When it comes to the cheapest meal delivery services, there is a fantastic option for everyone. While there are not as many cheap meal delivery services to choose from compared to the total number of companies in the industry, there are still several selections to weigh.
Luckily, we have narrowed it down with the most important considerations in mind. We analyzed taste, variety, ingredient quality, dietary options, nutrition, and of course, cost.
Here’s an overview of our top 5 choices for the cheapest healthy meal delivery and a buyer’s guide to pick the best for you.
Freshly is an affordable meal delivery service that focuses on balanced, fully prepared meals delivered fresh and never frozen.
Their delicious meals mostly come in individual servings, which offers flexibility. Freshly is our overall winner for the cheapest meal delivery services due to its affordable pricing, variety, and dietary options.
On the menu, you can expect dishes like Cuban Mojo Shrimp, Flame Seared Top Blade Steak, and Grilled Lemon-Tahini Chicken.
Here are the key benefits of Freshly.
- Get anywhere from 4-12 meals per week with an option to add multi-serving proteins and sides
- Options for carb-conscious, low-calorie, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free lifestyles
- 50+ weekly rotating breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu options
- Ready to eat in 3 minutes with no processed ingredients or artificial sugars and USDA-graded proteins
- Mostly recyclable or compostable packaging
- Pricing starts as low as $9.58 per meal, with a flat fee of $9.99-$11.99 for shipping.
Have you ever wanted to put healthy meals on the table in 15 minutes? Gobble is the cheapest meal kit service in terms of what you get for the price. Unlike many other affordable meal kits, Gobble’s meal kits are fully prepped.
Chefs prepare the marinades and spices, handle all the chopping, and measure everything out before shipping it off to you with recipe cards which is why you can get fresh meals on the table in as little as 15 minutes. This is just one of the reasons we chose Gobble as the top cheap meal kit service.
On the menu, you’ll find family-friendly recipes like Three Cheese Ravioli with Beef and Pork Bolognese, Chicken Piccata with Broccolini, and premium meals such as Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut with Italian Salsa Verde.
Below are other key highlights of Gobble meal delivery kits.
- Choose Classic, Lean and Clean, or Vegetarian meal plans, the number of servings, and the number of recipes per week.
- Add on breakfast, snacks, salads, soups, and desserts
- New menu each week designed by award-winning Executive Chef Thomas Ricci
- Personalize some recipes like swapping proteins
- Reduced calorie, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and vegetarian options
- Subscriptions start at $11.99 per serving; with free shipping on the first delivery, then $6.99
Daily Harvest isn’t like most meal delivery services when it comes to what’s on the menu.
It is our top pick for vegans who are looking for affordable meal delivery services because it’s completely plant-based, with unique vegan meals that are primarily organic, ready in minutes, and all-natural at a competitive price.
Some of our favorites on the menu are the Brussel Sprouts and Tahini and Broccoli Rice and Dill Pilaf harvest bowls; the Lentil and Mesquite Chili; the Cremini and Miso and Mulberry and Dragon Fruit oat bowls; and the Avocado Greens and Cold Brew Cacao smoothies.
Here are the other great benefits of Daily Harvest.
- Choose between 3 sizes of boxes delivered weekly or monthly and pick any combination of menu items.
- No gluten, GMOs, dairy, refined sugars, gums, fillers, or anything artificial
- Ingredients are frozen within 24 hours of Harvest to maintain peak freshness.
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options on the menu which is updated frequently
- Committed to the Earth: Over 185 plants on the menu and recyclable packaging
- Starts at $7.65 per serving with free shipping
Marley Spoon is popularly known as Martha Stewart’s meal delivery service, but despite the celebrity association, it’s an affordable meal kit.
All of the Martha Stewart-designed simple recipes with pre-portioned ingredients can be made in six steps or under and in less than 30 minutes. They also include Martha’s favorite spice blends.
Some of the crowd-pleasing meals include Chutney Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Udon Noodle Soup, and Maple Dijon Chicken with Carrots.
There are some fantastic key benefits of Marley Spoon.
