when Meal kits When she arrived on the scene, many people saw her as a glamorous — and, frankly, expensive — date night venture. Meal kits have since become more affordable, with top meal delivery brands such as Blue apron And Hello Fresh We strive to be less of a special event and more of a utilitarian service for busy families and home cooks with limited experience to make mealtime quick and easy.

According to our measurement, Every panel Do Cheapest meal kit service, for about $5 or $6 per meal depending on the plan you choose. This made me wonder if EveryPlate is more expensive than buying the same groceries.

Meal kit versus grocery store

Each dish (meals for two people) Each dish (meals for four people) Groceries purchased in the store
Cost per meal $7.48 $6.50 $5.44

To find the cost difference between Every panel And cooking from scratch, I priced the cost of two servings for Grocery cost There is a need to make the exact same two recipes. The difference was about a dollar, probably closer to even, if you factor in the gas needed to get to the store.

Here’s how I got those numbers and what I learned about them Meal set Cost and value in 2023.

Are meal kits more expensive than buying groceries?

If you’re wondering how much more expensive meal kits compare to shopping for all the groceries yourself, I’ve done the math. While some meal kit services are still comfortably in the splurge category – Sun basket And Green Chef For example but not limited to – Cheapest meal kits It’s about $5 an hour or $6 a meal.

After calculating the difference in cost between grocery shopping and ordering meal kits for two recipes offered through my favorite budget-friendly meal kit service, Every panelJust a measly dollar separates the two ways of eating dinner. The perception of meal kits as an expensive meal at night may be more of a myth than reality.

How did you do the math?

To calculate the cost of meal kits versus grocery shopping, I took two EveryPlate recipes and priced out the ingredients. To keep things consistent, I used the cheapest published results Fresh Directa popular online grocery delivery service here in the Northeast.

Since spices are generally sold in 1- or 2-ounce bottles, I divided the cost by 20 since each spice bottle contains approximately 20 servings. The same goes for ingredients like sour cream and soy sauce which are also sold in larger quantities. I’ve roughly divided the total cost by the amount you’ll need to make each recipe.

How much does a meal kit service like EveryPlate cost?

EveryPlate is one of the cheapest meal kit services Most plans About $5 a meal. For a two-person, three-meals-per-week meal plan, the price is slightly higher at $5.99 per meal. I have used More expensive plan for two people To compare with the cost of your grocery shopping. There is also a flat shipping cost of $9 which I split across the three meals. When all is said and done, EveryPlate will cost you $7.48 per meal on a two-person plan. Choose meals for four and it will cost just $6.50 per meal.

A web page to set a plan between people and meals for the week

EveryPlate is my favorite budget-friendly meal kit service and will run you about $7 per meal when you factor in shipping.

Every panel

How much do meal kits cost if you buy individual groceries

Here’s a breakdown of what two Recipes for each dish It will cost if you buy groceries yourself. These prices have been calculated from Fresh Direct In April 2022. I did not include the delivery fee for grocery service or the cost of fuel needed to get to and from the store. It’s also worth noting that the grocery prices listed below are much lower than what I find at local markets in Brooklyn.

Scrambled pork chops with French fries and carrots (2 servings)

  • Carrots (12 ounces): $1.50
  • Five Yukon gold potatoes: $1.50
  • One yellow onion: $0.90
  • 2 green onions: $0.50
  • Two 5-ounce pork chops: $4.93
  • One can of concentrated chicken broth: $0.60
  • Chili: $0.20
  • Sour cream (4 ounces): $1.50

Total: $11.13

Cost per serving: $5.56

Everyplate's flexible weekend menu offers three courses

EveryPlate offers approximately 15 meal kit recipes per week ranging from comforting classics to lean and healthy.

Every panel

Cherry Meatballs with Zucchini and Garlic Mashed Potatoes (2 servings)

  • Five Yukon gold potatoes: $1.60
  • White bread (2 slices): $0.50
  • One zucchini: $1.50
  • Ground beef (8 ounces): $4.30
  • Cherry jam (1 ounce): $0.85
  • Garlic powder: $0.10
  • Sour cream (4 ounces): $1.50
  • Soy sauce (1 oz): $0.50

Total: $10.85

Cost per serving: $5.42

Hoisin meatloaf with potatoes and zucchini

I liked all of the meals I tried when I tested the EveryPlate, but the hoisin meatloaf was my favorite of the bunch.

David Watsky/CNET

How much does a meal kit cost more than buying groceries?

When compared to the cost of purchasing all necessary groceries at the store, EveryPlate scores around the same price Additional $2 per meal. If you choose one of the plans that offers servings for four people, it will be more like this Another $1. So, it’s pretty much a wash.

At the end of the day, it’s convenience you pay a little extra for. But if you choose a budget-friendly service like EveryPlate or Dinnerly, that little extra turns out to be nothing at all.

What about the environmental cost, packaging and waste?

There’s no doubt that meal kit services use more plastic than if you bought your own groceries. However, cheaper services have found ways to reduce costs. In many cases, this means using less packaging.

Hello fresh meals packed in a box

The interior of a HelloFresh shipment along with its mostly recyclable packaging.

Shelby Brown/CNET

EveryPlate, for example, is one of the most environmentally friendly services I’ve tried. The company puts all of its products and other ingredients in one cardboard box, while other companies package each component individually, which leads to more waste. Most packaging, including the cooler box and ice bags, are curbside recyclable.

On the other hand, since meal kits generally give you exactly what you need for each meal and no more, you’re less likely to get too much food lose. Who hasn’t thrown away the last few ounces of that tub of sour cream or a couple of green onions that you couldn’t find a use for before they wilt?

What about other meal kit services?

EveryPlate is the cheapest meal kit service, plus dinner. The most expensive clothes.. Sun basket, Green Chef And Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon -Cost is closer to $10 or $13 per meal. The extra cost is generally due to premium ingredients like grass-fed beef and organic produce. With these, you’ll find a larger delta between the cost of the meal kit and the cost of preparing the meal at home. Services like Hello Fresh, Blue apron And Head chef They fall somewhere in the middle with meal kits ranging between $9 and $10 per meal.

Not interested in cooking at all? We’ve tested all the best players to find Best takeaway services in 2023.

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