6 Cheapest Meal Kit Delivery Services to Try in 2021

Meal kit delivery services are the hot new thing for 2021. They’ve been around for a while now, but they’re more practical than ever. You can get contactless delivery of dinners for you or the whole family right to your door every week. The convenience of not having to grocery shop isn’t the only perk to meal kit delivery services.

With some services, you can skip a week or weeks if you need to. You can pick exactly what meals you want to eat. Plus, some plans accommodate even some of the most complicated dietary restrictions. Heck, some services even allow you to select what day of the week your meals will be delivered.

There’s almost no reason not to try one of these meal kit delivery services with all that convenience. In fact, one of the only reasons you might be hesitant is because you don’t think you can afford it. However, they have options for every price point. It’s all a matter of what you need from your meal kit delivery service. 

To help you decide which service is right for you, we’ve rounded up the six cheapest meal kit delivery services to try in 2021. Then, we went even further and sorted them by who each kit is best to help make your decision that much more straightforward.

Without further ado, here are our top picks for each category:

Our Top Picks for Cheapest Meal Delivery Service:

  • Best Overall: Blue Apron

“Blue Apron is a fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home.”

  • Most Convenient: Freshly

“Each Freshly meal is perfectly sized for one person to enjoy at one sitting. Fully-prepared meals are delivered fresh and ready to eat in 3 minutes.”

  • Best for Accommodating Dietary Restrictions: Sun Basket

“We offer a variety of menus to cater to different lifestyles and dietary preferences. Our plans include Balanced Living, Plant-Powered, and Keto + Paleo plans.”

  • Best Plant-Based Service: Purple Carrot

“The convenient way to cook up tasty, healthy plant-based meals that will leave you wanting more!”

  • Best for Singles: EveryPlate

“While meal kits are normally associated with luxury and a premium price tag, with EveryPlate, it’s not the case. Dinners are only $4.99 each.”

  • Best for Families: HelloFresh

“The Family Friendly plan includes recipes that are kid-tested and family-approved.”

Fast Facts:

 

Facts:

Blue Apron

Freshly

Sun Basket

Purple Carrot

EveryPlate

HelloFresh

Category Won:

Best Overall

Most Convenient

Best for Accommodating Dietary Restrictions

Best Plant Based Service

Best for Singles

Best for Families

Price per serving:

Starting at $8.99

Starting at $8.49

Starting at $10.99

Starting at $9.99

Starting at $4.99

Starting at $7.49

Delivery cost:

FREE!

$11.99

$7.99

FREE!

$8.99

$7.99

Availability:

48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

Also excludes some zip codes in Montana, New Mexico and North Dakota.

48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

Most of the continental US.

48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

Best Overall: Blue Apron

Blue Apron calls themselves “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit,” and there’s a reason for that. 

Regardless of the plan, Blue Apron is designed to teach you how to cook new recipes you may not have tried before, introduce you to seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients and reduce food waste. Per meal, they may not be the absolute cheapest, but they are one of the only meal kits that offer free shipping, which goes a long way to save you money.

Something else that sets Blue Apron apart from other meal kits is that they offer an app. Not every service offers an app. However, on Blue Apron’s app, you’ll be able to easily manage your account on the go and have access to beneficial how-to videos.

While Blue Apron doesn’t cater to specific diets like keto or vegan, they’re perfect for someone that genuinely loves high-quality restaurant quality meals. They even offer some recipes created by food celebrities like Amanda Freitag (a notable judge on Chopped) and Chrissy Tiegan. 

You can choose from an ever-changing mix of meat, fish, Beyond Meat™, WW Approved, diabetes-friendly recipes, and health-conscious offerings on their Signature, Vegetarian and Signature for Four plans.

Because of all this, we highly recommend Blue Apron as the best overall cheapest meal kit delivery service.

Most Convenient: Freshly

When it comes to being the most convenient meal kit delivery service, Freshly wins by a landslide. With this “heat-and-eat” meal service, you’ll have chef cooked and healthy meals delivered right to you that you can have on the table in about three minutes.

Freshly meals come in hard plastic trays, with a plastic film cover, slid into a cardboard sleeve. There are no ingredients to prep, and there are no pots and pans to dirty. There’s barely even time spent heating the meal.

Like with other meal kit services, the order process takes place online or on the app. Yes, that’s right, as another added layer of convenience, Freshly offers an app where you can manage everything related to your subscription.

Convenience comes with a bit of a price tag when it comes to Freshly. However, the more meals you order, the cheaper they become. You can get meals for as little as $8.49, which is comparable to those “healthy” frozen grocery store meals. Only with Freshly, you know exactly what you’re getting.

The Freshly Food Philosophy begins with three guiding principles – Less sugar, less processed food, and more nutrients. Plus, with this service, you have access to “Wellness Experts.” The Freshly Wellness Experts work closely with the Customer Service and Health & Wellness teams. They have backgrounds in nutrition and/or public health and can make recommendations on meals that may fit your goals and preferences.

All of Freshly’s meals are gluten-free and are made in kitchens that are 100% certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). However, it should be noted that they don’t offer vegan or vegetarian meals.

Aside from that, Freshly is definitely the most convenient meal kit delivery service out there. They may not be the cheapest per meal, but the meals become more affordable the more you order. If you’ve got to eat, consider ordering Freshly.

Best for Accommodating Dietary Restrictions: Sun Basket

While Sun Basket wasn’t our most favorite meal kit delivery service when we tried them out, they are far and away one of the best services out there when it comes to accommodating complicated dietary restrictions. To put it simply, Sun Basket’s variety is insane (in a good way)!

