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Can Meal Delivery Services Fit Into Your Budget? Thumbnail

Can Meal Delivery Services Fit Into Your Budget?

We have tried a number of meal subscription/delivery services and my family has enjoyed them! Yes, sometimes the produce isn't exactly the one you would pick if you had a selection, but it definitely saves a trip to the store! One of the biggest values for us was simply to have a complete meal to pick from! Have you had this kind of a conversation in your home:

Me: "Hi honey, what do you want for dinner?"

My Wife: "I don't know, what would you like?"

Me: "Well if something sounds goo to you, I'm happy to have that"

My Wife: "Well nothing sounds really good, but I don't want to go out to eat..."

You get the idea.... Now imagine how much smoother things would be on a given Tuesday night if the conversation was more like:

Me: "What options do we have to pick from for dinner tonight?"

My Wife: "I have spicy pork tacos or a thai chicken, sweet chili over rice"

Me: "Oooooo the pork tacos sound great!"

If the sheer fact of providing the dish in a nearly complete form, providing the necessary components, and clear cooking instruction aren't enough, "keeping the peace" around the household is a nice benefit in my household. There are a bunch of different services out there, so do a little research and I would encourage you to investigate a little into the meal options to see which company's lineup fits your family's palette. Of course there is the cost component, you are paying a bit of a premium for the meals because of the shipping, portioning and such, and that is a decision you need to think through for your family and your budget.

Do you want your family to start eating healthier but you’re not a huge fan of cooking? Or maybe cooking a full meal after a long day of work, errands and school activities is the absolute last thing that you want to do. Either way, there are plenty of convenient meal delivery options out there that can save you time, frustration and possibly even money. Read on to find out more about meal delivery subscription services and how you can properly budget them into your family’s allowance. 

What Are Meal Subscription Delivery Services?

Over the last decade, countless meal delivery services have popped up. Though they all differ in some ways, the gist of the service they all provide is that they send you all the components for a healthy meal - in perfect portion sizes - along with a recipe on how to cook said meal.  There are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing a meal delivery service, so your first step is to go online and research your options. Once you pick a service, you'll also be able to select what types of meals you'll get, as well as which dates your delivery will happen. Fresh ingredients will then be delivered with simple instructions for creating a delicious and healthy meal. This can make preparing meals for your family fast, efficient, and usually delicious and healthy. The big question is: Are they budget-friendly? We’re glad you asked!

Preparing Your Own Meal vs. Using a Meal Delivery Service1


Grocery Store Price

Chicken sausage (18 oz.)




Zucchini (2)


Mozzarella cheese


Crushed tomatoes


Italian seasoning





Total Cost = $18.77

The recipe above for a chicken sausage pizza would cost $18.77 for four servings if shopping for the ingredients at your local grocery store (or $14.13 for two servings). On the other hand, if you were using a meal delivery service, your total for a similar meal would cost $39.96 for four servings (or $19.98 for two servings).

So, as you can see, shopping for your own ingredients locally can deliver cost savings of about $21. With meal delivery services you are paying for convenience, as you won’t have to go to the grocery store, figure out what to buy, etc. You simply choose your desired meals online and all the ingredients are delivered to your doorstep. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Meal Delivery Services?


  • It can be fun for the whole family, especially if cooking isn’t necessarily your cup of tea! 
  • There are a variety of tasty yet nutritious items, and there are even great options for people with dietary restrictions.
  • If you are trying to eat less, then this is great for portion control.
  • There is less food waste since everything is proportioned out for you and pre-measured.
  • More convenient than figuring out meals from scratch every week, going to the store, planning, prepping, etc. 


  • It can be quite costly when compared to buying your ingredients at your local grocery store. 
  • Serving sizes may seem smaller than you are used to, so you and your family may feel hungry after the meals. 
  • If you are a picky eater and not looking to branch out, this may not be for you.
  • Keep in mind that you will still have to go to the store for other essentials, so remember to factor in those costs as well.

Will a Meal Delivery Service Hurt My Budget?

Meal delivery services aren’t something that will work for every family as every family budget is unique. Before deciding whether or not to subscribe to a meal delivery service consider the size of your family, your schedule, any dietary restrictions, etc. Some services will also offer introductory free trials so you can test them out for a number of weeks to see how it works for your family first before committing long-term. Lastly, sit down and crunch the numbers. Use the table we’ve shared above as a template to map out your family’s favorite recipes, the cost for ingredients at your local grocery store and compare that total against the fee for a meal delivery service.

  1. https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/meal-delivery-service-worth-it

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.