A week ago, one of my clients came to me asking for my opinion on meal kit deliveries that were reliably healthy but didn’t cost as much as SunBasket or Blue Apron did.
Sadly, they were prepared to compromise with mediocre ingredients and less tasty food, which is why I’m glad they came to me first.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to spend over $5 a cheapest meal kit to be satiated with premium components. Both Dinnerly and Every Plate deliver healthy meals with fresh ingredients at under $5 a plate. Every Plate puts out a good effort, but I prefer Dinnerly as a more cost-effective option.
Cost per Serving
- Dinnerly – under $4.50 per portion
- Every Plate – under $5 per portion
- Dinnerly – under $9
- Every Plate – under $9
- Dinnerly – 2 people and 3 meals a week
- Every Plate – 2 people and 3 meals each week
Number of Recipes on the Weekly Menu
- Dinnerly offers 22 meals each week
- Every Plate – 14 meals per week
Average Cooking and Prep Time
- Dinnerly – under 30 minutes
- Every Plate – around 30 minutes
Number of Meals Catered Each Week
- Dinnerly – three to six recipes
- Every Plate – three to five recipes
Number of Portion Options
- Dinnerly – two and four portions
- Every Plate – two and four portions
Review Summary: Dinnerly and Every Plate are good and cheapest meal kit services dedicated to helping you prepare and cook your meals in under 30 minutes. Every Plate’s menu consists of 14 recipes and can cater to five out of seven days worth of meals each week. I like how their meals cost less than $5, which is quite inexpensive. However, Dinnerly is my top choice because of their extensive high-quality weekly menu, minimal food prep required, and the fact that you have more vegetarian options make it the more cost-effective choice.
Plans & Prices Compared
Both Dinnerly and Everyplate cost under $5 a meal plus an additional fee for shipping which is around $9. There are two meal plans to choose from which rely entirely on the number of servings you’ll get: two people and four people portions.
Dinnerly costs as much as nearly $5 for a minimum order. There are two portion options, and they deliver three to six meals each week.
Two Person Plan
- Three meals – under $5 a serving
- Four – under $4.90 a serving
- Five – under $4.80 a serving
- Six – under $4.60 a serving
Four Person Plan
- Three meals – under $5 each portion
- Four – under $4.70 each portion
- Five – under $4.50 each portion
- Six – under $4.30 each portion
Shipping costs around $9 more on top of your box price.
On the other hand, Every Plate’s price is fixed regardless of which plan you choose. There are also two meal portion options, and you can choose to have meals delivered for three to five days each week.
Cost per serving – under $5.00
You will also have to pay an additional fee for shipping, which costs under $9.
My Experience Using These 2 Services
I’m a big fan of meal kit delivery services that allow you to see the weekly menu before you make a commitment. This is the case for both Dinnerly and Every Plate. For Every Plate, you’ll have to hurry and lodge a complaint to Customer Service within 5 days of receiving your meals and you’ll get the same privileges.
I have to say, I preferred Dinnerly’s approach to their menu, which had more variety, and you were also able to select strictly vegetarian menu items.
When it came to food preparation, both services had recipes that were easy to follow and took under 30 minutes to cook. I have to note that Dinnerly review came with less components and a simpler cooking process, so it was less complicated to prepare their meals. Their customer support can be reached via phone, email, or chat.
Best Menu Selection
I like how both companies allowed me to view their weekly menus before I was asked to make a payment.
Of course, you had to search for the weekly menu instead of it being shown on the order dashboard, but it was still nice to be able to choose before I was asked to pay.
Both companies don’t cater specifically to dietary restrictions. But they do occasionally put out meals that comply with gluten-free and vegetarian diets.
The Dinnerly menu consists of around 22 recipes. You also have the option of choosing from an entirely vegetarian menu, which limits your selections to that week’s plant-protein meals.
- There is no set menu for specific diet restrictions. However, no gluten, nut-free, and other diet-specific meals are clearly labeled.
- Their nutritional information can be viewed easily by clicking on each photo.
There are 14 recipes on the Every Plate menu. Each week, the offerings change, which means you’re unlikely to have a repeat performance of your meals.
- There are two meal options on the menu: vegetarian and classic.
- A complete list of nutritional information, including exact components, allergens, and estimated cooking time, are displayed when you click on the recipe image.
Part of the corners cut to save on meal cost is with the packaging. Unlike other meal kit deliveries, these two come with their quality ingredients tossed together, which means you need to spend some time sorting through your box.
