Subscription meal kits have been around for a while now and the competition is pretty steep which means you have lots of solid options to choose from.
While it’s no secret that subscription meal kits can be convenient, at the end of the day, the cost of the service could be a major deciding factor. Luckily, if you’re a home chef on a budget you can still take advantage of options like Dinnerly and EveryPlate. Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate are on the affordable side when it comes to getting ready-to-prepare meals sent straight to your front door.
With these subscription meal kits, you’ll still receive everything you need to prepare a delicious dinner including step-by-step instructions.
In a Nutshell
Dinnerly is a great meal kit service for anyone looking for tasty and easy-to-prepare meals on a budget. Dinnerly can provide more servings than the average subscription meal kit to better accommodate larger families needing more ingredients - all without sacrificing the quality or price.
EveryPlate offers a variety of delicious meal options that are simple to prepare and don’t follow any specific dietary restrictions. With low and transparent fixed-rate pricing, you’ll always know what you’re paying for each week and will save more than with the average meal kit service.
Let's dig deeper into each service, so you can decide which meal kit best meets your personal needs.
Dinnerly vs. EveryPlate
|Price per meal||$4.69+||$4.99|
|Minimum order||3 meals for two portions||3 meals for two portions|
|Customizations||No-added gluten, vegetarian||Add extra protein or change your vegetable side|
|Best for||Those needing up to 6 easy-to-prepare meals for the whole family each week||Those looking for affordable flat-rate meal kit pricing and a variety of beginner-friendly meal ideas|
Dinnerly is an affordable meal kit subscription service with meals starting at just $4.69 per person. You can customize your meal options then pick a day each week to receive the ingredients in an insulated box. Then, all you have to do is follow the preparation instructions to cook the meal and enjoy.
Dinnerly is able to keep prices down while offering fresh ingredients by saving in other areas like only offering digital recipe cards. Other meal delivery services include a recipe card with instructions in every order, but Dinnerly allows you to view this information online instead. The meal options change each week and there are plenty of kid-friendly, quick prep, and healthy meal options to choose from.
An EveryPlate subscription helps you make quick and healthy meals that the whole family will love. You can choose between 14 delicious recipes each week and meals start at just $4.99 per person. Each meal is designed to be prepared in 30 minutes or less and with no more than just six simple steps to follow.
EveryPlate can keep prices low by making small changes to things like packaging and putting more focus on tasty meals. That said, EveryPlate does offer more limited options and omits certain dietary preferences. Like most other subscription meal kit companies, you can skip a week or cancel at any time.
Quality of Ingredients
Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate include quality ingredients sourced by different suppliers throughout the U.S. The food arrives fresh on your doorstep and neatly packaged so you could store the items in your fridge for up to a week.
EveryPlate includes nearly every ingredient you’ll need to make each meal (with the exception of small items like salt and pepper). You’ll also receive nutritional information for each meal up to five days before your delivery. Dinnerly offers high-quality ingredients with meals including grass-fed beef, farm-fresh veggies, and premium sauces with natural flavors.
Plans and Pricing
Both meal delivery services have very similar price points. Dinnerly allows you to order up to six meals per week, either for two people or a family of four. Meals start at $4.69 per person but that’s only if you choose the family plan and receive six meals each week. If you need fewer meals, the price goes up slightly but doesn’t go higher than $4.99 per portion per family and $5.29 per portion for the two-person meal option.
EveryPlate offers a flat rate of $4.99 per meal whether you choose a family plan or a two-person plan for the week. You can order up to five meals per week. Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate have shipping fees that can add to the total price you’ll pay for meals each week.
Dinnerly has 18 to 20 different meal options to choose from each week. You can also add extra protein like grass-fed beef and chicken breasts. Other than that, Dinnerly doesn’t really offer too many customizations. You can opt not to use certain ingredients that come with a meal, but you’d ultimately be paying for the entire meal kit anyway. So it’s best to make sure you only select meals with ingredients that you know you and your family will eat.
EveryPlate is very similar where what you see is what you get. Since the meals are so simple and only include a few ingredients, you’re not going to be able to customize much. EveryPlate does let you customize your vegetables for some meals but only provides one or two other options. Some of their customizations do come with a $0.50 upcharge. You can also add things like chicken, steak, and other items to your box.
