Economic meal solutions

One of the original providers of this service, it also stands out for eco-friendliness. Blue Apron is one of the original meal kit services and it's also one of the best. In fact, Blue Apron topped our list of best meal delivery services for with a wide range of excellent recipes, all for an affordable price.

It's true, you can order bistro steaks and roasted trout dinners with Blue Apron's standard plan, where many services charge extra for those premium proteins. In addition to solid meal kits, Blue Apron is the most eco-friendly service of the major players, according to a recent study.

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.

When I tried Daily Harvest , I loved the interesting smoothie combos such as a chocolate blueberry smoothie with greens, banana and almond butter.

The bottom line : It doesn't get much easier than HelloFresh. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

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.

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. The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals ready to heat and eat.

Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few dollars more per serving. If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services are better than others.

Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for is a good place to find the most nutritious options. With almost every service, the more meals or servings are in your order per delivery, the cheaper it becomes per meal.

Ideally, you'll want to determine exactly how much food makes sense for your household. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go-around. 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 any meal kit 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 Daily Harvest all have low-calorie meals 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 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.

Wellness Nutrition. Written by David Watsky. Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement. David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips.

Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon.

Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week. Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits. See full bio. Why You Can Trust CNET.

Table of Contents Top. Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of What's the best cheap meal delivery service? Cheapest meal delivery services for Cheapest prepared meal services compared. How we test meal kits and meal delivery services.

Factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service. Why you should trust us. Well, this is the salad version, with noodles in addition to pink radishes , orange carrots, purple cabbage, and green cucumbers. One head of cabbage goes a long way.

This recipe, where wedges are bathed in turmeric-accented coconut milk until meltingly tender and sweet, uses just half of one to feed four. The soul of this recipe comes from the ginger and tamari marinade that gives crispy tofu a sweet and savory glaze.

We like to turn leftover tofu into tacos, for some Japanese-Mexican fusion. Toss roasted sweet potato wedges in a sweet and nutty tahini dressing for this quick vegetarian weeknight dinner. And no, it will not break the bank. This budget meal is about turning leftover side dishes into something totally new.

Nearly any roasted vegetable or cooked grain could be worked into a frittata using this method. This looks like something that took hours in a crockpot to make, but in reality, the black-eyed peas soak up the flavors of an onion- and tomato-based gravy in under 30 minutes. Tuna salad deserves to be considered a dinner dish, not just a sandwich filling.

Let the pan-fried chickpeas and red endive in this recipe convince you. Pan-crisped and glazed sweet potatoes. With hearty, almost meaty lentils. And pistachios. Purchase lasagna noodles, mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmesan. The rest of the ingredients for this cheap dinner recipe are already in your fridge or pantry.

One style of cheap meals: recipes chosen with their leftovers in mind , making two meals out of one. For example, these ground beef meatballs and their tomato sauce make for a great hoagie filling the next day. If you've already got miso in your fridge and don't want to spend on something new, you could use that in this stew recipe instead of gochujang.

It will be a whole different vibe, but a vibe nonetheless. Serve it with a poached egg and a slice of bread for a good cheap meal. Easy homemade tomato soup is an upgrade to the canned stuff, but we don't judge.

Try pouring the soup directly over the sliced sandwich for an irresistible comfort food. Consider this roast chicken your Sunday dinner. And then your Monday lunch, too.

You can turn the leftover meat into pulled chicken sandwiches or a chicken noodle salad. Do not underestimate the potential of the often underrated legume, the lentil, a key ingredient when it comes to filling but cheap meals. Our creamy, almost Alfredo pasta -looking stovetop mac and cheese is about as easy as opening one of those little boxes of shells and powdered sauce —but a lot more delicious.

Freeze half of these burgers to pull out during those times when you get the craving for fast food. Just add heat; you already paid. Here are our favorite ways to prove that a cheap meal can also be the best meal.

Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Emilie Fosnocht, prop styling by Emma Ringness. View Recipe. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Spencer Richards, Prop Styling by Marina Bevilacqua. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou.

