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Best Cheap Meal Delivery Service in 2022 – CNET

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Think meal kits and prepared meal delivery have to be expensive? Think again. You can bag easy lunches and dinners for as cheap as $5 a serving.
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.
It can be difficult to find a balance between eating well and staying under budget, but there are meal delivery options that can satisfy your appetite and your budget. We’ve researched some of the most affordable meal subscription and meal kit services available. There are currently some widely cheap Black Friday and Cyber Monday meal delivery deals. But even without a discount, these extremely wallet-friendly meal delivery brands offer delicious recipes for comforting, healthy meals. If you’re looking to save some money but still get great food delivered to give you time back each week, we’ve been testing to find the best and the cheapest meal delivery services 2022.
Read More: Are Meal Kits More Expensive Than Buying the Groceries? I Did the Math
It’s no secret that the best meal kit or prepared meal services reduce your workload in the kitchen. Prepared meal delivery services require no cooking at all and deliver 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. Freshly and Daily Harvest also have excellent premade meals for under $10. 
Keep up with the latest Black Friday deals on wellness products and more this holiday season.  
Mosaic Foods is one of the best and cheapest meal delivery services we’ve tried. 
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 $5 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.
Pricing
Starting at $5/meal
Type
Meal kit
Regional Availability
Contintental United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
20+
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Meat and veggie, veggie, family-friendly, quick and easy
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 2022. 
Price: $5 a serving.
Read our EveryPlate review.
 
Pricing
Starting at $5/serving
Type
Meal kit
Regional Availability
Continental United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
45+
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Vegetarian
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. 
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. 
Price: Starts at $5 a serving, plus $9 shipping.
Pricing
Starting at $10/meal
Type
Pre-made
Regional Availability
Most major metro areas in the Eastern and Western United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
50+
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Plant-based, vegan, vegetarian
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 with soups going for $6 and oat bowls for $6. Mosaic also recently added family meals meant for three or four people that clock it at just $5 a serving.
Read our Mosaic Foods review.
 
Pricing
Starting at $8/serving
Type
Meal Kit
Regional Availability
Continental United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan
Number 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
HelloFresh is a bit more per serving than EveryPlate or Dinnerly — $8 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 $8 a serving.
Read our Hello Fresh review.
 
Pricing
Starting at $8/serving
Type
Meal kit, pre-made
Regional Availability
98% of United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
30
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious
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 $9 a serving. New customers will get $100 off spread across their first few deliveries.
Read our Home Chef review.
 
Pricing
Starting at $9/meal
Type
Pre-made
Regional Availability
Continental United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
30
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, carb-smart, and calorie-conscious
If you desire to do exactly no cooking at all but want tasty meals delivered at an affordable price, Freshly is where it’s at. Freshly sends precooked meals (fresh, not frozen) to your door in a one-time order or subscription. While this cheap meal delivery service has healthy recipe options aplenty, Freshly is one of the better options if you want the occasional cheat meal or serving of comfort food. 
Penne bolognese, peppercorn steak with mashed potatoes and chicken casserole are just some of the heartier choices you can have delivered and at the ready. But there are also healthier, low-cal Freshly meals to keep yourself honest. 
Price: Freshly is just $9 per meal when you order 12 meals per week.
Read our Freshly review.
 
Pricing
Starting at $8/meal
Type
Pre-made
Regional Availability
95% of continental United States
Number of Meal Options per Week
40+
Menu Options/ Diet Types
Organic, whole fruits and vegetables, dairy-free, gluten-free
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.
 
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.
EveryPlate and Dinnel 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. Freshly and Fresh N Lean also have 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.
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 meal kit any 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 Freshly all have low-calorie meal plans to choose from. 
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 2022. 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.
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.

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