Everyone’s dietary preferences are different, so a subscription meal kit that offers a lot of variety is best if you have picky eaters or vegetarians in your household. Dinnerly offers low-calorie, kid-friendly, dairy-free, and vegetarian meal options. You can also find a few meals labeled ‘no added gluten’. Each meal has around six ingredients. However, there are not super specific categories such as vegan, low-carb, or pescatarian.
EveryPlate offers nutritious family-friendly meal options as well but does not cater to specific dietary restrictions such as keto, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, low carb, or vegan. The reason behind this is that it would be more difficult to offer lower price points for meals that adhere to more complex dietary restrictions.
Why Choose Dinnerly?
Choose Dinnerly if you want to spend less on a subscription meal kit but still prefer options like vegetarian, dairy-free, no added gluten, or kid-friendly meals. Another reason to choose Dinnerly is if you want to take advantage of planned and prepped meal ingredients each week. Dinnerly is one of the only meal delivery kit companies that allows you to order as many as six meals each week. This is perfect for people who may not have time to meal plan and think about what they’re going to eat for dinner each night after a long day.
Why Choose EveryPlate?
Choose EveryPlate if you’re looking to simplify your meal planning process and obtain everything you need to prepare a tasty home-cooked meal a few nights during the week. Most meals include meat and veggies and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. If you’re looking for variety, you can choose up to five meals per week from at least 14 to 16 different options.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do meal kits work?
Often delivered through a subscription service, meal kits provide pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow step-by-step recipes to help you prepare them. You can often choose your dietary preferences and meals each week based on the options available. Some meal kit services even allow you to choose a date for weekly delivery. Prices are determined per serving per meal and you can almost always skip a week if you don’t want to get charged or will be out of town. While most meal kits are offered as a subscription, you can cancel at any time without extra fees or penalties.
When are meals delivered?
Meal delivery services (including Everyplate and Dinnerly) deliver meals once per week, with enough ingredients inside the box to prepare each meal that you have ordered. Everyplate allows you to select a delivery date from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Ingredients are insulated and include ice packs to keep food fresh in the event that you can’t receive delivery immediately. Meals are meant to stay fresh in the package up to 48-hours.
How many calories are in the typical meal?
Of course, the answer is that it depends on the meal that you order. Portions for both meal services are meant to be generous, and sometimes have upwards of 1000 calories per meal. The calories are lower if you select health-conscious meal plans. Either way, the calories are displayed in each recipe’s details.
Do I have to subscribe each week?
No, once you sign up and receive your first week’s worth of meals, your subscription is activated and you don’t have to resubscribe each week. However, you will be prompted to select your meals each week and any customizations you’d prefer. If you don’t confirm your specific meals by a certain day, you’ll likely receive the pre-selected meals that are on the menu for that particular week. Your meal kit subscription will continue and you’ll get charged each week until you cancel it. You can skip weeks if you prefer, and in this case, you won’t get charged.
Do I need any special cooking skills?
No, you don’t need special cooking skills to use a subscription meal kit service. Each meal comes with pre-portioned ingredients so you won’t have to worry about chopping and measuring things out. You’ll also receive either a printed or digital recipe card carefully walking you through the steps required to make the dish. If you’re new to cooking, you may learn some new skills simply based on the instructions laid out on the recipe cards.
How long will the ingredients stay fresh?
Depending on the meal kit company and where they source ingredients, this will vary. Your meals should arrive at your home in insulated packaging. From there, you should store all produce, proteins, and dairy in the refrigerator. Fresh items should last up to one week so plan to cook your meals the week that you receive your kit.
What is the cheapest subscription meal delivery service?
Dinnerly and EveryPlate are two of the cheapest subscription meal delivery services since they offer simple but tasty meal ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes. However, the cheapest meal kit for you will depend heavily on your preferences. Most meal kits will charge you a lower price per serving if you agree to buy more meals for the week. For example, you may pay more per serving to receive three meals per week vs. five.
Also, you’ll want to pay attention to the type of ingredients and any dietary restrictions you have, as well as shipping costs since these are all factors that could impact your final price. Luckily, a lot of meal kits offer one-time discounts so you can save a significant amount on your first week. After that, pay close attention to pricing, food options, shipping costs, and how everything adds up.