Photo by Emma Fishman. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Sean Dooley, Prop Styling by Marina Bevilacqua. Photo by Alex Lau, styling by Sean Dooley. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Judy Kim, Prop Styling by Nicole Louie. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Mieko Takahashi.

Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Pearl Jones and Thu Buser, prop styling by Sean Dooley. Photograph by Elizabeth Coetzee, Prop Styling by Emma Ringness, Food Styling by Emilie Fosnocht. Photography by Isa Zapata, food styling by Thu Buser, prop styling by Christina Allen.

Save leftover sliced meat to tuck inside warm pita bread or a tortilla for a lunch wrap the next day. Meatloaf secures a top spot on the list of easy, cheap, healthy meals when you use lean ground beef and boost the filling factor with inexpensive spuds.

And don't you love how sheet-pan dinners like this one require so little cleanup time? Cooking everything on one foil-lined pan speeds it up. You'd be hard-pressed to find a delivery pizza as affordable as this homemade healthy dinner recipe.

Start with store-bought dough to make the Mediterranean meal a practical choice, even on a weeknight. Look for the dough in the refrigerated section of your supermarket or ask your local pizza shop if you can purchase an extra pound of their secret recipe!

Noodle dishes are known to be easy on the wallet. Not so much. Fortunately, a small handful of heart-healthy nuts can go a long way to add a rich flavor to cheap, healthy meals like this one.

Whole wheat noodles help too. Low in fat 6 grams per portion yet high in protein a strong 28 grams , this five-ingredient slow cooker pork recipe checks all the boxes. Only 10 minutes of prep required.

Indeed—it's one of the lowest-cost options in this collection of cheap, healthy meals. Here's a cheap, healthy vegetarian meal you'll want to make again and again. With 24 grams of protein and a nice portion of hunger-taming broth and noodles, this soup will fill you up for hours.

Meat-like portobello mushrooms , tofu , and a poached egg join fresh veggies in this cozy, crowd-pleasing Asian noodle soup. Breaded with whole wheat panko and baked instead of fried, this eggplant Parmesan is calories less than some classic recipes.

Keep your nutrition streak going by grabbing a couple of zucchini at the store to spiralize , toss with the rest of the marinara , and serve under the baked eggplant. Voilà—a budget dinner recipe for four that tastes up to par with its restaurant competition. A few decades ago, "stretch the meat" was the mantra for cutting costs at dinnertime.

It's still a great strategy for making cheap, healthy meals even more affordable. Here wide egg noodles , mushrooms, and a bit of cheese extend 8 ounces of ground beef to provide five hearty servings. One bite will be all the proof you need that you can absolutely make satisfying suppers without making meat the main event.

Instead of refried beans, this flavorful Mexican entrée —ready in 30 minutes—features a creamy cauliflower puree. If you're hungry and have leftover chicken or shrimp , toss them in too. the serving size can be cut in half for an easy, healthy dinner recipe for two on a budget.

To maximize your cheap, healthy dinner recipes, never let any ingredients go to waste. Instead, use any leftover pesto in these quick and easy pesto recipes. Turn budget-friendly shaved cooked ham into a delicacy by serving it on mashed sweet potatoes and topping it with cranberry sauce.

This healthy dinner recipe on a budget offers a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year. Not into ham or craving more holiday spirit? Try this with sliced smoked turkey instead. Your favorite Tuscan-inspired restaurant may not be the first place you'd head to get inspiration for healthy meals on the cheap.

But much of this Italian region's cuisine is humble and healthy. Tuscan cooks are fond of using cannellini beans.

Here the beans partner with other great Mediterranean diet -friendly ingredients for a true-to-Italy dish that won't break the bank or your nutrition goals. When coming up with cheap, healthy meals, consider cooking with whitefish.

