This Meal Kit Hack Gets You Months of Meals for $3 a Serving – CNET

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

If you’ve been wanting to try a meal kit service, I say, heck, try all of them. There’s a meal delivery trick you can enlist that’ll net you months, even years of dirt-cheap meal kits and a full-picture taste test of the entire category. If you’re looking for the best cheap meal kits, I’ve made a comprehensive list of the top low-cost options. But if you’re looking for the best meal kits for cheap, read on and take advantage of this smart system that will keep you fed, save you big and allow you to try all the best meal kits in 2022. 

All it takes to pull this off is some organization and maybe a few calendar reminders to be safe. You can hack the meal delivery system and try some of the popular meal kit services for less than $2 or $3 per serving. That’s definitely cheaper than buying the groceries or even ordering famously cheap yet infamously unhealthy fast food. With this sneaky little meal kit trick, you’ll get whole and healthy ingredients portioned out and sent to your home to make dinner at a fraction of the normal cost.

Read moreWith Inflation, Are Meal Kits Any More Expensive Than Buying the Groceries?

How to try nearly every meal kit for cheap

Almost every meal kit service I’ve tested — and I’ve tested pretty much all of them — will allow you to try several weeks of meals for a super cheap promotional price. These hugely discounted sign-up offers are often as low as $5 or $6 for a full recipe that will feed two, four or sometimes six people. That’s just a few bucks per serving and as cheap a meal as you’re going to find these days.

These meal delivery deals will be typically spread out over three, four or even five deliveries. For example, Blue Apron‘s offer will save you $110 but you’ll have to order five weeks’ worth of meals. That still amounts to 13 “free” dinners, though, and you’ll get to try this easy breezy meal kit service in the process. Gobble’s deal is shorter but just as tempting. That service lets you try your first six meal kits for just $36.

every plate sign up offerevery 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

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.

The best meal delivery 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 offerblue 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

Set a reminder to cancel and move on to the next one

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 remindercancel 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. 

There’s usually no commitment, but read the fine print anyway

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

sunbasket sign up offersunbasket sign up offer

Sunbasket is my favorite overall meal kit service. It’s usually about $12 or $13 per serving but not when you take advantage of this trial offer.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Insider tipCNET’s shopping browser extension will help you find any promo deals that might be hiding somewhere on the site but not populating on the front page. You can download it here.

There are prepared meal delivery deals to try 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 meals to be had. 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. 

freshly meal on table with cocktailfreshly meal on table with cocktail

Prepared meal services such as Freshly have sign-up offers too, although you’ll typically get a bigger discount from meal kits. 


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.

More money-saving tips for the kitchen

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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