Don’t worry, though; the meat products are tucked at the bottom of the box and are individually wrapped to avoid cross-contamination. Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate stack the protein portion at the very bottom of their box with some ice packs that keep them from perishing.
This may seem less convenient. However, you also have to think about the environmental impact the minimal amount of packaging has over other services who package each recipe individually.
- Each box comes with a clear and easy to follow recipe card.
- Their recipe cards are digital, which reduces clutter and waste.
Quality of Ingredients
A common concern from my clients is the actual quality of ingredients in each of these two companies. The under $5 cost per meal usually raises a few eyebrows as to how corners are cut, and prices are lowered. This is a valid concern considering competitors that boast fresh, quality, and premium components usually come with a price tag of at least $8 per portion.
Luckily, these services are able to lower their prices by cutting down on packaging instead. You’ll also notice that there are less ingredients in their meal kits. This contributes to quicker cooking times and a lower price.
Both Dinnerly meal kit service and EveryPlate are head to head when it comes to the quality of the components they use. You can expect to find the freshest locally-sourced produce, excellent cuts of meat, and delicious, fragrant seafood that is sourced from trustworthy farmers.
I like how with both boxes, you’re contributing to sustainably-sourced, healthy meat, and protein. Their meat cuts are grass-fed and antibiotic-free. The same can be said of their free-range chicken and freshly picked vegetables.
Nutrition Facts & EveryPlate and Dinnerly Taste Review
I come across clients from all walks of life. There are those who are looking for highly nutritious meals that would suit their fitness goals like losing weight, while some are looking for a more cost-effective approach to support their vegetarian lifestyle without having to resort to the same rotation of vegetables every day.
I like how with both companies—although you’re missing a dedicated menu for other dietary restrictions, the nutritional information is readily available and is well-detailed for you to make a decision.
- Dinnerly’s menu is tagged with labels like gluten-free, veggie, and more. This makes it easier to browse certain meals that would fit your diet.
- Taste-wise, Dinnerly packed better portion sizes and a more prominent flavor profile for most of their meal kits. I like how with less than ten ingredients, I felt full and more than satisfied with the flavor-packed into the meals I prepared.
- The Every Plate menu is a bit more simplified at first glance. However, you’re able to see the meals tagged as Premium or Veggie as well as the time it would take to prepare the recipe.
- Every Plate features more classic flavor profiles that are simpler and more humble compared to Dinnerly.
Alternatives to Dinnerly and Every Plate
Despite the lower cost per meal, and the good variety of meals Dinnerly and Every Plate has to offer, I understand they may not be the best choice for everyone.
For example, you might have more specific dietary restrictions that need catering to. Or maybe you’re looking for a better variety of menu offerings like smoothies and desserts. Take a look at some of my favorites to help you consider your options.
Sun Basket – Best Variety
Admittedly, SunBasket is marginally more expensive compared to both Dinnerly and Every Plate. However, the extensive menu selection and the ability to choose from diet-specific menus make it a cost-effective and convenient alternative.
Menu Variety – there are ten menus to choose from, including a ready-to-heat menu
- Chef’s Choice
- Fresh and Ready
- Gluten Free
- Lean and Clean
- Diabetic Friendly Meal
Number of Meal Options on the Menu – there are over 15 recipe options for each dedicated menu
Cost per Meal – under $13 on average
Minimum Order – 2 meals for 2 people
Daily Harvest – Best Smoothie Kit Delivery
Daily Harvest features a large menu of healthy smoothie kits and other meal replacements such as flatbreads, chia bowls, and soups.
Their produce is all-organic and comes in handy recyclable containers that make it easy to store in your fridge or freezer the moment it arrives.
Menu Variety – Daily Harvest has a menu inclusive of more than just smoothies. Their meal replacement options are all USDA certified organic and cover breakfast until dinner.
- Harvest Bowls
- Oat Bowls
- Chia Bowls
- Ice Cream Scoops
- Superfood Snacks
Number of Meal Options on the Menu – from 3 to 17 items
Cost per Smoothie – under $8
Minimum Order – 9 items
Blue Apron – Best for Weight Loss
This service is one of the first companies to offer meal kit deliveries dedicated to healthy eating. Recently, they also partnered with Weight Watchers to offer a program that specifically helps its subscribers lose weight.
Their menu is a bit more limited compared to others on this list.
However, they do have a good variety of exclusive spice blends, premium products, and sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Menu Variety – there are four main menus to choose from, including a Weight Watchers program and a kid-friendly menu. You also have the option of adding a wine subscription to your order.