The affordable and lean protein is mild enough to please even picky eaters. Enjoy it on these crowd-pleasing tostadas perfectly seasoned with chili powder, garlic, and lime. On the hunt for affordable, healthy meals that work for dinner or brunch? Get cracking—eggs, that is. Here protein-rich, budget-friendly eggs pair with other pantry staples for a cheap and easy recipe under calories per serving.

Save even more money when you substitute dried herbs you have on hand for the fresh herbs. Start planning your next chili night now. This low-cost slow cooker chili recipe can be prepped in 25 minutes.

Stir everything together in the slow cooker early in the day and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 14 grams of protein. Sticking to healthy meals on a budget often means driving past your favorite eatery and straight home.

For happy wallets and heavy plates 72 Cheap Dinner Ideas for Weeknight Meals · Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage · Teriyaki Chicken Thighs · Easy Tamale Pie with Peppers · Hearty Pasta Fagioli Duration

Video

Eating for $1 a Day: Cheap and Healthy Meal Ideas You Need to Try

Economic meal solutions - 76 Cheap Dinner Ideas That Don't Skimp on Taste · Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup · Hearty Vegetable Soup with Parsley Gremolata · Slow Cooker For happy wallets and heavy plates 72 Cheap Dinner Ideas for Weeknight Meals · Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage · Teriyaki Chicken Thighs · Easy Tamale Pie with Peppers · Hearty Pasta Fagioli Duration

Who says baking a pie isn't viable for one person? With a few affordable ingredients and frozen veg, you can easily knock up this beauty and have it all to yourself. Using a ready-made soffrito is a cheap and easy way to create an extra layer of flavour. Freeze the remaining puff pastry to use in another recipe — you'll find plenty of ideas in our puff pastry collection.

Budget tip: Given the recent rise in fuel prices and the implication for oven usage, it would be more cost-effective to batch cook this pie and store multiple servings in the freezer. Try more of our perfect pie recipes. Serve up a comforting bowl of healthy fast food in a flash, using just a handful of ingredients.

This easy noodle dish is low-fat and low-calorie yet makes a filling meal which you can have on the table in just 15 minutes.

Using dried noodles instead of ready-made will take a bit longer but is more cost-effective. All good things come in small packages, and this is certainly true for our flavour-packed ginger and spinach sweet potato.

This satisfying, spicy veggie meal makes a cheap and low-calorie lunch. Budget tip: As baking in the oven is a more energy intensive cooking method, it's best to batch cook several of these jacket potatoes at the same time, then store a few in the freezer for future. See our guide for easy baked potato filling ideas to mix up your dinners.

To save on energy, you could also use a microwave to cook the baked potato instead - pierce the skin several times with a fork and microwave for around 5 minutes, or until soft. Get more filling inspiration with our collection of baked potato recipes.

Sometimes, there is little more comforting than a bowl of buttery pasta topped with grated cheese. Browning the butter gives the dish a wonderfully nutty flavour and we've also added crispy breadcrumbs to soak up any extra sauce.

Find more budget-friendly pasta recipes. Combine hummus with flavourful chorizo, chickpeas and kale for a protein-packed dish that won't break the bank. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and flatbread for a simple, speedy lunch which is ready in just 15 minutes.

Whip up our microwaveable shakshuka in just 10 minutes. The rich tomato sauce, topped with a runny egg is perfect for dipping pieces of warmed pitta bread into. Both healthy and hearty, this Middle Eastern-style meal in a mug is sure to be a student staple.

Check out more of our quick and easy microwave recipes. Tinned sardines are a cost-effective way to get more heart-healthy oily fish in your diet, so it's worth keeping a few cans in the cupboard.

Here, we've combined them with juicy cherry tomatoes, watercress and parsley on toast for a speedy no-cook supper. Budget tip: Using regular wholemeal bread instead of sourdough will make it more budget-friendly — we've got plenty more leftover bread recipes to use up the rest of your loaf, too.

Rustle up this veggie stir-fry in just 20 minutes using simple yet wholesome ingredients such as brown rice and cabbage. It's great for using up other leftover veggies you have, which you can just grate or chop in. Serve this nasi goreng with a fried egg on top and a drizzle of sriracha chilli sauce for a satisfying supper.

