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Can you save money on groceries with meal kits?

If there's one thing we love about meal kits, it's how they can make everything easier come dinner time. The best meal kits can help you save time thanks to the convenience of getting prepared ingredients shipped directly to your door, but can they save you money over a trip to the grocery store as well?

Preparing healthy and nutritious meals night after night can be a lot to keep up with. Plus, whether you make multiple trips to the store throughout the week or get all your grocery shopping done in one go, those expenses can really add up. 

Making matters worse: While they aren't the eye-popping prices we saw in the middle of 2022, gas prices are still higher than they've been in over five years. If you're tired of fitting expensive groceries and gas into your monthly budget, you'll want to read more on our review of budget-friendly meal kits below.

Can meal kits save money on groceries?

Meal kits are typically priced per serving. Even though you pay for each box on a weekly basis, your total meal kit costs can be broken down based on just how many meals and servings you signed up for. 

We examined some of the best meal kits for your budget below to see how their prices stacked up against a trip to the grocery store, including an itemized breakdown of everything that goes into a home-cooked meal, to determine how much you can really save by switching to meal delivery kits.

The cheapest meal kits for saving money on groceries

In order to find a meal kit that can replace those trips to the grocery store with an easier and cheaper experience, here are the meal delivery services with the most affordable prices out there.

If you want a more convenient way to put food on the dinner table throughout the week, these budget-friendly meal kits have everything you need to save money on groceries.

Family-friendly meal kit with the lowest prices: EveryPlate

EveryPlate offers the absolute best value when it comes to judging meal kits based on how much they might cost you. Plans start as low as $5 per serving, making this the cheapest meal delivery service out there -- others like HelloFresh can cost up to nearly three times that amount.

Take your pick from more than two dozen recipes available each week. These recipes are generally quick and easy to prepare at home, plus you can find more than a few examples of family-friendly meals and dishes that scream comfort food -- perfect for the picky eaters in your family.

Sign up for EveryPlate with your email address today to get exclusive plan prices as low as $1.49 per serving.

The budget-friendly meal kit with something for everyone: Dinnerly

If grocery shopping takes a toll on both you and your wallet, Dinnerly may be a perfect meal kit match for you. With more than 60 different recipes to choose from each week, you're bound to find healthy and nutritious meals that strike your fancy.

With meal delivery prices starting at $5 per serving, Dinnerly is tied with EveryPlate as the two most affordable meal kits available. Although EveryPlate edged out Dinnerly in our meal kit reviews thanks to the quality of its menu options, there's no denying the advantages that Dinnerly brings to the table (particularly for picky eaters and anyone cooking for a large family).

First-time meal delivery subscribers can save an additional $140 off their first 5 boxes.

The best and cheapest meal kit for vegans: Mosaic Foods 

Mosaic Foods offers a number of appealing, plant-based meals for the aspiring money saver. These hearty and nutritious meals can cost as low as $6 per serving. 

The weekly selections come in the form of prepared meals (great for saving time in the kitchen over meal prep kits). Vegans will find a number of tasty recipes to choose from with staple ingredients like tofu, cauliflower, and vegan sausages.

Customers can save up to $20 by choosing from three different plans: six, twelve, or eighteen-item boxes.

How much do meal kits cost?

It's no secret that groceries can add up. The average two-person household typically spends between $450 and $800 per month at the grocery store. That's a lot, even if you're thrifty. 

Breaking down the costs of meal kits can be tricky, since there are so many little details to consider. Meal delivery shipping costs, which are typically anywhere from $8 to $12 per box, can add up when you're comparing prices. There's also other expenses, such as the price of gas, that can inflate your actual grocery bill that much more. 

At the end of the day, you're looking at the price per serving for each meal delivery kit versus the cost of preparing similar meals from scratch and on your own dime. Most meal kits cost between $8 and $12 per serving, with prices going up the fewer servings you opt in to each week (and vice versa). 

Why buying your own groceries can be more expensive than meal kits

To settle things once and for all, we did the math to see if meal kits can save you money on groceries. We took a close look at EveryPlate's menu. Specifically, the appetizing fig pork chops with broccoli and crispy potatoes. This 30-minute meal is made up of six easy ingredients, so we went on an adventure to see if we could make it on our own -- and compared final costs.

Based on Instacart prices (a grocery delivery service common to upstate New York), these were our findings:

  • Garlic (three count bag): $2.29
  • Potatoes (1 pound): $6.53
  • Pork chops (1 pound): $6.21
  • Broccoli crown: $2.07
  • Chicken broth (two pounds): $3.04
  • Fig spread: $7.62

After sourcing all of our ingredients, here was the final at-home grocery tally (pre-tax): $27.76. 

EveryPlate lists this recipe as a 4-serving meal, so my price per serving after a trip to grocery store comes to $6.94. This is already higher than EveryPlate's prices (not to mention the discount prices for new customers), but toss in added grocery shopping expenses for gas and taxes and you have your answer.

Meal kits can indeed save you money on groceries, so long as you sign up for one of the cheapest meal kits available today.

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