Hello Fresh is another subscription meal kit service that caters to a variety of diet preferences whether you need family-friendly, vegetarian, or pescatarian-themed meals. There are more than 27 recipes to choose from each week and meal ingredients arrive fresh in pre-portioned packages.
Similar to Dinnerly, you can order up to six meals per week for either two or four people. Meals are priced a little higher at around $7 or $8 per serving. However, if you’re looking for more meal variety and customizations, Hello Fresh could be a great alternative to try.
For more about Hello Fresh click here.
eMeals is not a meal kit service but rather a weekly meal plan to help you take the stress out of determining what to cook. It’s no secret that you could save more money by going to the grocery store and preparing your own food. Meal delivery services make it easier on families by providing the recipes and all the ingredients each week.
With Emeals, though, you’ll be provided with a weekly meal plan that offers just as much flexibility and variety. Then, you’ll use the shopping list provided to buy your own groceries at your favorite store. From there, all you have to do is prepare the recipe for that week’s selected meal and enjoy dinner with your family.
Since Emeals only provides you with the meal plan and shopping list, it’s a lot cheaper than your typical subscription meal kit. You can also customize your meal options whether you’re looking for quick-and-healthy meals, low-carb, or budget-friendly options. After a 14-day free trial, Emeals is just $4.99 per month for a 12-month subscription.
Marley Spoon is better known as Marth Stewart’s meal kit,” and features a selection of Martha Stewart’s recipes delivered to your door. If you’re a particular fan of her recipes, then this may be the meal kit for you.
Marley Spoon features 40 different recipes per week. Recipes cover a broad range of cuisines, flavors, and dietary restrictions. You can also view full nutritional info, and recipes are ranked based on how difficult they are to cook.
Marley Spoon takes pride in its ingredients. They carefully select all their suppliers and do extensive testing before committing to a supplier. They also put a strong emphasis on seasonal ingredients to ensure freshness.
Price-wise, Marley Spoon is quite a bit more expensive than both Dinnerly and Everplate. Pricing varies based on a few different factors. You can choose between 2-6 meals per week, and between 2 and 4-person meal kits. Depending on what you select, prices range roughly between $9-$15/meal, and you can check out the details here.
Overall, it’s a strong choice if you’re looking for a premium meal kit in comparison to Dinnerly or Everplate. But don’t expect it to come cheap.
For more information, visit Marley Spoon.
Blue Apron is another popular meal-delivery service that has established a solid reputation. There is always a variety of meals to choose from, and it’s all delivered in an insulated box. Each box comes with step-by-step recipes so it’s accessible for even beginner home chefs.
Blue Apron takes particular pride in its ingredient sourcing. It responsibly sources from trusted providers, and everything is packaged in a way that eliminates unnecessary waste.
Blue Apron’s pricing is more expensive than Dinnerly or Everplate, but not as expensive as Marley Spoon. Prices differ depending on which plan you select, but they tend to hover around $7.50 - $10 per serving (with a $10 weekly shipping charge).
Blue Apron’s plans are further divided into “Signature,” Vegetarian,” and “Wellness.” The Signature plan includes a mix of food choices and cuisines from Blue Apron’s Signature Menu, and even includes a “Signature for 4″ option for families. The Vegetarian menu features meat-free dishes with seasonal produce, and the Wellness menu is nutritionist-approved recipes designed for holistic health.
Overall, we were quite happy with Blue Apron. It doesn’t stand out in any particular way, it just does everything right. Easy, efficient, quality recipes and lots of variety.
For more information, visit Blue Apron.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal delivery service, Dinnerly and EveryPlate are both some of the best options to consider. They offer the lowest prices and some customizations. You won’t have to waste time worrying about what to cook - especially on busy nights. Plus, the prices per serving are much lower than what you’d pay to order takeout or go to a restaurant multiple times per week.
The only downside of either service is they currently don’t offer too many meals that would accommodate someone following a vegetarian or vegan diet. If you don’t follow any specific diet and can eat meat, veggies, starches, etc. you should definitely give one of these low-cost meal kits a try. As a first-time customer, you may also be able to get a discount on your first week of meals. That way, you can see firsthand how it works and taste test each meal to see which service will work best for you.