Discover more speedy stir-fry recipes. If you're looking for a lighter supper option, this healthy miso noodle soup is super satisfying but low in calories. Here's a cheap, healthy vegetarian meal you'll want to make again and again.

With 24 grams of protein and a nice portion of hunger-taming broth and noodles, this soup will fill you up for hours. Meat-like portobello mushrooms , tofu , and a poached egg join fresh veggies in this cozy, crowd-pleasing Asian noodle soup.

Breaded with whole wheat panko and baked instead of fried, this eggplant Parmesan is calories less than some classic recipes. Keep your nutrition streak going by grabbing a couple of zucchini at the store to spiralize , toss with the rest of the marinara , and serve under the baked eggplant.

Voilà—a budget dinner recipe for four that tastes up to par with its restaurant competition. A few decades ago, "stretch the meat" was the mantra for cutting costs at dinnertime. It's still a great strategy for making cheap, healthy meals even more affordable.

Here wide egg noodles , mushrooms, and a bit of cheese extend 8 ounces of ground beef to provide five hearty servings. One bite will be all the proof you need that you can absolutely make satisfying suppers without making meat the main event.

Instead of refried beans, this flavorful Mexican entrée —ready in 30 minutes—features a creamy cauliflower puree.

If you're hungry and have leftover chicken or shrimp , toss them in too. the serving size can be cut in half for an easy, healthy dinner recipe for two on a budget. To maximize your cheap, healthy dinner recipes, never let any ingredients go to waste.

Instead, use any leftover pesto in these quick and easy pesto recipes. Turn budget-friendly shaved cooked ham into a delicacy by serving it on mashed sweet potatoes and topping it with cranberry sauce.

This healthy dinner recipe on a budget offers a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year. Not into ham or craving more holiday spirit? Try this with sliced smoked turkey instead. Your favorite Tuscan-inspired restaurant may not be the first place you'd head to get inspiration for healthy meals on the cheap.

But much of this Italian region's cuisine is humble and healthy. Tuscan cooks are fond of using cannellini beans. Here the beans partner with other great Mediterranean diet -friendly ingredients for a true-to-Italy dish that won't break the bank or your nutrition goals.

When coming up with cheap, healthy meals, consider cooking with whitefish. The affordable and lean protein is mild enough to please even picky eaters.

Enjoy it on these crowd-pleasing tostadas perfectly seasoned with chili powder, garlic, and lime. On the hunt for affordable, healthy meals that work for dinner or brunch?

Get cracking—eggs, that is. Here protein-rich, budget-friendly eggs pair with other pantry staples for a cheap and easy recipe under calories per serving. Save even more money when you substitute dried herbs you have on hand for the fresh herbs.

Start planning your next chili night now. This low-cost slow cooker chili recipe can be prepped in 25 minutes. Stir everything together in the slow cooker early in the day and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 14 grams of protein.

Sticking to healthy meals on a budget often means driving past your favorite eatery and straight home. But with nutritious restaurant remakes like this, you can don't have to miss out on take-out flavor while saving money, sodium, and calories.

Not only does this well-balanced pasta recipe clock in at under calories per serving, but it also takes only 20 minutes to prepare.

Comforting chili flavors, pasta, and cheese make this meal a family favorite. Oh yes, and it all comes together in one pan. Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness; in this recipe, they're spiced and seasoned to give the fajitas extra flavor.

Bonus: If you grill no matter the season , this dish belongs in your regular rotation of budget-friendly healthy dinner recipes because you can find these veggies any time of year. Burger night just earned itself a healthy vegetarian upgrade. Here we blend fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas with warm spices, sear them to crisp perfection, then serve with crunchy, good-for-you veggies.

Whole wheat noodles, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and shrimp make this delicious meal surprisingly low-cal and nutritious. Use frozen shrimp instead of fresh to cut the cost of the seafood.

