With Dinnerly claiming to provide Australia’s most affordable Meal Kits, it’s time that I put that claim to the test. Many Australians live in different situations and have different requirements, therefore it’s important that all costs are considered when purchasing a Meal Kit. As a result of this investigation, I hope to make sure that you, the reader, can make the most informed choice possible on your next Meal Kit purchase.
This article has been updated in January 2023 to confirm that EveryPlate continue to be the cheapest meal kit in Australia despite some recent price rises across the industry.
Don’t want to read the whole article? Well, I can announce that the cheapest meal kit in Australia is EveryPlate. They are consistently cheaper than their nearest competitor, Dinnerly, across all subscription sizes.
How we investigate meal kit prices
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first – how am I going to examine which a Meal Kit is the cheapest? Well, there are 3 main components to the cost of a Meal Kit:
- The box.
- Purchasing additional ingredients.
These costs can vary quite significantly based on how many portions you purchase, so that will be the primary variable in this analysis. We’ll primarily consider a few of the most common scenarios:
- Couple having 3 meals a week (6 portions).
- Family of Four having 4 meals a week (16 portions).
For this analysis, we’ll ignore any promotional, introductory offers and focus solely on the ongoing price of each box. I’ll also be taking the price of their ‘standard’ box where applicable.
Which meal kits are available in Australia?
There are 7 primary Meal Kits providers in Australia and we’re going to consider all of them. The key difference to note is the variations in where they deliver. I provide below a rough guide to where they delivery, but always recommend that you check on their website to see if they deliver to your postcode.
|Company||Delivery Areas||Full Review|
|DinnerTwist||Perth Metro & Regional Areas|
|Dinnerly||All States except WA||Dinnerly Review|
|EveryPlate||NSW, VIC, ACT, QLD Metro Areas||EveryPlate Review|
|HelloFresh||All Metro Areas inc. Perth||HelloFresh Review|
|Marley Spoon||All Metro Areas exc. Perth||Marley Spoon Review|
|Pepper Leaf||Major Metro Areas exc. Perth||Pepper Leaf Review|
|QuiteLike||Sydney & Melbourne||QuiteLike Review|
|Thomas Farms Kitchen||Major Metro Areas exc. Perth|
|YouPlateIt||Perth Metro Area||You Plate It Review|
|My Foodie Box||Perth Metro Area (Not Included)||My Foodie Box Review|
Finding the cheapest meal kit subscription available
The largest cost associated with a Food Box is with the cost of the subscription itself. This includes all your ingredients, recipe cards and packaging that allows you to cook delicious meals. Across the industry, you are always going to get more value (a lower per portion cost) when you buy more meals. We found that the highest cost per portion was with YouPlateIt when ordering 6 portions at $14.83 per portion, whilst the lowest cost per portion was with EveryPlate when ordering 36 portions at just $3.98 per serving. Clearly, it’s worth stocking up on meals if you can afford a higher one-off cost and have the time to cook then freeze your food.
I analysed the total cost for all services when you buy 6 portions a week:
Here, Dinnerly comes in a full 24% cheaper than its nearest cost competitor, Thomas Farms. However, it’s beaten by an incredible offering by EveryPlate who are a massive 38% cheaper than Thomas Farms. There’s no doubting that EveryPlate perform very well when you’re purchasing smaller numbers of meals. How about when you purchase 16 portions?
Incredibly, EveryPlate continue to lead the pack, delivering 16 portions for a whole $55 LESS than services like HelloFresh and Marley Spoon. Dinnerly continue to be competitive at the value end of the market, however they still come in around $6 more expensive. Considering the normal range for 16 portions is around $140 – $160, the prices for EveryPlate and Dinnerly are incredible value.
Cheapest meal kit including delivery fees
Delivery fees are often the hidden cost associated with ordering subscription boxes, especially since you have to pay for delivery every week. When deciding which box to go for, it’s very important to be aware of the cost of delivery. Some companies have variable delivery costs, meaning they change based on where you live. In this scenario, we have used a rough average delivery cost for their service.
|Thomas Farms Kitchen||$9.50|
The major players in the market all charge a delivery fee whilst the smaller firms tend to offer free shipping as an incentive, so let’s see what that does to the cost impact on a 6 portion box:
Thomas Farms Kitchen continues to lead the chasing pack in 3rd place here, although Dinnerly and EveryPlate continue to stand out as the cheapest options. Marley Spoon and HelloFresh have a cost profile similar to Pepper Leaf and DinnerTwist so those should be considered as close competitors when looking at a low-portion box. How about the impact on 16 portions:
MarleySpoon is much more competitive with their larger boxes, sneaking into third place by a whisker. Still, nobody can come close to Dinnerly and Everyplate when looking for the ‘cheapest’ Meal Kit.
Adding the cost of additional ingredients
Whilst all Meal Kits require you to have basic ingredients such as Salt, Pepper, Vinegar and Oil along with standard cooking equipment (pots/pans/oven/hob), it’s a unique part of the ‘low cost’ business model that their ingredient packs don’t include other staple ingredients such as Mayonnaise, Egg, Garlic, Honey, Mustard. It’s important to consider this cost as part of the total cost of buying a meal kit.
As all the ingredients are generally available, low cost and often small amounts of a larger bottle, I’m going to consider an average additional cost of $0.75 per serving. This adds $4.50 to the 6 portion box and $12 to the 16 portion box. As a result, these are the final total costs:
Costs of Dinnerly vs EveryPlate
With Dinnerly and EveryPlate fighting it out for the cheapest meal kit throughout this article, I wanted to dig a little deeper. Even though it’s clear EveryPlate wins across our sampled 6 and 16 person boxes, I wonder if that remains true across all box sizes.
Let’s focus on these two cheap meal kits and see how they compare across a wide range of meals per box. This is without added delivery/ingredient costs.
Consistently, EveryPlate are offering cheaper meal kits than Dinnerly. It may only be by a couple of dollars, but that can add up to a significant saving over the course of an entire year.
Which is Australia’s cheapest meal kit?
Whilst Dinnerly had previously scored this title for the last few years, EveryPlate have come along and really challenged Dinnerly. It’s now a simple conclusion that EveryPlate are offering the cheaper meal kit service at the moment. Therefore, we must give the title to…
This article hasn’t taken into account the experience, recipes and quality of ingredients into account, so it’s definitely worth checking out our reviews before committing to a service.
If you’re ready to try out one of these services, then you can take advantage of some exclusive offers for Food Box Mate readers.