, low calorie

The bottom line: It doesn't get much easier than HelloFresh. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

HelloFresh is a bit more per serving than EveryPlate or Dinnerly -- $9 a serving if you order meals for four -- but this budget-friendly meal delivery service affords you more recipe options and I'd contend the recipes and ingredients are of a higher caliber too. HelloFresh has as many as 25 dinner meal kits per week, so it is nearly impossible not to find something you'll like. HelloFresh also has five or six plant-based recipes a week making it the best cheap meal kit service for vegetarians. 

When I tried HelloFresh's meal kits recently, I made the meatloaf a la mom, barramundi with corn and potato hash and pork chops with honey butter. I liked all three. Check out my full review of HelloFresh for everything you need to know about the meal delivery service.

Price: Plans start at $9 a serving.

Read our Hello Fresh review.

18 free meals across 8 boxes, first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code:
home chef meal delivery service
Home Chef

Home Chef

Starts at $10 a serving

18 free meals with code CNET18 with code:
Pricing Starting at $8/servingType Meal kit, pre-madeRegional Availability 98% of United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 30Menu Options/ Diet Types Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious

The bottom line: Home Chef meal kits are still affordable but of a slightly higher caliber than HelloFresh. While the service does use more packaging than most, the meals themselves were mostly excellent. 

At just a tick cheaper than HelloFresh is Home Chef. I tried Home Chef a few months back and loved the flexibility and customization the meal kit subscription allows for. For instance, you can swap the protein in just about any recipe or double the portion if you're expecting company or want leftovers to eat for lunch during the week. Home Chef also has affordable oven-ready meal kits which only need to be assembled in a tray and cooked -- no chopping or prep required.

A few Home Chef recipes I tried and liked were the moo shu pork tacos and bruschetta shrimp risotto which had a ton of garlic but was far easier to make than I expected. 

Price: Most meals are $10 a serving. New customers will get 60% off their first three deliveries. 

Read our Home Chef review.

18 free meals with code CNET18 with code:
several daily harvest meals in glamour shot
Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest

$7 to $9 a serving

40% off first box with code:
Pricing Starting at $8/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability 95% of continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 40+Menu Options/ Diet Types Organic, whole fruits and vegetables, dairy-free, gluten-free

The bottom line: For simple and healthy breakfasts and lunches with almost no fuss, Daily Harvest has loads of superfood-packed smoothies, soups, snacks and bowls to stock the fridge, many of them costing under $10.

Daily Harvest isn't a traditional meal kit company but rather sends healthy, plant-based smoothies, soups and grain bowls to your door, starting at $7 a meal. While the other options on our list are geared towards dinnertime, Daily Harvest is best to have affordable (and easy) breakfast and lunch meals ready to heat and eat. 

When I tried Daily Harvest, I loved the interesting smoothie combos such as a chocolate blueberry smoothie with greens, banana and almond butter. The heartier meals are great too like the cauliflower rice and pesto harvest bowl with cashews and spinach. You won't need more than a saucepan, toaster or blender to prepare most of the meals and most can be made in as little as 5 minutes.

Price: Meals are between $7 and $12 and there's no subscription required.

Read our Daily Harvest review.

40% off first box with code:

Cheapest meal kits compared

ServiceRecipes per weekDiets good forAverage price per servingShipping per boxCNET rating

EveryPlate 21Vegetarian, gluten-free.$5$108.8
Dinnerly 50+Vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescetarian$6$107.8
Home Chef 28Keto, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian$10Free on boxes over $408
HelloFresh 50+Vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescetarian$9$98
Blue Apron 16Vegetarian, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian$10$108.2

Cheapest prepared meals compared

ServiceSubscription onlyMeals offeredMeals options per weekDiets good forPrice per servingShipping per boxCNET rating
Mosaic Foods YesLunch, dinner80Vegan, vegetarian$5-$10$89.2
Daily Harvest NoBreakfast, lunch, dinner100+Vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, Whle30, paleo$7-$10Free8.8
Fresh N Lean YesBreakfast, lunch, dinner18Keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free Mediterannean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein$8.49-$13Free over $409.2
Home Chef Oven Ready YesLunch, dinner7None$9Free on boxes over $408

How we test meal delivery services and kits

Over the past few years, we've tested nearly every meal kit delivery and prepared meal delivery service we could get our oven mitts on, and that includes the best budget meal delivery services. Many of the menu options for the meal delivery services we've listed include nutritious plant-based food or high-protein recipes with lots of veggies and lean meats. 

To test each cheap meal delivery service, I tried at least four and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service. I always choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, if a meal subscription service offers vegan or vegetarian meals I was sure to try at least one. I also mixed up the cuisine types to include pasta, meat dishes, bowls and other various styles offered by the brand.

To test the best cheap meal kits, there was another set of standards and protocols to adhere to. Here's more on how we test meal kits at CNET.

Cheap meal delivery FAQs

What is the cheapest meal delivery service?

EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the cheapest meal kits with most plans clocking in at under $6 per serving. HelloFresh and Home Chef are in the next tier with portions for $7 or $8 per serving.

With family meals clocking in at $5 a serving and single meals around $9, Mosaic Foods is the cheapest prepared meal service we've tested. Fresh N Lean also has prepared meals for around $9 or $10 each, depending on how many you order. Services like Daily Harvest and Splendid Spoon have meals for similar prices but are focused more on grain bowls and smoothies and might be better for breakfast or lunch versus dinner.

What is the best meal delivery service for weight loss?

When it comes to meal kits, your options are many, and most services provide weekly recipes that are low on calories but still filling. HelloFresh has the most recipes per week of any meal kit service, so that might be your best bet for finding consistent meals that keep your diet goals on track. But all services list the calorie content for each recipe, along with carbs, protein, sugar and sodium. 

Depending on your weight loss goals, a healthy prepared meal delivery or meal kit service can help. Fresh N Lean, Pete's Real Food and Daily Harvest all have low-calorie meals to choose from. 

What's the difference between meal kits and premade meal delivery?

Some of the services listed here are healthy prepared meal delivery services, sending fully cooked meals -- often frozen or partially frozen -- and ready to eat when you receive them. Others include health-focused meal kits with premeasured ingredients all boxed up and ready for easy weeknight cooking. There's a stark difference between meal kits and meal delivery, but both make dinnertime easier and can translate into healthier eating choices for you in 2023. Plus, we sussed out the best healthy meal services for those on special diets like keto or paleo or for those who wish to eat organic prepared meals and meal kits.

More food and drink delivery recommendations

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.