Cheap Online Meal Delivery: The Good, The Bad And The Cheap

For the past year, our family has tested just about every possible configuration of and brand of meal deliveries to find how to get cheap online meal delivery. I’ve come up with a few hacks on the system to seriously lower your grocery bills. Read and find out how you can get up to 6 meals per week for a family of 3 for only $372/month. Peanuts.

Let’s first take a look at unbiased reviews of the brands I tried, followed by my hack to get your online meal delivery for the cheapest.

Cheap Online Meal Delivery: Reviews

Blue Apron

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Blue Apron is a favorite with my family. The meat is great quality, no antibiotics, sometimes from local farms. The produce is always fresh. Portion sizing is seriously good. Customer service has fast response time.Our home is dairy free/gluten free and we’ve had no problems with meal selection and occasionally substituting what we cannot eat.

Hello Fresh

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I got a great Groupon Deal (currently still active as of 7/9) on Hello Fresh, so I decided to try it out. It doesn’t get the best hype online, but I”m not one to stray away from cheap food. Unfortunately, Hello Fresh was left in a very inconspicuous spot at our building by the delivery guy…it sat and sat for days until our Hello Fresh delivery was NOT so fresh. Customer service was great in refunding us the money. I wasn’t so impressed with the recipe choices on Hello Fresh, so we decided to cut our losses while we could to stick with other brands we love…

They are now offering recipes from Jaime Oliver, so I will probably give them another try again soon.

Marley Spoon

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Pros: They pre-bag each meal! Fresh Produce, large portions, and great meat (usually local, no antibiotics ever). They send gifts to you every once in a while (so far I’ve received yummy salt, a magazine and a bag). Great customer service. They just signed on Martha Stewart.
Cons: Can’t think of any, we are super happy customers here!

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Online Delivery For Cheap

1. Know Thy Portions

This IS America, we are known for our larger portion sizing. With that, please know that all the above mentioned boxes seriously give you large portions. The 2 person meals EASILY accommodate 3 people and sometimes you’ll even have leftovers! The Family meals (enough for 2 adults and 2 children) are not worth the extra money. We stick with the 2 person meals and always have enough food. If you’re super hungry you can always add in something from your pantry.

2. Mix It Up

Sometimes if I’m bored with one company’s menu, I’ll have 2 meals delivered from Blue Apron and then 2 meals delivered from Marley Spoon.

Read The Steps Ahead Of Time

You can often combine steps if you read them ahead of time. For instance, there is usually an entire step devoted to prepping your veggies, and then step 2 is to cook the meat. I will often start cooking the meat first and prep the veggies while cooking. This easily shaves off 10 minutes. Always look for other opportunities to multi task your steps!

4. Know how to substitute

We have a very diet specific home, dairy free and gluten free. While the above companies do not have these specific meal plans, we’ve found it very easy to substitute on some recipes if need be (leave off the cheese, use non dairy yogurt, etc). Many of the recipes are already gluten free/dairy free, and you have the option of choosing your recipes with Blue Apron and Marley Spoon.