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How to Get Months of Meals in the Mail for Next to Nothing
Hack the system and get months of meals and meal kits for pennies on the dollar.
David WatskySenior 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.
ExpertiseKitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
With a little organization, this semisecret will allow you to try months, even up to a year of meal kits and prepared meal delivery for way less than face value, and less than it would cost to buy the groceries yourself. Here's how to do it (hint: It involves taking advantage of promo deals and canceling at the right time) and a snapshot of how much you'll save.
Nearly every meal kit I've tested (here's how CNET tests meal kits) allows you to try several weeks of meals for a super cheap promotional price, typically about 50% off the normal price. These hugely discounted sign-up offers are often as low as $5 or $7 for a full recipe that will feed two, four or even six people. That's about $2 to $5 per serving and about as cheap a meal as you're going to find during days of inflation.
And then there's the mother of all cheap meal delivery services, EveryPlate. This budget-friendly brand will send your first few boxes for a laughably low price per meal. It varies by week but right now, your first box will come in at under $2 per serving.
I can attest firsthand that meal kits make meal-making a breeze since you won't have to labor over what to make, shop for ingredients or do loads of prep since many of them do the measuring and a good deal of the prep work for you.
Even without these deals, we crunched the numbers and using a convenient meal kit is just a few dollars more expensive than shopping for the same groceries. Factor in one of the offers and it'll be significantly cheaper than buying the ingredients. Plus, you won't have to take annoying trips to the store for months -- or even as long a year if you try them all.
What are the best meal kit deals?
Don't worry, I've made this easy and rounded up the best meal delivery deals here so you can make a plan to try them all for cheap. Some promotions are likely to change from month to month, so grab the ones that look best to you now and I'll be sure to update the post so you can find the best deals when it's time to try a new service.
Don't forget to cancel your meal kit service after promo ends
The big catch is that if you don't cancel after the initial promotion ends, the service will almost certainly keep sending you boxes of meals but at the full price. Some will let you cancel right after you place your order while others will make you wait until the promo boxes have all been delivered. In cases where they make you wait, I'd suggest setting a reminder to cancel at the earliest possible time.
The worst-case scenario is you'll get an extra week's delivery of meals at a higher price. Certainly not the end of the world but if you're trying to try them all for those rock-bottom offers, you'll have to stay on your game.
Meal kits don't have long-term commitments
Most of these deeply discounted sign-up offers won't rope you into any long-term contracts. In fact, they make it fairly easy to pause or cancel your service, unlike those fury-inducing gyms. But for safety's sake, read the fine print for each service and for each individual promotion before you enter your credit card information.
Prepared meal services also have promo deals
If you don't have an interest in cooking, many of the top prepared meal delivery services have sign-up offers too. I've found that the discount, by percentage, isn't usually as good as with meal kits but there are still some cheap meals to be had. Much like meal kits, you'll be able to cancel your service after you've taken advantage of the deal -- or keep 'em coming if you like what you get.
Even online butchers such as Butcherbox and grocery delivery services such as Thrive Market and Hungryroot have some hefty new customer deals. I say try them all and let everyone else pay full price.
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.