Meal Kits Are Basically Free When You Use This Hack

Mike Powers


When you’re trying to eat healthier and do your cooking at home, avoiding the grocery store temptation with a meal kit could be your answer. Many meal delivery services have custom meals available for special diet needs, so you don’t have to feel restricted if you need specific items. Of all the meal kits around, these are the best I’ve found.

Before you settle on a meal kit service, I suggest trying a few of them using the sly method outlined below. This meal-delivery discount hack will let you taste the best meal kit services, including HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Purple Carrot and EveryPlate, for as much as 75% off the regular prices. 

After years of testing and subscribing to every meal kit service, I’ve devised a list of ways to get the most out of your meal kit subscription. No single tip is more fruitful than taking advantage of meal kit signup offers for massive discounts on months of meals.

With a little organization, this semisecret will allow you to try months, even up to a year of meal kits and prepared meal delivery for far less than it would cost to buy the groceries yourself. Here’s how to do it (hint: it involves taking advantage of promo deals and canceling at the right time) and a snapshot of how much you’ll save. 

How to get months of discounted meal kits

Nearly every meal kit I’ve tested (here’s how CNET tests meal kits) allows you to try several weeks of meals for a super cheap promotional price, typically about 50% off the normal price. These hugely discounted sign-up offers are often as low as $5 or $7 for a full recipe that will feed two, four or even six people. That’s about $2 to $5 per serving and about as cheap a meal as you’re going to find during days of inflation.

Snapshot of savings

Meal delivery service Promo price per serving Normal price per serving
EveryPlate $1.49 $4.99
Blue Apron* $4.37 $12.49
Gobble* $6 $15
HelloFresh* $5.99 $10
Sunbasket* $5.66 $11.49
*Pricing for 2-person plan

Gobble’s deal is shorter but just as tempting. That service lets you try your first six servings (three meal kits) for just $36.

There’s the mother of all cheap meal delivery services, EveryPlate. This budget-friendly brand will send your first few boxes for an impressively low price per meal. It varies by week but right now, your first box will come in at under $2 per serving.

every plate sign up offer every plate sign up offer

EveryPlate is my favorite budget meal kit. It’s already pretty affordable but this is how cheap it’ll be for your first few boxes.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

I can attest firsthand that meal kits make meal-making a breeze since you won’t have to labor over deciding what to make, shop for ingredients or do loads of prep (since many of them do the measuring and a good deal of the prep work for you).

Even without these deals, we crunched the numbers and using a convenient meal kit is just a few dollars more expensive than shopping for the same groceries. Factor in one of the offers and it’ll be significantly cheaper than buying the ingredients. Plus, you won’t have to take annoying trips to the store for months — or even as long a year, if you try them all.

What are the best meal kit deals?

Don’t worry, I’ve made this easy and rounded up the best meal delivery deals here so you can make a plan to try them all for cheap. Some promotions are likely to change from month to month, so grab the ones that look best to you now and I’ll be sure to update the post so you can find the best deals when it’s time to try a new service.

blue apron promo offer blue apron promo offer

Make sure to read each offer carefully. Often the deal is spread out over a few deliveries so you’ll be committed to a few weeks of meals. You can always cancel or pause after the discount ends.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Don’t forget to cancel after the promo ends

The big catch is that if you don’t cancel after the initial promotion ends, the service will almost certainly keep sending you boxes of meals but at the full price. Some will let you cancel right after you place your order while others will make you wait until the promo boxes have all been delivered. In cases where they make you wait, I’d suggest setting a reminder to cancel at the earliest possible time. 

cancel meal kit reminder cancel meal kit reminder

Setting reminders to cancel after the promo ends will keep this sneaky system running smoothly. 

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

The worst-case scenario is you’ll get an extra week’s delivery of meals at a higher price. Certainly not the end of the world but if you’re trying to try them all for those rock-bottom offers, you’ll have to stay on your game. 

Meal kits don’t have long-term commitments

Most of these deeply discounted sign-up offers won’t rope you into any long-term contracts. They make it fairly easy to pause or cancel your service, unlike those fury-inducing gyms. For safety’s sake, read the fine print for each service and for each promotion before you enter your credit card information. 

sunbasket sign up offer sunbasket sign up offer

Sunbasket is around $12 or $15 per serving, but way cheaper if you take advantage of a trial offer.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Prepared meal services have promo deals, too

If you don’t have an interest in cooking, many of the top prepared meal delivery services have sign-up offers too. I’ve found that the discount by percentage isn’t usually as good as with meal kits, but there are still some cheap meal options. Much like meal kits, you’ll be able to cancel your service after you’ve taken advantage of the deal — or keep ’em coming if you like what you get. 

Even online butchers such as ButcherBox and grocery delivery services such as Thrive Market and Hungryroot have some hefty new customer deals. I say try them all and let everyone else pay full price.





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