Nothing beats the simplicity of having prepared meals ready for dinner. Even a takeaway can take 30 minutes or more to arrive, whilst your prepared meals take just a few minutes in the microwave. This convenience is why the amount of companies offering ready-to-heat meals has exploded over recent years.
However, it can be expensive to fund eating from a prepared meals service every day. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the costs involved and whether you’re getting good value for money. To help out, I’ve analysed 20+ services to find the best value prepared meals available in Australia.
The cheapest prepared meal delivery service is The Diet Factory who offer meals for $9.90 per portion, although YouFoodz can often be bought cheaper with their regular deals. If price is important to you, it’s also worth considering Gymfood Australia and PWRMeals (Sydney) who also offer cheap prepared meals.
Trying to fairly compare prepared meal services is a surprisingly difficult task. With lots of services available, they’re each trying to differentiate themselves and often this comes with a slightly different business model. Here’s some of the most common differences you need to look out for:
- Number of meals
- Difference between lunch and dinner meals.
- Ordering ‘a la carte’ vs ‘set menu’.
- Size (g) of meals available.
To provide a fair comparison across all the different services available, I needed to make some compromises. Based on the differences, I focused purely on purchasing dinner meals, a la carte and standard size. This means that I’m always looking at a reasonably like-for-like comparison. To clarify, I’m looking at buying individual dinners based on the standard offering from each company.
The other challenging point of differentiation is the amount of meals you purchase. Some services allow you to order as few as 5 meals up to as many as 30. My compromise is to focus on two common and logical purchasing points:
- 7 Dinners
- 14 Dinners
Most services provide the same meals for both lunch and dinner at the same price point. This means that my ’14 dinners’ comparison is a good proxy for anyone ordering 7 Dinners + 7 Lunches. Where a service doesn’t allow you to order exactly 7 or 14 meals, I have taken the closest available tier and used an average price per meal.
The other important cost to consider is the delivery fee. I have incorporated the delivery cost into the average meal cost (delivery fee / number of meals) to give a fair comparison of actually ordering from a service. Where there is a minimum order quantity for free delivery, I have made a judgement call on whether it is likely the average customer will qualify for free delivery (highly scientific!).
I am also not including any special promotions or new customer offers. I have considered standard pricing only.
List of services
In my study, I’ve included 20 different services. Where possible, I have only included services that have a wide delivery area so that as many people can get value from this research as possible.
I have also linked to my published reviews of each service. If there’s a service you want me to review, please let me know on facebook and I’ll prioritise getting that review completed.
|Be Fit Food
|Be Fit Food Review
|Eat Fit Food
|Fresh Meals 2 U
|Garden of Vegan
|Garden of Vegan Review
|Gourmet Dinner Service
|Lite n Easy
|Lite n Easy Review
|My Muscle Chef
|My Muscle Chef Review
|The Diet Factory
|No Longer Available
|We Feed You
Cheapest ‘7 meal’ Prepared Meals services
Note: Gymfood Aus does not offer any orders close to 7 meals. You’re always required to place a significantly bigger order, so they are not included here.
As you can see, there’s quite a large price range involved, from just $9.90 per meal all the way up to $20.50 per meal.
The winner here is The Diet Factory who are one of only 2 services to keep the cost down to less than $10. Even more impressive is that they have regular sales on specific meals bringing them under $9 and you can order 7 day plans (14 meals) that get the cost per meal down to less than $8.50. If you’re planning to go on a diet but money is a bit tight, then The Diet Factory could be a fantastic option for you.
The other service to stay under $10 per meal is Youfoodz. I have reviewed them here as they’re one of the biggest providers in Australia with a really positive reputation. It’s worth mentioning here that YouFoodz also have fantastic offers on regularly that can bring the cost per meal down to as low as $7.70 per meal. That’s a bargain.
It’s difficult to understand how Eat Fit Food and Garden of Vegan can justify such high prices in this market. Has anyone tried them? Did you find them good value? Let me know in the comments below.
Cheapest ’14 meal’ Prepared Meals services
No change at the top here as YouFoodz and The Diet Factory stay at the same price, neither company offer a regular discount for ordering a larger amount of meals, although you may be able to find special offers on their site. There’s also a new competitor under $10 as Gymfood Australia, who only offer a minimum order of 14 meals. By doing this, they’re able to keep costs low and offer their meals at a bargain price.
I’d like to call out some services that offer great value when you order more meals:
- Soulara – With many vegan services charging high prices, it’s refreshing to see Soulara deliver meals under $10.50. At this price, they’re a great way of exploring vegan food.
- Macros – Saving nearly $2 per meal when you order a higher quantity is a significant saving, especially when you can freeze your meals and save them for future weeks. I’ve reviewed Macros and enjoyed their meals.
In general, you’re able to get better value by ordering higher quantities. With the nature of prepared meals making them easy to freeze and store, I highly recommend saving yourself some money and ordering more meals each time you get a delivery.
Have I missed any services? Are there any services you want me to review next? Let me know if the comments down below.