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Our favorite budget-friendly meal kits for seniors

Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially as we get older. Seniors looking to maintain a balanced diet can end up with a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders: meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning -- the list goes on. Thankfully, meal kits can be the perfect solution to finding affordable dinner options that make it easy to eat healthy without overpaying for food.

Meal kits like the plant-based Mosaic Foods can make it easier for people of all ages to maintain a more healthy -- and consistent -- diet. This is good news for all, but especially older adults who may be struggling to find the perfect senior-friendly diet.

Seniors looking to stick to a balanced diet have a lot to think about: meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning -- the list goes on. These steps can be a lot for older adults just trying to make it through their day and cook a healthy meal without losing time, money (those grocery trips can add up), or the will to keep everything running smoothly day after day. 

"A well-balanced and nutritious meal can be a challenge for many people, especially when living on a budget," says certified strength and conditioning specialist, trainer, and registered dietitian Reda Elmardi.

Elmardi lays out the important ingredients anyone, especially seniors, should look for in meal kits: quality protein, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats – which are a great source of energy and HDL cholesterol. 

Simplify your journey towards building a nutritionally balanced diet with our list of the ideal budget-friendly meal kits for seniors below below.

What are the best meal kits for seniors in 2024?

The best meal kits easily strike a balance between nutritionally-packed meal offerings and affordable prices. 

While we rounded up our top choices for affordable meal kits, we paid close attention to nutritional value, as well as things like price, meal quality, and reliability. Here's a look at what our list ended up looking like.

Meal kits "can be a great way to ensure your nutrients needs are met without having to buy individual ingredients or measuring out portions," says Jennifer May of the Sydney City Nutritionist and Food Intolerance of Australia. They often come with "nutrient-rich meals such as lean proteins, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats." 

But it's not as simple as assuming all meal kits handle these elements equally; May reiterates the importance of checking each meal's listed nutritional facts to ensure there is ample protein, fiber, and sodium content to meet your daily needs.

Let's take a closer look at the top meal kits for seniors on a budget:

Most budget-friendly: EveryPlate

Pork Sausage Penne Italiano with Green Pepper & Parmesan

EveryPlate sits proudly at the top of our list of affordable and accessible meal kits for seniors. While its menu doesn't cater specifically to older adults like some other meal delivery services, you'll find its recipes to be very easy to follow.

Thanks to prices that start at just $5 per serving, seniors can enjoy classic recipes like the garlic rosemary chicken with lemon and parmesan or go old school with the griddled onion burgers with creamy dijon aioli and oven fries. 

Meals typically take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, which is great for older adults that may be put off by longer, more involved meal kits.

EveryPlate is ideal for seniors without specific dietary restrictions since its main focus is keeping costs low. There are still a number of plant-based recipes to choose from, however, as well as plenty of low-calorie recipes in the Nutrish and Delish plan. 

Prices typically start at just $5 per serving, but EveryPlate has the competition beat when it comes to budget-friendly meal kits thanks to a discount offering for new subscribers: use your email when signing up to pay as low as $1.49 per meal on your first box.

Best for easy recipes: Marley Spoon

Martha's Classic Pork Tenderloin Marbella with Mashed Potatoes
Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon is a meal kit company that's all about the cooking experience. Each box contains quality ingredients and recipes based off of Marth Stewart classics. These have been pared down to be more beginner friendly, making it easy to prepare a home-cooked meal that looks like it belongs in a cooking segment.

Dinner options like the creamy smoked salmon ppasta or Martha's classic corn and poblano enchiladas may seem daunting at first, but these healthy and nutritious meals boast a 40-minute cook time at most. Ingredients, allergens and detailed nutrition facts can all be found online, as well as on the recipe card that arrives along with everything you'll need to cook.

Meal variety is mainly limited to lunch and dinner each week, with more than 30 recipes to choose from. Seniors can select the vegetarian option for plant-based meals instead, albeit with slightly less variety than other meal kit companies.

Marley Spoon is perfect for older adults that want to try their hand at gourmet home-cooked meals, but would prefer clear and concise cooking instructions. There are meal plans for two or four people, with anywhere between two and six recipes delivered on a weekly basis. 

Prices normally start at just $7 per serving, but new customers can save up to $235 off their first five boxes and pay as little as $5 per serving during the signup process.

Quickest prep times: Mosaic Foods

Rice and Protein Bowl
Mosaic Foods

For seniors looking for a meal delivery service that offers quick and delicious meals without the hassle of shopping (or prep work or cooking), Mosaic Foods has some of the best meal kits out there. It boasts a menu of entirely plant-based recipes as well, making for a great healthy choice.

Its line of bake-and-serve, frozen meals come with next to no prep work; just pop each meal (with its very own oven-safe tray included) into the oven for a dish that's ready in minutes.

All packaging material is 100% recyclable as well, so cleanup is one more thing you can strike from your list with Mosaic Foods.

You can choose anywhere from six to 18 items to be delivered each week. Selections are made à la carte, so you have complete control over what arrives on your doorstep each week. 

Best frozen meal options: Snap Kitchen

Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs, plated on a counter with a napkin and green four leaf clover decorations nearby
Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen is a meal delivery service that provides ready-made dinners that heat up within minutes for the perfect hassle-free dinner. Recipes are crafted by expert chefs (and approved by dietitians) directly from the company's gluten-free kitchen in Fort Worth, Texas.