Do you eat:

  • Paleo? – Sun Basket has you covered.
  • Carb Conscious? – Sun Basket has you covered.
  • Gluten-Free? – They’ve got you covered.
  • Lean & Clean (whole foods with less than 600 calories per serving)? – Covered.
  • Diabetes-Friendly? – Yep, that too.
  • Vegetarian? – Covered.
  • Pescetarian? – Yep.
  • Mediterranean? – Got it.
  • Quick & Easy (meals that don’t require a ton of prep and can be done in under 20 minutes)? – They’ve got you covered.

Or, if you’re not so picky and don’t need to follow dietary restrictions, you can go with the Chef’s Choice plan and receive hand-picked, seasonal recipes.

The versatility and customizability is a huge selling point for Sun Basket, particularly over other meal kit delivery services. You can even select your protein choosing from options such as organic chicken strips, sea scallops, or even organic braised protein for some meals. Additionally, you can choose from meals that you cook yourself from start to finish, come “pre-prepped” or even “oven-ready,” whatever suits your needs the best.

Plus, Sun Basket has an app making it easy to choose your recipes, manage your subscription and deliveries on the go. 

We loved that Sun Basket tries to meet the dietary needs of so many potential customers. We also loved that their menu was very unique and fancy (who doesn’t love fig agrodolce sauce?). Furthermore, we love that all their ingredients are primarily organic unless otherwise stated. 

Given these facts, Sun Basket tops the list for the cheapest service that’s best for accommodating dietary restrictions.

Best Plant-Based Service: Purple Carrot

If you are interested in trying out a vegan diet or are already vegan, Purple Carrot is worth a try. It’s one of the few vegan meal kit delivery services available and takes the guesswork out of veganism because everything to create a delicious vegan dinner is sent right to your door. 

Unlike other services, Purple Carrot is entirely vegan, so you don’t have to worry about label reading to check for animal products/by-products or to try to meal plan a dinner menu that fits your lifestyle. And, as a bonus, dinners aren’t the only food available from Purple Carrot.

With Purple Carrot, you get to pick a plan (High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Quick & Easy or Chef’s Choice) and customize your order every week. Then, when your weekly box is delivered, it will include all the ingredients you need to prepare your dinners (and breakfasts and lunches, if you so choose). Your ingredients come labeled for easy use. Plus, you also get the weekly recipe booklet that will contain all your recipes for the week.

Per meal, Purple Carrot isn’t the cheapest. However, they are one of the few meal kits that offer free shipping, so they’re more affordable than most meal kit delivery services. So, if you’re looking for the cheapest best plant-based service, then look no further than Purple Carrot.

Best for Singles: EveryPlate

EveryPlate is one of the most affordable meal kit subscription services available today. They claim that you get filling, classic, home-style recipes and fresh ingredients at an everyday budget of $4.99 per meal, right to your doorstep. 

When we tried EveryPlate, the food was tasty, the produce was fresh, and the portion sizes were fair, especially considering the pricing. Plus, our delivery was on time. While EveryPlate says they don’t cater to specific diets, they have veggie options as part of their eleven weekly recipes.

One of the best meal kit delivery services out there is HelloFresh, but if you’re a single budget household, then EveryPlate is an excellent option for you. As it turns out, HelloFresh and EveryPlate are owned by the same company. 

While every place is slightly less fancy, they are significantly more affordable than HelloFresh. If you can deal with this little trade-off, EveryPlate is the cheapest best meal kit for singles.

Best for Families: HelloFresh

HelloFresh calls themselves “America’s #1 Meal Kit”, so if you’ve ever heard of these meal kit services, this is probably the one you’re most familiar with. However, their popularity is not why we selected HelloFresh as the cheapest best meal kit delivery service for families. 

One of the first reasons HelloFresh is the winner for this category is that the Family Friendly plan includes kid-tested and family-approved recipes. If you know one of those moms who have to cook a separate meal for your picky child, you know how much of a lifesaver it is that HelloFresh offers kid-tested recipes.

In addition to this, HelloFresh doesn’t just offer “regular” meals and vegetarian meals, they have some plan variety, as well. For whatever reason, when you first subscribe to HelloFresh, you can only choose from these four options:

  • Meat and veggies: Their widest variety of meat, fish, and seasonal produce.
  • Veggies: A wide variety of meals full of seasonal, naturally produced veggies.
  • Family-friendly: Kid-tested recipes that make quick, easy-to-cook meals.
  • Calorie smart: A wide selection of dietician-approved meals that are around 650 calories each.

But, after you’re a fully active subscriber, you can personalize your menu further by selecting any of these options in the “Plan Settings” menu:

  • Quick & easy
  • Seafood free
  • Pork-free
  • Beef free
  • Pescetarian

Furthermore, both services offer around 15 recipes per week to choose from when customizing your order.

Finally, HelloFresh is best for families because you’ll pay less per meal for the four-person plan size than you will for their two-person plan size. HelloFresh is already quite competitively priced compared to other services, but this extra little discount for going with their more extensive plan is a coup for families on a budget. 

Between the kid-tested recipes, the lower than average price point, and the versatility and flexibility, HelloFresh is the best meal kit delivery service for families. 

Final Thoughts

Look, we know that using a meal kit delivery service can be a little spend-y. We also know that there are almost too many options to pick from when deciding which services are best for you. However, we’ve put together this list of the six cheapest meal kit delivery services to try in 2021.

At GrillCookBake, we independently research, test and recommend only the best services for you. Each service was tested and hand selected with your needs in mind. Are you vegan? Check out Purple Carrot. Are you dinner shopping for the family? Check out HelloFresh. 

Still can’t decide? Check out our full-length reviews and side by side comparisons of all of these meal kit delivery services.