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3 ways to save money on meal kits

If your wallet is feeling a bit light in the wake of the upcoming holiday season, you may be ready to pull out all the stops to find discounts and avoid overpaying for meal kits

Meal delivery services like Blue Apron already have your back this Christmas thanks to holiday-themed meal kits that can cut down on the time it takes to cook an elaborate and unforgettable meal. There are also impressive savings to be found on new subscription offers. 

With Black Friday nearly upon us and the holiday season tagging along right behind the big day, you're probably looking for even more ways to save money on meal kits. To that end, we highlight three easily overlooked financial tips below. 

3 ways to stop overpaying for meal kits

Finding new ways to save money is always rewarding. Here are three must-know tips to help you keep costs low on your next meal kit subscription.

1. Look for cash back offers and other discounts

Cash back apps like Rakuten and Ibotta are perfect for finding easily missed deals and discounts when shopping online, but did you know this can extend to meal kit delivery services as well? 

Before placing your next meal kit order, take a moment to review possible cash back offers. While these may not bring immediate savings, you may find cash back earnings for use on future orders. 

Interested in earning cash back on meal kits right now? Savvy shoppers can currently find Rakuten deals on two of our favorite meal kits: Blue Apron and HelloFresh.

America's favorite meal kit: HelloFresh ($4 a serving)

If you need a good reason to make the switch to HelloFresh today (and we have plenty of reasons why you should), Rakuten is offering a $10 cash back bonus to new subscribers. Add that to HelloFresh's ongoing Black Friday promotion that offers discounted prices as low as $4 per serving, and you have a nice stack of incentives to sign up. 

Biggest variety of chef-approved recipes: Blue Apron ($1.49 a serving)

Blue Apron is a hot commodity right now, thanks to impressive holiday meal kits and even more impressive discounts. New customers can already save $200 on their first six orders (which means prices as low as $1.49 per serving), but that's not all -- Rakuten also has a cash back bonus of up to $30 when you buy online.

2. Pay for meal kits using a rewards credit card

Another money-saving strategy that's worth your time is the use of rewards credit cards to pay for meal delivery subscription orders. Before placing a meal delivery order, consider your payment type -- some rewards cards offer exclusive cash back rewards for certain purchases. 

Here are some examples of exclusive discounts you can dig up by using the right credit card at the right time: 

Cash back rewards for Home Chef

Interested in Home Chef's robust selection of premade meals and meal kits? Subscribers who use their Blue Cash Preferred card by America Express can earn six percent cash back on Home Chef kits purchased at Kroger stores. This is limited to $6,000 per calendar year, after which this deal drops to one percent per purchase. 

If you're interested in transferrable points that can be put towards qualifying purchases like hotels or flights, there's a few more options: The Amex EveryDay Preferred credit card also offers 3x membership rewards per dollar spent, while the American Express Gold Card offers 4x rewards. 

Rewards and points for SunBasket

Unlike Home Chef, which lets you purchase meal kits instore at Kroger and other participating locations, SunBasket subscriptions are online only. That doesn't mean you're out of luck for savings: Customers who use their Capital One Venture Rewards credit card to order SunBasket meal kits online or via the meal delivery service's mobile app can still earn 2x miles per dollar spent.

3. Plan ahead for your deliveries to make meal kits last

Taking the time to ensure you get the most out of your meal kit deliveries can be a big help to your food budget. When picking meals each week, try to coordinate everything to last the week and minimize food waste. 

Here are a few ways to be more strategic about your meal kit delivery orders: 

  • Balance out different recipe types: Seafood and vegetables tend to have the shortest lifespan once you unpack a meal kit box, so any related dishes should be prepared within the first few days of your delivery. Other protein like chicken breasts can typically last a few days longer, while pasta dishes can sit on the backburner for a while. Keep this in mind when planning out your meals for the week to avoid food waste.
  • Don't skip breakfast and lunch options: These oft overlooked categories usually have appealing, budget-friendly options like smoothies, breakfast burritos, and more. These can easily expand a meal kit delivery to cover more meals throughout the week. 
  • Get creative with add-ons: Make meal kit deliveries last longer and save money in the long run by ordering a la carte items like standalone seafood, sides, or other grocery items like a can of chickpeas. These can be used to beef up recipes and increase the number of servings you get out of every meal.

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