Snap Kitchen is committed to providing healthy and organic ingredients to its subscribers. Ingredients that are sent out each week are free of any preservatives, antibiotics, hormones, or artificial sweeteners.

For anyone interested in trying out one of Snap Kitchen's meals, you may find pre-made meals at your local grocery store; Snap Kitchen has offerings available at many Whole Foods Market locations. If you live in Texas, you may have seen one of Snap Kitchen's eight retail stores located throughout Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

This meal kit company serves up pre-made, easily prepared meals that can go straight from the fridge to the microwave or stovetop for a quick and painless dinnertime experience. 

Snap Kitchen currently reaches households in Texas and other locations across the US, so check to see if Snap Kitchen delivers to your area before signing up. Like many other meal kits, Snap Kitchen prices start at $12 per serving. Residents of Austin, Dallas, or Houston, Texas, who are close enough to a retail location can save an additional 5% by signing up for a Snap Pass plan.

Best for dietary restrictions: Top Chef Meals

Pesto Shrimp with Cavatappi
Top Chef Meals

Top Chef Meals is a great senior-friendly meal delivery service that offers fully customizable orders, dietitian-developed meals for different diets, and a flexible signup process that doesn't pull any fast ones with things like surprise fees. Older adults can order healthy and satisfying meals online at their own convenience.

What sets Top Chef Meals apart from other meal kit companies is its variety when it comes to certain dietary restrictions. You can find meals that are low-sodium, keto-friendly, gluten-free, plant-based, diabetes-friendly, and more.

Although its weekly recipes are health-forward and cater to a number of preferences, that doesn't mean Top Chef Meals' selections aren't interesting and unique. As of the time of this writing, it boasted seasonal specials (available for a limited time) including shrimp creole, braised short rib, and the intriguing sweet onion bacon jam burger.

Simply create an account online and start browsing the weekly menu. Delivery is nationwide, so Top Chef Meals can easily reach you wherever you may be -- just look out for a box being delivered via FedEx or courier service. Prices start at $9 per item.

What should go into a healthy senior-friendly diet?

"HDL, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, has been linked with less risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease or stroke," Elmardi says. "As long as you're keeping your fat intake within healthy limits of 30% or less, including avocado or olive oil in your meal kit is a perfect way to do so."

The 30%-or-less rule of thumb is a good one to stick to for how much fat should be in any senior's diet. Other recommendations include:

  • About 45% to 65% of daily calories coming from carbs
  • About 10% to 35% of calories coming from protein such as meat, chicken, fish, or dairy products
  • Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables -- enough to score between 22 to 28 grams of fiber per day for the average adult male or female diet, respectively

How to choose the best senior-friendly meal kit for your budget

The best meal kits meet you where you're at, financially speaking. If a weekly meal plan is cheaper than takeout or other quick and easy dinner options, then it's just a matter of finding meals you like best. 

Thankfully, we did the math on that one already. All that's left is to know what you want – as well as what you don't. Most meal kits make it easy to customize your meal plan without facing higher costs (we're looking at you, expensive organic sections at the grocery store). 

When asked what ingredients anyone, especially seniors, should avoid to keep things healthy, Elmardi suggested staying away from excess calories and sodium content. 

"These ingredients include bacon, high-fat meats, and processed foods... [as well as] salt, sugar, and artificial sweeteners," Elmardi says. "Some popular alternatives include grilled chicken or fish instead of bacon, almond milk or coconut milk instead of sugary drinks, and whole grain pasta instead of white pasta." 

How we chose the best meal kits for seniors

We paid close attention to the nutritional value of each meal kit's offerings to build our list, as well as the following considerations:

  • Price per serving: The price of meal kits can be confusing, so we accounted for the number of recipes available with each meal kit and broke down the costs to see which kits were the most cost-effective.
  • Prep times: Part of the allure of meal kits is how much you can save by avoiding the grocery store and cooking at home; we picked meal kits that kept this process quick and easy.
  • Frozen and pre-made meals: Some meal delivery services offer heat-and-eat meals that take no time at all to prepare, while others ship out frozen meals that are perfect for meal prepping.
  • First-time discounts: The most cost-effective meal kits for seniors rack up the savings with signup bonuses and discounts that shave off costs from your first order.


Are senior meal kits worth it?

It depends on a meal kit's total expenses, given that prices range between different companies. Most companies also charge for shipping (usually at or around $10 a box), although some like Fresh N Lean offer free shipping. Pre-made and frozen meals are usually the cheapest options from senior meal kits and are worth the cost when pitted against the price of shopping for a traditional home-cooked meal.

Do meal delivery plans offer senior discounts?

Some meal kits do offer discounts for seniors and older adults. HelloFresh, for example, offers a 10% discount to qualifying customers (this on top of its notable discounts for first-time subscribers) . Not all meal kits have savings for seniors, but it's worth double checking when signing up.

Are there meal delivery services curated specifically for seniors?

Yes, certain meal kit companies like Snap Kitchen and Top Chef Meals cater specifically to senior citizens with heat-and-eat meals that are nutritionally balanced.

What is the best meal kit for seniors who live alone?

If you live in a qualifying area for delivery, Snap Kitchen has one of the most versatile menus for seniors looking to eat healthy. Hungryroot (currently offering 30% off the first delivery for first-time subscribers) is also great for people who live alone and want a quick and easy meal with organic ingredients.

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