Are Meal Kits Cheaper Than Groceries?

    Preparing dinner for a family of four can be exhilarating if you’re into cooking. However, you must admit that sometimes the time and energy it takes might have been better spent enjoying time together before settling down for the evening. Plus, you don’t always have the extra time to create a feast filled with the nutrition you’re looking for. 

    The one question many people ask is whether meal kits are cheaper than groceries. Sure, maybe the potential to save money looks tempting, but will it save you costs in the long run? In this article, we’ll investigate the actual economy of meal kits vs. groceries.

    Are Meal Kits Cheaper Than Groceries?
    Written By: Adam Dagan MDS

    What Are Meal Kit Delivery Services?

    A meal kit is a subscription service that delivers preportioned or partially prepared food. It includes similar ingredients to what you’d find in the grocery store, but it saves you the time (and sometimes the money) you’d use buying the items yourself. With the meal pre-planned and the ingredients provided for you, it’s straightforward to cook it by following the provided recipe.

    You can order meal kits for different periods, such as three, five, and seven days. You also have various options to select between, including proteins, vegetables, diabetic-friendly, vegetarian, vegan, and many types of cultural dishes.The delivery services encloses your meals in containers with insulated liners, retaining the food’s freshness .

    Do Meal Kits Save You Money?

    So let’s gain some perspective before we discuss the costs of meal kits vs. groceries. If you enjoy takeout or ordering fast food online, meal kits are the healthier, more economical option. Furthermore, you’ll save fuel costs by not having to drive around to different stores for the ingredients.

    Of course, the actual grocery ingredients might be more affordable at your local store, but it all depends on their mark-up margins. Sometimes there may be a spike in prices for one item, whereas meal kit costs remain constant. Whether it’ll save you money depends on your purchasing habits.

    Comparison of Meal Kits Vs. Groceries

    In this section, we’ll compare meal kits vs. groceries for cost per meal, trying our best to ensure that we measure similar ingredients between them. Furthermore, we’ll explain some benefits of the brand and why we consider it a better option than buying the components and preparing it yourself.

    Green Chef

    Green Chef has a few options available for you to select from, namely, Keto and Paleo, Balanced Living, Vegan, and Vegetarian. The prices range between $9.99 and $14.99 per serving, depending on how many you’re ordering for and which menu item you select. You can also reduce the price by subscribing to more meals per week.


    HelloFresh has more meal kits available in their plans, ranging between meat and veggies, simply veggies, calorie smart, family-friendly, quick and easy, and pescetarian. The serving price is between $7.49 and $10.99, also dependent on the number of people and weekly deliveries. There’s a generous amount of meals available on the menu, so at least you’ll have diversity.

    While the price per serving is affordable, a few meal kit ingredients were almost $15 more than the grocery counterpart. However, you have to buy most of the ingredients in large quantities, leaving you with more than you need and raising the economic value of the store option in contrast. 

    If you price it correctly, there are a few HelloFresh meal kits cheaper than making it yourself. You’ll also need to hunt for the ingredients between various shops, eating up your time.

    Purple Carrot

    What you’ll love about Purple Carrot is that the site asks you what your goals are: high protein, chef’s choice, or gluten-free. As the brand name suggests, it only provides plant-based meals, so you’re out of luck if you’re an avid carnivore. Prices per serving are between $9.99 and $11.99, with two to four dinners per week. 

    After comparing the local store prices for the components, we discovered that creating a meal is relatively the same as buying the meal kits. The real value lies in the discounts for the first deliveries and special events where you’ll pay less for purchasing a specific item with indicated options. This method saves you money in the long run.

    Tips to Save Costs on Meal Kits

    While we’ve given you a general overview of whether meal kits are cheaper than groceries, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re making the best use of your money. We’re going to highlight some of them below, but don’t be afraid to be creative and think of a few more.

    • Buy more and freeze: Most meal kit delivery services lower the prices per serving if you order more dinners for the week or more people. You can use this to your advantage if you buy food that’s easy to freeze and defrost at a later stage.

    • Go fancy: If you select a brand that doesn’t change its prices when you browse the various meals, pick the ones with the most exquisite ingredients that are hard to find or expensive to buy at the local store. You’ll be saving money and eating like a king.

    • Discount codes: Some brands issue discounts for events or to attract new customers. While this can be cost-effective, it helps to compare with grocery items.

    Final Thoughts on Meal Kits Vs. Groceries

    We hope that we’ve helped clarify whether meal kits or groceries are cheaper. Remember, you should always compare it in the proper context with all factors considered. Evaluating cost is only one of the steps you should be taking toward deciding whether you should subscribe for deliveries or cook.