Just don't skip the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes—they give this healthy meal on a budget just enough kick. How many cheap, healthy meals can you make without chopping anything?

This is one of the rare few. It's a no-knife-needed, "dump and done" slow cooker recipe for when you have no more than 10 minutes of hands-on prep time to spare. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

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. 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.

The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals ready to heat and eat.

Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few dollars more per serving. If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services are better than others.

Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for is a good place to find the most nutritious options. With almost every service, the more meals or servings are in your order per delivery, the cheaper it becomes per meal.

Ideally, you'll want to determine exactly how much food makes sense for your household. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go-around. 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 any meal kit 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 Daily Harvest all have low-calorie meals 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 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.

Wellness Nutrition. Written by David Watsky. Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks.

If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement. David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips.

Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom.

Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.

Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits. See full bio. Why You Can Trust CNET. Table of Contents Top. Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of What's the best cheap meal delivery service? Cheapest meal delivery services for Cheapest prepared meal services compared.

How we test meal kits and meal delivery services. Factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service. Why you should trust us. Cheap meal delivery FAQs. Back to selection.

See at EveryPlate. Best cheap meal kits overall. See at Fresh N' Lean. Best cheap prepared meal delivery overall. See at Dinnerly. Best cheap meal kits for picky eaters.

See at Mosaic Foods.

Economic meal solutions - 76 Cheap Dinner Ideas That Don't Skimp on Taste · Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup · Hearty Vegetable Soup with Parsley Gremolata · Slow Cooker For happy wallets and heavy plates 72 Cheap Dinner Ideas for Weeknight Meals · Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage · Teriyaki Chicken Thighs · Easy Tamale Pie with Peppers · Hearty Pasta Fagioli Duration

The takeaway? Being budget-friendly certainly doesn't mean the food has to suck. If you're looking to eliminate a few weekly tasks -- grocery shopping, meal planning, prep, cooking -- without squeezing your budget, we tested more than 10 top wallet-friendly services to find the best cheap meal delivery for The bottom line : EveryPlate's meal kits were all solid and easy to make.

EveryPlate meal kits are easy to prepare and I loved everything I made in multiple rounds of testing. You won't find a lot of foofy, upscale cuisine or complicated recipes, but you will get a lot of satisfying comfort food, such as hoisin meatloaf with mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers, umami pork chops and sweet potato quesadillas.

I tested EveryPlate and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the meals. Having tested all of the leading prepared meal delivery service options, Fresh N Lean ran away from the competition, ticking more boxes than any other.

The food is healthy, thoughtfully prepared, tastes fantastic, looks appetizing and is fairly affordable, depending on the plan you select. Fresh N Lean has five meal plans to help keep folks on track with their specific nutrition goals, including low-carb, vegan, paleo and protein-plus options.

The food I tried was all made exceptionally well, made from simple, whole ingredients. This is the perfect service for families with picky eaters trying to eat well on a budget. 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.

Dinnerly has an enormous menu of recipes -- typically more than 60 to choose from in a given week. The bottom line: This plant-based meal delivery service had some of the best, healthy prepared meals of any service we tried. 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 bold 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.

The bottom line: Blue Apron is a classic example of a quality meal delivery service. One of the original providers of this service, it also stands out for eco-friendliness. Blue Apron is one of the original meal kit services and it's also one of the best.

In fact, Blue Apron topped our list of best meal delivery services for with a wide range of excellent recipes, all for an affordable price. It's true, you can order bistro steaks and roasted trout dinners with Blue Apron's standard plan, where many services charge extra for those premium proteins.

In addition to solid meal kits, Blue Apron is the most eco-friendly service of the major players, according to a recent study. 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.

When I tried Daily Harvest , I loved the interesting smoothie combos such as a chocolate blueberry smoothie with greens, banana and almond butter. The bottom line : It doesn't get much easier than HelloFresh. This service has tons of cheap meal kit options, more than 50 per week, and allows you to add proteins or extra servings to keep the whole crew fed and happy.