- Choose the number of servings and how many meals per week
- 45+ recipes each week, plus add-ons like breakfasts, sides, snacks, desserts, and protein packs
- Accommodates low carb, calorie smart, kid-friendly, vegan, and vegetarian food preferences
- Detailed nutrition and ingredient information with each recipe
- Recyclable packaging, food waste elimination initiatives, and carbon-neutral company
- Meal plans start at $8.69 per portion with a $9.99 flat shipping fee
When it comes to health, nutrition, and cost-effective services, Fresh N Lean has nailed it.
Their prepared meals are gluten-free and organically sourced, not to mention being ready in three minutes. There are also seven special diets, each with its own menu that changes weekly.
Expect vegan and vegetarian meals like the Lentil Power-Bowl with Herb Roasted Potatoes and Beyond Meatballs; comfort foods such as Slow Cooked Rosemary-Thyme Beef with Root Vegetables; and options for picky eaters like Beanless Turkey Chili or Chicken Parmesan.
Check out the top highlights of Fresh N Lean.
- A la carte and weekly subscription ordering options
- Over 100+ chef-curated breakfast and entree recipes to choose from, plus add-on premium snacks or bulk sides and proteins
- Choose between a Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard or Low Carb Vegan, Whole30, or Mediterranean meal plan
- Sustainable, locally grown, organic, antibiotic, and hormone-free ingredients
- Delivered in vacuum sealed microwave safe trays with all recyclable packaging
- Meals start at $8.49 each, and shipping is free
Prepared Meals vs. Meal Kits
Meal delivery services offer significant time savings and are typically divided into two main categories– prepared meals and meal kits. Both cut out the labor of meal planning and grocery shopping but aren’t equal when it comes to how much time they take to prepare.
Prepared meals only require you to heat them up, so they are considered no prep meals, while meal kits simply offer everything you need to make your own homemade food from the provided recipes.
If you are looking for a cheap meal delivery that saves you the most time and effort, prepared meals are the way to go, but meal kits with three to five recipes a week are good if you just want some help with most meals and don’t mind cooking.
Healthy meal delivery services or those that cater to a variety of dietary restrictions or lifestyles often come with a higher price, but each of these on our list accommodates special diets while still being affordable.
Freshly, Daily Harvest and Fresh N Lean offer the widest variety of special diets, though you’ll always want to ensure the company you choose can accommodate your specific needs.
Just because a meal service is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth it if they use less than ideal ingredients, especially if you are looking for healthy, fresh food. We have ensured that these affordable meal delivery services pay attention to high-quality ingredients.
However, if you want the best ingredients possible, Daily Harvest and Fresh N Lean have the strictest ingredient standards.
When it comes to healthy, affordable meal delivery services, nutrition is a consideration you must look into.
Fresh N Lean pays the most attention to nutrition, though each of these cheap meal delivery services has transparent nutrition information and ensures their meals are well-balanced.
Price Per Serving
Looking at the price per serving is the best way to assess which is the cheapest meal delivery service, especially when comparing different meal delivery services. Though you also have to consider shipping fees.
You may also be able to lower the price per meal by ordering more meals per week, so even though the total price goes up, you get more for your money.
For instance, the cost difference between three to six meals per week may be steep if you look at the total though the individual meal cost is cheaper with six meals per week versus two or three meals a week.
Other services like Home Chef or Blue Apron may offer similar pricing to the ones on our list, but we have chosen these specific companies based on the tremendous value you get for your money.
Therefore, the top five cheapest meal delivery services might not have the lowest cost per serving, but they are the healthiest with the best value.
Affordable meal delivery services make a great way to save some time while still being able to eat healthy, balanced meals.
Freshly is our overall winner as they have nutritious, prepared meals that are ready in 3 minutes and cost less than $10 per meal, which is cheaper than eating out.
For those who still want to cook but want to reduce food waste, skip the grocery store, and are looking for three or four meals per week to reduce some stress, Gobble is our meal kit winner.
When it comes to vegetarian options, you can find accommodations at each of these services. However, Daily Harvest is the best for vegans and vegetarians because everything on their menu is plant-based, so you never have to worry.
Consider our winners, the buying guide considerations, and your specific needs before picking which of these cheapest meal delivery services is best for you.