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Do Meal Provider Kits Offer You Bang for Your Buck?

Updated on Feb 28, 2024

Life can get busy, leaving little room for cooking meals from scratch. That’s where meal delivery kits come to the rescue. They offer delicious, quick, and hassle-free meals delivered right to your door, taking the stress out of meal planning and cooking.

But are these services really a good deal? Well, it depends on what matters most to you. If time is tight, meal delivery can be a lifesaver, freeing up precious hours. And even if you have time to cook, dealing with decision fatigue can make meal delivery an enticing option.

But are these meals pricier than cooking at home or shopping at the grocery store? Let’s find out.

Meal Kits vs Prepared Meal Delivery Services

First of all, what’s the difference between a food box/meal kit delivery service and a prepared meal delivery service?

  • Meal kit: If you enjoy cooking but hate meal planning, meal kits are the ideal option (think: HelloFresh, Dinnerly, Marley Spoon). A meal kit/food box comes with all the ingredients and steps to make a meal yourself.
  • Prepared meal: Ready-made meal delivery services deliver cooked meals straight to your door – and all you have to do is heat them up.

Which is better? Well, it all comes down to preference – some people like to cook but want the convenience of having all the food delivered, while others simply want to pop a meal in the microwave and have it ready within minutes.

Meal Delivery vs Supermarket Prices


Food Boxes

Typically speaking, food boxes don’t cost much more than a supermarket shop. Let’s look at three of the most popular food boxes for comparison. All prices include the cost of shipping.
Food box provider Cost for couples Cost for family (four people)
HelloFresh $109.95p/w for five meals $159.80p/w for five meals
Dinnerly $68.45p/w for five meals $107.9p/we for five meals
Marley Spoon $92.00p/w for four meals $143.20p/w for four meals
If you compare the above table to your weekly shop, you should get a clear picture which is more expensive. However, it does depend on each single, couple or family. And, supermarkets often have good deals, which may make your grocery shop cheaper. But there’s also the possibility you’ll over-buy, which not only generates food waste, but is worse for your wallet. The benefit of food boxes, however,  isn’t generally in the price, it’s in the fact that food boxes offer fresher, more sustainable and local ingredients. This makes it easier to support local farmers and business than shopping at supermarket giants, especially if that’s important to you.

Prepared Meals

Now let’s look at prepared meals providers – how do they compare with supermarket ready-meals? When comparing dishes from a range of meal provider services to similar ready-made meals in supermarkets, well, the winner is clear. Supermarkets prepared meals typically come in at a cheaper price-point. However, you need to consider food quality, freshness and taste. It’s often the case prepared meal providers use better quality ingredients that are fresher, healthier and just overall taste better. That’s not to say you can’t get amazing prepared meals from supermarkets – you certainly can! At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference and taste.

Which Meal Delivery Provider Offers the Most Bang for Your Buck?

Based on the average price of meals, Dinnerly comes in as one of the most affordable meal delivery providers.

With meals as low as $5.25 per serving, Dinnerly features simple, family-friendly and traditional meals. Why is it cheaper than the rest? Well, there are fewer ingredients per dish, the packaging is simple (yet eco-friendly), and digital recipe cards are given rather than printed cardboard cards.

At the end of the day, when comparing meal delivery services with supermarket prices, you’re not really comparing apples with apples. There are so many factors to consider in each – it’s all about what works best for you and your needs.

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Ally Burnie
Ally Burnie
Health & fitness journalist and presenter based in Melbourne/Naarm with a passion for – you guessed it - health and fitness, cooking, outdoor adventures, hiking, and travel.


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