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. 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. The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals ready to heat and eat.

Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few dollars more per serving. If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services are better than others.

Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for is a good place to find the most nutritious options. With almost every service, the more meals or servings are in your order per delivery, the cheaper it becomes per meal. Ideally, you'll want to determine exactly how much food makes sense for your household.

That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go-around. 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 any meal kit 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 Daily Harvest all have low-calorie meals 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 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.

Wellness Nutrition. Written by David Watsky. Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks.

If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement. David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips.

Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon.

Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week. Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits. See full bio. Why You Can Trust CNET. Table of Contents Top. Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of What's the best cheap meal delivery service?

Cheapest meal delivery services for Cheapest prepared meal services compared. How we test meal kits and meal delivery services.

Factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service. Why you should trust us. Cheap meal delivery FAQs. Back to selection. See at EveryPlate. Best cheap meal kits overall. See at Fresh N' Lean. Best cheap prepared meal delivery overall. See at Dinnerly. Best cheap meal kits for picky eaters.

See at Mosaic Foods. Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Potato Soup. Perhaps the only thing more warming and delicious than chicken soup on a cold day is chicken and dumplings.

Get the recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings. This fast stovetop recipe skips roasting, but is steeped in flavor. And with just a few ingredients mostly squash , it's easy on the wallet! You can skip the brandy and use a little more cider to save some cost. Get the recipe for One-Pot Butternut Squash Soup.

Some chicken cutlets and pantry staples — and plenty of Parmesan, of course — can quickly turn into this family favorite.

Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan. The underrated tuna melt, that staple of diners and lunch plates everywhere, deserves to be making a big time comeback. You probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge right now. What are you waiting for? Get the recipe for Tuna Melt. If you're looking for a way to use ground beef in a spicy, simple dinner that'll make the whole family happy, then you've just found your recipe for tonight!

Get the recipe for Tamale Pie. This ground beef enchilada dinner is especially a winner. A little taco seasoning, some corn tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce, cover it with cheese and boom!

You've got a powerhouse meal for four or for two, with leftovers ready to go. Get the recipe for Beef Enchiladas.

Want to make your whole family feel taken care of? Treat them to a baked pasta dish. It's easy, it's cheap, and it's super filling. Get the recipe for Classic Stuffed Shells. Who's in the mood for a minute dinner? Besides gnocchi and frozen spinach, all you need for this meal is some cream, some cheese, and a few pantry spices.

Get the recipe for Gnocchi with Creamed Spinach. Tuna salad has been the centerpiece of a number of cheap and easy snack dinners in our household. Add some crackers, some cheese, a little fresh fruit, and you've got a meal! Get the recipe for Tuna Salad. Broken noodles simmer in a tomato broth with sausage and spinach, capped off with a big dollop of blended cheese.

Get the recipe for Lasagna Soup. An easy way to save on dinner costs? Have breakfast for dinner. This simple but delicious mix of eggs, tortillas, and sausage is a fun way to go all out while still saving some cash.

Get the recipe for Migas with Chorizo. If you're craving a tasty pasta dish that's a little more grown-up than jarred red sauce, give this dish a whirl. We're pretty sure it'll become a regular part of your dinner plans.

Get the recipe for Salmon and Creamed Spinach Fettuccini. We always seem to have the makings for tuna salad around, and elbow macaroni is not expensive.

So when we're on a budget, this tuna mac makes a dinner that's fun, filling, and fast. Get the recipe for Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad.

If you've already got miso in your fridge and don't want to spend Economic meal solutions something new, you could use Affordable pet training supplies Economic meal solutions this stew Econpmic instead of solutins. These modern coffee tables from Wayfair, Amazon and more make a style statement in your living room. Back to selection. Cayley Mandadi's mother and stepfather go to extreme lengths to prove her death was no accident. Transform a can of pumpkin purée into a near-instant pasta sauce—no slow cookers here— that delivers major fall feels. Cheapest Meal Delivery Services of 2024

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