One thing nobody tells you about adulthood is that you need to decide what’s on the menu every. Single. Day. Then comes shopping for all the ingredients you need, and, finally, cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can all get taxing and tiring, especially if you have a full-time job or study.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if someone could take care of grocery shopping and prepping all your ingredients for you? Well, there are several such meal kit services that deliver right to your doorstep. And they don’t have to break the bank, either. Here, we pit two such affordable meal kit services against one another to see which one fares better. Let’s dive into the Dinnerly vs. EveryPlate face-off.
Dinnerly, much like its parent start-up Marley Spoon, is a meal kit delivery service operating on a subscription model that delivers easy-to-cook meal kits throughout the U.S. As one of the most affordable meal kit services in the market, Dinnerly helps you save both time and money. Each recipe takes no more than 5 steps (or 30 minutes) to prepare and comes with a digital card carrying detailed instructions. This service is geared towards people who like having home-cooked meals but don’t have a lot of time to plan and prepare for them.
A HelloFresh subsidiary, EveryPlate is another budget-friendly meal kit delivery service that delivers to several areas in the continental U.S. All the ingredients come pre-proportioned with detailed cooking instructions, and their recipes can be whipped up in 6 easy steps, taking no more than 30-45 minutes. EveryPlate makes cooking at home more convenient and accessible to people who are short on time.
Dinnerly vs. EveryPlate: A Comparison
Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate have a similar service model that delivers pre-prepared ingredients to your doorstep at a pocket-friendly price. But how do these affordable meal kit delivery services stack up against each other?
Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate have meal plans starting from $4.99 per serving; however, the price differs based on the number of total servings you order per week.
Dinnerly allows you to choose between 2-6 meals per week, either for 2 or 4 people.
EveryPlate also allows you to choose between 3-6 meals per week; however, you have the extra option of opting for a box size that feeds 6 people.
Here’s a detailed price breakdown based on number of servings per week:
|Servings Per Week||Dinnerly (Price Per Serving)||EveryPlate (Price Per Serving)|
Meal Plan Options and Customization
Dinnerly has over 100 different recipes for you to choose from with many options for customization. You can choose between vegetarian, vegan, fast, dairy free, gluten free, and low carb options. Each meal contains detailed nutritional and allergen information and is categorized with tags such as “spicy” or “kid friendly,” making it easy for you to filter the menu based on preferences.
Although simple, Dinnerly’s varied menu which contains everything from American staple foods to international cuisine is enough to satisfy your palate. For an additional fee, you can also add some premiYUM recipes such as Chicken Saltimbocca to your weekly menu for those days where you crave something extravagant. Seasonally, Dinnerly also includes additional options for breakfast, snacks, and dessert.
EveryPlate has a rotating weekly menu with 26 recipes to choose from. You can choose from meat and veggies, vegetarian meals, family favorites, meals with 650 calories or less, and quick and easy meals. Beyond this, however, EveryPlate offers no customization options, so it’s not ideal for those with dietary restrictions.
EveryPlate’s menu contains simple, classic dishes that are loved by everyone. The add-ons are where it adds up, though. For $3 to $22 extra, EveryPlate allows you to select complementary add-ons like garlic bread. There are also some premium options such as baja shrimp tacos or creamy mushroom steaks to choose from to add some variety to your food. Do keep in mind that selecting premium options will cost you an extra $4.99-$6.99 per serving.
Recipes and Ingredient Quality
Dinnerly ships fresh produce sourced from trusted suppliers in the U.S. They vacuum seal all the proteins and package everything neatly with ice packs to keep the ingredients fresh in transit. The meat they use is not treated with any antibiotics. However, they do include a bit of pre-packaged, microwaveable food like canned sauces, which I’m not a huge fan of.
All the ingredients come unchopped but are high in quality. You’ll need to consult a digital recipe card for cooking instructions—there’s no physical recipe card like other meal kits. Dinnerly also requires you to have some staple ingredients at hand, such as oil, butter, salt, and pepper. But, sometimes, they also expect you to get your own flour and eggs, which can be a little inconvenient.
There have been some customer complaints about a missing ingredient or two. But, if that does happen to you, ring up Dinnerly’s customer service and they’ll give you a partial refund.