- Signature for 4
- Wine Club
Number of Meal Options on the Menu – from 3 to 6
Cost per Meal – under $9 a serving
Minimum Order – two meals for two people
Freshly – Best Pre-Cooked Meals
Freshly delivers single-serving individually packed meals that are ready to heat in minutes. It’s an ideal choice for you if you want a service that delivers food that you can keep in your fridge or freezer and take out to heat whenever you need it.
Menu Variety – there is only one available menu on Freshly.
Number of Meal Options on the Menu – around 29
Cost per Meal – under $11.50 Minimum Order – 4 meals per week
Frequently Asked Questions About Dinnerly and Everyplate Review
As I said, Dinnerly and Every Plate tend to raise a few eyebrows with their bold claims of premium components, delicious flavors, yet oddly low under $5 cost per meal. This is why I often get asked several questions whenever I recommend the services to my clients. Below, I’ll answer some of the most important questions I’ve been asked to help ease your mind.
Is Dinnerly Cheaper Than Grocery Shopping?
Dinnerly bills itself as a way for people who want to prepare, cook and deliver quality, homemade food at home. Since it can be as expensive or costly as grocery shopping, we wanted to see if it really is cheaper than ordering food from restaurants or grocery stores. Dinnerly takes all the work out of ordering delivery from restaurants for people who don’t have time to cook, and takes all the work out of cooking for people who have time but just don’t feel like cooking at the end of the day.
It offers standard and premium delivery options depending on how much you order and who you are ordering from. In my first order, I ordered dinner from 20 different restaurants in New York City and Houston, Texas. The delivery fee I paid was $2.99 and the delivery distance was 20 miles. For my second order, I ordered dinners from 1,700 restaurants in 27 cities in all 50 states and 11 countries, and delivery distances were 400 miles for standard deliveries and 600 miles for premium.
Is Dinnerly Worth the Money?
Would you pay for Dinnerly if it got it right the first time? Dinnerly (which is free for now, though you can always upgrade to $9.99) promises to help you create perfect home-cooked meals. Is it worth the dough? Let’s start by talking about the merits of cooked food, which are much more complicated than someone making a meal of fried fish. A lot of factors go into making something taste good, and cooking skill is one of them. You want to cut a certain amount of salt, not cook a certain amount of fat. There are a lot of variables to take into account.
Enter the folks behind Dinnerly or Marley Spoon, a team of people who have “over a decade of culinary experience and are passionate about sharing great food.” The idea is to do a lot of the hard work for you. All you have to do is decide what to cook, then choose a time and temperature. The program uses all sorts of data about the cooking process—temperature, moisture, nutrition, how much you might be eating later—to create a customized cooking plan. All you have to do is put it in the oven, or put it on the stove, or whatever.
Is Dinnerly Good for Weight Loss?In 2013, someone actually lost weight via the Dinnerly app. After tracking their diet for a month, Amanda Lafrenière, a 30-year-old real estate agent from Santa Clarita, CA, lost a whopping 17 pounds. That’s three pounds a week, and she credits the app with helping her succeed—even without any strict food restrictions. (To see what she ate, check out this story in the New York Times.) An estimated 50 percent of Americans are overweight, and Lafrenière has to keep her weight in check. “My weight fluctuates around 140 pounds, which I would prefer to be around 120 to 125. Most people, though, are not like me,” she says. “I was thinking that if this new way of tracking my meals was not only good for my health, but also for my weight, then I would be OK.
Yes. It’s very easy to cancel your Dinnerly subscription. You simply have to go to your account and click Cancel my Subscription. However, make sure you cancel before the next week’s renewal period if you don’t want a box to show up at your doorstep when you least expect it.
Dinnerly makes it easier to prepare your meals at home by including whole foods and premium ingredients. Their recipes are crafted by professional chefs and reviewed by dieticians to guarantee the correct nutritional information is displayed.
Yes, Every Plate is owned by HelloFresh. The company was recently launched to provide consumers with a cheaper alternative to the HelloFresh program without skimping on the quality of ingredients and nutrition.
Final Thoughts. Which is better: Dinnerly vs EveryPlate?
I applaud EveryPlate for their effort to make healthy meals easily accessible while maintaining premium ingredient integrity and supplying their subscribers with sufficient nutritional information to make an informed decision about their meals.
One aspect in which I believe it beats Dinnerly is their use of digital recipe cards instead of printed ones which minimizes waste.
However, I have to say that Dinnerly’s slightly lower cost per meal, wider menu variety, more prominent flavor profiles, and more diet-inclusive menu make it ultimately more worth the cost.