While EveryPlate mentions that all of their ingredients are fresh, they don’t offer any information about how and where they source them from. Several of their packaged ingredients sport the HelloFresh logo, however, which probably means they use the same ingredients as their more premium parent company (but I can’t guarantee this).
Check out my EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh review to see how they stack up against each other!
Recipe cards are also included with EveryPlate, but you can find the same information on their website. Like Dinnerly, you’ll have to provide some staple cooking ingredients like oil, salt, pepper, and butter.
Delivery Times and Locations
Dinnerly delivers all over the contiguous U.S. between 8 a.m to 9 p.m. Once you enter your address, you’ll see which day(s) of the week they deliver to your location. If there are multiple delivery days available, you can choose the day that’s most convenient for you.
EveryPlate also delivers all over the contiguous U.S. between 8am to 8pm, and they deliver 7 days a week. Based on your location and the delivery day(s) available, you can choose your slot.
Dinnerly has a shipping fee of $11.99 per week, while EveryPlate charges $9.99 for shipping, which is close enough.
Winner: It’s a tie!
Packaging and Sustainability Efforts
Dinnerly packages the ingredients for all the weekly meals together inside a cardboard box instead of separating them by recipe. This allows you to store them however you want, especially if you lack a lot of fridge or pantry space. While I would prefer ingredients to be grouped together by recipe and packaged separately for added convenience, this is one of the ways Dinnerly is able to cut costs and provide meal kits for such affordable prices, so I can’t really complain.
Dinnerly is eco-conscious and uses recyclable packaging. The cardboard box is made using FSI certified paper which is sourced from sustainably managed forests. The separator or liner inside the box is either recyclable (if it’s a foil pouch or thermal liner) or biodegradable (if it’s a cotton liner). The ice pack, along with the plastic bag it comes in, is also recyclable, and so are all the bottles, containers, and plastic bags that the ingredients come in.
Look out for the “Climate Hero” label on recipes! These indicate that the recipe has a lesser carbon footprint than others, meaning it’s good for the environment.
EveryPlate sends all of the ingredients in the same box, but they are packed individually in plastic covers. The boxes used by EveryPlate are specially designed and have insulated liners and gel packs to ensure that everything stays fresh till it reaches your doorstep. Everything comes chilled with ice packs and will stay fresh for up to 48 hours even if you store it out of the fridge. Produce like meat and dairy that definitely needs to be refrigerated is placed under the ice pack for extra freshness.
EveryPlate’s complete packaging is curbside recyclable, including the boxes, separators, gel ice packs, and box liners. In addition to this, EveryPlate has also partnered with TerraPass to offset 100% of its carbon emissions, which is commendable.
Ease of Use
Dinnerly sends you an email reminder every week so that you can skip that week’s delivery if needed. However, you need to modify your order at least 7 days in advance.
The only thing I’d like to mention here is that Dinnerly’s extensive menu may get a tad bit overwhelming for you. But you can always narrow down the options using categories or pick meals from those Dinnerly recommends according to your taste profile.
EveryPlate also sends you email reminders and allows you to modify your menu up to 5 days before delivery.
Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate are pretty easy to use. Everything from signing up to picking your meals consists of only 5 very easy steps. Ordering, pausing, skipping, or cancelling is a breeze.
Both also include meals that are easy to cook and usually take only around 30 minutes. The instructions are easy to follow and usually include a list of ingredients shipped by the meal kit service as well as what additional ingredients you would need (for instance, flour).
Winner: It’s a tie!
Final Verdict: Dinnerly, or EveryPlate?
Both Dinnerly and EveryPlate are excellent meal kit delivery services that allow you to cook yummy meals at home without burning a hole in your wallet or needing to make a grocery run. Both of them are eco-conscious, easy to use, and deliver on time, once per week. Based on my face off, these meal kit services are equally good, but I’ll give you some guidance on which to choose according to your personal preferences.
If you like having a ton of meal choices and dietary preferences to pick from, then Dinnerly might be a better option for you. On the other hand, if your go-to meals always consist of classic “comfort food” then EveryPlate might be ideal for you. People who are on a very tight budget, or those who suffer from decision fatigue might also want to opt for EveryPlate.